*New platform, body design, engines, transmissions and interior
* Builds on the strengths of the current car
* Even more spacious and versatile interior
* Lower emissions and impressive economy through new VTEC engines
* Double-Trunk boot brings increased flexibility to load space
* High quality interior materials and design
Honda's all-new Jazz is once again set to redefine the B-segment parameters of practicality and interior space. The 5-door hatchback will achieve class leading interior space and combined it with significantly improved fuel economy and 120 g/km CO2 emissions (1.4-litre i-SHIFT and 1.2-litre).
The exterior design is at first glance an evolution rather than a revolution, but this subtle change of appearance is only one small part of the thousands of changes that push the all-new Jazz forward. It retains the concepts of the previous Jazz with its centre fuel tank layout and Magic Seats which gave it world beating interior flexibility. Yet while the best features are retained, including cabin space to rival mid-sized saloons, the new Jazz brings change to every area, raising the bar even further and promising to expand on its success in the supermini segment. The previous generation was given more than fifty awards and has sold over two million around the world since its 2001 launch.
A slightly larger, cab forward' style body brings better visibility and means Jazz is even more spacious, benefiting rear legroom and boot space in particular. The Magic Seats now dive down in one easy action and their versatility is now complemented by a new Double-Trunk boot feature in the luggage bay.
There are greater levels of safety equipment including the introduction of Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, active front seat head restraints and VSA. Larger wheels, revised suspension and a longer wheelbase/wider track bring greater agility while enhancing ride comfort. And new 90 PS 1.2-litre and 100 PS 1.4-litre i-VTEC engines deliver better performance characteristics while boosting economy to exceptional levels - 5.1 and 5.3 l/100 km combined, respectively. CO2 emissions for both the 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre engines have also been significantly reduced. The 1.2 litre engine now emits just 120g/km (down from 129g/km), while the 1.4 litre produces 123g/km in manual or 120g/km with the i-SHIFT transmission (down from 137g/km)
Greater economy and lower emission from two new engines
New, more powerful petrol engines, capable of outstanding economy, are designed to appeal to customers who might be downsizing as well as those looking to achieve fuel economy comparable to diesel powered models. Their balance between economy and lively performance are unmatched in the class. Adopting Honda's VTEC technology (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control), the new 1.2 and 1.4-litre four-cylinder engines are connected to either a 5-speed manual transmission or, on 1.4 models, Honda's i-SHIFT 6-speed automated manual transmission which includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Offering 90 PS compared to the 78 PS of its predecessor at a slightly higher 6,000 rpm and torque up from 110 to 114 Nm for improved performance, the 1.2-litre engine nevertheless achieves 5.1 l/100km combined, down from 5.5 l/100km, while CO2 emissions are also improved, reduced from 129 to 120 g/km.
It is a similar story with the new 100 PS, 127 Nm 1.4-litre engine. Compared to the previous i-DSI unit which produced 83 PS and 119 Nm, fuel economy is now 5.3 l/100km for the manual model (down from 5.8 l/100km) and an even better 5.1 l/100km when equipped with the i-SHIFT semi-automated manual transmission (5.9 l/100km for the previous 1.4-litre CVT). CO2 output drops to 124 and 120 g/km, respectively (down from 137 and 139 g/km).
The new SIL (Shift Indicator Light) fitted to manual models, similar to that found on the new Accord, provides a visual prompt of the best gear shift points to maximise economy.
The 1.2 and 1.4-litre models are equipped with an evolution of the previous 5-speed manual transmission with gear ratios optimised for a more sporty driving experience while ensuring good fuel economy.
Key improvements include a revised clutch pedal stroke, carbon-type synchroniser on third gear to minimise shift load, crisper shifting through reduced clutch disc inertia and improved refinement.
Manual transmission-equipped models feature the new SIL (Shift Indicator Light) within the centre of the rev counter, also found on the latest Honda Accord. Providing the driver with a visual prompt of the best gear shift points to maximise economy, it has been demonstrated to provide meaningful fuel economy improvements.
i-SHIFT (6-speed automated manual transmission)
As well as a 5-speed manual gearbox, the 1.4-litre engine can be teamed up with Honda's latest i-SHIFT transmission. The first time a 6-speed automated manual transmission has been offered in this vehicle class, the gearbox offers better fuel economy than is possible with either a true automatic or a CVT (continuously variable transmission).
The unit is a development of the system first fitted to the Civic, with improvements made including; reduced gear change times, smoother shifts and more intelligent automatic mode shift logic.
New cab forward styling and increased dimensions
At 3900 mm long, 1695 mm wide and 1525 mm tall, the new Jazz occupies its own unique niche between superminis and compact MPVs, offering the style of the former and the practicality of the latter.
Overall height remains the same, but the length of the new Jazz is up by 55 mm and it is also slightly wider - by 20 mm. A wheelbase increase of 50 mm, and front and rear track increases of 35 mm and 30 mm, respectively, aid handling stability.
Despite those increased dimensions, the turning circle at 9.8 m kerb to kerb is no larger than that of the previous Jazz and together with improved visibility, the new car's around town abilities are even better.
New ACE body structure
Even more efficient safety performance results from the introduction of the ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure, a concept that is being progressively rolled out across the Honda range. Its structure, in particular a front polygonal main frame, helps to reduce the negative effect of misalignment between vehicles of different sizes and construction and multiple energy absorbing pathways disperse impact energy to prevent cabin deformation.
Standard on all models are dual front and side airbags, full length side curtain airbags and three-point seatbelts in all five seating positions, those in the front with dual-stage pretensioners. The front passenger airbag can also be deactivated to allow a rear facing child seat to be fitted to the front seat and for the first time Jazz is equipped with seatbelt reminders for both the front and rear seats. Front seats are also fitted with active headrests to minimise the potential for whiplash injuries.
Two ISOFIX fittings in the left and right rear seats together with tether anchors in the roof ensure correct child seat installation.
Larger, more refined cabin with even better functionality
The ingenious interior layout of the original Jazz, with its compact suspension and centrally-mounted fuel tank liberating more load space, together with the increased external dimensions of the new model, mean interior comfort has been taken to a new level.
Rear seat passengers now have 37 mm greater knee room, while the distance between front and rear passengers is up by 30 mm. The slightly wider body also means shoulder room increases by 44 mm in the front and 43 mm in the rear.
Visibility gets a considerable boost, too. Reduced width A-pillars, a larger windscreen and quarter windows three times the size of those in the previous model make for more relaxed driving, while retractable rear headrests ensure the view out of the rear window is now totally unobscured.
Magic Seats now one-motion dive-down
Given the popularity of the previous Jazz's innovative cinema' style rear seats, it comes as little surprise that Honda chose to offer a similar arrangement in the new car; but while the latest Magic Seats operate on the same principle, they are even more convenient since they have a one-motion, dive-down operation. No longer is there a need to move the front seats forward to collapse the rear seats. Instead, thanks to headrests that are virtually flush with the seatback, the 2:1 split rear seats are able to clear the front seats even when the latter are slid back to their rearmost position.
New Double-Trunk boot feature (1.4-litre models)
The outstanding practicality of the Magic Seats concept is complemented in the new Jazz by a flexible luggage area based on similar principles to the arrangement found in the Honda CR-V. Standard on 1.4 models, which are equipped with a tyre repair kit, the Double-Trunk boot features an underfloor storage area concealed by a double hinged panel - Regular Mode. The 230 mm deep, 64 litre capacity lower compartment is ideal for stashing sports gear or wet items, and once covered, won't soil other luggage.
The floor can be removed altogether or folded up against the rear seats to make full use of the total depth available - ideal for particularly tall objects (Tall Mode). Alternatively, rather than folding the complete panel against the seat backs, its rear half can be folded up to create a load shelf at half height - so creating a double load space - Upper/lower Mode. Heavier items can be stored below, while lighter items can be placed on the upper shelf, and since it incorporates a load net, is perfect for carrying awkwardly shaped items, preventing them from moving around.
Total luggage space available is 399 litres in models with a tyre repair kit, greater than that of some compact MPVs and class-leading in the supermini sector. The previous Jazz had a total of 380 litres (VDA).
Refined cabin environment
High quality, pleasant-to-the touch materials, stylish design and tasteful colours give the cabin a more upmarket feel.
More comfortable front seats with better support, a driver's footrest, a height adjustable driver's seat, a steering wheel adjustable for reach and rake and larger rear seats are just some of the features that contribute to the more cosseting, more relaxed cabin environment. Extra sound insulation and the increased body rigidity also play their part in making the Jazz a pleasant place to be. And for a real sense of spaciousness, the Jazz 1.4 EX is equipped with a panorama roof that extends over the rear seats for a great aerial view. Heat absorbing glass and a power sun shade ensure a comfortable cabin environment all year round.