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Padindrukke: Honda Amaze 1,2 Comfort

Deur Daantjie Badenhorst.

Die meeste kopers in die A-segment van die Suid-Afrikaanse motormark verkies luikrûe, maar hierdie bakvorm voldoen nie aan alle kopers se behoeftes nie.

Nogtans het Honda vir ‘n reuse verrassing gesorg deur sy jongste mededinger in dié segment net in ‘n sedanvorm bekend te stel. Honda se eerste mededinger in die A-segment was die Brio, wat in 2013 bekendgestel is, maar die reeks is gou uitgebrei met die toevoeging van die sedanweergawe, bekend as die Brio Amaze. Nou het Honda egter besluit om die nuwe Amaze as ‘n model in eie reg bekend te stel en heeltemal van die Brio-naam afstand te doen, behalwe op die luikrug, wat vir eers op die mark bly.

Wat buite-stilering betref, is die Amaze ligjare voor sy voorganger; en dit kan selfs as aantreklik beskou word. Daar is ‘n breë chroomstrook op die sierrooster en tussen die agterligte, wat die motor ‘n deftige voorkoms gee, en Honda verdien volpunte vir die feit dat allooiwiele met 175/65 SR 15- bande standaardtoerusting is. Die elektriese buitespieëls is dieselfde kleur as die bakwerk. Die Indiese mark, waarop die Amaze in die eerste plek gemik is, bepaal dat ‘n intreevlak-motor nie langer as vier meter mag wees nie. Dit beteken dat die Amaze wel ‘n aparte bagasiebak het, maar dat dit nie so groot is as wat ‘n mens dalk sou verwag nie. Die agtersitplekke kan nie platvou nie maar dit beteken dat daar ‘n veilige plek is om waardevolle items te bêre sonder dat ‘n mens bekommerd hoef te wees dat daar deur die kajuit by die bagasieruim ingebreek kan word.

Die Amaze is beskikbaar met ‘n keuse tussen ‘n hand- en ‘n palwissel (CVT)-ratkas; laasgenoemde het ook ratspane agter die stuurwiel. Daar is egter net een enjinkeuse, naamlik ‘n viersilinder-enjin met ‘n kapasiteit van 1,2 liter wat 66 kW teen 6 000 opm en wringkrag van 110 Nm teen 4 800 opm lewer. Honda is al in die verlede gekritiseer omdat sekere modelle se enjins geen wringkrag teen lae toere het nie, maar in die Amaze se geval is dit geen probleem nie. Daar is oorgenoeg krag en wringkrag maak nie saak teen water snelheid die enjin loop nie. Die toetsmotor is met die vyfgang- handratkas toegerus en die kort rathefboom maak dit so maklik om ratte te wissel dat jy ‘n baie goeie rede moet hê om die CVT-model te kies. Die Brio Amaze se topsnelheid was beperk tot 140 km/h maar die nuwe een kan 160 km/h bereik, terwyl hy in 12,3 sekondes van 0 tot 100 km/h kan versnel.

Hoewel Honda se webtuiste van twee spesifikasievlakke, naamlik die Trend en die Comfort, melding maak, word daar met reg baie meer aandag aan die Comfort gegee omdat dit die luukser model van die twee is en die prysverskil nie te groot is nie. Die Comfort is uiters goed toegerus en daar is min standaardkenmerke wat ontbreek. Die buitespieëls en vensters werk elektries en die venster aan die bestuurder se kant kan met een druk van die knoppie heeltemal oop- of toegemaak word. Die groot verrassing in ‘n motor van hierdie prysklas is die outomatiese klimaatbeheer waarmee die Comfort toegerus is. Dit maak die kajuit ‘n uiters gemaklike plek ongeag die weersomstandighede buite.

Die instrumentepaneel bestaan uit ‘n spoedmeter, ‘n toereteller, ‘n brandstofmeter en ‘n brandstofverbruikmeter, wat onderskeidelik langs die spoedmeter en die toereteller is. Laasgenoemde gee ongelukkig nie ‘n gemiddelde verbruik nie; net die oombliklike verbruik. Daar is egter wel ‘n meter wat wys hoe ver ‘n mens nog kan ry met die brandstof wat nog in die tenk is. Volgens die vervaardiger is die gemiddelde verbruik van die handratmodel 5,6 liter per 100 km, wat ‘n reikafstand van ongeveer 620 km met ‘n brandstoftenk van 35 liter moontlik maak. Soos wat ‘n mens van ‘n Honda kan verwag, is die Amaze se bougehalte baie goed al word hy, anders as baie ander

Honda-modelle, in Indië vervaardig. Dié feit beteken dat ligte beige bekleedsel wat heeltemal te maklik vuilsmeer, standaardtoerusting is omdat die Indiese mark dit só verkies. Die toetsmodel het egter swart en beige oortreksels in sintetiese leer, wat deur die handelaars aangebring word wanneer die motor sy voorafleweringsinspeksie ondergaan, gehad en omdat die hele binneruim in swart en beige afgewerk is, lyk dit mooi. Die klankstelsel bevat vier luidsprekers en om Bluetooth te koppel, is baie maklik. Daar is ‘n USB- en ‘n 12 volt-kragpunt in die konsole voor die rathefboom, asook genoeg plek om ‘n selfoon wat besig is om gelaai te word, te bêre. Die radio en telefoon kan ook deur middel van knoppies op die veelfunksiestuurwiel beheer word, maar die probleem is dat die Amaze nie ‘n CD-speler het nie.

Daar is twee bekerhouers agter die USB- en 12 volt-kragpunte en twee in die armleuning vir die agterste insittendes. Die Amaze het die meeste veiligheidskenmerke wat kopers in hierdie marksegment behoort te verwag as standaardtoerusting, onder meer twee lugsakke, ABS-remme met elektroniese remverspreiding, ISOFIX-hegpunte, sentrale sluiting met afstandbeheer en deure wat sluit sodra die motor wegtrek. Suid-Afrikaanse motorvervaardigers en -invoerders verskil oor die toekoms van sedanmotors in Suid- Afrika. Renault het lank al die Logan aan die plaaslike mark onttrek terwyl Volkswagen ook nie die Polo Vivo-sedan met ‘n model gebaseer op die nuwe luikrug vervang het nie. Daar is egter drie ander vervaardigers wat wel sedanmodelle in die prysklas onder R 200 00 het. Die Brio Amaze se vernaamste teenstaander was die Suzuki Swift Dzire. Soos Honda het Suzuki besluit om die Swift- naam net vir die luikrug te gebruik en die Dzire ‘n model in eie reg te maak.

Die Dzire 1,2 GL se prys van R 178 900 is byna te goed om te glo. Soos die Amaze is die nuwe Dzire ook ‘n baie mooier motor as sy voorganger. Ford het sy Figo-reeks onlangs opgeknap; die model wat met die Amaze meeding, is die Trend-sedan, wat teen R 197 950 verkoop; sy groot voordeel is sy diensplan, wat vir vier jaar of 60 000km geldig is; dubbeld so lank soos sy mededingers. Die Toyota Etios Sprint-sedan se prys is R 186 200, maar ‘n paar van die Amaze se standaardkenmerke is nie vir die Etios beskikbaar nie. Die Amaze Comfort se prys is R 193 900, en hy word gerugsteun deur ‘n waarborg van vyf jaar of 200 000km (die beste in sy klas), ‘n diensplan van twee jaar of 30 000 km en padbystand deur die AA van drie jaar.

Deur die jare het Honda ‘n baie goeie reputasie vir betroubaarheid, duursaamheid en gehalte opgebou en hoewel die motors nie, soos in die 1980’s en 1990’s, deur Mercedes-Benz in Suid-Afrika vervaardig word nie, het niks verander nie. Die Amaze is uiters geskik vir mense met ‘n beperkte begroting wat meer ruimte nodig het as wat ‘n luikrug in die A-segment kan bied en daarom kan hy baie sterk vir jong gesinne, maar ook vir ouer mense wat nie meer ‘n groot motor nodig het nie, aanbeveel word.

Die toetsvoertuig is met die vriendelike samewerking van BB Honda Zambezi in Pretoria beskikbaar gestel.

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