Arriving in Europe in summer 2015, the third-generation Honda Jazz features all-new exterior and interior design, with better interior space and versatility. The new Jazz has already commenced production in India, at the Japanese automaker’s Rajasthan plant, and a launch is expected in July 2015. The same plant also caters to the popular City sedan, and it would seem like a logical move to produce the Jazz there as well, because both cars will be sharing critical components with each other.
At launch in Europe, the 2015 Jazz will be fitted with a new, more powerful and efficient 1.3 litre i-VTEC petrol engine from Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology series. Delivering 102 PS of power at 6,000 rpm, the new engine is mated to a six-speed manual (replacing the previous five-speed unit) or a semi-automatic CVT transmission. A hybrid version will also be available, which combines a new 1.5-liter i-VTEC petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver a combined output of 130 PS. However, it won’t be ready until early 2016.
However, for India, the car will be reportedly powered by the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel motor found in the Amaze, the City and the Mobilio, while it will share the 1.2 liter petrol motor with the Brio [unconfirmed]. A 5-speed manual transmission will be standard, while the city slickers can even opt for a CVT with steering mounted paddle shifters, making it the cheapest car sold in the country with flappy paddles. However, the CVT will be limited to the petrol variant only.
Interior space and versatility
Longer by 95mm on the outside and with a 30mm longer wheelbase, new Jazz is endowed with more interior passenger space (leg, shoulder and headroom in the front and rear), as compared to its predecessor.
Honda’s new B-segment platform – shared with the all-new HR-V – employs efficient packaging solutions. A lower-profile fuel tank mounted under the front seats frees up underfloor space beneath the rear seats, enabling the platform to accommodate Honda’s innovative Magic Seats® system.
Boot space has been increased to 354 litres (VDA)with the rear seats in use and 884 litres (VDA) with the rear seats down. Each of the 60:40 split Magic Seats® in the rear can adopt numerous configurations to maximize the versatility of the spacious interior.
In ‘Utility’ mode, the rear seat back folds forward as the seat base lowers to create a long, flat floor. In ‘Tall’ mode, the rear seat base is locked in a vertical position to leave space from floor to ceiling. ‘Long’ mode sees front and rear passenger seat backs fold forward to a horizontal position.
With a wide tailgate and a low load height, access to the boot is easy, while four tie-downs in the boot enable objects to be securely transported.
Thanks to its new global B-segment platform, new Jazz is lighter than its predecessor and benefits from greater rigidity. The Jazz will also underpin a new, more rigid and lighter chassis and re-engineered suspension. The Advanced Driver Assist System package, which employs a camera and mid-range radar, underpins a suite of new advanced safety technologies that are being introduced across Honda’s new product line-up during 2015.
Upgraded, lighter suspension components include MacPherson struts at the front and an H-type torsion beam at the rear. New damper systems also promise to improve ride quality for all occupants and reduce vibrations from the road into the cabin, and a new electric power-assisted steering system has been incorporated for providing greater feedback for the driver.
Fresh exterior design
The 2015 Honda Jazz will have an all-new exterior design which follows the styling philosophy of the refreshed Honda models launching in 2015. A new face echoes the ‘solid wing’ theme across the grille and headlamps that is shared across the 2105 Honda family. The X-shape of the face rises – around the lower edge of the headlamps, over the bonnet, and along the roof line to the rear roof spoiler – and falls to the lower bumper skirt.
The sides feature twin bodyside cut-in swage lines rise from the front wheel arch to give a forward leaning look. At the rear, the tailgate spoiler and near-vertical rear windscreen compliment the angular rear combination lamps.
The spacious cabin combines a large windscreen that meets the roof panel a long way rearward, along with the large front quarter windows, which should provide better forward visibility and admit plenty of light into the cabin. Quality materials within the cabin include high-grade, sophisticated black soft-touch dash and trim surfaces with premium detailing, contrasting upholstery materials and polished chrome trim accents.
Steering wheel-mounted controls provide access to commonly used functions and enable the driver to switch between various information views on the centre console screen – either a five-inch LCD multi-information display or seven-inch Honda Connect infotainment touchscreen, depending on model grade.
The Honda Connect interface employs smartphone-style ‘pinch, swipe and tap‘ functionality. Running the Android operating system, it provides fast and easy access to internet-based services including internet browsing, real-time traffic, news and weather, social media, and internet music stations. Further apps can be installed from the purpose-designed Honda App Centre, enabling owners to personalise their connected infotainment experience, and integrated Garmin Navigation is available.
The Honda Connect touchscreen also displays vehicle information – such as trip meter, fuel economy and journey time. In addition, the Honda Connect system syncs with smartphones and other multimedia devices through MirrorLink, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI and USB.
As with all new Honda vehicles sold in Europe, the Jazz is fitted with a number of premium active and passive safety technologies.
Available as an option on the entry-level model, and available as standard on all other grades, Honda’s suite of safety technologies known as the Advanced Driver Assist System includes Intelligent Speed Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition system, and High-beam Support System. Honda’s City-Brake Active system will be fitted as standard on the Jazz.
Passive safety in the 2015 Jazz starts with Honda’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure technology that enhances occupant crash protection in frontal collisions. A network of connected structural elements distributes crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle, reducing the forces transferred to the passenger compartment. ACE™ also helps minimise the potential for under-ride or over-ride situations that can happen during head-on or offset frontal impacts with a larger or smaller vehicle.