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2015 Honda Jazz Review

S. Muralidhar | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on June 13, 2015

jazz front

jazz side

jazz church

jazz side close-up

jazz on the move

jazz steering wheel

movin jazz

orange jazz

jaz speed

jazz engine

jazz front deck

jazz gear shift

jazz loaded steering wheel

The Honda Jazz is not an unfamiliar model in the Indian market. Honda hesitated initially to bring it to India because it shared the same platform as that of the City making it expensive by the average prices for B+ segment hatchbacks of that time. In many markets the Jazz is more expensive than the City.

Despite knowing that this kind of pricing formula can't work for India, Honda went ahead and launched the car here after attempting to source components from Thailand — its other Asian manufacturing hub. The result was still a price that put the Jazz beyond reach for most premium small car buyers. In fact, sales of the Hyundai i20, which was launched just before the Jazz debuted, picked up substantially after the Jazz's price announcement, because the i20 suddenly seemed like such good value.

But the Honda Jazz became an aspirational icon, it still is, and is probably the reason why current Jazz owners swear by the car and don't want to part with it. The Jazz kind of started the maturing process of the Indian premium hatch buyer.

Now, finally, after what seemed like an interminable wait, the Jazz is back. And Honda is confident that it won't be making the same mistake of out-pricing the car again, thanks largely to the 95 per cent localisation that it has managed for the Jazz even at launch. The official unveil of the new 2015 Jazz is due on July 8 this year. But we got to test drive the new car in Goa and here are our first impressions.

Design

In terms of design, the Jazz is the classic Honda profile. Steeply raked A-pillar, short stubby bonnet with sharply sloping slab, cabin mid-forward position and the wheels set at the extremities of the car are all features that can make one identify it to be a Honda even if the badge is hidden. The car is now just shy of the magic 4 metres length and compared to the previous model, the new Jazz is 55mm longer and its wheelbase is 30mm more. Surprisingly though, the new model looks more compact than the predecessor.

The design concept is called 'Bullet' by Honda and the other dimensions of the new Jazz remain the same as the predecessor's. Viewed from the side, the new Jazz is similarly strikingly Honda with its gradually rising shoulder line and a deep cut waistline that ends at the tail-lamp, and curves down to form the haunches very much like in the Mobilio's design. The rear features large tail-lamps and a tail-gate that cuts deep into the rear fender offering a low loading height into the boot. Scoops cut out from the front and rear fenders give the Jazz an aggressive new stance. Chrome elements are prominent in the two-layered bonnet grille with the metal strip and at the rear where the chrome garnish visually enhances the width of the car.

The new Jazz's paint job is excellent and it now has a signature orange body colour. We personally liked the Carnelion Red that also sits so well on the Honda City. 15-inch alloys fill out the wheel arches well. Luggage capacity is 354 litres and can be expanded by folding down rear seats. The rear seats backrest can also be inclined by about 5 degrees to allow back-benchers a more relaxed seating position. Six-footers will find that the roof is also tall enough to give them comfy accommodation unlike a few other hatches.

The cabin is a big change in fit and finish quality and the quality of materials used. This looks so much like the Honda quality we have come to expect. A driver-oriented layout for the dashboard, a digital instrument cluster with changing LED prompters to tell you if you are driving economically and a central infotainment system with an option of a larger touchscreen system are the highlights. Steering mounted controls, a touchscreen climate control system and more premium trim elements on the dash are available in higher trim variants. The theme of the cabin is black and grey with two different seat trims.

The amount of legroom at the rear is the big surprise element in the new Jazz's cabin. Much of the additional wheelbase has been leveraged to increase kneeroom. The fuel tank profile has also been reduced to ensure that cabin's floor is flatter allowing for an increase in the track for seat adjustment.

Performance

The new Jazz is being offered with a petrol and a diesel engine option. The petrol engine is the 1.2-litre i-VTEC generating 90PS of peak power and 110Nm of peak torque. This engine is paired with either the 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT (continuously variable transmission) gearbox. The engine is the predictably refined petrol powertrain from Honda with the manual gearbox offering slick, short shifts. The CVT is as much a delight use, thanks to the steering-mounted paddle shifters that are being offered by Honda, finally. So, even if you find the eco-conscious CVT a bit too slow to kick down and help you with the overtake manoeuvre, you can now take control, blip the paddles and go down the gears and go on.

The diesel engine on offer is the 1.5-litre i-DTEC in the same state of tune and with the same 6-speed manual gearbox as is currently on offer in the Honda City. Generating 100PS of peak power and 200Nm of peak torque, this engine is quite a gem in terms of how tractable it is and the amount of low end torque available from as low as 1,400rpm makes it very useable in city driving conditions. It was a bit noisy in the City's cabin and it continues to be so in the Jazz too. But the clatter of the diesel engine and general noise levels are very much tolerable at low rpms. It is only past the 2,500 rpm levels that the noise starts intruding.

Both the engines offer adequate power and torque, the lag in delivery is there, but is fairly short before the car pulls ahead clean. Gear stick shift quality is great, though a bit prominent and 'notchy'.

Bottomline

The Jazz's ride quality is also a good balance of stiffness and accommodation. The rains had started in Goa and there were patches of rough road in places, though overall this tourist-friendly city's roads are always clean. There is almost no body roll and the Jazz steering also felt quite precise for a car in this class. We would have liked a wider tyre, but with the car still focused on delivering good mileage this would have been a problem. Talking of efficiency, the petrol Jazz has a claimed rating of 18.7 kmpl for the manual and 19 kmpl for the CVT variants. The diesel Jazz is said to be capable of delivering 27.3 kmpl of mileage.

The Jazz is finally looking super promising with its build quality and overall appeal. Honda officials claim that they are absolutely sure that they will be pricing this new model aggressively thanks to localisation. We will wait to see if they keep their promise. We expect prices to range between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 11 lakh.

Technical Specifications

2015 Honda Jazz

Dimensions

Overall Length 3,955mm

Overall Width 1,694mm

Overall Height 1,544mm

Wheelbase 2,530mm

Ground Clearance 165mm

Kerb Weight 1,007-1,066 kgs

Boot Volume 354 Litres

Turning Radius 5.1 Metres

Petrol Engine

Type 4-Cyl, SOHC, i-VTEC

Displacement 1,198cc

Peak Power 90PS @ 6,000rpm

Peak Torque 110Nm @4,800rpm

Transmission 5-speed Manual & CVT (Auto)

Rated Fuel Efficiency MT-18.7 kmpl / CVT-19 kmpl

Diesel Engine

Type 4-Cyl, DOHC, i-DTEC

Displacement 1,498cc

Peak Power 100PS @ 3,600rpm

Peak Torque 200Nm @ 1,750rpm

Transmission 6-Speed Manual

Rated Fuel Efficiency MT - 27.3 kmpl

Suspension

Front McPherson Strut, Coil Spring

Rear Torsion Beam Axle, Coil Spring

Brakes

Front Disc

Rear Drum

Tyres 175/ 65 R15

Estimated Price Rs 8 lakh to Rs 11 lakh

Published on June 13, 2015
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