Buying Second-Hand Amaze compact sedan, advice and tips
Honda Amaze: Know the car
This is Honda’s offering for the sub 4m compact sedan market in India. It was based on the Brio hatchback but came with the added benefit of in-creased cabin space, practicality of a boot and frugal running costs of a diesel motor. Launched in April 2013, the Amaze is into its second generation and continues to be the second largest selling compact sedan in the market.
The Amaze has won hearts thanks to its supremely comfortable and spacious cabin, availability of a fuss free CVT automatic and the torquey diesel motor. The second gen model is even better and has put Honda into top gear mode in the Indian car market.
When launched in 2013, prices started at Rs 4.99 lakh as compared to Rs 5.99 for the current model sold today.
Brief history of the Honda Amaze in India
Honda launched the Amaze in April 2013. Both 1.2 petrol and 1.5 diesel were offered with the latter making it’s debut here in India. Over the years, Honda has been offering new versions, limited editions and other changes to keep the model alive and kicking. In Jan 2014, SX version was added with more safety features, Jan 2015 saw the introduction of a top spec VX(O) model while a CNG model was added in Feb 2015.
In March 2016, three years after the models introduction, Honda rolled out the first facelift. Two years later in Feb 2018, the current or the second gen model was showcased at the Auto Expo and eventually launched in May 2018. The same model got a new top-end CVT in the VX trim in April 2019 and special Ace edition in June 2019.
The car today comes with both 1.2 petrol and 1.5 diesel with a CVT automatic being offered in both the fuel types.
New Honda Amaze: Who is the typical buyer for a new Amaze?
Honda remains an aspirational brand for many and the Amaze is a proper stepping-stone into the Honda family. The Amaze is aimed at second time car buyers who want to move away from small hatchbacks and own a sedan that has a much higher social status in the country. The Amaze offers all the benefits of a compact sedan without compromising on the core values of the brand like premium interiors, comfort, space and a higher brand recall.
Most customers are young individuals with micro families and in bigger cities. Many are corporate professionals who want to be associated with a Honda tag. The availability of a superior CVT automatic also pulls in those who want a fuss free sedan for urban usage. The Amaze, given the sheer amount of space and comfort is also an alternative for those who don’t have the extra budget for the more expensive City model.
Used Honda Amaze: Who is the typical buyer for a used Amaze?
A used Honda Amaze is aimed at those who have a budget for a smaller car but want a bigger, dikki waali gaadi for themselves and the family. Owning a sedan, over a hatchback, is still a high feeling for most. Today a mid-size hatchback easily costs over Rs 6-7 lakh on road and this is enough money to get hold of a 2-year old used Honda Amaze.
A used Amaze is also preferred by those who are looking at spacious interiors. The older generation Dzire lacked in this aspect and further, owning to its popularity in the commercial segment, some used car owners stay away from it and end up looking at the Amaze.
Used Honda Amaze: Key Positives
The Honda Amaze offers tremendous amount of space on the inside, which has been its key selling factor. Matching this aspect is the comfort factor of the seats, especially the rear ones. For those looking at fuel economy and have a lot of running to do, the diesel version comes in handy. The 1.5 litre diesel motor is good for over 100 PS and yet is extremely frugal.
The Amaze also excels in terms of ease-of-driving thanks to light con-trols and good visibility. The current get model, launched in May 2018 further improved across all parameters including design, even more space on the inside and best in class CVT transmission on both fuel types. Contrary to reports, schedule maintenance cost of the Amaze is as low as 35 paise per km for petrol and 49 paise per km for diesel over a period of 1 lac km!
Used Honda Amaze: Key Negatives
The Honda Amaze continues to suffer from poor noise levels of the diesel motor. We don’t deny its performance or economy but as compared to cars like the Ford Aspire, high sound levels of the diesel unit is a bother. Ditto for gearshift quality with this fuel type.
Though very spacious at the rear, headroom is limited for tall individuals. Surprisingly, the Amaze does not offer rear air-con vents and misses out on high-end features like LED headlights.
The ideal used Honda Amaze one can buy
Ideally, look out for the facelift model of the 1st generation Honda Amaze that was launched in March 2016. It came with a fresh new look, all-new cabin design and added features. Most owners also opt for an extended warranty coverage that means this facelift Amaze could offer you better peace of mind factor. Make sure the car hasn’t run over 40,000 – 50,000 so that you don’t have invest into schedule part replacement for years to come.
Buying older and newer used Honda Amaze compact sedans
The Honda Amaze’s journey in India can be broken into three parts – the original or the first model launched in April 2013, the facelift in March 2016 and the second generation launched in May 2018.
Thankfully, the used car market is full of options from all these three Amaze models with the earlier ones going cheap. We have seen prices as low as Rs 2.5 lakh for such examples.
The facelift was sold from March 2016 till May 2018 and be ready to shell out anything from Rs 4.5 – 5.5 lakh for a used example.
The current gen model is also on sale in the used car market but prices are over Rs 7 lakh for less used, well kept examples.
If adventurous (higher risk appetite), what to buy. For exam-ple, enthusiasts or those who get tempted by luxury may opt for the Accord/Camry / Superb V6. Much more powerful but lower mileage and higher cost of parts and maintenance if things go wrong.
The 1.2-litre petrol motor is rev happy but given the weight of the car, it is not going to excite you much. The diesel motor with 100 PS of power can be rewarding in the right hands but lets you down with its noise levels and a not so smooth gearshift action.
Used Honda Amaze for the enthusiast?
We don’t think the Amaze can make for a good enthusiast’s car, one that will leave you grinning. You may look elsewhere at cars like the Ford As-pire!
What you should check, and typical problems for the Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze is a fairly reliable car without any major issues reported by owners. That said, early wear of the brake pads is a major concern and owners have reported of having to change disc pads every 20,000 km or so. Suspension issues in the first generation model were also common and so was the limited ground clearance specially when driving with a load of passengers.
Apart from this, routine maintenance is more than enough to keep this sedan going trouble free. There have been two recalls of the car and if you are test-driving one that was made in the below mentioned period, make sure the owner took the car to the workshop for the said work to be carried out free of cost.
Amaze models made before July 2014: preventive replacement of driver side air bag inflator for 1,235 units.
Amaze models made in April and May 2018 : preventive inspection of EPS (Electric-Assist Power Steering) Sensor harness.
Used Honda Amaze compact sedan: Typical maintenance issues and problems explained
During the test drive of a used Honda Amaze, make sure you apply the brakes multiple times, even replicating a high speed-braking run. Some owners have reported of early brake wear and you feel the brakes are not performing up to the mark or if you hear grinding sounds from the tyres, it means the pads need a change.
If the car has run a lot and is from 2013-2015, watch out for soggy or soft rear suspension and noise from the front one. Drive the used Honda Amaze over broken roads and watch out for discomfort and noise.
Apart from this, try to notice any major hits and damages on the underbelly of the Amaze as ground clearance on the first gen model was poor.
Used Honda Amaze: Expected Service Costs
A set of new brake pads, including labour, could cost as much as Rs 4000-5000. There are OES ones available out there in the open market and these costs far less.
A new suspension job though would be very expensive and hence ask the workshop technicians to inspect it properly. Sometimes new bushes will do the job just fine.
While the current gen Amaze has extremely low service costs, lets have a look at what you would pay for the 40,000 km, 50,000km and 60,000km servicing:
Amaze Petrol: Rs 4571 / Rs 3152 / Rs 4852
Amaze Diesel: Rs 6581 / Rs 4732 / Rs 7494
Honda Amaze: Expected real-world fuel economy
The 1.2 petrol of the Amaze isn’t as efficient as say the Dzire petrol. While the earlier models offers 12-13 kmpl in city usage, the latest gen improves by 5%. However, if its economy that you want, have a look at a used Honda Amaze diesel. It easily does 18-20 kmpl in city usage if you use the higher gears and over 25 kmpl out on open roads at speeds of 80-90 km/h. The CVT models of the new age Amaze are as efficient as their manual counterparts.
Maintenance and service tips for Honda Amaze used compact sedan
As the scheduled maintenance service of the Amaze isn’t too high, we recommend sticking to an authorized workshop. This is even more important if the used Honda Amaze you are purchasing is still under factory or extended warranty.
Used Amaze: What to avoid
We would say avoid the first gen, pre-facelift model that was sold from April 2013 till March 2016 mainly because it looks dated with bland interiors. The facelift model brought in a fresh appeal to the car and is the one to go for.
As we have said before, if you are in the marker for a used Honda Amaze, pick one that was sold between March 2016 and April 2018. This facelift model of the first generation Amaze is a perfect pick for those looking at a spacious and a comfortable used compact sedan.
Buying used Honda Amaze: Our recommendations
Our choice is to pick a less used 2017 model that will still be in warranty. A used petrol Honda Amaze is apt for someone who has a monthly running of under 1500km. On the other hand, given the frugal nature of the diesel motor, if you have monthly usage, spending extra on a diesel Amaze is recommended.
For a less used 2017 model, post bargaining, you should be able to seal the deal at about Rs 4.5 lakh for a petrol and under Rs 5.5 lakh for a diesel Amaze.
Alternatives to Honda Amaze in the used car market
A used Maruti Dzire (see Buyers’ Guide here) is the best alternate to a used Honda Amaze. However, do note that the older generation Dzire will not offer the space and comfort levels of an Amaze. That said, the long term ownership experience in smaller towns might be better.
A second alternative to a used Honda Amaze is a used Hyundai Xcent. Thanks to poor resale value, you can save a lot of money if you opt for this Korean compact sedan.
If you want diesel performance and a better drive, search for a used Ford Aspire. Resale is poor again and the 100 PS diesel motor is a delight to drive.