Honda Amaze 1.2 Comfort, When Basic is Best

28 June 2019
We Spent three months with Honda's entry-level sedan
3 months 3 096 km 6,51 L/100 km

Honda is known for its solid, well-engineered cars, from the ones it offers at the bottom end of the market right to the CR-V, currently its most expensive local offering.

I had the latter as a 12-month test vehicle recently and was sad to see it depart after a term of impressively accomplished motoring. It would therefore make for an interesting experiment testing one of the brand’s cheapest models...

Built in India, the Amaze sits at the bottom of the range but, on paper, doesn’t compromise in terms of safety, comfort and space.

One of the first things I noticed when the Amaze arrived at CAR’s offices was the no-cost two-tone seat covers which perfectly match the rest of the cabin’s trim. These synthetic items are practical if you want to keep the seats’ original coverings neat but the material does tend to get sticky on hot days.

I was happy to note the audio system offers Bluetooth connectivity but the dimness of the display screen irked throughout the test period. Aside from that, however, the cabin displayed few vices and I was especially impressed with the standard fitment of automatic climate control, as well as the quality of the fittings and fixtures.

I’m 1,87 metres tall and found the driving position comfortable but the top of the windscreen is lower than on most other cars and did intrude in my field of vision. If you’re taller, be alert to this when test driving an Amaze.

At best, the exterior design can be described as functional, especially towards the rear. That blockiness does translate into a capacious luggage bay; at 420 litres, there’s more room for odds and ends than you’ll find in a Mercedes- Benz C-Class, for example.

Under the stubby bonnet beats a 1,2-litre engine delivering 66 kW and 110 N.m of torque, and – typical of Honda – it’s eager to rev and pulls the 924 kg with conviction. Despite having five gears instead of six, at 120 km/h the powertrain spins at 3 500 r/min, which lowers noise intrusion into the interior.

Fuel consumption over the course of 3 096 km was a respect- able 6,51 L/100 km, with the best tank-to-tank consumption settling at 6,22 L/100 km. This proved to be more than the original 5,50 L/100 km we achieved during our road-test (December 2018) fuel run, but still an acceptable figure. The result is, if you drive with a considered right foot, you can reach 500 km on a full 35-litre tank.

A large part of my daily commute includes highway driving and, in the Amaze, I often found myself in the middle or slow lane at 100 km/h on the highway, allowing other cars to pass. That lessened road noise and made me a more relaxed driver. Win-win.

The ride is comfortable, fitted as the Amaze is with a modest 175/65 R15 tyre/wheel combination and a soft suspension setup. The car never wallows at motorway speeds but there is an unsurprising degree of body roll during cornering. The gearshifts are slick, short and direct, typical of Honda.

Cost
Fuel & top-up cost R2 731.90
Cost per Kilometre
R0.94
Purchase price then
R193 900
Purchase price  now
R193 900
Second-hand value
±R180 000

TEST SUMMARY

The Amaze is a no-frills, point-to- point commuter that does what it says on the box. Its price might be marginally higher than some of its main rivals (for example, the Suzuki DZire), but it counters with a larger boot and a comfortable ride, plus great spec. The service plan of two years/30 000 km is in line with the Suzuki’s, while the Honda also offers a five-year/ 200 000 km mechanical warranty. Although the Amaze may not exactly be the most exciting car to drive or own, it never left me in any doubt it would last a long time. Much like that CR-V, in fact.

Original Article - CARmag June 2019 edition.

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