2021 Honda Amaze: First Drive Review

Published On Aug 25, 2021 By Rohit for Honda Amaze

Honda’s second-gen Amaze is now available in a mildly refreshed avatar, retaining much of the same qualities we've always loved it for. This spin should be quick and sweet then

The second-gen Honda Amaze, which has been on sale since 2018, has just received its mid-life update. While the engine and gearbox have been retained from the pre-facelift model, Honda has made some cosmetic changes and feature enhancements to keep it up with the times. It has also axed the mid-spec V trim and now offers the sub-4m sedan in just three: E, S, and VX.

But are these updates enough for you to shortlist it in your list of prospective models? Let’s find out:

Looks

The second-gen Honda Amaze has always scored highly in the looks department. And now with the facelift it has only gotten better, though marginally. Majority of the changes have been made to the front of the sedan. It now gets projector headlamps (which get LED treatment as well and can light up automatically) with LED DRLs, twin chrome slats under the chunky chrome bar in the front grille, tweaked fog lamp housings with chrome surround, and LED fog lamps.

From the sides, the profile remains quite similar to the pre-facelift version, save for the newly designed 15-inch alloy wheels (which look similar to those of the fourth-gen City’s) and chrome outside door handles.

At the rear, Honda has made just two revisions: the wraparound tail lamps now get C-shaped LED guidelights and the revised bumper now comes with a chrome strip connecting the rear reflectors. Apart from these, the sedan continues to sport the same set of badges for its name, variant, and engine. Also, Honda is still offering the Amaze in five colours: Platinum White Pearl, Radiant Red, Meteoroid Grey (replaces the Modern Steel shade), Lunar Silver, and Golden Brown.

Overall, if you want your sedan to be good looking, the Amaze is certainly a frontrunner in the segment. 

Interior

The facelifted Amaze gets just a handful of changes on the inside as opposed to those on the exterior. Honda has tried to brighten the cabin by introducing silver highlights on the dashboard, steering wheel, and door pads. The 2021 Amaze also gets front cabin lamps as part of the additions with its mid-life cycle update.

Like the pre-facelift model, the 2021 Amaze continues to get a dual-tone layout for its interior which makes the cabin feel airier, spacious, and fresh. The build quality and fit-finish of the interior is impressive as well, and everything including the centre console and equipment such as the front AC vents and glovebox is well-integrated. While the finish of the AC controls and touchscreen buttons works in favour of the Amaze, the steering-mounted controls could have been slightly better in quality. Having said that, they perform their duties without a sweat.

The seats get a new stitching pattern but are still as supportive as earlier. And while the front headrests are adjustable, we feel Honda should have made the rear headrests adjustable as well with this update.

Honda’s not robbed the Amaze of its practicality and convenience as the facelifted sedan continues to come with two cupholders in the centre console, an average-sized glovebox, and two cupholders in the rear armrest. It also gets two 12V power sockets and as many USB slots and a total of five bottle holders (one in each door and one in the centre console).

The facelifted sedan continues to offer 420 litres of boot space as before, which should suffice for a weekend’s worth of travel luggage. Its loading lip isn’t too high and the mouth is quite wide to ease loading/unloading.

Features and Technology

Even with the facelift, the equipment list of the sub-4m sedan remains largely unaltered save for the addition of multiview functionality for the reversing camera. The 2021 Amaze still comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, push button start/stop, auto climate control, and keyless entry. While the touchscreen unit isn’t the best in its class, it does its job pretty well. Its only issue is with the resolution of the display and the reverse camera.

There are a few surprises though, and not the good kind. Paddle shifters are limited to the petrol-CVT only and cruise control is still offered only on the MT variants, which isn’t something we completely agree with. We would have loved to see Honda add a couple more features as well including a leather wrapped steering, better MID, wireless phone charger, rear AC vents, auto-dimming IRVM, and adjustable rear headrests. 

Safety

Standard safety kit of the Amaze includes dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat anchors, and rear parking sensors.

Engine and Performance

If there’s one area where Honda hasn’t made a single change it’s the engine and gearbox combo of the sub-4m sedan. The facelifted Amaze soldiers on with the same set of petrol and diesel engines: 1.2-litre and 1.5-litre units respectively. Here’s a look at their gearbox and output figures:

Engine

1.2-litre Petrol MT

1.2-litre Petrol CVT

1.5-litre Diesel MT

1.5-litre Diesel CVT

Power

90PS

100PS

80PS

Torque

110Nm

200Nm

160Nm

Transmission

5-speed MT

CVT

5-speed MT

CVT

Fuel Efficiency

18.6kmpl

18.3kmpl

24.7kmpl

21kmpl

1.2-litre Petrol

Although it is the most refined engine you can have on the Amaze, it is best suited for city commutes. Getting off the line is not a hassle, however, getting a move on is. It lacks the punch needed for quick overtakes or runs, especially in the mid range. As a result, you are left patiently waiting for the Amaze to get up to speed or downshift to perform the necessary task. Even the clutch is slightly on the heavier side, which could irk you during the city trips. Honda has also teamed the petrol unit with a CVT to ease those traffic city drives and it does so brilliantly. The petrol unit is for someone whose usage will majorly be within city limits and who likes to drive in a relaxed manner.

1.5-litre Diesel

The 1.5-litre diesel engine, on the other hand, is the one you would find yourself drawn towards after having driven both powertrains of the new Amaze. It’s punchier and offers more performance right from the get-go. The Amaze is still the only sub-4m sedan to offer a CVT gearbox with a diesel engine, although the output drops down by 20PS and 40Nm compared to the MT variants. If you are looking for a more energetic drive experience, be it in the city or highway, the diesel is better. Brownie points for better mileage as well!

Ride and Handling

The facelifted Amaze is still as comfortable as before, thanks to its soft suspension setup. Both front and rear passengers will be well cushioned over bumps and potholes. That said, you will still notice the undulations and rough patches and have to deal with some movement in the cabin, but it won't get uncomfortable at reasonable speeds.

While the 2021 Amaze is well equipped to take on city and highway roads, it’s in corners or sharp turns that its weakness lies. The steering feedback is adequate for the city and weighs up well on the highways for a confident drive. But it falls short when you want to drive enthusiastically.

Verdict

The Amaze has always been a very sensible car and with the updates, it’s only gotten better. While Honda has introduced a couple of features on the facelifted sedan, we still believe it could have gone a step ahead and added useful features including an auto-dimming IRVM and adjustable rear headrests.

As for the engines, both are potent for the city; however, the diesel engine is a better all-rounder with its punchy and easy to drive nature. 

The facelift Amaze takes the same sure shot formula of small family sedan forward with a bit more flair. If you were planning to buy one, now you have stronger reasons to pay that deposit.

Honda Amaze

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
E Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 8.66 Lakh*
S Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 9.25 Lakh*
VX Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 10.24 Lakh*
VX CVT Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 11.14 Lakh*
E (Petrol)Rs. 6.32 Lakh*
S (Petrol)Rs. 7.15 Lakh*
S CVT (Petrol)Rs. 8.05 Lakh*
VX (Petrol)Rs. 8.21 Lakh*
VX CVT (Petrol)Rs. 9.04 Lakh*

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