The original Jazz introduced in India in the year 2009 was an attempt by Honda to provide a premium, high quality and feature loaded big hatchback for the masses. Then later the updated Jazz with styling changes and a new cheaper price has helped sales. When it comes to looks, the front has a typical cab forward stance with a small bonnet area. The bonnet as well as the side profile of the car has crisp design lines across their individual lines which add character to the car. The A-pillar has a sleek angle which carries onto the middle of the roof, followed by a slight depression in the angle of the rear end of the car. The upgraded version of the Jazz has a few changes on the outside.
These include new front grille, newly designed bumpers, new headlights with silver and black matt finish and new chrome garnish (in the Select variant). Step inside and you are greeted by vast amounts of space, enough to shame quite a few sedans out there in the market. The quality of interiors (plastics and panels) is something that Honda is known for the Jazz scores top marks here. The design of the cabin is modern and has great touches like cubby holes for keeping knick knacks, integration of the audio system et al. Ergonomics are top notch and the view of the road ahead great. The top end X version gets electrically retractable outside rear view mirrors and the audio system now comes with USB as standard. Another feature in the Jazz’s cap is the class leading boot space of 384 litres.
The Jazz has a 1.2 petrol 90PS engine, it puts out the maximum power among all the similar sized engines in the segment although the torque rating, at 110Nm, is short of the likes of the Hyundai i20 and Maruti Swift and further, it comes at a higher engine speed of 4800rpm. Nevertheless, the Jazz feels great to drive in city and only on the highways above speeds of 120km/h or so does the engine starts feeling a little breathless. That said, in everyday driving, the engine responds well and like any other typical Honda unit, is super smooth and silent and the drive by wire throttle responds well to the driver’s inputs. The ARAI fuel economy certification is on the lower side at 16.7kmpl . It has saloon like comfort and handles pretty well for its size. It may not be as fun as say the Polo but has a balanced compromise between comfort and handling.
There is a hint of body roll but it’s well controlled and the Michelines (we think it’s the only hatchback in the segment to come with such premium tyres) work very well in making the car stick to the road. The steering is light and good for slow speed usage. The new Honda Jazz starts at Rs 5.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base or the S version, Rs 5.75 lakh for the Select version and finally Rs 6.4 lakh for the top end X version. Even the entry level base model comes with features like ABS, Air-bags for driver and co-driver and steering wheel controls for the audio system. It is a value based small car and certainly worth a buy. For a detailed analysis read below.