Here is the full review, driving impression and specifications of the new Honda Jazz.
What is it?
Since it pulled the plug on the hugely competent but overpriced and slow selling last-gen Jazz, Honda hasn’t had a contender in the premium end of the hatchback market. But all that is about to change with this new, upcoming Jazz. It may be an all-new model that’s built on a new platform but remains a car easily identifiable as a Jazz; credit the trademark mono-volume shape for that. Whether or not the basic design does it for you, there is plenty to keep you looking at the car. The City-like large, angular headlights that fuse into the multi-element grille, in particular, look very attractive. Look under the familiar glasshouse and you’ll also notice where Honda has made an effort to jazz up (pun intended) the rest of the car’s design. There’s a strong belt line that originates at the front doors and progressively widens towards the large 3D-effect tail-lights. Sadly, the mass of metal above the rear wheels does make the Jazz look under-tyred. The tail, though, is attractive and comes embellished with reflectors that flank the windscreen and a wide band of chrome that runs along the width of the boot.
But more than anything else, you’ll like the Jazz’s design for more practical reasons. Such as how its tailgate extends low on the bumper or how its doors open nice and wide. And the first time you open those doors, the sheer space in the cabin will shock you. The Jazz is easily the most spacious car in its class with ample head, leg and shoulder room for five occupants. Passengers in the rear, however, will find the seat short on thigh support. The upward sloping floor (on account of the fuel tank being positioned under the front seats) may not be to everyone’s liking either.
Interestingly, this time around, only top-spec Jazz models will get the ‘magic seats’ at the back. These seats split, fold flat and flip upwards to make space for all shapes and sizes of cargo – that’s if the massive 354-litre boot won’t meet your needs anyway. These seats now also allow you to form a recliner by pushing the front seat backrests fully till they meet the rear seat base. It’s a unique feature picnickers and the chauffeur-driven will love. Those likely to spend more time in the back will also like how the backrest angle can be adjusted (a segment first) on top-end variants. However, the middle seat cushioning is firm and not very comfortable.
Up front, seat comfort is good but visibility past the thick A-pillars is limited and troublesome at crossroads. Otherwise, the Jazz’s driving environment is very similar to the City’s. The chunky steering, the instruments and the basic layout of the centre console are all very similar. The Jazz’s asymmetrical dashboard that comes finished in hard-wearing plastics extends further forwards towards the windscreen and the portion above the glovebox is more layered (there’s no secondary compartment like the old Jazz either). Still, with as many as nine cupholders and more than a few cubbyholes, you won’t find yourself short on storage spaces for small items.
Honda hopes you won’t find yourself shortchanged either. Because unlike the sparsely equipped old Jazz, the new one comes loaded with features. There’s a City-like dial-operated 5-inch colour screen for the rear-view camera and infotainment system with a larger 6.2-inch touchscreen offered on top variants. The touch-operated panel for the climate control system from the City also finds its way here and there are also steering-mounted buttons for audio and telephone functions.