Honda’s all-new Jazz will go on sale in the UK later this year, sporting a fresh platform, a host of tech and a new hybrid powertrain
The all-new Honda Jazz will reach the UK market in the summer, based on a new platform and powered by a new two-motor petrol-hybrid powertrain. Another new addition will be the arrival of a SUV-inspired Jazz Crosstar variant, in an attempt to muscle-in on the Nissan Juke’s territory.
The design of the new Jazz will be familiar to existing owners. Like the old model, it features a one-box MPV-like shape, which Honda says maximises interior space. The A-pillars have also been slimmed down, in a move that both improves the view out of the windscreen and increases the rigidity of the bodyshell.
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Up front, there’s a pair of larger headlamp units and a chunkier bumper compared to the previous model. However, the standard Jazz is expected to maintain similar dimensions to its predecessor, measuring around four metres in length.
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Around the back, the previous Jazz’s vertically stacked lights have been ditched in favour of more conventional horizontal units, which sit beneath the rear window. The rear hatch cuts deep into the back bumper – as on the previous model – so there should be a generous opening for loading bulky items into the boot.
Things get a little more rugged with the Jazz Crosstar model, which features new bolt-on roof rails, a unique front grille design, an elevated ride height and black plastic cladding around its wheel arches that contribute to its mini-SUV flavour. Honda also informs us that the Crosstar’s interior features “water-resistant upholstery,” presumably in case you exceed the car’s maximum wading depth, or spill your cappuccino.
Honda e:HEV hybrid system
Perhaps the highlight of the updated Jazz range is Honda’s new e:HEV twin-motor petrol hybrid powertrain. The Jazz e:HEV will be both the first Honda to use the new technology and the first model to receive Honda’s latest e:Technology branding, which will eventually feature on all of the Japanese brand’s electrified products.
The system comprises a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, two electric motors and a compact lithium-ion battery pack – total power output is 108bhp and 253Nm of torque. The combustion engine sends drive through an innovative fixed-gear transmission, which Honda says is smoother and more efficient than a conventional CVT.
The standard Honda Jazz has claimed WLTP economy and emissions figures of 62.8mpg and 102g/km of CO2, while the jacked-up Honda Jazz Crosstar offers respective figures of 58.9mpg and 110g/km of CO2. Honda also says its e:HEV powertrain gives the Jazz a 0–62mph time of 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 108mph.
Honda’s e:HEV hybrid system is fitted with three, selectable drive modes – Hybrid Drive, EV Drive and Engine Drive. The first balances petrol and electric running, while recovering electricity from deceleration and storing it in the battery pack for later use. EV Drive forces the Jazz to run in electric-only mode, while Engine Drive combines the petrol engine and electric motors for maximum performance.
Inside the new Jazz
Inside, Honda has looked to retain the previous Jazz model’s impressive cabin space while adding more advanced technology. The hybrid drive system has been located within the chassis and the engine bay with the fuel tank mounted in the middle of the car to avoid impacting on the room available for passengers.
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As such, boot capacity stands at 298 litres with the rear bench in place. Fold the rear seats down, and storage capacity swells to 1,203 litres. Honda’s popular Magic Seat design also remains in the rear, giving owners the option of folding the rear bench backs flat or flipping the bases up to create a taller load space.
The cabin gets a central display screen and a digital instrument cluster ahead of the driver. Honda tells us that the touchscreen offers smartphone-style swipe controls and that both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are built in. For the first time, these and other downloadable apps will be operable in the car via a wireless connection.
The Jazz gets new seating, too, with wider ‘body-stabilising’ front seats that are designed to reduce fatigue on longer journeys and new deeper rear seats to boost comfort for those in the back. The rest of the cabin retains a minimalist and uncluttered design approach and, in response to consumer demand, Honda has fitted physical air-conditioning controls.
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On the safety front, there’s an enhanced system of sensors with a high definition camera forming the basis of the Honda Sensing active safety suite. This enables an improved Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), which can now detect pedestrians and cyclists at night and react to oncoming vehicles moving into the path of the Jazz.
In addition, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system can now operate in low-speed traffic, keeping the car in lane and maintaining distance to the car in front. Honda’s Intelligent Speed Limiter can also recognise traffic speed signs and set the car’s speed limit accordingly.
What will the new Honda Jazz have to beat? Check out our list of the best superminis still on sale…
For an alternative review of the latest Honda Jazz Hatchback visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk