The premium hatchback market has turned out to be a profitable segment for Indian car manufacturers. Almost 30,000 units of the Elite i20 and Baleno are sold every month which in turn means potential revenue to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore annually. Yes, you read that right. No wonder then that Honda too wants to join the party in a better way which gets us to the 2018 updated Jazz. What’s new? Hit the play button on the video below to know more.
The Jazz is doing brisk numbers for Honda in India, outselling the BR-V and Brio combined together. With the new 2018 update, the aim is to offer better value and in turn increase conversions at the showroom level. To be honest, updates aren’t too many – for example, the exterior changes are limited to chrome covers for the door handles and tweaked tail-lamps which now get Honda’s signature LED wing light. There are two new colors on offer though – Radiant Red Metallic and Lunar Silver Metallic.
The Jazz gets an added kit on the inside to woo buyers and this includes the new Digipad 2.0 that we saw in the new Amaze. This 17.7 cm touchscreen interface provides functions like Bluetooth connectivity, rear camera display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto among others. Next on is the cruise control addition, front arm rest with storage space (though doesn’t offer slide option), central lock hand switch, driver’s own vanity mirror, rear parking sensors and speed sensitive door locks. Honda also claims they have improved sound insulation but as we had a petrol model, it was difficult to gauge the difference.
The Jazz continues to offer sedan rivalling space on the inside and we can’t help but appreciate the practicality of this car. Be it perfect ergonomics or a bottle chiller on the right side of the steering, this hatchback scores top marks for ease of driving. We drove the 1.2-litre petrol with the 7-step CVT and this really is the pick of the lot among all the trims sold in India. That said, the air-con couldn’t cope up with North India’s hot and humid afternoon during our shoot and lack of rear air-con vents further made matters worse. Honda has introduced smart keyless entry with push button start on the new Jazz, a welcome addition given that its main rivals offered this from day number one.
There are no mechanical changes in the new Jazz and it continues to drive very well. Part throttle response is good and the car feels at home in traffic. And though it suffers from the typical rubber band effect, enthusiasts can make use of both the Sport mode and paddler shifters. Talking of which, the 1.2-litre petrol motor loves being revved and does reward the driver with outright acceleration. Worthy of a mention is the fact that the CVT automatic delivers better fuel economy as compared to its manual counterpart. Do expect an easy 11-12 kmpl during city runs.
Honda has also revised the version line of the new Jazz. The petrol model is offered in two trims of V and VX and thankfully CVT is being offered on both the versions. The diesel is being offered in three trims of S, V and VX. Sadly, there is no diesel-CVT combo for the new Jazz, just yet. Priced between Rs 7.35 lakh – Rs 9.29 lakh, the Jazz continues to command a small premium over its rivals and in the process, offers you a well-rounded package.