First Drive: Honda Jazz


With sharper styling, keen pricing and generous equipment levels the all new Honda Jazz arrives here in September. We went to Frankfurt to check it out writes Suzanne Keane

What is it? The Jazz is the third generation of Honda’s B-Segment hatchback which keeps its predecessors distinctive styling but with a new face and it has grown 95mm longer than the previous version.

First impressions of the new Honda Jazz:  The Jazz has been updated to reflect the styling of its larger siblings with a solid wing theme across the grille and headlamps. Strong and deep lines across the side profile lead towards an angular rear where a rear spoiler and bumper vents await.

What about the interior?  Inside the cabin a flush mounted 7” touchscreen features Honda’s new infotainment system (ES and EX trim) and soft touch materials add to the interior design. Leg, shoulder and headroom in the front and ready are class leading – at 5’9’’ I could comfortable sit behind the driver’s seat. However, the real surprise inside is Honda’s Magic Seats which allow for amazing versatility within the cabin – the rear seats tilt up as well as down for carrying taller loads – in “Refresh” mode the front seats fold back to allow occupants to lie back and relax (not recommended while driving)! You can comfortably fit a surfboard on the passenger side while carrying a house plant (up to 1.3m tall) behind the driver’s seat. The boot will hold 354 litres with the seats up and 1,314 with the seats down.  Even the fuel tank has been moved to the centre of the car to maximise load space.

And on the road?  The chassis on the new Jazz is lighter while being more rigid and the suspension system has been redesigned. At one point on the test route I found myself sandwiched between a Ferrari and Porsche on a winding road and surprisingly the little Jazz held its ground on the bends – luckily they vanished in the opposite direction when we hit a straight patch of road so I was left with the illusion that the Jazz could keep up! The 1.3 engine may be more powerful than the previous 1.4 version and can do 0-100kmph in 11.2 seconds but it certainly doesn’t feel like it would win any drag races – then again, this car is all about practicality and versatility and not racing at the traffic lights. There is a sweet spot between 4,500 and 6,500 rpm where the engine really comes alive but I don’t see many Jazz owners making regular use of this range.

How Much? The 1.3 i-VTEC Jazz in SE trim will start at €17,395 and road tax will set you back €200/year.

How Safe?  City Brake Active system comes as standard across all models. If you opt for the ES spec you’ll get the Dynamic Safety Pack which includes Forward Collision warning, Traffic sign recognition, Intelligent Speed Limiter, Lane departure warning and High beam support system.

What about my options:  There is only one engine option available – in both manual and automatic which has more power than the previous 1.4 and is more economical than the 1.2 version. The 1.3 i-VTEC has 102PS and will do 0-100kmph in 11.2 seconds (12 seconds for the automatic version). Price for the CVT auto are yet to be confirmed but this would definitely be my first choice – and it’s more economical.

The Jazz will be available in 3 trim levels with a very high spec level as standard. The SE comes with A/C, Bluetooth, Active city brake assist, Cruise Control, Auto lights and wipers and LED daylight running lights. Upgrading to ES will get you front and rear parking sensors, 15” Alloys, an Alarm and a Dynamic Safety pack. The top of the range EX comes with smart entry/start, 16” Alloys, reversing camera, privacy glass and a 6 speaker system. There will also be a range of accessory packs available including sport, design, convenience and illumination.

3 words to describe the Honda Jazz; Versatile; Spacious; Economical

For more information check out, the Honda Ireland Facebook page or follow them on twitter here

Suzanne Keane

3rd August, 2015

Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for Retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @_suzannekeane

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