Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 3
It is equipped with LED headlights and fog lamps

The Honda Amaze facelift has joined the MotorBeam garage, and boy, it is a dramatic change for me. You know that feeling when you’ve had a long day out in the sun with a sweaty shirt, heavy pair of jeans and bulky shoes, and then you come home and change into a light comfy t-shirt and a pair of shorts, sipping a cold glass of water? That’s exactly what I am experiencing with the Amaze after dailying my big brute Tata Safari Storme in the nasty traffic of Delhi NCR.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 4
The CVT auto offers smooth driving experience in heavy traffic conditions

It’s not that I don’t like taking my Safari out every day but driving a 4×4 manual SUV in the hustle and bustle of the city is quite an event and doesn’t make any sense. Switching to the long term Amaze has made things very convenient, especially with the CVT – city driving is super relaxed.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 7
Dual tone interior with neutral looking dashboard

It’s been a month and I have clocked more than 500 km. It has been driven completely in the city for the first month but now I have decided to take it out on the highway next week. More on that in the next report but for now, let’s highlight the initial experience I had with the compact sedan in the first 30 days.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 10
Apple CarPlay works well, much better than the in-built user interface

Firstly, I like this Meteoroid Grey Metallic shade on the Amaze, it gives that premium appeal to the car. The facelifted model gets an updated grille design, which looks much sharper than the chrome-heavy nose of the pre-facelift car. The LED headlights along with the LED fog lamps improve the visibility at night with a good throw, much better than the halogens of the outgoing model. These are auto headlights, so you just keep them in the Auto mode and enjoy the convenience. It also has the follow me home and welcome feature, so the lights are on for a while after you click the lock button and as soon as you press the unlock button, they turn on as well. I wish it had auto-folding mirrors as well for added convenience.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 9
Only car in the segment to offer a CVT, all others are available with AMT

It is equipped with keyless entry and go with push-button engine start/stop. The request sensor is placed on both the driver and co-passenger doors, a very convenient feature to have. The cabin is surprisingly quite spacious for compact sedan standards, thanks to Honda’s ‘man maximum, machine minimum’ principle. The dashboard looks average, neither too fancy nor too basic. There are hard plastics in some areas but the overall fit and finish are consistent and look durable.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 8
Paddle shifts offer a premium car appeal, quite responsive

The screen is decent in size but the user interface looks relatively basic compared to the other cars in the segment and even the audio quality from the speakers isn’t too impressive. Just plug in your phone to get rid of this interface and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which works pretty well. Also, the rear parking camera’s quality is great and it boots up instantly as soon as you put the car in reverse, there is no lag in it.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 6
Spacious interior with ample legroom on offer

In the past, we have had only diesel powered Amaze models in our long term fleet offering superb fuel efficiency figures. This is the first petrol powered Amaze, having the 1.2-litre 4-cylinder NA engine producing 90 PS and 110 Nm of torque. While Honda claims an ARAI figure of 18.3 km/l for the CVT, I am currently getting 12.7 km/l of fuel efficiency, which I think is not bad at all, considering the kind of usage in Delhi NCR.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 5
420 litres of boot space on offer

The Honda Amaze is the only car in the segment which offers a proper automatic transmission, unlike the Hyundai Aura, Maruti Dzire and Tata Tigor that come with AMT. There are no jerks at all and it offers a very smooth driving experience. The engine paired with the CVT offers decent response and accelerates in a linear manner. If you put the pedal to the metal from the get-go, the CVT will keep the engine on the boil, revving high but you won’t get the kind of acceleration that you’d expect with this pattern. The best way to get the most out of this setup is to modulate your throttle input gradually and get going with the momentum. Pinning the throttle in the CVT only offers good response while you’re on the move and not from the standstill.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 11
Auto headlights help you spot the car from far away

Honda also offers steering-mounted paddle shifters which change the ratios of the CVT. The paddle shifts feel nice and premium to hold and offer immediate response with a click. I haven’t used it much in the city, but it helps you to have a quick overtake when you need to get past those slow-moving three-wheelers on the flyover. The steering wheel is light, helps cut through traffic and congested areas like a breeze. Short turning radius is an added bonus. The ride is comfortable, more on the softer side. Let’s see how it performs out on the highway.

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 1
Ample ground clearance and convenient dimensions to park the car in such tricky spots

Honda doesn’t offer cruise control with the CVT variants of the Amaze but it is available in the manual variants. I will take it out on the highway and clock some miles to see how it feels to drive without the cruise control (as if my Safari has it 🙄). We’ll be testing it with a load of passengers and yes, how can we forget the 420-litre boot capacity! I’ll keep a close look at that too. Until then, drive safe and enjoy the new season of Formula 1 that has finally begun (also let us know your favourite driver in the comments section 😉).

Honda Amaze CVT Long Term 2
Stay tuned for a more detailed report including highway driving experience