Hyped as the biggest product comeback of 2015, the new third generation Honda Jazz hopes to erase all memories of its predecessor and create new ones of its own. Well, that might not be completely true since the last car was responsible for setting a benchmark standard for a premium hatch. It was spacious, practical and efficient. However, there was a problem, it was overpriced and it failed to fit in the Honda lineup. But a lot has changed since then; Honda now has a better understanding of the market and has had the experience of playing hardball in the mass segments. And the fact that the car is a runaway hit, now gives Honda plenty of room to play with.
Honda's "crossfade mono form exterior" for the Jazz bares new sporty elements that makes the car look a bit more appealing than its predecessor. However, the design cues are not completely authentic since some of them have been borrowed from the City; like the narrow headlights and the front grille blending into each other as one. We thought that the mesh on the lower bumper did look a tad-bit incomplete and a clear view of the radiator through that could have been easily hidden. Although, we particularly adored the extended belt line, across the side and all the way till the tail-lights. The side profile does give it a sporty, low stance look on its 15 inch alloys. At the back, the roof spoiler is quite prominent and the car has LED tail and stop lamps along with a chrome strip that makes the rear styling pop out.
On the inside, the Jazz has improved quite substantially, with more rear legroom and spacing between the front passengers. The touch and feel is also a generation ahead, with a 7-inch screen wrapped in the piano black centre console. It also allows the driver to take care of the audio and vehicle settings. However the mid and high spec models get an electrostatic-operated climate control system.
Higher-spec versions feel reasonably plush compared to the basic model, thanks to a soft-touch dashboard covering, but elsewhere though, the hard scratchy plastics aren't nearly so appealing. The dashboard on the basic models are made from the cheap plastic, making the cabin feel pretty dreary. The touch-screen infotainment system, isn’t ideal either, it’s a little cluttered and complicated to use. But once you get used to how it works, though, you’ll enjoy your access to the internet and a whole bunch of online apps. What pleased us the most is that, all the versions have the high seating position and clear visibility.
Powering the Jazz, is the same old 1.5-litre four-cylinder, but Honda has replaced the five-speed automatic with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Even though they have used the old DOHC i-VTEC engine, it has been tuned up to produce 130HP, 10 more than what the old model produced. Which means zipping around the busy streets of Dhaka and merging into traffic will not be a problem. In fact, it will never make you feel the need for more power, courtesy of the nicely sorted CVT.
Like all of the Honda's these days, the Jazz is designed for optimal safety in the most rigorous of new crash tests, and pedestrian protection in the event of a collision. It has all the usual safety refinements as standard and the active safety features includes the city-brake forward collision warning and mitigation system, which employs autonomous braking when a collision is eminent.
Like the previous generation of the Jazz, this new version truly excels on versatility and practicality. It’s also competitively well equipped. Furthermore, from the past generation we have learned that it is in fact one of the most reliable cars to own. Even though it is not the last word in quality or ergonomics, but if those aren’t your priorities, the Jazz does deserve some serious consideration.
DHS Motors Ltd
11, Mohakhali C/A, Dhaka-1212
Price: Call for pricing