The first generation Honda Jazz was introduced in India, back in 2009. Since then a lot has changed and the third generation Honda Jazz is on the prowl. It is not your average hatchback car, but it is seen as a mix of both hatchback and a premium model. Honda Jazz was only available in petrol variants so far and with the third generation, Honda Jazz has got Diesel variants introduced. Now will that give the i20 or the Swift, sleepless nights? Lets see…
I was invited to drive the Honda Jazz at India’s only Formula racing circuit, the Buddh Internation Circuit. It is one of the fastest F1 tracks in the world. I would thanks Honda Cars India for giving me the opportunity. I took the Honda Jazz 2015 for a spin in the racing track and here are my observations.
At a first glance, you wouldn’t notice much of a difference between the previous generations and the current one. On a closer look, you would notice subtle differences. It has the design language of a Honda city and looks like a mini-MPV. The older cars looked curvy and now the new generation model has sharp and angular turns on the body design. The build quality is impressive and the car feels chick and sleek. The wheel base seems to have been improved from the earlier generations.
Stepping into the car, the interiors are plush and minimalist. The cabin space feels large for a hatchback. But what I really loved about the Jazz, is the cup holders. There are cup holders everywhere. This is something that has been eluding Indian drivers for a long time. Also, I liked the Magic seats, where you can fold the back seats to different combinations and adjust based on your need. But unfortunately, Magic seats are available only on the top variant. Also the top variants gets a 6.2 inch touchscreen display for navigation and entertainment, while the entry levels get a 5 inch display. The steering mounted controls were each to reach and the display console for neat and easily readable.
I got to drive the 1.5L 6 speed diesel variant. I own a Swift diesel and I can say for sure that the Honda’s diesel engine is yet to come up to Fiat’s DDIS engine used on the Swift. It is noisy and doesn’t feel smooth as a Swift. But it is definitely a powerful and refined engine. The engine is very responsive and delivers instantly. Though I was driving on a F1 circuit, I never got to put the engine on 6th gear. The max speed I reached was around 120. The suspension is a marvel, but again keep in mind that I was driving on a race track and not on the real life pot holes. I would say that the handling of the Jazz was a pleasure. It negotiated turns with ease and easily picked up speed after every bends. You could blame it on my adrenaline rush, but I never faced any drive quality related issues with the Honda Jazz.
The immediate competitors for the Honda Jazz 2015 are the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Suzuki Swift. Also the Tata Bolt, Punto Evo, Volkswagen Polo and Etios Liva are other cars that can be considered in this premium hatchback segment. Also Honda Jazz comes in 7 color variants, and it does not come in Black. If I had to choose among these options, I would choose the Honda Jazz for its looks and performance. The petrol variant starts at 5.3 Lakhs (INR) and goes upto 7.3L (Ex-showroom). The Diesel variants are priced from 6.5L to 8.6L (Ex-showroom). Though the Honda Jazz is expensive, it promises better mileage and comfort.