Abhishek Neeli , our new writer gives us a special review on Honda Jazz, in India.
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“Playtime is back.” The Honda Jazz promises to inject a bit of fun into the hatchback segment, but just how well does it live up to its promise?
The first thing about this car that impresses is space. You can’t tell right off the bat, but opening the door and peeking into the Jazz reveals that Honda has done a fine job of utilizing every inch of the car’s interior, making it competent enough to challenge the spaciousness of an estate car. The rear seats lift, split and fold completely flat and the large doors open quite wide.
In the looks department, the Jazz impresses with an edgy, futuristic look and body contours that make haste in catching the eye.
The large windshield and front quarter windows provide excellent outside visibility. The front seats are tall and fairly broad but lack height adjustment. The back seat is also good, save for a minor issue of underthigh support. For better or for worse, the backseat armrest has been done away with, allowing three passengers to ride comfortably. The large 366 litre boot comes, unfortunately, with the absence of a rear parcel shelf, an inexplicable omission considering that almost every other hatchback on the road has one.
Entertainment and Safety
For onboard entertainment, the Jazz gets a CD player with steering audio controls. Real time fuel consumption, airbags and ABS are standard. Other creature comforts include two medium sized glove boxes with a shelf in between, storage space beneath the central console, and ten cup holders, with two near the AC vents to keep drinks cool.
The steering wheel, dials and gear knob are similar to the City’s but otherwise the Jazz’s cabin has a refreshingly new and snazzy look.
International variants feature a wide range of engines but the Indian edition features just one. That’s not to say that the Jazz lacks power – the 1198 cc petrol engine delivers an awesome 89 bhp. The engine is delightfully responsive, especially at low speeds, and makes driving through traffic seem like child’s play.
Honda’s uniqueness is again brought out by the usage of a single camshaft (as opposed to the now common double overhead), complemented by the patented variable valve timing system (i-VTEC).
The Jazz is friendlier with the urban jungle than the open highway, and trying to push the car to its limits is not always satisfying, owing to the steering being a touch too light at high speed, and considerable road noise produced by the tyres.
Honda has spared no expenses this time, literally, as the Jazz’s over-the-top price is sure to burn a hole in the pocket. The base model is priced at Rs 8.28 lac (on-road, Mumbai), and the high end Active model comes at Rs 8.66 lac. Even for the goodies (read: cool features) that that the car is loaded with, the price seems a bit unfair, especially when compared to the Jazz’s competitors in the market.
Overall the Honda Jazz adds a breath of fresh air to the hatchback family. It may not be the last word in the segment, but there is reason enough to choose this car. There is no denying that it epitomizes Honda’s constant perseverance and commitment to uniqueness and class. The car is stylish and thoughtfully designed. It promises to carry forward Honda’s excellent reputation when it comes to reliability, and instills optimism in its loyalists as to what they can expect from Honda in future.
-by Abhishek Neeli