Text – Javeid Khan; Pictures – Ankit Mishra
Honda Amaze Long Term Review
Car Tested: Honda Amaze i-DTEC VMT
Kms Done: 2509 kms
Test Started at: 7361 kms
Test Concluded at: 9870 kms
Mileage: 16.02 km/l, 20.55 km/l (best), 13.84 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 157 litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 10,016/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 3.99/-
Major Repair – None
Service Cost – 5000 kms service at Rs 261/-; 10,000 kms service at Rs 2775/-
The Amaze impresses with its roomy interiors and powerful yet fuel efficient diesel motor.
We have been driving Honda’s compact sedan for a while now and this sub 4-metre car has been impressive since the day it got inducted in our long term fleet. As we mentioned in our previous report, the Amaze is the first Honda car to get a diesel heart. The inclusion of an oil burner in the Amaze lineup can be attributed to its massive success in the Indian market. It has, in no time, become Honda’s best selling car in the Indian market, beating even the much established City in terms of sales. Having used the diesel powered Honda Amaze over 2500 kms in various situations, it’s time for our final long term report of this compact sedan.
With so many compact sedans out there in the market, what really sets the Honda Amaze apart from the rest is the design. To be more specific, we are talking about proportions which are pretty sedan like contrary to the trend which makes compact cars look rather ungainly. Honda’s ‘Man Maximum Machine Minimum’ principle is clearly highlighted here with abundant space available in the cabin. The compact engine bay has translated into one of the roomiest cabins in the segment. Quality levels are pretty Honda like throughout. With the odometer reading nearly 10,000 kms, there was no rattle or squeak from any part of the car.
We were particularly impressed with the AC which works beautifully to cool the cabin in spite of temperatures soaring beyond 40 degrees. The seats are comfortable over long runs and the rear bench deserves a special mention for its roominess. Fitting in three medium sized adults was not a problem at all. The beige interiors contribute to the sense of space and don’t get dirty as easily as we have seen with most cars. The boot is quite practical and can swallow almost everything for a weekend getaway. Audio quality is also pretty decent but Bluetooth connectivity was sorely missed (we say again). Honda will definitely address the equipment levels once the Amaze is due for a refresh, expected later this year.
We have experienced the Honda i-DTEC on numerous occasions in the past and there is no denying that this is a beauty of a powertrain. This all aluminium engine is not only light but delivers maximum power and torque in the given segment, thus making the Amaze quite fun to drive. On the VBOX run, the Amaze stopped the clock at 11.82 seconds to 100 km/hr. The 5-speed gearbox is slick and only gets better with age, the cogs working into place with exemplary confidence. However, there are a few things about the engine which needs to be set straight. Most people find this engine too noisy as compared to its counterparts (read Multijet) and we felt the same when we drove the car for the first time last year. Our perception seems to have changed over time and here is why. Being an all aluminium engine, the sound absorption is not as much as in a cast iron engine block, and this resonates into a clatter. By no means is the clatter disturbing, but it’s lingering all the same. However, we noticed a dramatic reduction in the engine noise after the first oil change, which happens at 10,000 kms. Honda’s ultra low viscosity oil (sourced from Idemitsu) seems to have done the trick. It’s not just the oil alone, the engine was settled in and the drop in NVH levels was apparent.
The oil change also led to an improvement in fuel efficiency. Before the service we were getting a fuel efficiency of 15.11 km/l in the city and 17.29 km/l on the highway. But post service, the efficiency soared to 16.97 km/l and 19.42 km/l in the city and highway respectively. The best fuel efficiency we got post service was 20.55 km/l. Even though this 1.5-litre oil burner can deliver 25.8 km/l in ideal test conditions, the real world efficiency is good enough for our liking, keeping in mind that fuel efficiency may vary as per traffic and road conditions. A big downside for the Amaze is that Honda has electronically limited the top speed of this car to 140 km/hr. In Honda’s defence, they claim that the fuel efficiency significantly drops post this speed. In our test, continuous driving on the limit (post service) returned 14.5 km/l which is not bad for spirited driving. The best fuel efficiency is obtained by driving at around 80 km/hr in top gear. In our opinion, top speed of 140 km/hr is sufficient for most city and highway running but this has been a deal breaker for many who aspired to buy the Amaze.
When you talk about ride quality, Honda cars usually have a good balance and the Amaze is no different. Honda has set up the suspension for a family car and hence the ride quality is good. The Amaze absorbs most of the craters in the road with ease without making the passengers uncomfortable. With a ground clearance of 165 mm, one would expect the Amaze to bottom out frequently, however this ‘Made for India’ car will truly surprise you. Yes, it did kiss its underbelly on a few occasions but it stayed clear more often than we would have imagined. Handling is predictive and the steering feels quite mannerly at high speeds. The Amaze is certainly not the sharpest car in its class, but it’s one which gives you a healthy dose of fun when driven on the limit.
Honda currently has 170 dealerships across 107 cities and the Honda name is synonymous with quality. Many wouldn’t know but the Amaze is the cheapest car to maintain in its class. The per km cost of maintenance is cheaper than the competition by a substantial margin (Rs. 0.45 per km over 1,00,000 kms). The routine cost of service for the Amaze Diesel for 2 years/40,000 kms is just Rs. 15,375/- (plus taxes). The cost of spares and service are mentioned in the above table.
The Amaze has been one of the top sellers from Honda off late and the trend is bound to continue for the time to come. The Amaze is a practical compact sedan which delivers on almost every front, be it interior space, performance or fuel economy. The potent diesel engine also happens to be the most powerful in its segment. What the Amaze lacks is some additional equipment like Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, etc., most of which is standard in its latest Korean rival. However, the Amaze is quite involving to drive and the Honda badge does carry hefty brand value making it an option seriously worth considering, if you are looking to buy a compact sedan.
The Honda Amaze is a practical compact sedan which looks proportionate, has roomy interiors and delivers the best in class performance. The i-DTEC diesel engines offers great drivability with impressive fuel economy. Though the Amaze falls short on the equipment list, it is still a very desirable offering in its class.
Further Reading –
Honda Amaze Long Term Review – Initial Report
Honda Amaze Travelogue
Honda Amaze vs Hyundai Xcent vs Maruti DZire
Honda Amaze Test Drive Review
Honda Amaze vs Ford Figo Aspire vs Tata Zest vs Hyundai Xcent