Performance – No mechanical changes have been made to the 2018 Honda Jazz. It is powered by the same set of engines and unfortunately the Japanese automaker isn’t offering a CVT gearbox with the diesel engine. The petrol engine is a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC unit producing 89 HP at 6000 RPM and 110 Nm at 4800 RPM. This engine feels quite underpowered with below average low-end performance. In the mid-range, the engine starts opening up a bit but most of the action lies only near the redline. Out on the highways, a fair number of gearshifts are required if you want to gather pace quickly or while overtaking. The manual gearbox is slick and the clutch is light while the CVT, though noisy, is super convenient and a good choice for people who want an AT. The Jazz petrol isn’t exactly fuel efficient and you can expect 9-12 km/l from the petrol variants.
Our pick of the lot is the diesel engine that offers better performance
The diesel engine is a 1.5-litre i-DTEC unit that makes 99 HP at 3600 RPM and 200 Nm at 1750 RPM. This comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. There are no noticeable changes to the NVH levels and the engine continues to feel noisy. Drivability with the oil-burner is very good and turbo lag is manageable and the Jazz delivers power linearly in the mid-range but starts tapering off before 4000 RPM. It doesn’t run out of steam on the highways too and the 6th gear is also a huge boon while you’re cruising. With the diesel variant, expect fuel efficiency to hover between 17-21 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The suspension is slightly on the stiffer side and while high speed ride is very good, at low speeds some sharp undulations manage to filter inside the cabin. High speed stability is very good and while the Jazz has some body roll, it is well contained. The steering is light enough for city driving and out on the highways it weighs up decently offering good feedback too. Braking performance is good but the tyre grip isn’t that great and the small rubber tends to loose grip if you push the car hard.