Cape Town - Honda’s second-generation Amaze, now sans the Brio badge, has been launched in South Africa, sporting a brand new look and roomier cabin, but still priced at the budget end of the spectrum, with the range starting at R179 900.

Clearly inspired by the latest Civic, the new Indian-built sedan has a more resolved look about it, although you could argue that it’s still a bit on the short and pudgy side. More importantly it has ‘grown up’ in every dimension, with length and width expanding by 5mm and 15mm respectively, but the big bonus is the 65mm wheelbase stretch that results in increased cabin space. Despite the shorter overhangs, boot space increases by 20 litres to a class-leading 420 litre capacity.

The Brio is built on a new platform that makes extensive use of high-strength steel, while enhanced sound-proofing and redesigned engine mounts reduce noise, vibration and harshness “substantially”, Honda claims.

The company’s familiar 1.2-litre normally aspirated four-pot carries over for cost reasons, but it’s perky for its size, producing 66kW at 6000rpm and 110Nm at 4800rpm, and getting the car from 0-100km/h in a claimed 12.3 seconds in the case of standard five-speed manual models, or 13.5 seconds if you ordered the Comfort CVT model.

The cabin has been redesigned, but there is no touch-screen infotainment on offer here, but buyers do get a conventional four-speaker sound system as standard.

It also appears that Honda SA’s hands were tied when it came to seat trim selection, the cars coming with a pale beige upholstery (below, left) of the kind that’s popular in India but not in any way suited to our market’s desires. Thankfully Honda SA is mindful of this and is prepared to offer a set of synthetic leather seat covers as a no-cost option (pictured on the right, below).

Two trim ‘flavours’ are on offer:

Baseline Trend comes with that aforementioned audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, as well as manual air conditioning, electric windows, remote central locking, tilt-adjustable multi-function steering wheel, dual front airbags, ABS brakes and 15-inch alloy wheels.

The Comfort adds automatic climate control to the mix along with electric mirrors, auto-locking on pull-off, fog lights and colour coding for the exterior mirrors and door handles.

Prices include a five-year/200 000km warranty and two-year/30 000km service plan.

HONDA AMAZE PRICES

Honda Amaze 1.2 Trend 66kW/110Nm R179 900
Honda Amaze 1.2 Comfort 66kW/110Nm R193 900
Honda Amaze 1.2 Comfort CVT 66kW/110Nm R208 900

ALTERNATIVES

Ford Figo 4dr 1.5 Ambiente 88kW/150Nm R188 900
Ford Figo 4dr 1.5 Trend 88kW/150Nm R197 950
Suzuki Dzire 1.2 GL 61kW/113Nm R178 900
Suzuki Dzire 1.2 GL AMT 61kW/113Nm R192 900
Tata Bolt 4dr 1.2T XMS 66kW/140Nm R169 995
Tata Bolt 4dr 1.2T Xt 66kW/140Nm R179 995
Toyota Etios 4dr 1.5 Xi 66kW/132Nm R181 300
Toyota Etios 4dr 1.5 Sprint 66kW/132Nm R186 200

IOL Motoring