Honda Jazz has a new beat
Geraldine Herbert says supermini has been revised, bumper to bumper
With almost its entire range refreshed or revised, Honda is having a busy year. Next month sees the arrival of two all-new models, the compact crossover the HR-V and the third generation Jazz, Honda's supermini. Getting much more than just a mere facelift, the new Jazz has been completely revised from bumper to bumper, inside and out.
It now sports a new and lighter chassis, and a spacious and upgraded interior. A new, faster electric power-steering system promises increased feedback for the driver.
The previous Jazz was MPV-like in terms of its styling. In contrast, the new version has been given a much sleeker and more aggressive profile. The sharp new headlamps merge well with the multi-layered grille that is part of Honda's latest design language.
While the cabin quality is much improved, it is also far more spacious, with better head-, leg- and shoulder-room, as the new car's platform increases the supermini's overall length by 95mm, with a 30mm-longer wheelbase.
Inside, a flush-mounted seven-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash features Honda's new infotainment system that offers internet browsing, access to real-time news, traffic, weather and numerous music stations.
Honda has retained its Magic Seat system that allows you to carry long, tall, or wide items in numerous configurations, and the boot will hold 354 litres with the seats up, 17 litres more than the previous Jazz, and 1,314 with the seats down. There is also a wide tailgate and low load height to ensure easy access, even the fuel tank has been moved to the centre of the car to maximise load space.
The Jazz is also crammed with safety features, including the City Brake Active system that comes as standard across all models, while the Dynamic Safety Pack, which includes Forward Collision warning, traffic-sign recognition, intelligent speed limiter, lane departure warning and high beam support system, is optional.
Only one engine option is available to Irish buyers, the new 1.3 litre i-VTEC petrol engine with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a newly developed CVT. With 102bhp and 123Nms of torque, it will go from 0-100kmph in 11.2 seconds (12 seconds for the automatic version).
In both manual and automatic, it has more power than the previous 1.4 and is more economical than the previous 1.2 version. CO2 emissions are as low as 106g/km and combined fuel economy of 4.6 litres per 100km or 61 mpg.
The range starts with the entry level SE priced at €17,395. This is €800 more than the previous Jazz but even entry models fare well with standard equipment that includes air con, Bluetooth, cruise control, auto lights and LED daylight running lights. Upgrading to ES adds front and rear parking sensors, 15" alloys, an alarm and a Dynamic Safety pack. The top-of-the-range EX comes with smart entry and start, 16" alloys, reversing camera, privacy glass, front fog lights and a six-speaker system.
The new Jazz looks set to build on the strong reputation of its successful predecessor, with all of the space and practicality expected but now with extra equipment, reassuring levels of safety and a more efficient engine.
And if you factor in Honda's excellent reliability record, the Jazz really should be music to your ears.