Little to Amaze
The Amaze has been a breakthrough model for Honda, clocking sales of over 130,000 units in less than 2 years of launch. It has held its own against segment leader Dzire while staying ahead of challengers such as the Xcent and Zest. But it was not without drawbacks — notably the noisy diesel engine and uninspiring interiors.
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Honda has tried to address these issues in the car's first mini facelift last month, and added more variants that come with an audiovisual navigation system, automatic folding side mirrors and an all-black dashboard.
These additions do manage to spice up things a bit. The 15.7-inch touchscreen hogs most of the central dashboard, and though not flashy, is largely glitch-free. The graphics with the maps are not very impressive but were mostly accurate. The system can be paired with your mobile phone via bluetooth and streaming music is hassle-free.
One minor irritant is answering calls using Bluetooth: the sound calibration is far from perfect, and you have to turn up the volume when you get calls and turn it down again when playing music. The overall layout of the dashboard and centre console, however, are largely untouched, and fit-and-finish remain below par for the segment.
The Amaze is essentially is a Brio with a boot added on, but it is better proportioned than the Dzire or the Xcent. The success it has had in the market now means the novelty factor is missing, but it is still a decent looking vehicle.
Amaze also has the best cabin space in this segment and its 400-litre boot is next only to the Xcent.
Despite all these new additions, the Amaze still scores low on features. The Xcent for example comes with rear AC vents and parking camera view in the rear-view mirror. The Amaze does not even get parking sensors, nor does it have automatic climate control.
The company claims engineers have worked on the noise vibration and harshness levels of the diesel variants. The "new" car is somewhat more refined but not by much. It starts with a shudder and there continues to be perceptible noise at low revolutions.
Things improve when the vehicle picks up speed — which it does admirably well.
The car is a winner as far getting the balance between performance and fuel economy is concerned. For all the lack of refinement, the diesel engine is eager and accelerates well in a linear fashion. On paper, Tata's petrol Revotron scores better, but the extra weight of the Zest neutralises that advantage, leaving the Amaze's iVtec ahead.
With the overall styling and underpinnings of the car staying the same, the facelift brings little that is really new to the table. It sweetens the overall package a tad but the gap in features with the Xcent and Zest has not really been bridged. Wait for Facelift 2.0.