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Honda’s new Jazz plays a cool beat


Well, jazz, is essentially a style of complex musical compositions. Most modern day music can trace its origins back to jazz. If you were to study music, chances are that you will study jazz. However, we are all about cars and although we love good music, we love cars even more. So in this case when we talk about jazz we are referring to the Honda Jazz, and in particular the new one.

Now in its third-generation, the Jazz represents a significant step up from its highly successful, and hugely popular, predecessor. This new Jazz combines Hondas new striking design language with enhanced interior space as well as technological and economical features. Honda wants to make this new Jazz cool…

So, is it cool?

I tend to think so. Compared to its softer, more rounded predecessor this new Jazz just looks more dynamic. Honda wants to appeal to a younger market with this Jazz. They have gone to great lengths to improve the standard options list while keeping the prices down. In fact, the base spec Honda Jazz costs the same as the previous model yet has a few extra features.

The Design

This is very important if you want to be in with the cool kids and with a streamlined front end, steeply raked windscreen and sculpted flanks, the new Jazz looks linear and more aggressive than before. I rather fancy the front end of the Jazz. I like the chrome detail in the grill. What’s more is that the Jazz has pronounced wheel arches, sculpted flanks and deep, chiselled character lines, which add to its dynamic appearance.

What about inside?

Well, for starters this new Jazz is longer and wider than its predecessor. Length has been increased from 3 900mm to 3 955mm and width from 2 495mm to 2 530mm. This means that there is more space inside for stuff, thanks to four different seating configurations.

Apart from the improved space Honda has added a pretty cool infotainment system. The top spec Jazz models come with a flush-fitting, borderless seven-inch touch-screen display as the interface to the car’s standard audio system and trip computer, as well as Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free. However, it’s the presence of an HDMI port that really sets the system apart from other touchscreen-based infotainment systems. With an HDMI adapter cable, the port allows content from your smart phone, including music, movies and images, to be played back on the display. There are also applications available for things such as weather, news and even an app that tells you everything about your engine. Cool? You bet.

How much am I going to pay?

The new Jazz line-up in South Africa consists of seven models spanning two engines derivatives, two transmissions and four specification level choices meaning that there is literally a Jazz for everyone. Features such Bluetooth and airbags are standard across the range as well as a host of features. However as you start moving higher up in the range the features list gets longer.

The most affordable Jazz will be the 1.2 Trend with 66kW and 110Nm is offered with a manual gearbox (R179 900), followed by the Jazz 1.2 Comfort, which is available with a choice of manual (R204 900) or CVT transmission (R221 900).

With the 1.5-litre engine producing 88kW/145Nm, there are a choice of four Jazz derivatives. The Jazz 1.5 Elegance can be ordered with either manual (R234 900) or CVT transmission (R249 900), while the range-topping 1.5 Dynamic offers the same two transmission choices, manual R249 900 and the CVT is R264 900.

In conclusion

After zipping around the gorgeous roads in and around the city of Cape Town the sprightly little Jazz 1.5 Dynamic, which we were allocated, still has what it takes to remain a tough competitor within this segment. It’s more dynamic, technological and youthful than before yet retails Hondas renowned reliability appeal.

The new Honda Jazz range goes on sale in February 2015 through Honda Motor Southern Africa’s national dealer network.  All models except the entry-level Trend benefit from a four-year/60 000 km service plan included in the price, while services on all models are at 15 000 km intervals.

Article written by Justin Jacobs
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