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THE NEW SOPHISTICATED AND STYLISH HONDA AMAZE
03 Jun 2019
Julian Lurie edited by Liam Mothilall
Honda claim that the all-new Honda Amaze launched in South Africa in October last year, is set to define a new standard for compact sedans. Designed specifically as a sedan from the ground up, the new Amaze is larger in every dimension, and features a bold design, which is typical of a Honda. Inside, the sophisticated cabin is both stylish and exceptionally roomy.
Available in two equipment levels; Trend and Comfort, Amaze buyers have a choice of features with a high level of standard equipment. Safety remains a priority, with all models featuring a comprehensive array of active and standard safety features. Toshiaki Kusakari, the Head of Automobiles at Honda Motor Southern Africa, says that they believe that the new Honda Amaze will set a new, elevated standard for small sedans in South Africa. He adds that the new Amaze is exceptionally roomy, has a generous luggage compartment, and Honda's reputation for reliability and the good resale value will also add to the Amaze's attraction.
The second-generation Honda Amaze was built as a sedan right from scratch, which allowed the design team to create a streamlined shape with a flowing silhouette and a strong, individual character, while also expressing the current Honda design language. The new Amaze is only 5 mm longer and 15 mm wider than its predecessor, but the wheelbase has grown by a substantial 65 mm, which translates into shorter overhangs and more interior space. The front is dominated by Honda's characteristic 'solid wing' appearance, which manifests itself in a broad bar extending across the width of the contrasting black honeycomb grille. It also provides a visual link to the bold halogen headlight clusters. A lower air intake is framed by recessed, black-framed fog lamps in the case of Comfort models. A slim, colour-coded splitter below the air intake adds a sporty finishing touch.
Viewed from the sides, the alloy wheels, standard across the range, are a visual highlight, while also reducing unsprung mass. A crisp shoulder line running from the headlights to the taillight clusters highlights the Amaze's sculpted flanks while a broad sill contributes to the sedan's planted look while the smoothly curved roofline flows into a neatly integrated, raised rear deck, which is accentuated by the notched C-pillar. The rear view is dominated by the C-shaped taillight clusters, which frame a boot lid that opens wide and deep. An integrated spoiler on the boot lid’s leading edge adds a sporty touch. The colour-coded, integrated bumper extends into a stylized rear diffuser.
The interior of the new Amaze is exceptionally spacious and comprehensively equipped. Smart cloth upholstery is used to trim the contoured, supportive front seats and rear bench seat. Genuine Honda synthetic leather seat covers can be ordered as a no-cost option. Gloss piano black detailing on the dashboard adds to the sophisticated ambience, while the ergonomically designed dashboard features a driver-centric instrument binnacle with analogue dials for speed and rev count. The binnacle also houses a digital trip computer. The center stack is home to a sound system offering FM/AM radio functionality, as well as MP3 music file playback and Bluetooth, which allows hands-free telephony and music streaming. The four-speaker system also provides USB connectivity and an AUX socket. A multifunction steering wheel makes for safe and convenient control of the audio system, as well as making Bluetooth-linked hands-free cellphone calls. Generous cabin storage includes pockets in all four doors cupholders in the center console, a fold-down rear seat armrest incorporating cup holders for rear occupants. The new Amaze's comparatively long 2 470 mm wheelbase allows for an airy and spacious interior, with ample leg and headroom both front and rear. The boot capacity is a best-in-class 420 litres, 20 litres more than the original Brio Amaze.
The new Honda Amaze is powered by their proven four-cylinder engine. The 1 199-cc unit with Honda's I-VTEC intelligent valve timing management system, ensures optimum performance and fuel efficiency. Maximum power output is rated at 66 KW, reached at 6 000 r/min, combined with a torque peak of 110 NM at 4 800 r/min. In the baseline Amaze Trend model, a five-speed manual gearbox is standard, while buyers of the Comfort model can also opt for a new-generation Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT). With a kerb mass of just more than 900 kg, the Amaze is able to deliver swift performance, and frugal fuel economy. Manual-gearbox models will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 12,3 sec, while the CVT version requires a still brisk 13,5 sec. Top speed is 160 km/h for all derivatives. The manual-transmission Amaze models achieve a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 5,6 litres/100 km, while the CVT version is only slightly thirstier at 5,7 litres / 100 km.
The Amaze's all-new platform features an independent, McPherson strut-based front suspension, and a torsion beam rear set-up. It's been designed to offer confident handling and a refined ride, while the electrically assisted power steering ensures effortless, crisp steering response. Overall refinement and NVH has been improved substantially, thanks to the new platforms there are enhanced sound proofing and reduced engine noise transmission, as well as optimized engine mounts. In terms of safety, the all-new platform makes extensive use of high-tensile steel, ensuring a lightweight but extremely rigid construction. It also features Honda's Advanced Compatibility structure, which allows for specific, programmed deformation of body structures in the case of a collision, while ensuring the integrity of the passenger safety cell. All Honda Amaze models come standard with dual front airbags, inertia reel seatbelts at the front and rear, and IsoFix child seat anchors. On the active safety front, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) are standard.
The new Honda Amaze range comprises three models, all powered by the same engine, and a choice of two transmissions, and two trim levels. The most affordable Amaze is the 1.2 Trend, available as a manual gearbox model only. However, even this so-called base model offers buyers an extensive list of standard equipment. Exterior features include 15-inch alloy wheels shod with 175/65 R15 tyres, a roof-mounted sharkfin antenna, and a high-mounted third brake light. Inside, smart cloth upholstery is standard, as is the tilt-adjustable multifunction steering wheel. The four-speaker audio system features FM/AM and MP3 functionality. It also includes Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming and hands-free telephony. Central locking is standard, while the exterior mirrors are adjusted manually.
Moving up to the 1.2 Comfort, the exterior gains colour-coding for the exterior mirrors and door handles, while low-mounted, recessed fog lamps are standard too. Inside, the Comfort includes everything that's standard on Trend versions, but adds automatic air-conditioning and electric adjustment of the exterior mirrors, as well as automatic door locking once the vehicle starts moving.
The 1.2 Comfort CVT is identical in all respects to its manual-gearbox stablemate, but gains gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel to allow for manual shifts between the CVT's virtual gears.
The recommended retail selling prices start at R179 900 for the Honda Amaze 1.2 Trend, R193 900 for the Honda Amaze 1.2 Comfort and R208 900 for the top of the range Honda Amaze 1.2 Comfort CVT. The new Honda Amaze comes standard with a full five-year / 200 000 km warranty, a two-year / 30 000 km service plan, and a three-year AA Roadside Assistance package, with service every 15 000 kms.