Fuel sipper!

Fuel sipper!

For car buyers looking for a small, affordable runabout that promises low running costs, Honda’s new Amaze offers some persuasive incentives




From a fuel economy perspective, Honda’s newly launched Amaze sedan represents an attractive option in the compact car market. 





With claimed fuel consumption figures of 5,7 litres or less per 100km across the range, the three derivatives in the line-up promise low running costs at a time when the price of petrol is rising sharply.


That’s a persuasive incentive for buyers at the affordable end of the car market who are looking for a small, reliable runabout produced by a brand that has a strong reputation for making well-engineered cars.






The all-new design delivers a vehicle that is larger in every dimension than the hatch-based predecessor, while Honda’s highly regarded i-VTEC engine technology ensures that the model also gets the go to match the show. An extended wheelbase and well-crafted suspension contribute to confident road manners and a comfortable ride




Two equipment levels – Trend and Comfort – offer a choice of features, with all derivatives featuring a comprehensive array of safety items. And, from an ownership perspective, further peace of mind is provided by a two-year/30 000 km service plan which is incorporated in the selling price.


“We believe that the Amaze sets a new, elevated standard for small sedans in South Africa,” says Toshiaki Kusakari, Head of Automobiles at Honda Motor Southern Africa. 




“We’re expecting the car to appeal to a broad and varied motoring audience, ranging from young singles and start-up families to mature motorists, all of who are likely to be attracted by the Amaze’s value-added purchase price, excellent fuel efficiency and low operating costs.”


In terms of design, the Amaze was conceptualised as a sedan from the ground up, allowing the styling team to create a cohesive, streamlined shape with a flowing silhouette and a strong, individual character.


The model is five millimetres longer than the predecessor and 15mm wider, with the wheelbase increased by a substantial 65mm, translating into shorter overhangs front and rear and more interior space.


The front conforms to Honda’s characteristic Solid Wing styling criteria, with the centrally placed black, honeycomb grille linking bold, halogen headlight clusters at each of the corners. There’s also a slim, colour-coded splitter below a lower air intake and, in the case of Comfort variants, black-framed fog lamps on either side.







Viewed in profile, the alloy wheels – standard across the range – add a sporty touch and also help to reduce the car’s weight. A crisp shoulder line that runs from the headlights to the tail light housings highlights sculpted flanks, while a broad sill contributes to a powerful look. The roofline is curved at the rear, flowing into a neatly integrated, raised rear deck.













The rear view is dominated by C-shaped tail light clusters, which frame a boot lid that opens wide and deep and which incorporates a spoiler on the leading edge. A colour-coded, integrated bumper extends into a rear diffuser, adding another sporty touch. In all, the look of the car tends to be representative of a model that competes in a higher market segment than the one in which the Amaze finds itself. 


The car’s interior, too, is impressive. Spacious and comprehensively equipped, it features gloss piano black detailing, cloth upholstery – Honda offers synthetic leather seat covers as a no cost option – and a dashboard that incorporates analogue instrument dials and a digital trip computer. Air-conditioning is a standard feature across the range.





The centre stack is home to a sound system offering FM/AM radio functionality, as well as 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 multi-function steering wheel controls the audio and telephony system while generous cabin storage space includes pockets in all doors and cup-holders in the centre console. 



A fold-down rear seat armrest incorporates cup-holders for rear occupants. The Amaze’s long wheelbase – it measures 2 470mm – and large glass areas add to the feeling of space and airiness in the cabin. Head- and leg-room front and rear is ample and boot capacity is 420 litres – which Honda claims is best-in-class.


Power is supplied to the front wheels by a high-revving, four-cylinder, 1,2-litre i-VTEC engine that produces 66kW and 110Nm. In the baseline Trend model, a five-speed manual gearbox is a standard fixture, while the Comfort variant offers new-generation Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) as an option, with shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.



Weighing just more than 900 kg, the car delivers creditable performance, manual-shift models said to be capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 12,3 seconds, with the CVT version taking 13,5 seconds to reach the target. Top speed for all derivatives is rated at 160km/h.




In terms of fuel consumption, Honda claims that manual transmission models achieve a combined cycle figure of 5,6 litres/100km, while the CVT version is only slightly thirstier at 5,7 litres/100km


The Amaze’s underpinnings feature independent, McPherson strut-based front suspension, and a torsion beam rear set-up configured to contribute to confident handling and a comfortable ride. Steering is electrically power assisted



According to Honda’s spokesmen, overall refinement of the vehicle – including noise, vibration and harshness aspects – have been improved substantially compared with that of the predecessor, thanks to new sound deadening measures which extend to a redesign of engine mounts.


Safety has also been improved. The platform makes use of high-tensile steel to ensure lightweight but rigid construction, with sections programmed to deform to protect the integrity of the passenger cell in the event of an impact. 


Dual front airbags, inertia reel seatbelts front and rear, and IsoFix child seat anchors are standard features along with anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and central locking.


All three Honda Amaze models are available in a choice of colours: White Orchid Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, and Radiant Red Metallic.




  • Amaze 1,2 Trend    R179 900
  • Amaze 1,2 Comfort    R193 900
  • Amaze 1,2 Comfort CVT    R208 900


The range is supported by a five-year/200 000km warranty, as well as a two-year/30 000km service plan, and a three-year AA Roadside Assistance package. Services are at 15 000km intervals.