New little Honda, does it Amaze?

The onslaught of more affordable cars coming to South Africa is not letting up as economic pressure mounts.

Brands such as Renault with their popular Kwid and the Datsun Go are excelling in these tough conditions but those offerings are hatchbacks. What about someone wanting an affordable entry-level sedan? Honda has the Amaze and I recently spent time with it to see if it truly is amazing.

The design

With the production of the Volkswagen Vivo sedan halted, Honda aims to encroach on some market share within the sub-B-segment. The model that arrived at our office was the 1.2-litre in Comfort guise. As for the styling, well it’s a hit at first glance then a miss at the second. I feel that the front end might look good from straight on but as you move to the side it comes across as too short as if it ran into a wall or something.

There is a large chrome design element on the grille which runs into the headlights, this does add a little bit of character to the front. As one would expect, the wheels are small, 15-inches to be exact. The rear makes use of C-shaped tail lights which add to the neatly designed rear end.


The first thing I noticed after getting into the Amaze was the black and beige synthetic leather seat covers, a no-cost option which should be selected or else you have to live with beige material seats. The synthetic leather adds a bit of plushness to the interior and contrasts rather well with the black and beige facia and door panels. The dashboard is also not as bad as one would expect. It looks and feels better than that found in its competitors and although it does consist of hard plastics it doesn’t come across as cheap.

With the lack off a touchscreen infotainment system, you have to make do with a standard radio unit which, however, offer USB/AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. The steering wheel features multifunction controls for the radio and the instrument cluster feature a digital trip computer. One of the more impressive characteristics of the interior is the use of space. The Honda offers a host of little compartments to store miscellaneous items and the boot will accommodate 420-litres of luggage.

What’s it like to drive?

As mentioned earlier the Honda Amaze is powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, power is rated at 66 kW and 110 N.m of torque. While this is not amazing, the little car does get a move on when you work the 5-speed manual gearbox. I found it to be much more compliant on the highway than the likes of the Renault Kwid for example.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, I did notice a fair bit of wind noise as well as road noise, but that said, the Honda Amaze is an entry-level car and it does what it promises to do. It’s not a luxury sedan, it is an attainable form of transportation that offers a lot in exchange for its price and the claimed 5.6l/100km will also save you some money at the fuel pumps. The Amaze also features airbags and ABS for added safety.


The Honda Amaze is a delightful little car and does exactly what it says it does. It has a nice interior albeit no infotainment screen, it is practical with its use of space, and the engine seems to be adequately powered. It does, however, go up against the likes of the Suzuki Dzire and Ford Figo sedan which both offer a similar package in terms of features.

At the price point of R201 800, the Honda Amaze does propose a value for money and that tried and tested Honda reliability offer. This car is ideal for young people on a budget looking for more space or a young family or even just for those looking to downsize.



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