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Car companies make what the market demands. The local South African market is a humorous antithesis – we have customers for Rolls Royce vehicles as well as budget-friendly cars like the Suzuki Swift/Dzire - or in the case of this article, the Honda’s Amaze.
Not new to the South African market, the Amaze debuted globally back in 2013. It suffered from unfortunate looks that in my opinion, fell short of its good breeding - coming from Honda. Now in its second generation and more aesthetically-pleasing, thanks to larger proportions and a design that was built from the ground up specifically as a sedan. Despite its improved look that feature square lines described as the brand’s “characteristic ‘solid wing’ appearance, which manifests itself in a broad bar extending across the width of the contrasting black honeycomb grille. It also provides a visual link to the bold halogen headlight clusters.” Although better than before, the Amaze is still cutely awkward – like a teen during a growth spurt.
The larger proportion has thankfully increased the interior dimensions making the Amaze’s interior a more comfortable place to be. Light and bright with a two-tone interior, the mixture of toffee cream with black creates a simple yet sophisticated feel. Should the smart fabric not be to your liking, Honda offers synthetic leather seat covers as a no-cost option.
The back-to-basics interior reminded me that less is more. Although nice, a lot of modern tech is unnecessary. The Amaze features MP3 music file playback and Bluetooth, which allows hands-free telephony and music streaming. The four-speaker system also provides USB connectivity and an AUX socket. A multifunction steering wheel allows safe and convenient control of the audio system, as well as making Bluetooth-linked hands-free cellphone calls.
The Amaze is still petite by conventional car standards, but smart space planning means decent space for four adults. Storage spaces have also been catered for functional usage. The boot is decent at 420-liters which is 20-liters more than its Brio sister. Pity the rear seats don’t fold flat.
The Amaze is driven by a free revving and reliable 1.2-liter VTEC motor. The motor is good for a modest 66kW and 110 NM. Due to the Amazes 900kgs, it is a lightweight in the car world. Don’t let its modest figures fool you – the Amaze is perfectly suitable in the city. It’ll take to between 12.5 and 13.5 seconds to hit 100km/h depending on either the manual or CVT automatic gearbox. Fuel economy is great with figures ranging between 5.6 to 8.0-liters/100 km.
I enjoyed the sedan’s placid nature. The drive is calm and quiet. The manual gearbox is light and easy to operate. The motor likes being revved, and the Amaze is very easy to manoeuvre.
In a world of big SUVs, the Honda Amaze is the simple, little car that is your happy city companion, void of ego.
Ford Figo Sedan, Suzuki Dzire, Tata Bolt Sedan, Toyota Etios Sedan and Volkswagen Polo Sedan.
Honda Amaze 1.2 Trend: R179 900
Honda Amaze 1.2 Comfort: R193 900
Honda Amaze 1.2 Comfort CVT: R208 900
Service and Warranty
The range is supported by a full five-year/200 000km warranty, as well as a two-year/30 000km service plan, and a three-year AA Roadside Assistance package. Scheduled services are at 15 000km intervals.
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