As posted earlier, the Jazz will be launched in India in the month of June and is likely to be the most expensive petrol hatchback in the market with an expected base price of Rs 5.5 lakh. Jazz also called Fit in certain markets, is the only small car in Honda’s global portfolio. The car will have a new 1.2 litre engine developed exclusively for the Indian market, which delayed the launch by one year. Jazz also comes strapped with a toughened suspension to meet stiff roads conditions in India.

“Jazz will have all the features found in a premium large car. Our survey shows that 80% hatchback customers feel that these cars lack legroom and headroom space which we have addressed in Jazz,” Honda India MD and CEO Masahiro Takedagawa said. “We will try to pass the benefit of lower excise duty on Jazz but 30% of its components are imported and the weak rupee may lead to a higher price,” Mr Takedagawa added.

The car is based on Honda’s City platform and will have a high 70% localisation. Jazz is likely to endorse Honda pioneered V-Tec technology for high fuel efficiency, which is already used in the Honda City engine. It is expected to have the highest fuel efficiency in its segment. Jazz will also qualify for the concessional 8% excise duty under government’s small car definition.

Jazz will have customisation option for navigation system, in-car entertainment, sporty tyres and other gizmos at the dealer level. It will be launched with manual transmission and will be studded with an automatic transmission later. Honda is not positioning the Jazz as a volume generator and its best selling sedan City will remain the largest car for Honda in India. Thus Honda might not price the Jazz as aggressively.