The new Honda Jazz takes everything people loved about the older Jazz - practicality, ease-of-use and low running costs - and brings it even more up to date. One of the biggest changes is a new hybrid powertrain which aims to help the Jazz to become even more frugal while lowering emissions. Let’s take a look at it in a bit more detail.
The outside look of the Jazz has been taken firmly into the future; it’s sharper, more eye-catching yet still well-rounded. In short, it’s a great compromise between being interesting without appearing too ‘look at me’. The front of the car features distinctive LED running lights and a svelte front grille, while a rounded windscreen gives it a futuristic look. One thing is for certain - few people will find the look of the new Jazz boring.
This Honda Hybrid has a seamless and clean design. With new structural technologies, the A-pillar is half the width of that on the previous model, which has improved forward horizontal visibility.
Honda has breathed new life into the Jazz’s interior thanks to the inclusion of new materials and a fresh design which takes styling cues from the firm’s upcoming ‘e’ EV. However, practicality hasn’t been forgotten about; Honda has included its clever ‘Magic Seats’ technology to give even more interior space. Fold them up, and you’ve got a huge amount of load area to play with behind the front seats - the Jazz is a whole lot bigger than its exterior proportions would lead you to expect.
The interior quality of the all-new Jazz provides high levels of comfort and spaciousness. The contemporary interior layout offers a clean look and mirrors the sleek exterior. This is complemented by an uncluttered, user-friendly instrument panel. Honda have designed wider, body-stabilizing front seats which feature mat-structure support to help prevent fatigue on long journeys. Along with improved rear-seat design and a thicker rear seat pad provides greater comfort for passengers too.
Honda has had a long-standing reputation for including plenty of technology in its new cars and the Jazz is no different. The Jazz Hybrid is packed with infotainment technology. The seamless in-car connectivity and a WiFi hotspot ensure occupants can stay connected with everyday life.
The new LCD touchscreen interface features familiar smartphone-style usability, with swipe controls to browse recently used applications and media lists. The comprehensive suite of in-built apps can be supplemented by seamless smartphone mirroring, via built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is available for Jazz occupants via a wireless connection for the first time.
Honda Sensing technology has been enhanced with the application of a new wider, higher-definition camera, replacing the previous camera and radar set-up, which improves awareness of vehicle surroundings, including recognition of verges without kerbs or roadside markings. Oher improve features include Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
The Honda Jazz is only be available with an advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, which provides an exceptional blend of strong and effortless driving performance and impressive fuel economy. The system is newly developed for Jazz and provides a smooth, responsive and direct driving feel.
Despite its compact proportions, the Jazz packs in a lot of cutting-edge engine technology. The Jazz is only available as a hybrid now, and that means you get a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine linked to two electric motors. One of the motors is used to power the wheels, while the other converts energy coming from the petrol engine and stores it in the small on-board battery. The Jazz can be driven in electric-only mode, or in full hybrid mode, which combines the two. Of course, it can be driven by the petrol engine on its own, too - when travelling on motorways, for instance.
SE comes as the entry point to the Jazz range, but don’t go thinking it’s some Spartan specification - Honda has ensured that the SE brings plenty of equipment. It receives the full infotainment setup, air conditioning and cruise control as well as electric windows and those all-important magic seats
Bump up to SR grade and you’ll find front and rear parking sensors added to the list of standard equipment, as well as Apple CarPlay and 15-inch alloy wheels. It doesn’t build on the SE trim too much, but the addition of parking sensors will likely be an addition to persuade many.
EX trim level is where equipment levels really jump. Keyless entry and start gets added to the list, while a high-end leather steering wheel gives the car a more luxurious feel. One of the biggest additions here, however, is a full Garmin navigation system which for many will be a key feature - and it’s certainly one which helps when getting around.
EX Style is the perfect trim level for those who want the practicality and performance with a touch of style. This trim level includes all the great features of the EX but also includes Crystal black body-side mouldings, Painted Two-Tone Roof along with Unique two-tone 16" alloy wheels.
Finally, there’s Crosstar EX, which Honda has given a go-anywhere appeal. It gains water-repellent upholstery for those who live more adventurous lifestyles - and makes the Jazz ideal for surfers or swimmers - while chrome roof rails mean there’s the option of fitting roof racks or accessories. The Crosstar also benefits from an intricate alloy wheel design which helps to add presence to the Jazz.
What is it?
The Honda Jazz is a car that is synonymous with reliable, honest motoring. It’s a vehicle that, for many people, provides the kind of transportation that starts at the turn of a key and doesn’t throw up any unwanted issues. But how do you move on from that? Well, Honda is hoping to inject some fun - as well as some added efficiency - into the mix with its new Jazz Hybrid.
The main changes in this latest Jazz surround both how it looks and how it's powered - but we’ll get into those in more detail shortly. Elsewhere, we’ve still got the same relatively boxy layout as before which helps to boost interior space, but the pillars have been made a little narrower to help with visibility.
Inside, there’s a new touchscreen infotainment that boasts improved functionality for more intuitive controls.
What’s under the bonnet?
The new Jazz boasts one of Honda’s latest powertrains. In fact, it’s the first car to wear its new e:HEV badging that’ll be used to signify all of the firm’s electrified powertrains from now on. Here, we’ve got a 1.5-litre petrol engine linked to two electric motors. This setup works to try and drive on electric power whenever possible and uses the petrol engine much like a generator, feeding energy to the battery.
This means that at slow speed the Jazz drives much like an electric vehicle, with the engine only being called into play when more acceleration is required.
What’s it like to drive?
Though the new powertrain might be designed to offer a more electric-style driving experience, it doesn’t deliver the kind of acceleration we’d expect from a battery-powered vehicle. It encourages a more sedate style of driving, in fact, while the large windscreen and slim new pillars help to generate loads of visibility. It rides really nicely too and soaks up the worst of the bumps that the road has to offer - particularly at slower speeds. That said, it’s still very refined at a motorway cruise, too.
How does it look?
The Jazz might retain its classically boxy, upright shape as before but it’s a distinctly different-looking car to its predecessor. You’ve got streamlined headlights and a smoothed-off grille, while around the back this rounded effect is continued. There’s a load of practicality that comes as a result of that design, mind you, with the tall stance making it easier to get in and out, while the wide door apertures only help this further.
What’s it like inside?
The Jazz is a car which has become famous for its ease-of-use, so this hasn’t been disrupted with this new generation. For instance, it still has the excellent ‘Magic Seats’ which easily fold away and provide a huge amount of load space. In fact, with the seats up there’s a respectable 304 litres, but this increases up to 1,205 litres with all of the seats folded. It’s impressively flexible and means that the Jazz can handle more luggage than you might expect.
What’s the spec like?
In keeping with the rest of the Honda range, the Jazz packs a whole lot of standard equipment. Starting in SE trim, you get features such as adaptive cruise control, climate control, those ‘Magic Seats’ and automatic headlights all included. You could move up to SR grade and find features such as fabric and leather upholstery added, alongside Apple CarPlay and front and rear parking sensors. Top-spec EX models take this one step further with 16-inch alloy wheels, a heated steering wheel and rear-view camera, to name but a few additions.
This new Jazz only continues the idea that this is a car that can be relied upon. It’s practical, efficient and comfortable to drive, so it’ll fit the bill for many drivers after a fuss-free mode of transport. It’s also packed with equipment regardless of which specification you opt for - so it offers great value for money, too.