“Jazz” is one of the loveliest car name I find in India. A name complementing the car’s truly gorgeous design and styling. This versatile car entered India in 2009 with much fanfare, but never lived up to all those hypes in reaching out to buyers. Honda led way for other profitable models by putting Jazz to dormancy in 2013, and since then I’m waiting for the next-gen Jazz to come back with a blast. Finally, after delays and delays and delays(!!), Honda Cars India has started its production few weeks back at its new plant and its launch is expected around March or April.
So, the new Jazz is here finally. Here is what we can expect from this funky hatch. Do you hear the Jazz?? I certainly do!
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Jazz is a pompous car from Honda’s global-line up, a successful and tested hatch so to speak. The last generation Jazz in India has a really tough time primarily because of two main reasons. First, it was costly, way notch higher than regular hatchbacks. Sedans were within an ace of, in fact its larger sibling City sedan was one among those smashers. The other reason being that the Jazz was a petrol-only model. Honda had no diesel-tech at that time, the period when every average car buyers liked diesel’s economy. Thus, Jazz became a niche car at the Honda showrooms, it was almost forgotten in its last years of existence.
But Jazz was hardly a bad car. It was bigger than any hatch, more suitably a “wagovan”. The larger, ‘cab forward’ body styling was out-of-the-box, way smarter than any other hatch in India. Cabin quality and design was extra-ordinary, spacious inside, practical, feature richness, terrific driving position and feel, and splendid engine both in performance and mileage. A perfect city car for enthusiasts so to speak.
All that said, now let’s talk about the new third-generation Jazz that we wait for. It was previewed at the Delhi Auto Expo last year, the second Honda in India to feature the brand’s new global design language after the City sedan. It is sleeker, bolder, and more-aggressive looking than the previous egg-like Jazz, and also rides on a new platform.There are too many ‘X’ and ‘V’ lines all over the body, giving it a strong character. The short hood and thick A-pillar is what defines the Jazz, both the old and new ones. There will still be visibility issues past the thicker A-pillar, but that isn’t a critical negative necessarily, cars driving is full of blind spots!
# Fresh and sporty design is retained from the old Jazz, expect a sleeker, bolder, and more-aggressive hatch unlike any other!
# Cleaner, more upscale, and less busy interiors is assured!
The new City’s dashboard design can be taken as reference, but there are notable differences as well. The pictures tell you that. But it is certainly way forward than that of Amaze, which is ridiculously dreary like a small hatch. The 5-inch touchscreen system from the City will be offered in the higher trims no doubt about that.
# Imagine a car to carry a world in it! New Jazz is going to be spacious and practical than any other hatches. The new Jazz must be roomier and more spacious than the last model. It could easily humble larger sedan (definitely compact-sedans) on rear seat space and legroom. The boot gets an additional 26 litres viz-a-viz the old car to stand at 363 litres of volume. If you need more, the split and fold rear seats can help you. The prime reason why folding rear seat becomes awkward in most of the car is the fuel tank underneath. The new Jazz cleverly manages the 40-litre gas tank right below the front row seats. I don’t know whether Honda will offer the “Refresh Mode” seat reclining support in India. Remove the front headrests, push the backrests fully till they
meet the rear seat base and you get a comfy recliner. I hope it offers, please Honda please!
# Prodigious Petrol and blissful Diesel engine. But it’s late Bro!!
I guess the diesel obsession in the car market is pacified owing to the diesel price deregulation
, the dealers have already started stopping offers and rate-cuts to petrols. Honda was little late to tap that opportunity, which many others actually did. But then, this is not to say diesel is dead. Long driving needs will still be economically met in diesel only. The 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel unit from City will be exciting for Jazz, more so for a CVT and a performace version.
The 1.2 litre i-VTEC petrol engine from Brio/ Amaze will be the other engine offering for Jazz, which is again a prodigy. The 1.5 litre petrol from City would be perfect for a car of this sort, but the 1200 cc capping for small cars in India will prevent that sadly.
# Jazz was rich in features last time. Expect this time too! Keyless entry, starter button, power side-mirrors,
an integrated music system with a reverse camera, dual front airbags,
ABS, alloy wheels, climate control and a multifunction steering wheel.
# Please take care pricing, Honda! Last time it played havoc for Jazz, but I don’t expect any chance in that attitude. Customer’s affordability and preferences have changed in these five years, we see people are willing to pay higher for hatches, at least in cities. The new car is “Jazzed up” too, so pricing will still be high. But one major factor would be the 90% localisation of the new car at Honda’s new Rajasthan plant dedicated for City/ Jazz platform, it may or may not help.
# Conclusively, we look ahead a Jazz that is more refined than what we had, with a better highway handling and improved practicalities. Great job, Honda. Let’s hope it is even more fun to drive.