The return of the Honda Jazz was much celebrated in India when the car was launched last year. The third-generation of the premium hatchback sold nearly 50,000 units in a year and accounted for 26% of Honda’s total sale. To celebrate the occasion, we spent some time with the Jazz in the heritage city of Jaipur.
Taking a half an hour flight to any place is not a good idea, even worse when the skies are curtained with thick monsoon curtains. Nonetheless, the idea of exploring the Pink City in the Jazz gave us a good chance to put the Jazz through perfectly normal Indian city conditions.
From the airport, we drove to the outskirts of the city to a heritage palace that has been converted to a hotel for tourists. The drive took us through some serious gridlock situations and water infested roads of the city. It sure did tell us a good story of the development of major Indian cities but also, gave us a chance to test the water wading capabilities of the modern the hatchback.
We saw many cars giving in to the water flow that can disappoint major Indian rivers but the Jazz did very good to get clear of it. Soon, we reached the highway which limits many unintelligent motorists on the road who love to drive on the wrong side of the road.
When we thought it was a going to be an early end to the day, Honda had thrown a series of challenges to further test the practicality of the Jazz. We entered a small area with traffic pylons staged on a dirt field. Even though the clouds threatened to send massive level of water back to the earth’s surface, we started with our tasks. Teams were made and dares were given to test all the possible positions of the magic seats in the Jazz in the shortest time.
We had to fit a cycle, flower pots and lay down in the seat completely with blanket and pillow. Sure, everything could not be done at the same time so we started with the cycle, then put the flower pots in tall mode and finally removed the headrest to make the seat lay flat.
ven though many of us struggled with the configurations at the first but the magic seats are so easy to operate that a pre-teenager can spend a little time to find all possible permutation and combinations with the magic seats. We also tested the luggage carrying capacity of the Jazz without folding down any seat.
We called it a day after getting the car dirty in the slalom tests. It was fun and showed how good the turning radius and visibility is, but we would have tested that next day anyway in Jaipur’s natural obstacles on the road.
We entered the Palace with big warm welcome, music, camels (the animal), flowers, red carpet and what not. It was like the royal family reenacted again. That precious welcome did play with some of us and we entered the room for the night, the pictures of warriors and soldiers hung on the wall added to the spooky environment. After drowning in local folk music and dance, it was time to prepare for the next day.
With sun rays just starting to warm the soil, I decided to take a quick trip to the adjacent places. Not that I found much apart from ruins of forts but the Jazz that I got was petrol. The petrol engine of the Jazz is super refined and you notice it, even more, when you drive around in the diesel powered Jazz for the whole day. Honda sure is a legend when it comes to the petrol engines even though they have come a long way in a short time with the development of diesel vehicles too, they feel a little not-so-premium when compared to their petrol counterparts.
The day was an interesting one, and why not? It was ending with a ride on ATR flight! Well, Honda had more interesting plans for us. We explored the city of Jaipur like never before. We were given clues that took on the busiest of Jaipur roads. Back to diesel car again, the first clue took us to Amer Fort, but not before we went up to Nahargarh fort and the lower-end grunt of the Jazz diesel actually helped during the short and steep climb.
After getting the second challenge, we headed straight to the heart of the city to the Hawa Mahal. Clues kept on playing but the best of the clues was the one that made us go to the popular and oldest lassi shop in the city.
After refilling our energy levels, the second-last clue was to reach a fuel bunk and to our surprise, we did close to 250 km that day in just 11-litres of diesel. Now that comes down to 22.73 km/l. For a car carrying three adults, food, and luggage crossing through the worst of city traffic with AC on full blast, the figure did not disappoint at all. It was a good end to the day and we did get impressed again with the Jazz!