Premium hatchbacks have defied the general consensus of bigger is better, a rare reality in the size conscious Indian car market. Honda was first to bring in a premium hatchback with the second gen Jazz last decade, the vehicle being the most expensive hatchback at that time. A facelift and a massive price correction did no wonders and the Jazz continued to do rather poorly on the sales chart, leading to its ultimate discontinuation. Honda India pulled the plug on the Jazz a couple of years back so it could focus on mass market products like the Amaze and now with the compact sedan doing well, the big Honda hatch is making a return. The Jazz is a very successful product for Honda, the company having sold more than 5.5 million units across 75 countries, with 11 countries producing the vehicle. So why should we sit up and take notice? Because in its last outing, the Jazz did not have a diesel mill, it was also lower on local content but this time around, the Earth Dreams oil burner finds its way to the Jazz (India is the sole country in the world were a diesel Jazz exists as Europe doesn’t get it and no diesel Jazz exports will be done by Honda India) and the vehicle has more than 90% localisation! Get offers & discounts on Honda Jazz
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
The Honda Jazz 2016 is based on the new Honda City and is 55mm longer than the previous generation. Honda internally calls this design as Crossfade Monoform design. The fascia of the Honda Jazz 2016 resembles the Honda City. It has a similar front grille, though it doesn’t get the chrome finish. Honda is targeting the Honda Jazz 2016 for the youth or those you prefer trendy styling over subtle. The headlamps are single barrel and the front bumpers are different from the City.
The side profile of the Honda Jazz 2016 is a lot similar to the previous generation as it still retains the same design philosophy like the quarter glass panel, blacked out pillars and the large glass-in area. The tail lamps and rear styling too remind you of the previous Jazz, but it does look fresh with LED tail lamps.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
The New Jazz is a hatch for sure but it doesn’t come with typical demerits of one. You won’t feel suffocated in it as Honda has added more length and wheelbase only to add more room and make the occupants feel at ease on both short commutes and long trips. Honda cars have always been offered with premium quality interiors and the new Jazz is no different. Taking generous inspiration from its elder sibling, the steering wheel and instrumental cluster feel more modern than earlier. The three eye meter gets an analogue tachometer, speedometer and an information screen displaying fuel consumption, average and distance to empty. The brand new steering wheel has controls only to operate the infotainment screen.
The top of the spec petrol V variant sports a 5 inch LCD screen, which features Bluetooth telephony and other entertainment options like iPod, USB and Aux-in connectivity. The same screen also acts as reverse camera with three views namely wide, normal and top down display making it easy to park in rough conditions. The VX variant gets a bigger 6.2 inch touchscreen unit with Audio Visual Navigation system as standard. Similar to the City, it gets an advanced AC control unit which works via touch.Customers can avail two interior trims, dual tone and all black. Both the petrol and diesel high end variants are offered with an all black interiors with one thing in common among all variants and that is fit and finish, which is rock solid. The plastics used on the dashboard and door trims aren’t visually the best but in terms of durability, they are.
Large doors at front and rear have eased up the egress and ingress for even taller passengers. One need not crawl on his knees to enter the cabin and the same applies while exiting. The extension of wheelbase, reducing the travel of rear suspensions and relocation of fuel tank has indeed helped the knees, elbows and shoulders of all occupants to have a better breather of a space. One segment first feature contributing greatly to convenience is ‘Magic Seats’. Taking care of mundane needs of hauling cargo of odd shapes, sizes and proportions, the rear seats can be arranged in four different modes such as Utility Mode, Tall Mode, Long Mode and the refresh mode. This can help accommodate a cooking gas cylinder, a bike, a chair and many other things. It is also useful to recline seats and make it the best place to sit inside.
The seats are as comfortable as much as convenient. The flattish rear seats miss on under thigh support which can be a bit of bother on long journeys. In terms of pure space, the headroom, legroom and kneeroom have been taken care of by an increase of 139L in passenger volume. In case you wish to know specifically how much, the front shoulder room is up by 35mm, rear tandem distance by 80mm, knee clearance by 65mm and rear legroom by 115mm.Pack in whatever you wish to as the cargo space inside the New Jazz is 354L, much above its nearest rival the Hyundai Elite i20. If you aren’t satisfied with that, fold down the 2nd row seat to free up 881 litres of boot space. The door pockets can easily hold a litre class container each. There are a total of 9 cup holders. All of which makes it a great daily car with oodles of practicality.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
Honda will continue with the same 1.2 Litre i-VTEC petrol unit which is capable of producing about 90 Ps of peak power and 110 Nm of torque. The 1.5 Litre i-DTEC diesel motor, on the other hand, generates about 100 Ps of peak power and 200 Nm of torque. While the petrol unit is paired to a 5-speed manual transmission, there is also an optional CVT available as an option. The diesel variant, on the other hand, gets a single 6-speed manual transmission.
Honda also has included a Hybrid drivetrain under the hood of this facelift Jazz which includes a new 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission which has an inbuilt electric motor. Unfortunately, the hybrid variant is available for sale only in the markets of Japan and Malaysia currently.
The new Honda Jazz model will continue with the same engines as the pre-facelift model. Thus mileage figures are likely to remain the same. While the MT Petrol promises to return around 18.7 KMPL, the CVT variant can deliver an impressive 19 KMPL. The Diesel variant on the other hand promises to returns 27.3 KMPL.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The Jazz hasn’t been designed to thrill you when shown a set of corners, but it does hold its own in terms of the way it drives. Pushing it hard into bends results in the tyres fighting for grip, but it isn’t half as bad as you may imagine from such slim rubber. Even the electric power steering feels quite accurate and retains its natural feel in the way it weights up. However, the feedback from the front tyres is very limited. At high speeds, the Jazz shows good composure and body control, even when suddenly met by a rough patch. But on the flip side, at low speeds, the ride isn’t exactly plush and sharper edges thump into the cabin easily. Still, it never feels uncomfortable and we feel that Honda has managed a good compromise between high and low-speed ride. In terms of stopping power, Honda has employed ventilated front discs and drums at the rear. Stopping power is more than adequate with progressive pedal feel.
BRAKING AND SAFETY ;
Disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear have been fitted to provide the stopping power. Anti-lock braking system, along with electronic brake force distribution, has been set up in the Jazz S CVT and diesel trims only. Dual front airbags are available in the SV trim and the others placed above it. Among the secondary safety features, central locking, driver seat belt and key reminder have also been put in place to perform their respective duties.
If space and versatility are paramount, there is quite simply no better option than the Jazz. Helping the Jazz’s case this time around is the fact that it can be had with a diesel engine and even in petrol automatic form meaning there’s a version of the car for every type of hatchback buyer. In every form, the Jazz comes across as a car that’s comfortable and well suited to the requirements of day-to-day city driving. It’s not exciting per se, but that’s unlikely to impact an average buyer’s decision. What will, is the price.The good news is that, save for the top-spec VX versions available on the petrol manual and diesel cars, the rest of the Jazz range is competitively priced. So, in its latest form, the Jazz has the ingredients to become the hit it always deserved to be