Brand New 2015 Honda Jazz

Brand New 2015 Honda Jazz 

With Japanese car manufacturers, they say that the big jump when there’s major technological change occurs every two generations. They do this in order to save costs by extending the lifespan of their model platforms, besides the traditional multiple-body-single-chassis approach.

The last generations of the Honda Jazz were great; with plenty of features and sound engineering, they were also practical, compact hatchbacks. The only issue was the pricing with the first generation, which was of reach for most entry-level car buyers.

The introduction of the second generation Jazz helped to bridge the gap, without the need for cost-cutting measures. A higher volume and local assembly also helped to bring the price down, making it a solid contender.

But this third generation Jazz seems to be that big leap that we’ve been waiting for. It is, without a doubt, a proper step in the evolution of the model. Every aspect has been refined and improved, resulting in a product that feels properly premium.

Let’s start with the engine, a simple 1.5-litre power plant. It’s a single overhead cam unit (SOHC) which Honda doesn’t really shout about much since most modern engines are dual overhead cams (DOHC).

Some may feel that Honda is not on par with the market, but in reality Honda took the step from DOHC back to SOHC for the greater good. Having a SOHC system is easier to develop and tune, as well as having less complexity and lighter overall. For the purpose of an economy-oriented engine, the SOHC cylinder head is more than adequate, especially with the advancements in engine management technology.

The engine puts out a decent 120 ps/145 Nm of torque, a good figure for its segment. What is surprising about this engine is how quiet and smooth it is at idle, beating almost imperceptibly in the background. I’m inclined to say this refinement is on par with continental models in this respect.

In fact, on more than one occasion, I tried to restart the engine as I thought it was not running!

Paired with a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) again, power delivery is extremely smooth and fluid. The CVT, a re-engineered unit different from the one used earlier, may not appeal to driving enthusiasts but it is ideal for urban conditions.

Power train aside, there is plenty to be impressed with in the new Jazz. The interior has undergone a full re-work, while maintaining that driver-oriented switch positioning that has become commonplace across Honda’s model range.

On the higher spec variant like the one tested I tested, there’s also an impressive 7-inch touch screen unit. Unlike other companies that try to integrate an aftermarket unit into the dashboard, Honda’s system is properly incorporated and flush.

An innovation is touch-screen activated switches for adjusting air-conditioning temperature. However, there remains the problem of fingerprints on the glossy surface.

The platform of the Jazz is adapted from the City and what this means is that that despite not having the larger boot of a sedan for space, it manages to offer the impressively large amount of legroom that the sedan has. The Jazz allows for 4 adults to be seated comfortably, without those behind feeling cramped.

Also returning to this Jazz are the ULTRA seats which aim to maximise loading area and provide maximum practicality to Jazz owners. These seats fold up and down in numerous configurations, allowing one to load tall objects in the second row with ease (if you ever need to transport tall potted plants or fully assembled bicycles).

As for ride and handling, it goes without saying that they’re both quite impressive. The ride tends towards the limit of bumpiness, but this is more a result of the larger rims on the high spec variant rather than the suspension set-up itself.

Body control gets high marks while bumps and undulations are damped out quickly and effectively. The handling is nice and neutral, responding well to quick steering inputs and if the grip does diminish, it is progressive and predictable.

While the electric power steering system isn’t full of feel and feedback, it is still precise enough so you know what’s happening – which is really the most you can ask for in an entry level mass-market car.

On the whole, Honda has really improved the Jazz with this third generation which has prices starting from RM72, 135 in Sabah. They’ve capitalized on the mass market sales to help reduce the cost of premium items and to improve quality.

The styling may be a little more bulbous and MPV-esque, shifting away from the sporty look of the second generation. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as younger customers who don’t seem to desire something sporty and quick anymore, instead opting for fuel efficiency and practicality. And the Jazz delivers.

Source: newsabahtimes


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