Honda’s all-new Jazz went on sale in February, and so far it’s been well received. This makes sense; it’s a good-looking car with new styling that falls in line with the rest of the new Honda range. The previous model was rounder, more of a bubble shape compared to the 2015 model that’s bigger and features more angular lines. It still has the steeply raked front windscreen, which is a trademark Jazz feature. The new style of wheels is cool, but it boggles the mind as to why manufacturers still use 16-inch wheels - purely on a tyre replacement cost, they're more than 17s and in some cases, 18s. The test car was silver, which is officially titled “Alabaster Silver Metallic” and it looks good, if a little generic. This is accompanied by another five colour options though, Taffeta White, Carnelian Red Pearl, Urban Titanium Metallic, Sunset Orange, and Golden Brown Metallic. I really like the red one myself, but my wife, who is a current Honda Jazz owner, is a fan of the white.
Actually, that’s worth mentioning. My wife really liked the Jazz, inside and out, which means Honda are doing exactly what they need to do – appeal to current Honda Jazz owners in order to temp them into replacing theirs with a new one. I also decided that since she’s the exact target market, I’d get her feedback on the car. As said, she’s a fan of the styling from the exterior point of view, and her views also carried through to the interior. She reckons the layout and all the controls are within good reach and easy to use, and the infotainment system is a big plus. The streaming via Bluetooth had Kenny & Dolly playing continuously and I’m pretty sure this was also an excuse to make as many phone calls as possible while I was driving on long roads – not distracting for me at all. What I liked was the way all the info on the digital display is shown compared to the older model and I also really liked the challenge of keeping the eco light on the sides of the speedo in the green for maximum efficiency. When doing this the Jazz sipped fuel in the low 6.0l/100km range, so that’s on par with the older model, definitely not a bad thing. The materials used and the feel of everything is pretty good too.
For the wife, the space that her Jazz offered inside was the main selling point, and with Honda's Magic Seat system being carried over to the new model, it’s another huge plus for the target market. Besides the copious amounts of space available when playing around with the seat configurations, the new Jazz also offers more rear legroom for passengers thanks to its new bigger dimensions, something that makes a difference to people taller than myself, which is pretty much everyone...
The drive is great, super smooth and the manual gearbox is a treat too. It’s got a cool, sporty feel. Even with the new, bigger body size the Honda is quicker than expected and as is the norm with Honda motors, it can be revved for days. It’s a quicker car than the older Jazz even though it’s using the same 88kw/145Nm 1.5 i-VTEC motor, I’m putting this down to possibly different gear ratios though or possibly an overactive butt-dyno. The lower spec model is fitted with a 1.2-litre motor. As mentioned, the test car was the manual version but the new Jazz is also still available with the CVT transmission. I’ve done many miles in the wife’s Jazz, all 100% trouble free. I don’t think this new one was too happy though, a few times the dash lit up followed by a “check system” error message along with the management light staying on. After a few kilos it went away only to pop up again a day or so later. It didn’t affect anything though, the drive or the electronics. There was also an annoying beeping noise every now and then on the highway trips, but this was eventually traced to an eToll tag…
The new Jazz line-up in South Africa consists of seven models made up of the two engines and transmissions mentioned, as well as a choice of four different spec levels. The range kicks off with the 1.2 Trend, the Jazz 1.2 Comfort, the 1.5 Elegance and the 1.5 Dynamic. All models, except the entry-level Trend, come with a 4-year/60 000km service plan included in the price - services intervals are at 15 000km. Sadly my test week included some pretty terrible weather, together with other gigs I had scheduled I didn't have a chance to do my own shoot with the car which is rather annoying, but I think it definitely bugs me more than in will bug you...
Jazz 1.2 Trend Manual R179 900
Jazz 1.2 Comfort Manual R204 900
Jazz 1.2 Comfort CVT R221 900
Jazz 1.5 Elegance Manual R234 900
Jazz 1.5 Elegance CVT R249 900
Jazz 1.5 Dynamic Manual R249 900
Jazz 1.5 Dynamic CVT R264 900
For more info, head on over to www.honda.co.za.