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Our review of the 2021 Honda Amaze facelift which now offers a few extra features and slight styling tweaks to improve its value proposition.

Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Honda Amaze Facelift: Design

The 2021 Honda Amaze gets some nips and tucks to stay in the game. Though these changes might not seem extravagant on paper, they do elevate the style quotient a notch.

To start with, the Honda Amaze has been one of the better-looking compact sedans in its class. The facelift carries forward the Accord-inspired face with a chunky upper chrome slab. However, instead of the honeycomb, the lower half now sports a couple of stylish chrome slats. The facelift now boasts of LED projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights (DRL), while some chrome garnish around the fog-lamps keeps things interesting.

The aggressive profile of the Honda Amaze remains unchanged, apart from the City-inspired 15-inch dual-tone alloy wheels that run on narrow 175-section tyres here. Other new bits include chrome door-handles, re-profiled tail-lamps which are all-LED now, and some chrome additions on the rear bumper. In this new Meteoroid Grey body colour, the Amaze looks fairly premium and upmarket.

Honda Amaze Facelift: Cabin
The changes inside the cabin of the Honda Amaze are few and far between. The dashboard layout is solid and is well-made but the design remains pretty straightforward. The beige-and-black combination is retained, but the facelift gets some new silver accents on the dashboard, steering wheel, and door-panels to enhance the excitement. The front seat is pretty well-cushioned and now comes with a slightly different fabric and stitching. There’s plenty to like about the cabin, such as decent-sized bottle-holders, a couple of cupholders on the centre console, and two USB ports. There’s a dock to place phones too, provided you don’t own extra-large ones.

Honda Amaze Facelift: Features

Upon closers inspection, we noticed useful inclusion like new ceiling lamps and updated rear camera with multi-view rear angles and guidelines. To improve the value proposition, Honda have packed in features such as automatic headlamps, push-button start/stop, automatic climate control, cruise control (in the manual variants), a seven-inch touchscreen equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, it still doesn’t get important features like rear a-c vents, wireless smartphone charger, and even more vital items like adjustable rear head-rests. Although the Amaze petrol CVT sports paddle-shifters, this feature is skipped in the diesel CVT version. The car could also do with an improved user interface for the infotainment system and, perhaps, a smarter driver’s instrument console.

Honda Amaze Facelift: Engine and Gearbox
The powertrain options on the Honda Amaze facelift haven’t been altered either. You continue to get the refined 90-hp, 1.2-litre petrol or the 100-hp, 1.5-litre diesel. Both offer the option of a five-speed manual or the convenience of a CVT. Honda have been known for their well-engineered and efficient engines and these remain true to that trait.

Honda Amaze Facelift: Diesel Engine
The Honda Amaze 1.5-litre diesel five-speed manual is not just efficient but also has good low-down power and mid-range. This means fewer gear-changes, as one can conformably slow down or even speed up without having to work the ’box. In fact, the gear throws are short and pretty slick. We also had a short go in the Honda Amaze diesel CVT which makes 20 hp and 40 Nm less than the manual oil-burner. Obviously, it’s not as peppy as the manual version but the performance seems adequate for the usual city commute. Maybe, if Honda had equipped this version with paddle-shifters, things could have been somewhat more engaging. The diesel CVT, apart from the added convenience of not having to shift gears, claims to stretch a litre of fuel for an impressive 21 kilometres.

Honda Amaze Facelift: Petrol Engine and Gearbox
After the diesel we took a quick spin in the Honda Amaze 1.2-litre petrol five-speed manual gearbox version, which promises to sip on a litre of fuel for 18.6 km. This is an extremely smooth motor that feels effortless within the city. It feels light and easy at lower speeds but feels the best between 2,500 and 4,000 rpm. It likes to be driven with a light foot and dealt with patience. The Amaze isn’t tuned for outright performance, though even when pushed hard, doesn’t sound rough or vibey. The manual shifts are pretty slick and easy to live with. This is a good combination for the urban jungle, especially for those who prefer to be chauffeur-driven.

Honda Amaze Facelift: Ride Quality and Handling
The suspension of the Honda Amaze is well-tuned to tackle the usual ordeal of Indian roads. And it took on the monsoon-lashed roads confidently without losing composure. In fact, our photography crew remained cocooned and in good humour as we drove around. These beautiful pictures are testimony to that. Even during cornering, the sedan remained pretty flat with minimal body movement.
Obviously, it’s not as sporty as some of its competitors but the Honda has a decent balance of comfort and dynamics. Similarly, the steering feels effortless to twirl into parking and around U-turns and, as the speed goes up, it weighs up nicely. Yet it’s not the sharpest and nor as communicative as the sportier cars in its segment, but feels pretty adequate for your usual commute.

Since it wears the Honda badge with pride, the Amaze carries a premium price tag that starts at Rs 6.32 lakh and goes up to Rs 11.15 lakh (ex-showroom), thus making it one of the more expensive models in its class. And that’s in spite of missing out on some features that the competition offers. Yet the sedan makes a strong proposition, considering the engineering, refinement, and solid build that the Honda badge resonates.

Also Read: Hyundai Aura 1.2 CDRi Review


About the author: Sarmad Kadiri



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