Honda Jazz Turns One In India - Anniversary Drive To Samode, Rajasthan
After a year of the car being in the market, we drove Honda’s no-nonsense hatchback around stately Rajasthan to see the areas where it continues to outclass its rivals
The third-generation Jazz has turned one in India, and it calls for a celebration for Honda Cars India since the car accounts for nearly 26 per cent of the company’s overall sales in the country. The Japanese automaker has retailed close to 50,000 third-generation units in India till now.
To celebrate the car’s first anniversary, Honda invited us for a drive near Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, in order to put the Jazz through its paces once again. We headed towards a small town of Samode on the outskirts of Jaipur, roughly 50km away. The 475-year-old palace of Samode rulers has been converted into a luxury heritage hotel by their descendants, while retaining the essence of its Indian architecture and Mughal décor. Surrounded by hills, the palace features long hallways, verandas and huge rooms.
The route from Jaipur to Samode consists mostly of the four-lane Sikar Road before the scenic single lane road starts a few kilometres before Samode. Monsoon brings out a different side of Rajasthan and, thanks to the rain gods, we were able to experience some of that beautiful side of the state. We had the Honda Jazz diesel, whose 100PS oil burner is perfect for munching miles. However, the engine is slightly loud compared to segment standards. But, as the torque builds early, it doesn't need to be revved much. In fact, the power delivery is very linear, and you’ll hardly feel the turbo lag. The six-speed manual transmission helps improve the overall fuel efficiency. The Jazz diesel can cruise at triple-digit speeds effortlessly, all day long!
Also see: 2015 Honda Jazz - First Drive Review
Near the Samode Palace, Honda had some challenges in store for us. The first one was to put the Jazz’s famed magic seats to maximum use in the shortest time possible. We had to try all the modes of its ‘magic seats’ and fit in things such as a bicycle and two potted plants. One of the other interesting things we did was to get a teammate – a fellow auto journo – to recline fully on its unique reclining seat.
Its rivals can’t match the versatility this car offers in terms of carrying different types of luggage. The potted plant in the task reminded us that, in many countries, people transport Christmas trees during Christmas and the tall mode, we felt, must come in very handy (check out the image above).
The second challenge was to fill the maximum amount of luggage in the car’s cavernous 354 litres of boot space. The third task was a slalom track to demonstrate the Jazz’s manoeuvrability around tight spaces.
We retired for the day having had our fill of the famous Rajasthani dishes (Jodhpuri gatta curry!) and enjoying some traditional folk dances at the Samode Palace.
We had some challenges in store for us on the second day as well, as we head back to Jaipur. It was a five-clue race, and if you know your treasure hunt, you basically know how it works: as soon as you crack the location clues, you get the following clue.
It took us to some of the most famous and historic locations of Jaipur, such as the old capital of the city – Amber (which has the Amber Palace) – along with places such as the Hawa Mahal and the well-known Lassiwala on MI Road.
We also had to check the efficiency of the Jazz on our way back to the final meeting point in Jaipur, and we are sure a lot of folks know that the Jazz is one of the most fuel efficient cars on sale in India (both petrol and diesel). Meanwhile, as the clue race progressed, our Jazz continued to shine with its light steering and linear power delivery of the diesel. The slick shift six-speed manual box proved to be a boon in the congested roads of Jaipur’s walled city.
Out and out, the Jazz continues to be the most versatile offering in its segment, even after a year of re-introduction in our market; and the amount of space the hatch offers remains unmatched as well. For instance, the boot space it offers is larger than most sub-4m SUVs, and it beats even the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, though only by a litre!
Courtesy its unparalleled practicality, the Jazz (also known as Fit) is the only hatchback in its segment which is sold in almost every place where Honda is operating, including the United States. Despite a year having passed, it has retained its USPs and we have still not found another claimant to the ‘space and versatility’ throne.
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