Honda Jazz Expert Review

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Introduction

Honda Jazz
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The Jazz is easily one of the most practically designed cars in the hatchback segment. It offers high levels of interior space and comfort, along with lots of utility. Originally offered only with a petrol variant, it is now available with a 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, and a 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine. 

 

Pros
  • Mature ride quality. Does not thud into potholes like the old model.
  • 354 litre boot is the biggest in its class. Outdoes many compact sedans.
  • Space. Unparalleled knee-room and headroom at the rear bench.
Cons
  • Noisy diesel motor. Elite i20 and Baleno sound and feel much more refined.
  • Features like the engine start/stop button, steering reach adjustment and rear air convents are not available even on the top end variant.

Stand Out Features

  • Magic Seats - The rear seats can be folded in a variety of combinations. The Jazz can be converted into a mini van on demand.

    Magic Seats - The rear seats can be folded in a variety of combinations. The Jazz can be converted into a mini van on demand.

  • Paddle shifters on the automatic. The Polo GT TSi should have had this.

    Paddle shifters on the automatic. The Polo GT TSi should have had this.

CarDekho Verdict

Honda has stuck to the age-old recipe for the Jazz. Like they say - if it ain’t broke, why change it?

"The core strengths of the Jazz remain the interior space and the humongous boot. If you need nothing else but a spacious hatch - the Jazz is right up your alley."

If space isn’t a big requirement look towards Hyundai or even the Nexa showrooms.

Exterior

The vehicle stands out with its cool styling, setting itself apart from rivals like the Swift and the Elite i20. Its exterior design is MPV-ish and Honda likes to call it the crossfade monoform design. 

The hood flows up into the slanted windscreen in an unbroken streak, giving the car an elegant stance. At the front, the slender V-shaped grille in piano black and a touch of chrome is a welcome change from the chrome filled fronts that have become common these days.

Round fog lamps adorn the front bumper and blank vertical slots can be seen next to them. The international version gets DRLs mounted here. We think that the Jazz could have done with daytime-running lamps, since they make the front look livelier.

Coming to the side, the subtle curvatures on the wheel arches and the vibrant body line at the bottom work well together. The strong belt-line runs through the door handles, stretching from the front wheel arch to the top of the rear-side.

The 15” inch alloy wheels have a fuss-free ‘turbine’ design. That said, we would have loved to see fatter rubber on the Jazz. A similar problem plagues its elder sibling - the Honda City as well. 

The rear is a throwback to the previous generation. The tail-lamps look similar to the outgoing version, save for the reflector extensions running upto the roof. Top-trims get a smart little spoiler too. The rear 3/4th is our favorite angle on the new Jazz!

The new Jazz is a clear case of clever packaging.

A look at the dimensions and you would realize that it isn’t the longest nor the widest car in its class. However, it trumps every other car in its class when you consider sheer space and utility on the inside.

Exterior Comparison

Honda Jazz Maruti Baleno Volkswagen Polo
Length (mm) 3955 3995 3971
Width (mm) 1694 1745 1682
Height (mm) 1544 1510 1469
Ground Clearance (mm) 165 170 165
Wheel Base (mm) 2530 2520 2469
Kerb Weight (kg) 1154 985 1158
 

 

Boot space is a jaw-dropping 354 litres. The Baleno comes a close second with 339 litres of space on offer.

Boot Space Comparison

Honda Jazz Maruti Baleno Volkswagen Polo
Volume 354-litres 339-litres 280-liters

 

Interior

Open the large doors and an all black theme welcomes you. They do instill a sense of Deja Vu as the cabin borrows heavily from the Honda City. 

The centre console sits at the focus, and it comes with a very neat assortment of buttons and switches. The piano black finish for the entire console brings a premium aura to the entire cabin. We're sure that you'll love the 6.2-inch touch screen that is incorporated into the console, and a noteworthy point is that it comes along with DVD playback, navigation and can play music from a host of inputs.

Arranged right beneath this is a feather-touch climate control screen, with controls spread out right underneath it. While it does look cool and futuristic, operating it on the go is a bit of a bother. While we have no complaints on the performance of the air-conditioning, we have to point out that the fan is awfully loud.

Integrated into the centre console, in front of the gear-knob are two cup holders. Three more storage slots have been put in place of the armrest, and this may go as a strong bonus for some, and a slash in comfort for others.

The steering wheel is just the right size and feels good to hold. However, it skips out on telescopic adjustment (VW Polo has it). The wheel is shared with the Honda City. The difference, notably, is the lack of cruise control buttons. The basic audio controls have been incorporated into the left, while the telephone buttons are placed behind the wheel.

As for the instrument cluster, the dials lack the illuminated blue rings that you'd find in the City. The three-pod instrument cluster house the tachometer, speedometer and a multi-information display (MID). The MID reads out trip details and average fuel efficiency. The pod also houses an instantaneous FE meter, a readout for the outside temperature and the fuel gauge.  

The front seats hug you well.

There is decent amount of bolstering for lateral support. Even people with heftier builds will have little reason to complain here. Cushioning is adequate and the seat also gets height adjustment. Getting into a comfortable driving position is not a big task, although a telescopic adjust on the steering wheel would have made it much easier. 

The rear bench is amongst the most spacious in its segment. Sitting three abreast is possible. Knee room and headroom are amongst the best in its class. A noteworthy feature is that the rear bench can recline by a couple of degrees to the back. For someone who dislikes the upright seating posture, the reclined posture keeps the lower back a lot happier.

The Jazz also gets something Honda chooses to call ‘Magic Seats’. The rear bench can be folded in multiple combinations, enabling the user to tailor space according to his/her needs. A segment exclusive feature, which is sadly restricted to the top-variants.

Performance

1.3l Diesel:

The diesel motor is shared with the Honda City and so is the 6-speed manual transmission. Driveability is a strong point with the diesel Jazz. Turbo lag is well controlled, there isn’t that annoying wait till 2000rpm for the power to kick in ( a la 1.3 DDiS/Multijet). Power delivery is linear and it won’t push you into your seat as say a Volkswagen Polo will when you pin the throttle. The 200Nm of torque is extremely useable, you can pull from a gear higher with ease. Out on the highways too, the Jazz feels confident.

Much like the City sedan, the Jazz too is quite loud and clattery on idle. The culprit here is the aluminum block that Honda has used to keep the engine light. Vibration levels are substantially higher than competition too and can be felt on the pedals at idling rpms.  

Performance Comparison (Diesel)

Honda Jazz Maruti Baleno Volkswagen Polo
Power 98.6bhp@3600rpm 74bhp@4000rpm 88.7bhp@4200rpm
Torque (Nm) 200Nm@1750rpm 190Nm@2000rpm 230Nm@1500-2500rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 1498 1248 1498
Transmission Manual Manual Manual
Top Speed (kmph) 172 Kmph 170 Kmph 163 Kmph
0-100 Acceleration (sec) 13.7 Seconds 12.93 seconds 16.1 Seconds
Kerb Weight (kg) 1154kg 985kg 1158kg
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 27.3kmpl 27.39kmpl 20.14kmpl
Power Weight Ratio 85.4419410745234 bhp/ton 75.1269035532995 bhp/ton 76.59758203799655 bhp/ton
 

1.2l Petrol:

The petrol mill is a 1.2-litre I-VTEC engine that displaces 1199cc. You can opt for a 5-speed manual or a 7-speed CVT automatic with the petrol motor. The engine is relatively unchanged from the older Jazz. Naturally, it is one of the quietest engines around. Much quieter than the 3-cylinder motor on the Polo for example.

How we wish that Honda had plonked the bigger 1.5-litre petrol motor from the City.

The low-end on the petrol motor is weak. You do need to go heavy on the throttle to get it going. If you aren’t used to driving Honda cars, be ready to stall this one a couple of times before you get used to it. Mid-range is where the fun lies. Within the city, you would find yourself frequently downshifting to get a move on. Out on the highway too the motor doesn’t do all that well. 

The automatic version gets a conventional CVT setup. While the gearbox works just fine for puttering around the city, it feels confused when the right foot is planted hard down. It revs the engine all the way to the redline, where neither the engine nor the gearbox feel at ease. Key to note that the AT also gets paddle shifters which come in handy for overtakes.

Performance Comparison (Petrol)

Honda Jazz Maruti Baleno Volkswagen Polo
Power 88.7bhp@6000rpm 83.1bhp@6000rpm 74bhp@5400rpm
Torque (Nm) 110Nm@4800rpm 115Nm@4000rpm 110Nm@3750rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 1199 1197 1198
Transmission Manual Manual Manual
Top Speed (kmph) 172 Kmph 180 Kmph 165 kmph
0-100 Acceleration (sec) 13.7 Seconds 12.36 seconds 14.2 Seconds
Kerb Weight (kg) 1042kg 890kg 1053kg
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 18.7kmpl 21.4kmpl 16.47kmpl
Power Weight Ratio 85.12476007677544 bhp/ton 93.37078651685393 bhp/ton 70.27540360873694 bhp/ton
 

Ride and Handling:

The car employs a McPherson strut setup at the front while a torsion beam sits at the rear. The new and tweaked suspension set-up is great for the overall ride, for it effortlessly tackles potholes and other regular anomalies of Indian roads. 

Also a thing of the past are the annoying 'thuds' that you hear while driving on broken patches. Aside from this, discs at the front wheels and drums at the rear wheels help to cement efficient and safe braking performance.

Safety

The front passengers are shielded with the presence of dual airbags. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) are offered as well. Along with this, you also get a rear parking camera, front fog lamps, driver seatbelt reminder, rear windshield defogger and an immobiliser.

Variants

  • Diesel
  • Petrol
Variants Features Price
1.5 E i DTEC LED tail lamps, AC with heaters, ABS with EBD, 7.24 Lakh*
1.5 S i DTEC [ In adition to 1.5 E i DTEC ] Audio controls on steering, Driver seat height adjuster, Rear windshiled defogger, [ Variant 1.5 E i DTEC price ] + 67,855 =  7.92 Lakh*
1.5 SV i DTEC [ In adition to 1.5 S i DTEC ] Calling buttons on steering, Driver SRS airbags, Front fog lamps, [ Variant 1.5 S i DTEC price ] + 40,208 =  8.32 Lakh*
1.5 V i DTEC [ In adition to 1.5 SV i DTEC ] Alloy wheels, Turn indicators on ORVM, Rear wiper and washer, [ Variant 1.5 SV i DTEC price ] + 45,500 =  8.77 Lakh*
1.5 VX i DTEC [ In adition to 1.5 V i DTEC ] 6.2 inch touch screen, On board navigation, Reclining rear seat, [ Variant 1.5 V i DTEC price ] + 42,138 =  9.19 Lakh*
Variants Features Price
1.2 E i VTEC LED tail lamps, AC with heaters, Tilt steering, 5.89 Lakh*
1.2 S i VTEC [ In adition to 1.2 E i VTEC ] Audio controls on steering, Driver seat height adjuster, Rear windshiled defogger, [ Variant 1.2 E i VTEC price ] + 63,496 =  6.53 Lakh*
1.2 SV i VTEC [ In adition to 1.2 S i VTEC ] Front fog lamps, Driver SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, [ Variant 1.2 S i VTEC price ] + 43,445 =  6.96 Lakh*
1.2 V i VTEC [ In adition to 1.2 SV i VTEC ] Alloy wheels, Turn indicators on ORVM, Rear wiper and washer, [ Variant 1.2 SV i VTEC price ] + 35,013 =  7.31 Lakh*
1.2 S CVT i VTEC [ In adition to 1.2 V i VTEC ] Automatic Transmission, All features of 1.2 S i VTEC, [ Variant 1.2 V i VTEC price ] + 30,032 =  7.61 Lakh*
1.2 VX i VTEC [ In adition to 1.2 S CVT i VTEC ] 6.2 inch touch screen, On board navigation, Reclining rear seat, [ Variant 1.2 S CVT i VTEC price ] + 18,690 =  7.8 Lakh*
1.2 V CVT i VTEC [ In adition to 1.2 VX i VTEC ] Automatic Transmission, All features of 1.2 V i VTEC, [ Variant 1.2 VX i VTEC price ] + 57,006 =  8.37 Lakh*

The lower end variants, E and S, come with minimal features, such as a multi-information combimeter with blue illumination, a fuel consumption display, an eco assist system and a lane change indicator.

The VX variant is a must get for the practicality offered with the magic seats.

Meanwhile, the mid-range ‘SV’ grade comes with some more interesting functions, such as an instantaneous fuel economy display, an outside temperature display, a dual trip meter and an illuminated light adjuster dial. Meanwhile, the top-end VX comes with a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a DVD player and navigation as well. 

Honda Jazz similar cars to compare & consider  
*Ex-showroom price

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