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2015 All new Honda Jazz: Road Test review, features and pictures

  • Jun 13, 2015
  • 18306 Views
Jazz, it’s a form of dance and music too, and is used to describe something bright. Jazz is also Honda’s premium hatchback, a car that made an entry into the Indian market in 2009 and left everyone surprised. This was mainly because of its features and a very premium price. Not received well by the market then, the company cut the price of the Jazz by a huge margin and finally discontinued it. It may have been discontinued but the Jazz was a car worthy of the Indian market and all Honda wanted to do was wait for the right time. The right time for consumers is finally here - July 8th will see the launch of the 3rd generation all-new Honda Jazz but we got our hands on it first to see how well it dances to our tunes.


Also, before I begin this review, I want to state that I’m a perspective Honda Jazz customer.

How Does it Look?


Simply stunning - that’s two words for the Jazz. This premium hatchback segment is luckily the segment with good looking cars which include the Elite i20 and the VW Polo for now. Honda Jazz takes “the good looking cars” complement to a new level alltogether. Honda has reversed the chrome and black design of the grille for the Jazz. 2015 Honda Jazz comes with thick, black chrome grille with a chrome lower lip. The headlamps are sharp and flow seamlessly into the design. The fog lamp housing is carved beautifully into the front bumper.

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The side profile of the Jazz is good to look at. There is a distinct shoulder and body line to the profile and blackened B and C pillar look very classy. That said, we did wish that Honda had offered more “jazz-y” looking alloys on this.

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The rear profile of the Jazz is gorgeous too. Honda has introduced direct LED tail-lights which looks very sporty. A chrome slate across the width of the car and a rear spoiler further enhance the look. The bumper is well sculpted and the Jazz is jazziest from the rear.New Honda Jazz India 2015 (10)



Overall, it is surely one of the prettiest looking hatchbacks out there. As compared to the previous generation, the new Jazz has grown by 55mm in length and 30mm in wheelbase.

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Interiors and Functionality?


I’m not a very big fan of beige so the all-black interior on the top-spec Jazz (VX) is not just a big change from the usual but a welcome one as well. The all-black them with silver inserts looks very classy. The Jazz top end also comes with 6.2-inch display screen with navigation, Bluetooth telephony, USB, Aux-in, CD and radio compatibility. The touch screen is only for the VX version and its worth mentioning that it sounds pretty good. There are very few buttons on the dash which give it very premium feel. The screen doubles up as display for the reverse camera which comes with three viewing modes.

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The touch screen auto air conditioning unit the Jazz is a first in the segment. It will be available on the V and VX grade. The Jazz will be available in 2 interior colour options – all-back for the VX grade and beige and black for the lower versions.

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Jazz has always been known for the space and this one too is no different. In fact it comes with 9 cup holders (phew!) and there is other space for you knick-knacks and change. There is also a cleverly placed cup-holder in front of the right air-vent which ensures your soft drinks remain cool on the move. The steering gets controls for music system and audio and feels great to hold.

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This new Jazz is 30 mm longer in wheelbase and this along with changes to the cabin has liberated even more passenger and boot space. Honda has reduced the size of the fuel tank which also frees up extra space under the front seats – helpful for rear passengers who would want to stretch their legs. Again, for number crunchers, the new Jazz has 139-litre of extra passenger space, 35mm extra front shoulder room, 65mm increased knee clearance while rear legroom has gone up by 115mm. The Jazz is easily the most spacious car in the segment, beating other rivals by a fair margin.

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The seats on the Jazz are superb too. The front seats are well cushioned with 3-way adjustment. The seats have very good lumbar and under-thigh support. At the back, while the windows are big and airy, we would have preferred a slightly higher positioning for better visibility. Space is not an issue at all – even with the front two seats adjusted for 6-feet tall passengers, similar sized adults can easily sit at the back with enough space between their knees and back of the front seat. However, there is one huge problem with the rear seat, the cushioning of the front seats is barely there. Your knee, if it hits the back of the front seat, you will feel the structure of the seat while the driver will feel your knee easily - this is a huge disappointment especially because Honda is a brand that is very premium. The seats can be reclined in the top version for comfort though.

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However, the Jazz has a few misses when compared to the feature-loaded Hyundai Elite i20 and other rivals. Jazz will not offer push button start/stop, auto door lock, cooled glove box, cabin illumination control, rear air-con vents etc, all features available in the top-end Elite i20. That said, we love the comprehensive driver information display which includes outside temperature, average fuel economy (for two trip meters), instantaneous economy etc.

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Boot space is rated at 354-litres, a shocking 20% over the Polo and a good 25% over the Elite i20! This massive boot can further be adjusted in many ways to make more space. Magic seats are surely a big USP for the Jazz and you can literally carry your world with you.

Video Review of the new Honda Jazz



How does it drive?


The i-DTEC motor.

The 1.5 litre diesel motor by Honda is known for two things - for being super-efficient and two, for being super noisy. Good news is that the latter has been dealt with very well in the Jazz. The 1.5 motor produces the same output as the other diesel Honda cars: 100 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque. The Jazz diesel, as expected is punchy and quite easy to drive. The bigger surprise is that this engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox for the Jazz. Now as per Honda, the ratios for this ‘box are slightly longer than the City’s and this along with a lighter body has made the Jazz the most efficient in the segment. ARAI certified economy stands at 27.3 kmpl, much higher than the Elite i20 (21.76 / 22.54) and the VW Polo (20.14kmpl). This figure will surely jazz up a lot of customers! While we couldn’t put the car through an economy test, at an indicated 80km/h, the engine was lazily spinning at just 1500rpm (6th gear). On a short 15km highway cycle with winding hill roads and a bit of traffic, the display registered 21kmpl with three on board and air-con running overtime.

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Coming back to the motor, Honda has worked really hard to keep NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels under check. At normal operating speeds, diesel clatter is well under control and we were quite impressed with it. Power flows in well and over 1800-2000rpm, the Jazz is pretty quick car. The engine is a strong point of the car and there’s always enough power in all gears for the car to ferry you comfortably in the city and on the highway. Unlike the Amaze, Honda has not limited the top speed on the Jazz and given the right conditions, expect to see over 180km/h on the speedometer.

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The Steering unit of the Honda Jazz is a delight and feels better than most of the other cars in the segment. Beautifully weighed, it roots confidence in the driver. It’s precise, easy to use and feedback is great. Taking sharp cuts or tight turns in the Jazz is effortless. Suspension works well in most cases but the rear suspension seemed to have slightly on the bouncier side over undulations.

The i-VTEC motor

The 1. 2 litre i-VTEC motor will also be available in the Jazz. This engine has a power output of 90 PS and peak torque of 110 Nm. Power of the Jazz is more than all it’s competitors. This engine, like all Honda units, is an absolute delight. In fact, if you are one of those old schools who have loved Honda for their petrol motors, this one will hit the right nerve. This engine is buttery smooth and peppy enough for the city as well as those weekend drives. Rev it hard and it will leaving you with enough grinning moments. The gearbox is a 5-speed. The ARAI tested fuel economy of the petrol Jazz is at 18.7 kmpl, highest in the segment.

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The CVT

The Jazz will also be available with a 5-speed CVT. The CVT is similar to that of the City. CVT will be launched keeping in mind the convenience and the fact that there is literally no competition in the market for this. This only CVT available is in the Nissan Micra. The gearing of the CVT is a bit long and though it can get a bit too long and annoying in the city, in most drives, it will seem fine. The gear shifts are smooth and overall drive quality is fairly decent. It comes with a sports mode too and paddle shifts are behind the steering. The engine does get a bit noisy if you rev it too much but it ends up sounding sporty. ARAI certified economy stands at an impressive 19kmpl.

(These are first impressions as were given the CVT version only for fifteen minutes. We will get you a detailed review of the CVT soon)

Safety


Jazz was the car that introduced safety in India. It was a car that came with airbags and ABS as standard when it was launched. Same might not be the case for the 2015 version. Though the top variant will get 2 airbags and ABS, the same cannot be said about the lower versions.

Verdict


The Honda Jazz is a very popular car worldwide. It is on sale in 75 countries and has sold 5.5 million units till date. The Jazz has its following but somewhere in India it failed. It’s here for a comeback (maybe with some vengeance too)! It’s a great product, it’s a product that will impress you in more than one way. The Jazz can be a great first car, second car, office car, car pool car or anything else. Honda has left no stone unturned with the Jazz – lack of features in the VX version might be a hindrance for some though.

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So will I buy it? Yes, I will. It’s a mature car. It might have a few features missing but it’s a car that spacious, very easy to drive, supremely fuel efficient and most importantly feels very premium. It’s a car that my father can drive effortlessly in city traffic and not feel a bit of tiredness. It’s a car my mother can take out on her kitty days and fit five of her healthy (I dare not say fat) friends with the air-con running full blast and feel happy. It’s a car that I can take to work every day (75kms up and down in city traffic), enjoy every bit of it and save a lot of money on fuel too. And finally, it’s a car my brother can ask the driver to bring every weekend morning so that he can fit his bicycle in it on his way back. All in all, Jazz is for everyone.
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