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Bought a used 2016 Honda Amaze: Initial impressions, pros & cons

The 5-speed automatic torque converter transmission is delectable in city traffic.

BHPian locusjag recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I initiated this thread in March of this year.

Quick summary of post #1 on this thread:

  • My brother-in-law (BIL) sought an upgrade from his used 2008 Swift, which he had purchased in 2011.
  • The car is largely fine, he's just bored with it.
  • We found that cars have grown big with the passing years and that only hatchbacks from the 2000s can be parked in his apartment's allotted parking slot.
  • His allotted parking slot is 3.9m, in which the ~3.6m long Swift is parked and a scooter is parked across its rear-end

The starting point of the thread is here, for reference.

October 2022 Update:

  • The Swift's compressor is giving up. As this unit is said to be an imported one, fixing it will cost ~55K. We've confirmed this with our FNG and a couple of Maruti service centres.
  • The car's tyres are super old at this time (I don't want to shock you) and will need ~20K for new tyres.
  • Why should he keep an unsafe 2008 car that's worth 2 lacs in 2022 and spend ~75K on its upkeep? So I tried my sales pitch on BIL, sending him ads of used automatic transmission cars.
  • BIL has remained bored with driving the Swift on highways. So he has shown interest in 2016 Amaze AT (with the good old reliable Honda 5-speed torque converter, not the CVT). I had to sell him the concept of an AT over an MT, so that either he or sister can drive it. If it's an MT, it's game over for her driving aspirations. I'm glad that he saw the sense in that.

Test drive #1 by my mechanic:

I'd asked Spinny to bring the Amaze to my FNG's location so that my mechanic can evaluate it. He took it for a spin, looked at the car inside and out and confirmed that it was all good - no mechanical faults, odometer tampering, flooding, accidents etc.

I checked and saw that the front 2 tyres and the battery were circa 2021. The rear tyres were from the 37th week of 2016 and will need changing.

Honda record check:

We accessed the car's service records through Honda and again - it was all clean. The car had been serviced annually and they also confirmed that it hadn't been repaired by them for accidents or flooding.

Parking test at home:

Since the first generation Amaze comes in at 3990 mm in length, which is 90 mm more than BIL's allotted parking space length, we requested a 2nd test drive, but this time we just wanted to park the car and see how it works out. And it turns out that it's possible to park the scooter behind the car and still leave enough space behind for a person to walk through - this will ensure no fights with the other residents.

The booking experience:

I called the sales rep up to confirm our desire to buy it - if he reduces the price a bit for us. He said flat out that none of their cars come with discounts since these come with a 1-year warranty and other safety nets. I tried as much as I could, but couldn't arrive at a conclusion with them. Eventually, I dropped the idea. The listed price of 5.52 lacs was fixed.

I didn't want this beautiful torque converter AT to slip by us; I badly want my sis to be able to drive in real-world conditions, so an AT is a must. And I won't permit her family to get an AMT or a DCT. And why look at CVTs when we have the best bird in the hand - a 5-speed torque converter mated to an IVTEC?! I simply went for the deal and said I'll book it.

Spinny sent me an SMS with a link and with it, I paid 10K via Gpay to Spinny on Saturday. I sent them my BIL's PAN and Aadhar by WhatsApp. Everything happened so fast and efficiently.

The sale transaction experience:

Spinny said we had 3 days to complete the full payment. We sent them a token amount of Rs.13 and called up our sales rep to confirm receipt. He sent a screenshot from his company-supplied tab. Basically, the small test amount sent by us had been received and they needed us to pay the remaining, upon subtracting 13 bucks. We did it via IMPS.

They then called us up and said we had to take delivery too within the same 3-day period since their inventory is in a crowded rented mall parking lot. We were surprised as we meant to check our panjaangam (the almanac that we consult to check for good/bad days, timings etc.) to decide on a delivery date. But disappointment gave way to excitement eventually and we headed over the next day for the pick-up.

The Delivery experience:

Spinny's inventory is yummy to look at for an enthusiast like me. Their 500-car inventory is spread over 3 multi-level car parking floors in Vadapalani's Forum mall. Our gleaming Amaze stood ready to be taken away amidst a sea of gleaming cars.

They explained that the car comes with the following:

  1. 1-year engine + transmission warranty
  2. 3 month bumper to bumper warranty
  3. 1-year roadside assistance

Nice!

Since most used car dealers switch to old tyres and dying batteries during delivery, I did a quick check and confirmed to myself that Spinny wasn't playing dirty games with tyres and batteries. If they are doing anything with major parts...there is the warranty's safety net. So it's okay.

We took some pics, and they gave us a nifty bag with 2 air pillows, an Rs 500 petrol coupon at an IOCL bunk nearby, a tissue dispenser with a premium look and feel and that was it - we were off.

Initial impressions of the car:

  • This was a 2016 August manufactured unit, registered only in 2017 March. Legally, it is a 5-year-old car. That's what I'm going to call it henceforth.
  • The car is small enough to be squeezed through narrow streets in Nanganallur and it feels solid enough to be taken out on highway trips. It's the best of both worlds at this budget.
  • The 5-speed automatic torque converter transmission is delectable in city traffic. From a crawl, when you press the accelerator, it does rear a bit like a horse; of course, it doesn't lift up, but you do get pushed back in the seat and can feel a wee bit of a lift happening. After the 2nd gear is passed, it's smooth sailing.
  • The 1.2-litre I-VTEC engine does make its small size felt if you try pressing the accelerator hard, getting off of traffic stops. Relaxed acceleration is the way to go with it.
  • The engine + transmission combo is definitely an upgrade over the outgoing Swift. It feels so much younger and livelier.
  • The car comes with ABS, no airbags. Heck, this is the most I could coax my BIL into paying...so this is what we got. It's still safer than his outgoing 2008 Swift.
  • There are electrically adjustable ORVMs. This is an upgrade over the Swift.
  • There is a remote locking key. This is an upgrade over the Swift.
  • The humongous 400-litre boot is a superb upgrade over Swift's 235-litre boot. My sister remarked that she was sold on the boot alone.
  • The seats have Honda original leather covers all around. The steering wheel, likewise, has a stitched cover that retains its freshness.
  • There are speakers at the front and behind the rear headrests. There's a nice surround sound feel. Definitely an upgrade!

Cons:

  • The interior parts haven't aged well in the Amaze. The 2008 Swift's original switches are better than this 5-year-old Amaze's switches.
  • There is no illumination for the gear shifter or anywhere below the centre console. Even the overhead cabin light is positioned between the 1st and 2nd rows. We need some aftermarket lighting in there pronto!
  • Ground clearance is going to be a problem. Its wheelbase is 2405 mm, while the Swift had a 2390 mm wheelbase. Moreover, its unladen GC is 165 mm, while the Swift's was 170 mm. I'm thinking about Polyurethane spacers (e.g., Rogers branded ones). I'm not yet sure if tyres with tall sidewalls can be fitted or not.

Parting thoughts:

We live in a world where car ownership is getting to be a crime. The climate change activists are increasingly out in force, hitting us enthusiasts while hypocritically supporting stubble-burning farmers and obnoxiously slashing SUV tyres in London. I am sure they're coming for us. There is no space for us enthusiasts to have a nuanced discussion about anything with this bunch. Even the Supreme Court has backed their stance only, with the NGT ruling in the NCR.

I am convinced that the ongoing legal destruction of economic value that's happening in the NCR and in Kolkata recently is going to spread.

It doesn't make sense to spend tens of lakhs on cars anymore, knowing that all that hard-earned money is going to subsidize destructive behaviour by farmers and everyone else on the planet. And why do so when you can get gems like this humble little 2016 Amaze AT off of Spinny?

Two other relatives in the family want automatics from Spinny now. I'm currently talking to the same sales rep on their behalf, for a Crysta AT and a Brezza AT. I am the car consultant in the family.

The 2008 Swift is being picked up by Olx Auto for 2 lacs. BIL bought it for 3.75 lacs back in 2011. It has retained its value very well!

All in all, this has been a welcome change for the family and there are smiles all around.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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