Honda Jazz Facelift First Drive Review

Honda Jazz Test Drive

Honda Jazz Overview

The name ‘Jazz’ brings a lot of nostalgia as this small of a car from Honda coined the very term ‘premium hatchback’. Unlike others, this one didn’t have a conventional design as the slanting hood line with a wide body and a narrow rear pretty much made it a one-of-a-kind in its time.

Presently sold in more than 75 countries with sales of more than 5.5 Mn units, it makes a re-entry in the Indian market to bolster Honda’s position in the small car segment. The all new third generation Jazz gets a lot more than a whiff of an update with a new design on the outside as well as inside along with a new platform to support the modern architecture. In addition to the petrol powertrain, there is a diesel in the offering too with a claimed fuel efficiency of 27.3kmpl!!!

To experience it, what better place than Goa, famous for rhythmically moving palm trees, lustrous white sand and transparent water. Our first impression on the all new Jazz is here.

Honda Jazz Design

What’s changed? We wouldn’t blame you if you thought Honda hasn’t bothered changing anything with respect to the design. That’s because, they haven’t — at all. The “updated” version of the Jazz has had no changes to the sheet metal, or the bumpers. International markets got a fresher looking model in 2017, replete with sportier looking bumpers, new alloy wheels, and a full-LED headlamp cluster (a la Honda City). Sadly, the Indian version gets the short end of the stick.

There’s nothing substantial to report here, save for the small dollop of chrome on the door handles, and the extended lighting in the tail lamps. The added lights, though, are available only in the top-spec VX variant. Since we’re talking of the VX variant, do note that the Jazz no longer gets the sweet-looking spoiler.

Honda could have used this update to jazz it up a bit (pun intended), and throw in a pair of daytime running lamps if not the full-LED headlamps. But, that’s not been the case. What we do get, are two new colours borrowed from the Amaze – red and silver.

Honda Jazz Cabin

Like the exterior, the interiors too sport very few visible changes. The 2018 Jazz gets the same dashboard with a funky design and a flurry of asymmetric cues. It is well thought-out too, with nice touches including multiple cubby-holes, numerous cup holders and the touch controls for the air-con is intuitive too. Overall plastic quality, although largely good, is still a notch or two below the standards set by some of its competitors.

As before, the brilliance of the Jazz lies in its comfortable interiors. Entry into the massive cabin is made easy by large doors which open wide. Outward visibility is good, thanks to the generous glass area, but thick A-pillars obstruct view. The front seats are set at a good height and are broad with generous bolstering and comfortable over long journeys. But it’s the rear seat which is the real highlight. There is abundance of knee room at the rear and the generous width and flat floor makes it a decent five-seater too. Unlike the old car though, Honda has ditched the trademark magic seats, which is a shame. What has also been omitted are adjustable rear headrests. This a glaring exclusion, as the fixed headrests are too small and won’t help in case of a rear-end collision. The boot, like before, is generous and the low loading lip and wide opening makes loading heavy luggage an easy affair.

With the new Jazz, Honda has ditched the base E and SV trim. As a result, every variant of the Jazz is well equipped. The top Honda Jazz VX trim now comes with a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which has loads of features. It comes with 3D satellite navigation, Voice recognition, Mirror-link, two USB ports, HDMI port, 1.5GB of internal memory, Bluetooth telephony with music streaming and much more. It is a well-integrated unit and is easy to scroll through. Honda has also made rear parking sensors and speed sensing door lock standard, which honestly should have been there even on the earlier Jazz. Although the top CVT and the diesel variants get keyless go-and-cruise control, it has been weirdly omitted on the VX petrol manual variant. Overall the Jazz is well equipped but lags behind the competition as it doesn’t offer gizmos like LED DRLs, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers and auto dimming rear view mirror.

Honda Jazz Engine

If you have driven the previous gen, it won’t need much convincing for you to know that this new geeky looking sporty feeling Honda is as good as and also better than before. It won’t be exaggerating to state that the New Jazz is the best handler compared to any other Honda car sold in India.The pack of lines and flowing shapes on the outside have reduced the resistance and made it more aerodynamic than before. In the inside, the driver’s position gives a fair idea of the oncoming things, thanks to the wide front screen and a shallow hood position. The driver seat also gets a height adjustment, just in case you wish to rise and get a better look of the surroundings.

Under the hood, it gets the cat purr like silent i-VTEC petrol engine, also seen earlier, which has been refined further with efficiency in focus. Shall elaborate more on this later as the most important headlines making addition in the new Jazz has to be its diesel motor. Sharing its architecture and almost everything else with that in City and Amaze, the i-DTEC engine has been refined further, as claimed by the officials. Another vital piece of info is that the New Jazz is available in diesel only in India and nowhere else making it an India only variant. To know more information on Honda Jazz check Seepennywork

Unlike the Elite i20, it doesn’t get cranked up by a touch of a finger as it has to be keyed in. Yup! There is no push Start/Stop, wonder if that can be a deterrent aspect. Once the motor is cranked and running, it is noticeably audible, not to the levels of Amaze, and continues to be at higher decibels at lower engine speeds. The coarse exhaust note increases as it crosses 1700 rpm – 1800 rpm on 1st gear, wherein it builds momentum.

The narrow roads of Goa with a decent amount of traffic flowing all over compel often gear shifts to keep the motor revving. Impressively, the i-DTEC has a strong low range torque output making it convenient to haul anywhere with great ease, the only condition being the motor is kept afloat around the 2000 rpm mark. Once the revs build stronger as it enters midrange, the engine noise drops and the unit feels very confident.

In terms of specs, the 1498cc diesel motor makes 100PS of power and generates 200Nm of torque and comes equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission. The higher torque rating of the motor makes it ideal for highways and long distance commutes. Also, the sticky shift quality of the manual transmission especially while driving inside the city gets shadowed at higher revs.The only best way to drive in the by lanes and manoeuvre city traffic is to do it using the i-VTEC petrol engine, which is Honda’s prized arsenal against any other gasoline engine. It is the best petrol unit to drive, and till date, very few manufacturers have developed a petrol unit as impressive as this.

With a displacement of 1198cc, this unit makes 90PS of power and generates 110Nm of torque. The engine comes mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. The similarity with the earlier model ends here. Sighting the popularity of AT variants in competing models, the new Jazz is also offered with a CVT automatic transmission. It also gets paddle shifters, to make it more engaging.

It is pure music, when the pushed harder, as the valves work over time to create a sporty note and is at its best when at peak. It feels nimble at low range, one does miss the heavier torque of the diesel, but the petrol motor is very peppy. It is also easier to steer as the light weight steering wheel does a great job of turning the nose as and when required.

The manual transmission is super quick and obediently shifts to higher or lower gears making it ideal for city conditions. Drive it fast and enter corners, even at the smack of a turn, it feels very much in control with a negligible roll. Downshift and toss the revs higher to make it exit the turn, it does the same without any drama. The only slight of an issue are the tyres, which do not grab the tarmac strongly with its lower grip. About the CVT, we couldn’t get to drive it in Goa but be rest assured as we will feature it in our upcoming reviews.

Honda Jazz Riding

If you don’t like to use the clutch or shift gears too much, Honda also gives you the option of an automatic transmission. The auto ‘box works really well in traffic and is quite responsive at low to medium speeds. Being CVT, the Jazz feels jerk free and proves to be a comfortable city commuter. However, ask for more power and the rubberband effect of the CVT gearbox pretty much eliminates the direct link between the throttle and engine responsiveness. Things do improve when you shift to Sport mode or manually select the ratio via the steering mounted paddle shifters. Overall, the automatic works very well in the city but out on the highway, it feels out of its comfort zone.

Where the 2018 Jazz has improved substantially is in terms of suspension refinement. Gone is the clunky suspension, and the 2018 Jazz just glides over imperfections with surprising ease. It still feels firm, but it´s well judged and it never feels uncomfortable. We also feel this is due to Honda ditching low rolling resistance Michelin’s for MRF’s, as the softer sidewall of the latter gives the ride a softer edge. The Jazz was never meant to thrill around corners, but it does hold its own in terms of the way it drives. Pushing it hard into corners results in the tyres fighting for grip, but it isn’t half as bad as you may imagine from such slim rubber. Even the electric power steering feels quite accurate and makes the Jazz always feels surefooted and stable.

Honda Jazz Safety

In line with upcoming safety norms, the Jazz gets dual airbags, ABS and reverse parking sensors as standard. Other secondary safety features include a seatbelt reminder, front fog lamps, an immobilizer and a rear defogger.

Honda Jazz Price in Hyderabad

Honda Jazz On Road Price is 8,73,268/- and Ex-showroom Price is 7,45,000/- in Hyderabad. Honda Jazz comes in 6 colours, namely Sunset Orange,Golden Brown Metallic,Urban Titanium Metallic,Taffeta White,Carnelian Red Pearl,Alabaster Silver Metallic. Honda Jazz comes with FWD with 1199 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 89 bhp@6000 rpm and Peak Torque 110 Nm@4800 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Honda Jazz comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .View offers on Jazz in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

Honda Jazz Verdict

Time to answer the question at the beginning. Is there more to the Jazz than a rejigged feature list? The answer, is no. Honda has done enough to ensure that the Jazz is more in tune with the times. We’re glad there’s a 21st century-approved touchscreen, with the correct set of connectivity options. What we aren’t too kicked about are the deletion of features, especially the magic seats, which in our opinion was THE defining feature of the Jazz. All said and done, the 2018 Honda Jazz isn’t a biblically different product compared to what you could buy for the past three years. It’s just as dependable, drivable and accommodating as ever.

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