Honda had showcased the new Jazz and we get our hands on it, as we fly to Japan to try out this new generation hatchback from the Japanese automaker. This is the new Jazz and the City is based on this same platform too. We drive the new Jazz and share our initial driving impressions of the new Jazz. We drive the petrol and the hybrid version for a very short time. Read further to know how good is the Jazz.
The new Jazz is the evolution of its predecessor. It is a new platform but the company retains the similar cab forward design and we will see similar styling on the new City as well. Due to this front design, the hood looks crowned with two prominent strikes. There is a thick horizontal chrome slate and somewhat an hawk-eye like headlamp design. The front end of the Jazz is aggressive and the design looks futuristic.
The silhouette of the Jazz too is an evolution of its predecessor. Honda carried forward the design from where it has stopped on the previous Jazz. The large glass-in area is still retained and even the cheater panel is glass. A crisp sewage line runs across the car and it raises as you move behind. The rear of the Jazz is inspired from its elder sibling, the CR-V. The styling is brilliant at the rear and it has a chrome slat running across the rear. The rear bumper has matte black vents on both the edges. The Jazz has impressed us with its styling.
The Jazz was always been a spacious hatchback that is very practical and the new generation does the same. The cab forward design makes the Jazz spacious and it has a large dashboard like the outgoing model. The Jazz we got our hands on is for the Japanese market and hence it came with features like touch-screen system with navigation. The quality of material and even the fit and finish of the plastic is top notch. The steering wheel is a three-spoke and it has controls on it for music and cruise control. We aren't getting cruise control for the Indian market as it will bump the pricing.
This Jazz also has push start and keyless entry, again we aren't sure if this will come to India. The front row seats are large and comfortable. There is sufficient space for even a six-footer in the front row. You slide behind in the second row and again the space is good. It has good space for knee room and headroom, even for tall people. The space that it offers is brilliant. The boot too is large enough to gobble luggage for four for the weekend. The rear seats can fold and form a flat bed, improving the versatility.
Engine and transmission:
The Jazz that will get will come with two engine options, one is the 1.2-litre petrol and the second will be the 1.5-litre diesel. As we drove the one made for the Japanese market, we drove the 1.5-litre petrol. This won't make it to India as it will increase the costing of the Jazz. We also drove the Jazz hybrid, that won't either make it to India. The hybrid is powered by a 1.3-litre petrol. Both were automatic transmissions and none are making it into our market, due to cost effectiveness.
The power ratings of the Jazz haven't been disclosed but it will come with a five-speed manual transmission and even a five-speed automatic transmission. We believe that the jazz will have a petrol engine that will produce the same 88bhp like the Amaze and the diesel will produce the 100bhp and 200Nm of torque. Yet, we will still have to wait for the company to declare the final specifications of the Honda Jazz.
We got the Jazz for less than 3 kms on a smooth road and hence we cannot speak much about the ride quality of the Jazz. The steering wheel is extremely light that makes it easier to drive in the city and even on the highway. The light steering wheel also makes it easier to drive for longer distances without getting tired.
The tyres on the Jazz are a bit thinner than our liking as they tend to squeal when pushed a little harder. The handling of the Jazz is good, even though you cannot compare it to the alacrity that it's European competition. The vehicle has been designed for practicality than just pure fun.
The Honda Jazz is extremely practical and can offer more space than several sedans too. So, The Jazz is still that same great product, and now with local production and Diesel engine option for the next generation, Honda has another winner in its hands. All depends on how does the company price the car. Until then it is a wait and watch. The Jazz will be displayed at the coming Auto Expo in New Delhi in February 2014.