Honda’s little sedan delivers smartly
First impressions are sometimes wrong. To be honest, I was not exactly blown off my feet the first time I saw this Honda Amaze — its perhaps gawky looks and repmobile-cum-uber appeal never quite did it for me. But after a week at the wheel, I was surprisingly sad to see it go. Packing a buzzy downsized engine mated to crisp five-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels, Amaze also comes with a CVT auto option, should you, your daughter or your mum be so inclined.
Put to the test, our VBox reported that the 66kW 110Nm 1199cc iVTEC powered Amaze ran from rest to 100km/h in 10.83 seconds, did the standing start 400m in 17.3 seconds at 126km/h and pulled from 80 to 120km/h in 8.27 sec, while Honda says it will do 160km/h, even though it pushed our test kit a fair bit beyond that.
Packing McPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension and electric power steering, Amaze adds ABS anti-lock braking with EBD, dual front airbags, inertia reel seat belts and Isofix anchors; an alarm and immobiliser. It will comfortably accommodate four adults and has a cavernous boot to gobble up a surprising amount of baggage – all the more impressive considering its slight overall proportions.
The comfy and quite spacious cabin for the car’s size is surprisingly smartly finished too and while those tan pews and trim will be difficult to keep clean, our tester had a light and breezy feel. The comfy enough front chairs offer a fair range of adjustment along with a tilt-power multifunction steering wheel to control infotainment with four-speaker FM/AM radio and MP3, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity.
I found Amaze pleasing to drive – buzzy, with a positive manual gearchange in a spacious, smart cabin that quite defies its affordable price. It cruises the open road with consummate ease – in fact you’d swear it’s at least 1600cc and not the little twelve-hundred it is. The Honda Amaze punches several classes above its weight, truth be told and it comes alive wonderfully if pushed hard — it loves to rev — it’s a V-Tec after all!
Negatives? Well, personally I find its stub-nosed look a little cosmetically challenging, but that’s just me. The Amaze makes up inside though ands its actually fun to drive when you need to, superbly frugal and easy to live with. The little Honda sedan is also well backed with a compelling five-year/200 000km warranty and two-year/30 000km service plan.
Don’t ignore it if you are looking for a really compelling bang for buck little car... - Michele Lupini
ROAD TEST: Honda Amaze 1.2 Trend
Engine: 66kW 110Nm 1198cc petrol I4
Drive: 5-speed manual FWD
0-60km/h: 5.96 sec
0-100km/h: 10.83 sec
0-160km/h: 29.32 sec
400m: 17.3 sec @ 126km/h
80-120km/h: 8.27 sec
120-160km/h: 34.73 sec
Warranty/Service 5y 200K/2y 30Kkm
LIST PRICE: R179K