With all those brochure images leaking out, it wasn’t going to be far before Honda officially pulled the wraps off the all new Jazz. The third generation Honda Jazz will go on sale in Japan in September and is also known as the Honda Fit in many markets. As can be seen in the styling, the body design is unmistakably of the Jazz and does resemble the old Jazz to a certain extent. The 2014 Honda Jazz is evidently longer and the increase in wheelbase further boosts interior room of the already spacious hatchback. However the styling at the rear is not to everyone’s taste and will get mixed reactions.
The exterior design of the new Jazz is influenced from bigger Hondas, namely the FCX Clarity, CR-V and to a certain extent even the NSX. Other than the changes to the exteriors, the interiors are all new and one glance reveals the 2014 Honda Jazz is going into an all new direction. The dashboard of the new Honda Jazz is certainly driver centric although we aren’t quite sure about the centre console. Honda hasn’t left any stone unturned and has loaded the Jazz with features expected from a premium hatchback. However the company might not bring all of the equipment to India due to price reasons.
Powering the Honda Jazz in India will be the same 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine which did duty on its predecessor. This engine will be offered with a 5-speed automatic gearbox as well, producing 88 BHP of power and 110 Nm of torque. The new powertrain will of course be the frugal oil burner which is already employed in the Amaze diesel. The 1.5-litre i-DTEC unit belts out a class leading 100 BHP of power with a respectable 200 Nm of torque. Both these engines help Honda keep the Jazz defined as a small car in India, resulting in excise duty benefits.
Globally the all new Honda Jazz gets 1.3-litre (98 HP and 140 Nm) and 1.5-litre (135 HP and 170 Nm) petrol engines, mated to a new CVT gearbox and 6-speed manual transmission respectively. These engines will obviously not make it to India. The high-revving 1.5-litre engine is also offered in an RS variant. Honda has also sent out a release stating the new Jazz Hybrid is the most frugal hybrid car in Japan, returning a mileage of 36.4 km/l from its Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD). This is an improvement of 35% over the previous Jazz Hybrid. The hybrid Jazz uses the same aforementioned 1.5-litre engine mated to a 7-speed DCT offering three hybrid modes. It can run on EV mode alone till 40 km/hr but Honda will not launch the hybrid Jazz in India.
Honda has benchmarked the new Jazz with the Volkswagen Polo, a car which boasts of one of the best ride and handling balance in its segment. The company has lowered the driving position in the 2014 Honda Jazz while calibrating the electric steering to feel more natural. The suspension has been re-designed and the overall results are very positive. MotorTrend has driven the car and they say the new Jazz feels definitely a better handler than the old model. It even feels more stable in the straight-line offering tremendous confidence to the driver. Honda is very frank in saying the suspension design of the new Jazz is Polo-inspired which also results in more planted braking, especially at the rear.
The 2014 Honda Jazz is a step in the right direction for the Japanese auto giant. The company has given the Honda Jazz better dynamics, improved interior room (the old Jazz was massively spacious already) and modern exteriors. The biggest advantage for the new vehicle will be the i-DTEC mill under its belly. With the Honda Jazz finally getting the frugal diesel powerplant, the company should be able to set the sales chart on fire, even though the all new Jazz will be priced as much or more than the Honda Amaze. An India debut is expected at the 2014 Auto Expo with sales commencing around April. Honda will aggressively localise the new Jazz for India, which will be the company’s first launch next year. Expect the base version of the 2014 Honda Jazz to start at a price of Rs. 6 lakhs (ex-showroom).
Source – MotorTrend