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Old 17th May 2013, 21:03   #1
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Default My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

My cool blue 'amazeing' Amaze

You know how you are ever grateful to a dear friend for introducing you to your sweetheart? That's what I feel about me and the Amaze - and the friend(s) in this case are Vid6639 for his fantastic test drive report and GTO, for his brilliant, detailed official review. But let me start at the very beginning.


Background


Sometime last year, we started feeling the need for bigger car. Started keeping an eye out on the road for cars like the Ford Classic and started researching a bit on my options. I wasn’t really keen on the Dzire because I didn’t like it’s styling. The ‘chopped off’ rear made me roll my eyes at the design gaffe every time I saw it. Around that time I began to really dig for the Jazz. It’s brilliant design-space age capsule like from outside, acres of space on the inside for people and their cargo-premium interiors, all made it my favourite car at that point of time. Plus, I did not come across even a single Jazz owner on Team-BHP who was anything less than super pleased with his car!

I got to know about the cars expected to be launched in 2013 and two among them caught my attention-the Ford Ecosport and the Honda Jazz. The Ecosport caught my fancy purely for its exterior styling; otherwise, I am not really an SUV guy. The Amaze looked interesting as a compact sedan and more importantly, an ‘affordable’ Honda. Hence I decided to wait it out for the 2013 launches.


Thus, these three made it up to my short list. Funnily enough, each of these represented different segments of the automotive market - the ‘sedan class’ hatch Jazz, the compact SUV Ecosport and the compact sedan Amaze, but that’s how it was.

Honda struck the Jazz of my list by making the shocking announcement of discontinuing its production temporarily for the upcoming Amaze. The Ecosport reaffirmed my liking for its exterior styling when I went to check it out at a suburban mall in sometime in March. But the dark, gloomy interiors and the lack of cabin space were hugely disappointing. I had bounced off my shortlist with my brother who lives in the US and drives a Toyota Prius. He had a very poor view of American cars and in general, was a big fan of Japanese cars for their reliability and trouble free maintenance. He hasn’t spent a single dollar on repairs on his Prius in the 6-7 years he has been using it. In fact, he is at the other end of the spectrum as far as maintenance goes– believe it or not, he doesn’t even get his Prius serviced! So he rooted for the two Hondas in my shortlist.

Pre-booking:


Starting with the test drive report by vid6639, followed by the discussions by members, then the detailed official review by GTO and then the intense discussions amongst members, I had read everything there was to be read about the Amaze. Hence pretty much knew what to expect on the launch day when I landed up at Solitaire Honda for a test drive. The dealership staff was in a tizzy, and was dazed by the response for the Amaze (pun intended!). In terms of looks, it was not a looker like the Punto (hands down the most handsome hatch in India), but didn't at the same time have any obnoxious design gaffes such as the new Dzire or the Ritz (chopped off and hit-from-behind respectively). Sorry, no offense meant to the owners of these cars-just my personal opinion. I quite liked the exterior design and the fact that it looked like a proper sedan with a well integrated boot. In fact, to me the Brio to me now looks like an Amaze minus the boot, rather than the other way around! That speaks a lot about how well it is integrated.
The interiors really blew me away. Spacious, cheerful and roomy. I had read a lot about the dull dash, but personally, I didn't find it too bad. The boot was a *big* surprise (again, pun intended!). My subsequent test rides (I TDed both the petrol and diesel first time around and the petrol the next time) only confirmed that it would indeed be my new ride. The diesel demo car started with a shudder and while the NVH wasn't too bad for a diesel engine, it was obviously not as low as the petrol. Since my daily running is quite less (~ 20 kms), and with the petrol and diesel prices set to converge over a period of time (how long it will take will be determined by politics rather than economics), the petrol head in me was only too happy to go for the petrol.

Booking


Among the variants, the S MT had most of what I needed barring safety features such as airbags and ABS which I felt Honda should have offered as an option. The VX variant had these plus the alloys, but at a little over a lakh of rupees costlier, seemed a little pricey. Among the colours on offer, I liked the Amaze in blue and silver. Funnily enough, it didn't look good to me in white, the colour which suited the Jazz so well! The salesman brushed aside any suggestions at being granted a discount or freebies, since it was a hot new launch. I went in for Honda Assure Insurance, the zero depreciation clause, 4 year RSA (road side assist) and 2 years extended warranty. All inclusive, the price came to Rs 7.04 lakhs.

Booking-to-delivery experience:


Overall, the buying experience was quite good, except that the salesman needed to be chased for everything-he probably was not used to so many enquiries and in general, so much action! I conducted a PDI with the help of the PDI checklist available on the forum. Was disappointed to find MRF ZTVTs on my Amaze-would have preferred Goodyear as stock tyres, but the dealership expressed inability to influence the make of the tyres I would get. They said that the only option would be for me to wait till they get the next majestic blue petrol S MT Amaze with Goodyear tyres, but then I did not want to wait. Then came the D-day – the delivery date. Went to the dealership with entire family. Finished the paperwork and the feel-good 'handover ceremony' and finally got delivery of the car.

Post delivery:

I had made up my mind to go for a tyre upgrade, having been enlightened by well informed fellow members on the same. So the first thing I did, even before going to the temple, was to get the tyres upgraded to Michelin Energy XM2 185/65 R14. Costed me Rs 6000, but man, was it money well spent! The ride is much better now as compared to the test drives I had. A lot smoother and much more comfortable. Most importantly, I feel much more 'planted' on the road. The Amaze's braking is no doubt good, but the XM2s make it even better.

Daily driving experience


Now I am enjoying my time with the Amaze. It’s in city driveability is simply great. The excellent steering, excellent road visibility, super light clutch, good gears, excellent braking, short turning radius, all of it contributes to making it great to drive around in the city. And quite frankly, also enjoying the enormous attention I get on the road and from neighbours and colleagues, though am not used to getting attention! I've had brand new Honda City owners check out my Amaze at petrol pumps and then feeling disappointed that they just bought the City! Unbelievable, right?

I've driven it for about 300 kms now and the average fuel consumption has gone up quickly from 9kmpl initially to about 10.8-11 kmpl now. It drives very well. Very comfortable ride, especially with the XM2s. The steering is super light and very precise. The engine is refined, quiet and is getting smoother by the day. Every day, as I am running in with the engine, there is a perceptible improvement in smoothness and refinement. But, must say this - the 1.2L iVTEC is a shade noisier when it gets started than the 1.0 L STEC of the Chevy Spark, but then, I am nitpicking. The gear shifts are smooth, and the golf ball gear knob is great to hold and use. The accelerator is comfortably placed. The clutch is super light too. There is no dead pedal, but there is space to rest your foot when not using the clutch. One more thing I noticed – my Amaze allows me to really slow down before having to use half-clutch. There is definitely a lesser need for me to use half-clutch (which is most responsible for wearing out of the clutch) as compared to all the earlier cars I have driven. As a driver, the visibility is excellent. Seat height adjustment is also very useful to tweak the seat positioning to your most comfortable level. The A-pillar also does NOT block the view too much. The road clearance is good and I haven't scraped even once.


The seats are comfortable and provide adequate under thigh support. The front seats, though scooped out to make space for the rear passengers, are reasonably comfortable. Haven't really been on the rear seats too much, but they are very comfortable with lots of leg room. The floor hump is thankfully minimal (unlike the Ecosport) which also helps the occasional 5th passenger have a more comfortable ride. The light beige seat covers add to the feeling of roominess of the interiors, but are a little bland, especially since they are monotone (the VX trim gets dual toned covers). The glove compartment is adequately sized, and the storage spaces on the doors and in the cabin are nifty. The 2DIN music system’s output is quite good. I listen to FM radio and music from my thumb drive and as such, do not miss a CD player. The air conditioner cools adequately but the blowers could have been quieter.

Build quality, fit and finish

For the most part, consistent with Japanese car standards, I guess, so do not expect European level solid build. There are panel gaps. The one I noticed (apart from the ones already written about) was the gap between the roof line and the top of the windshield. the Honda service advisor said that it is meant for water to run off, but i am not convinced. The gap invites dirt and is not easy to clean. Surely, there would have been a better way to drain the water! The metal boot lid is definitely thin. i noticed a slight dent on the lid, presumably while it was parked in the apartment complex-probably a result of a bump by children while playing.

I haven't got a chance yet to put her through the paces on an open highway. I know that Honda has set about making a car that is easy to drive in the city and offers a cushy, pliant ride. Hence I don’t expect it to be stand up to being thrown around the corners like a true driver’s car would.

Here's a summary of my assessment based on my experience thus far.

What I like:

1. It's a Honda-I have read a LOT about their reliability. And owners of Japanese cars in general vouch strongly for their trouble free maintenance.

2. Looks like a proper sedan, albeit compact. Not like a hatch with a boot tagged on.

3. Magical space utilisation somewhat like the Jazz-compact from outside, roomy from inside.

4. Cheerful and spacious inside.

5. Decent Boot space.

6. Sufficiently good ride. Especially with the XM2s, the ride quality is quite good.

7. Very good driver seating position with great flexibility in choosing the height you are comfortable with. Excellent view of the road. The A-pillar also does not obstruct the view too much.

8. Good ground clearance - haven't scraped even once till now.

9. The steering is a joy to hold. Sweet. In fact, the second time I went for the test drive, the excellent steering made it clear to me that this is a car I want to drive.

10. Excellent braking ability, which inspires confidence in me as a driver.


What could've been better:

1. The 1.2 L petrol VTEC needs more grunt especially when pulling the car in 2nd gear, say, after tackling a speed bump.

2. The rather limited rear view. A result of trying to give a sporty stance and increasing the depth of the boot, I guess.

3. Pathetic horn. Enough said.

4. The steering, while being extremely light and smooth, seems too 'sanitised'. Some more feedback while driving would have enhanced the experience.

5. The music system is quite good in terms of sound reproduction, but not 'great'. The display is a different matter. Could have been a lot better-at least have the folder/track information displayed.

6. The now ubiquitous fat chrome garnish at the back doesn't help to distinguish it from it's arch rival, the Dzire. Honda should have been a little more imaginative!

Members, I have tried my best to make it as objective and comprehensive as possible, but this being my first post, please excuse any shortcomings. Thank you!
Attached Thumbnails
My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-amaze.jpg  

My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130428_155445.jpg  


Last edited by Top-Gear : 28th May 2013 at 18:55.
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Old 29th May 2013, 12:45   #2
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th May 2013, 12:53   #3
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Post Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Congrats on your new ride! Nice colour. I am not sure if this is the first Amaze owner review on team bhp. Congrats on that too, if it is.

I too had considered the Amaze during my recent car purchase decision. But finally, didn't like the interiors and so went for Hyundai i20 which offered most of what Amaze offered except the driveability and handling that Amaze boasts of.
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Old 29th May 2013, 12:53   #4
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Let me be the first to congratulate you.. That's a very nice color but hard to maintain.

Couple of points :
1. What the F.E looks like ?
2. How does the interiors look like?
3. Which tires you got ?
4. Can you show us the boot space?

Overall, a very neutral review. Thanks!
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Old 29th May 2013, 14:42   #5
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtualaman View Post
Congrats on your new ride! Nice colour. I am not sure if this is the first Amaze owner review on team bhp. Congrats on that too, if it is.
Thank you, Virtualaman! No, it's not the first ownership review on team-bhp - the ownership review of a diesel Amaze is already out there.
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Old 29th May 2013, 15:24   #6
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
Let me be the first to congratulate you.. That's a very nice color but hard to maintain.

Couple of points :
1. What the F.E looks like ?
2. How does the interiors look like?
3. Which tires you got ?
4. Can you show us the boot space?

Overall, a very neutral review. Thanks!
Thank you, Shiv_1984!

1. The average fuel efficiency is now around 10.8 kmpl. Mind you, I have done about 500 kms now, that too in medium to heavy city traffic with a lot of stop and go situations. I hope to see better numbers there. The f.e. has gone up from 9 kmpl levels initially to 10.8 kmpl now.

2. and 4. Interiors look cheerful and roomy and boot space is quite good. Will try and post pictures. Have you checked out the official review? It has lots of pictures.

3. As mentioned, the stock tyres were MRF ZTVT 175/65 R14, which I promptly got replaced with Michelin Energy XM2 185/65 R14 (after market).

Let me know if you have any other queries. Thanks!
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Old 29th May 2013, 16:57   #7
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Hey Top-Gear!
Congrats on your Amaze! I think the best colour for the Amaze is this blue. Saw one on the road recently and it looked very beautiful!
Hope you have many great miles in it!
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Old 29th May 2013, 16:58   #8
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Congrats on your brand new shining blue Amaze. Must say you have put down a very well rounded and balanced review of your new ride.

The petrol Amaze at least is a proven and tested vehicle albeit in the Brio avatar, hence there should be no surprises what so ever.

One thing which would be of interest though is mileage figures and compared to its bootless sibling the Brio in the long term both in the city and on long rides.

Do keep up posted on your car in the future times and yes do post more pics!
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Old 29th May 2013, 17:26   #9
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Congratulations on your new ride. Blue surely looks pleasing to the eyes(I like that color along with Maroon and that dark grey)

I feel this is a better buy than hatch backs especially when the price difference is not more than 50K.

FE should be similar to Brio. i-Vtec is a proven engine unlike their new i-Dtec.
Looking to hear more about your car.
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:15   #10
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Congrats on your new ride and this color is makes the car look even better.
There was no mention of the Amaze when I bought the Figo is Jan, otherwise it could have been very confusing for me to decide. Finally we have got a true challenger to the awkward looking but still best selling Dzire.
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:23   #11
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

@Top-Gear Many congratulations!. The blue color really looks "amaze"ing on it!. Do run-in her carefully and you can have great miles with her!.
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Old 29th May 2013, 18:27   #12
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajshenoy View Post
Congratulations on your new ride. Blue surely looks pleasing to the eyes(I like that color along with Maroon and that dark grey)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nipcarlover View Post
Hey Top-Gear!
Congrats on your Amaze! I think the best colour for the Amaze is this blue. Saw one on the road recently and it looked very beautiful!
Hope you have many great miles in it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by girishglg View Post
Congrats on your brand new shining blue Amaze. Must say you have put down a very well rounded and balanced review of your new ride.

Thank you all for your good wishes and kind words! I will try and post more pictures.

Girish, loved the way you put your location - as KA-05
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Old 29th May 2013, 20:43   #13
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Quote:
Originally Posted by swami.n View Post
Congrats on your new ride and this color is makes the car look even better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyAsta View Post
@Top-Gear Many congratulations!. The blue color really looks "amaze"ing on it!. Do run-in her carefully and you can have great miles with her!.
Thank you guys for your good wishes and compliments. Yes, I too thought the colour suited the car very well. The best part was that the wifey loved the colour too, unlike the last time around when I had gone ahead with my choice of colour (black)! So this time around, I somewhat redeemed myself.
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Old 30th May 2013, 16:36   #14
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Hi guys,
I am attaching some pictures as promised.

The shine after getting the Waxoyl 100 plus paint sealant treatment done recently.

My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130530_120222.jpg

The steering wheel - a joy to hold!

My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130530_120647.jpg

The dashboard which many find dull and basic.


My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130530_120635.jpg


Love the 'golf ball' gear knob!

My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130530_120755.jpg


The seats - comfortable, but not 'premium looking'

My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130530_120718.jpg

Plenty of leg room for the rear passengers!

My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130530_120402.jpg

The boot space - plenty left even after stashing away the car cover!

My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol-img_20130530_120518.jpg
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Old 30th May 2013, 18:25   #15
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Default Re: My cool blue Honda Amaze - 1.2L Petrol

Congrats on the buy! Great and crisp review. Short and to the point. Please keep the thread updated with mileage figures, service records et al.
Happy driving!
Cheers!
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