This is the new Honda Jazz which needless to say has been one of the most awaited cars of 2015 and it is finally coming next month while we have just driven it in India. This is an important launch for Honda as the company is once again coming back into the premium hatch space which has exploded over the past one year. Honda has been having a great run in India with the City being the king of the midsize sedan segment and now the Jazz will be expected to do the same for its segment. The question is how good is the new 2015 Jazz to drive? Our review of the diesel version will answer all.
How does it look?
The Jazz is sold in 75 countries all over the world thus design wise it had to appeal to a broad age-group thus Honda had to bring in freshness and a more aggressive look to its hatch and it has done exactly that here. It is every bit recognisable as a Honda with the edgy styling and extrovert lines. It has got a lot more presence than the previous version. It is longer and Honda have kept the mini MPV look intact but its also nicely styled. The front is the most interesting bit and a lot is going on here.
The narrow headlamps and the oversized grille blend in perfectly and in more darker shades you can see the various lines. Same goes for the side as Honda cleverly has avoided a bulbous look and the prominent lines hide the MPV-ish design well. Move to the rear and the chiseled look is just stunning, special mention goes to the big LED tail-lamps plus you have a generous helping of chrome here as well. Other details include a tailgate spoiler and 15 inch alloys among others. Paint finish is very good.
What about the interiors?
The interior is similar to the Honda City and that is no bad thing with a futuristic cabin with decent quality. The same sporty steering wheel and a centre-console that is uncluttered. Just like the City the blue-toned dials look nice with the Eco Assist feature i.e. light that changes based on efficiency of your driving style. The top-end spec Jazz has a 6.2 inch touchscreen with various features like Navigation, camera display, DVD playback while elsewhere you have steering controls, touchscreen Auto AC controls (very effective AC in humid Goa) etc. You can read our new Jazz features article here for complete details.
While it is feature rich the biggest USP of the Jazz has always been its space and practicality and here its business as usual with a longer wheelbase increasing rear legroom. The amount of space is just huge and it can actually be called an MPV! The large glass house makes the cabin airy and getting in and out is easy. Legroom is class best. Easily. The rear seats themselves has good thigh support and those who are chauffeured will love this (you can also recline them in the flag-ship variant). In terms of practicality there are 9 cupholders, a large 354l boot plus the Magic seats feature which is one of the talking points of the new Jazz.
Only available on the top-end trim level this feature enables the cargo space to increase to 881 litres with the 2nd row tucked away plus the seats flold flat or flip up.
How does it drive?
As some of you might know already the engine line-up for India includes the 99 bhp/200Nm i-DTEC diesel engine and the 89 bhp 1.2 i-VTEC petrol. The diesel has a 6-speed manual while the petrol comes with either a 5-speed manual or a CVT autobox. This review is for the diesel version (petrol CVT review ) as that will no doubt be the hot-seller. This engine is familiar to us having seen it in the Amaze, Mobilio and City but in Jazz we think it feels the best with refinement in particular being improved.
Power delivery is smooth and lag is controlled plus there is good low-end punch meaning you can potter around without having to downshift always though gearing is clearly tuned for extracting the best efficiency. On the narrow Goan roads the Jazz was effortless to drive with its light steering and clutch. Sure, while the gearbox is not the slickest it has precise shifts and in the city you will love it.
We then ventured out from the narrow roads to explore the new Jazz a bit more and here it did not disappoint. High speed stability is very good with a strong mid- range and it offers good grip levels though the small tyres play the limiting factor. However it is without doubt much more fun than the previous Jazz and impressive handling wise with the focus being on ease of driving which it excels at. In terms of ride quality again its much better than the previous Jazz and its along with its rivals here.
Want to know about efficiency now?
With a 6-speed manual gearbox we knew the Jazz would be more efficient than the City and here again Honda has simply done a fantastic job with an official figure of 27.3 kmpl which is just short of the Celerio diesel which has a much smaller engine.
Your final thoughts?
The Jazz diesel starts at Rs 6.5 lakh and goes all the way to Rs 8.6 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. We had high expectations from Honda considering the Jazz was a car we always loved for a variety of reasons and with the new one Honda has exceeded them. It builds on the strengths of the previous model and increases it even more in areas like ease of driving, space, practicality and efficiency. However it does well in other areas too like the sharp looks, generous equipment levels and its a good drive with the diesel in particular being impressive. The new Honda Jazz then ticks all the boxes and we are sure just like the City here is another big success for Honda Cars India.