All-new Honda Jazz unveiled for 2020 with e:HEV hybrid power

Honda has revealed the new Jazz supermini at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, nice.

The new Honda Fit, better known to motorists in the UK as the Honda Jazz, has made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show in Japan.

The car is due to go on sale early in 2020 riding on an all new platform with a new two-motor e:HEV hybrid drive system providing the power. Jazz fans will be happy to learn that the new Honda Jazz seeks to retain the comfort, space and practical qualities that have traditionally set the car apart from supermini rivals. What’s new, says Honda, is a higher quality interior with more advanced connectivity tech and an intriguing Honda Jazz Crosstar crossover SUV variant for those who like a more adventurous style of Jazz.  

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The design of the new Jazz follows themes that will be familiar to existing owners with its one-box MPV-like shape maximising interior space. The A-pillars have been slimmed down, however, in a move that both improves the view out of the windscreen and increases the rigidity of the bodyshell. 

At the front, you’ll spot larger headlamp units, chunky bumpers and a slightly raised ride height compared to its predecessor. Although the Jazz is expected to maintain similar dimensions to that car, measuring around 4 metres in length. 

Around the back, the previous Jazz’s vertically stacked lights have been ditched in favour of more conventional horizontal units sitting 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 that bolts on roof rails, a unique front grille design, 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 maximum wading depth, or spill your cappuccino. 

Honda e:HEV hybrid system

Perhaps the highlight of the new Honda Jazz is the e:HEV twin-motor petrol hybrid powertrain that will power the car. The Jazz is the first Honda to use the new technology and the first model to get Honda’s new e:Technology branding that will eventually feature on all the firm’s electrified products. With Honda’s stated aim being to offer a completely electrified model range in Europe by 2022, it’s a term we’re going to be hearing a lot more in the future. No purely petrol or diesel engines will be offered in the new Jazz.

Precise details on the e:HEV system remain scarce but Honda claims to have prioritised the easy driving experience that the Jazz has been known for in the past as well as efficiency gains.

We expect that the system will employ a similar configuration to the ‘intelligent Multi-Mode Drive’ (i-MMD) set-up used by the CR-V SUV. As a result, in typical driving situations the combustion engine will be put to use as a generator, and rather than driving the wheels directly, it sends charge to an electric motor, which tops up a small battery. When more performance is needed, the engine can drive the wheels directly via a fixed-ratio gearbox. Although the larger CR-V uses a 2.0-litre engine in its hybrid system, we expect that the Jazz will use a much lower-capacity combustion unit, because of its smaller size and lower weight.

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.

The cabin gets a central display screen with three large physical air-conditioning controls below 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. 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. 

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.

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

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