Honda Jazz is the premium hatchback offering from Honda. It competes with the likes of Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Ford Figo, Volkswagen polo and Fiat Punto. Honda Jazz comes with a 1.2L i-VTEC Petrol engine having a 5 speed manual and a CVT Automatic transmission and a 1.5L i-DTEC Diesel engine having a 6 speed manual transmission. Jazz is available in 5 trim levels viz. E, S, SV, V & VX. The Automatic version however is available only in the S &V trim level. The prices start from 5.90 lakhs for the E trim petrol manual version and goes all the way up to 9.35 Lakhs (ex showroom Pune) for the top end VX trim Diesel version.
I chose the diesel version in V trim level as my daily commuting is more than 50kms and the diesel Jazz offers the highest fuel efficiency in the premium hatchback segment. It has been 7 months since I bought the car and I'm so far satisfied with it. There are some pros & cons which will be discussed in the review below.
Starting from the front, the large Angular Wraparound Headlamps are similar to the City and look sporty. The grill is however different & contains High Gloss Black plastic in the upper part and a Chrome strip in the lower part. The grill nicely blends with the Headlamps which give the Car a smart look which also has a Honda badge. Down under the radiator grill is visible through a Honey-comb like structure. There are also circular Fog lamps present on the bumper which is surrounded by a mesh and a vertical plastic cut-out which reminds us that the Indian version of the Jazz (sadly) doesn't come with Day time running LED's. The front is completed by the bonnet lines which add to the smartness of the Car. The one thing which strikes is the big Windshield which not only improves visibility but also gives a sense of space for the occupants.
Moving to the side profile the Bonnet is kept short keeping in mind Honda's 'Man Maximum Machine Minimum Principle. The top two trims get 15 inch Alloy wheels which look nice but of course we all would have loved 16 inch wheels. The Body Colored ORVM's have turn indicators in them and they are Electrically Adjustable and Foldable. There is a strong Character line on the side which starts from the front door passing from under the door handles and going all the way up to the Tail lamps. This creates a nice Light and Shadow effect in the Darker colors. The roof line rises in congruence with the Character line. The overall length is 3955mm making it eligible for the Tax exemption. The width, height and wheelbase are 1694mm, 1544mm & 2530mm respectively. The ground clearance is 165mm which is a bit lower than completion. The weight of Diesel version is 1155 kgs. The Fuel tank is located beneath the front seats which liberates more space at the rear and also makes the boot deeper. The Fuel tank capacity is 40 liters.
At the rear you are welcomed by cute looking LED Tail Lights. The tail light together with the reflector above them reminds us of the Volvo cars. A chrome strip runs across the middle which houses the Honda badge. There is Wiper & Washer on the rear windshield. A Micro Antenna is present on top at the rear. There is also a High mounted LED stop Lamp. A mesh element is present on the two ends of the rear Bumper.
Overall the Monoform Design of the car gives it a 'VAN ish' look which separates it from the competition.
The Jazz has the largest boot capacity in its class at 354 liters. It is even bigger than some of the compact sedans in the market. The boot has a wide opening and the loading lip is not so high making it easier to load heavy luggage. There is also a Cargo lamp. The whole Backrest of the rear seat can be flipped easily however the 60:40 split is available only on the top end VX trim. A spare tyre is located beneath the boot floor. The size of the spare tyre has been kept small at 14 inches for cost cutting purposes but you don't have to worry as the aspect ratio of the spare tyre is higher than the normal tyres so the car remains balanced even if you run the car on the spare tyre. There is also a Parcel tray above the boot.
Moving inside one can see that the Doors open nice and wide. The sound from the Door handles feels a bit empty but the door closing sound is Solid and gives a reassuring thud. The Front seats on the Jazz are extremely comfortable for Long journeys with good Lumbar and under thigh support. The front seats have adjustable Headrest and the Driver seats are Height Adjustable too. A Beige Fabric is used as seat upholstery and on the Door lining Insert on all Trims except VX. The VX trim gets an All Black interior. The front Seating is a little high and upright which gives a nice overview of the road from inside. The inner door handle has a Glossy silver finish to it. There are buttons for operating windows and the OVRM's on the inside of the Driver side door. The driver side Window also comes with a One touch up/down with Pinch Guard function.
The Dashboard is very similar to the Honda City. The Steering wheel is of a perfect size and feels nice and chunky. There are steering mounted Audio controls & Hands free Telephone controls. It also has a Tilt Function but the telescopic function is not present. The steering wheel and the Gear knob are Leather wrapped. The Instrument cluster consists of an Advanced Multi-Information Combination meter with LCD display & Blue backlight. The cluster is lighted every time you start the car weather Day/night. The cluster has various features like Eco Assist system with Ambient Rings on Combi meter, Average Fuel Consumption Display, Instantaneous Fuel Economy Display, Outside Temperature Display, Cruising Range, Tachometer, Trip meter & a Clock.
On the central console there is an Advanced Integrated audio system with a 5 inch Screen. Aux-in, USB, iPod / iphone, AM/FM Radio, MP3/WMA/AAC & CD player can be operated through this screen. The system is connected with 4 speakers located on each door which delivers a decent sound quality. The Audio system also has a Speed Volume Compensation function. The view from the rear view camera is also displayed on this screen. A Top-down, Normal & wide view is available from the Rear view camera for easy parking. There is button to adjust the Display for Day/Night view so that the light from the screen doesn't come in your eye while driving in the night. Beneath the Audio system there is the Automatic AC system. The Auto AC has a full touchscreen panel. It also has a Dust & Pollen Filter. The Audio & Auto AC system is surrounded by a glossy black finish which can show a lot of finger prints if you don't keep it clean. One annoying thing about the Audio & AC system is that it makes a beep sound every time you touch something and it cannot be turned off.
There are sockets for Aux-in & USB and a 12V power supply below the central console. The Glove box is of a decent size but there is no cooling function in it. Also the cover of the glove box is not damped and directly falls upon unlocking. The AC vents has a Silver Garnish surrounding it. The Jazz misses out on an Engine Start/Stop button but Honda reminds you that with a round cut-out beside the central console which looks ugly. There are 9 cup holders in total to keep all your bottles/cups on the go. 1 liter bottles can be easily stored in the doors. 4 cup holders are located near the gear knob. My Personal favorite is an expandable cup holder located on the right side of the steering on the dash just in front of the AC vent which helps cool the bottle and is accessible while driving.
Moving to the rear seats there is loads of knee & leg room on offer. The bench is wide and can easily seat 3 Adults. The seats themselves are nice & comfortable but the under thigh support could have been a little better. This is prominent on long drives. There is no transmission tunnel in the middle of the floor like the Volkswagen Polo so the person seating in the middle doesn?t have to fight with his fellow passengers for legroom. The rear seats have Integrated Headrests. There are no Rear AC vents but frankly the throw of air from the front vents is enough to cool the cabin in minutes.
Overall if you have to describe the Interior of the Jazz, It is Spacious and Functional. The Quality of Materials used in the Car feels premium enough but, the polo is best in this aspect.
On the safety front the Jazz has ACE Body structure for rigidity, Engine Immobilizer, Impact mitigating Headrests, Seat belt pretensioners with Load limiters, Driver seat belt reminder, Day/night Rear view Mirror, Rear windshield defogger and Key off Reminder. Driver side & front passenger side Airbags are now standard on all variants and ABD with EBD is Standard on all Diesel variants.
The Honda Jazz is equipped with a Earth Dreams 1.5L i-DTEC Diesel Engine which is the same unit used in the City and is also mated to the same 6 speed gearbox as the City. The Engine is an all Aluminum one for keeping the weight light. It produces a max power of 100 ps. The company claimed mileage is 27.3 kmpl on the Diesel but I get somewhere around 21 kmpl in the city with AC on and close to 26 kmpl on the Highway. You can improve the fuel efficiency by slotting the car in higher gear. The drivability of the Engine is so nice that even if you drive at a speed of 30 km/h on the 6th gear, the car hardly ever knocks. The performance of the Engine is certainly enough for City/Highway driving and you never feel underpowered. The acceleration is linear and there is no sudden burst of power like you feel in the i20. The only bummer is the noise produced by the Diesel engine. Outside the Engine sounds like an old Diesel engine but the problem is when you here the clatter inside the cabin as well. But that said if you somewhat like the sound of a Diesel engine you should be able to deal with it once you spend some time. I think we are so used to the refined i-VTEC engines from Honda over the years that we cannot accept the sound from their Diesel engines. I agree that Honda should work on reducing the NHV levels on the diesel engine in the future but, for me it is not a deal breaker even today.
The steering on the Jazz is electrically assisted and is light at city speeds and it safely weighs up once you gain some speed without feeling artificial like you do in the i20. One can easily predict how much the car is going to move in city or on Highway. Surely it is not as direct as Polo but it has a nice Combination of Lightness and stability to it which makes you feel safe while driving. The turning radius of the car is 5.1 m which makes it easy to Park the car in tight spaces.
The Jazz has a McPherson Strut, Coil Spring Suspension in the front and a Torsion Beam Axel, Coil Spring Suspension at the back. The Suspension is softly setup for the Indian roads. It also works quietly on uneven road surfaces and you only hear a thud when the car passes through sharp deep potholes. On the Highway the Suspension works quiet well. Unless you don?t go into the corners with tremendous speed or drive your Hatchback like a Sports car, you won?t feel the body roll.
The breaks on the Jazz are really nice. It has Disc brakes up front and Drums at the rear. They have a nice initial bite and one can easily predict the stopping distance even at higher speeds. Every time you put your foot down on the brake pedal you feel safe and can control the car.
Overall the Jazz has a Flat ride Quality to it and you can easily drive it for long distances without feeling much tired. The Wind noise at High speed is acceptable. If you like to cruise at a leisurely pace in the City or on Highway, you will absolutely love the Jazz.
If you want a Premium Hatchback for its compact dimensions but want a spacious cabin go for the Jazz.
There are some pluses & minuses in the car but if you look at the car comprehensively, Jazz is the perfect car for City/Highway driving. It can easily do Airport runs and if you opt for the top End VX trim level, you will have the functionality you get from the magic seats. The ride quality is nice and you get a Big Car feeling while driving the Jazz.
If you drive in excess of 40 kms per day go for the Diesel variant. If your Driving is mostly in the city with occasional highway trips the Petrol version of the Jazz is a very refined with decent Fuel economy.
My suggestion would be to choose the V trim level as you get all the necessary features and this trim level is reasonably priced as well. If you have to have the magic Seats and a Navigation system in your car go for the VX trim level which is costs approximately 40k more than the V trim level. Otherwise the V trim level is the perfect buy.
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