Honda will soon launch the Jazz B+ segment hatchback in India. Production has already commenced at the Japanese automaker’s Tapukara factory, in Rajasthan. The initial lot of the 3rd generation Jazz hatchbacks built here are meant for the export markets, with most of the production heading to South Africa. The second lot will be what our country will receive.
The car will be positioned in the segment that hosts the Hyundai i20 Elite, the Fiat Punto EVO 90 HP and the Volkswagen Polo GT twins. In terms of pricing, the Jazz is likely to be pitted directly against the Hyundai i20 Elite, which has shown that the hatchback buyer in India is willing to fork out a premium for a well finished car. For the first time in the Indian market, the Jazz will be available with diesel power.
Five variants of the diesel powered hatchback are expected to be sold here. The diesel motor in question will be the staple engine that Honda uses across its car range for India, the 1.5 liter-4 cylinder all-aluminium turbo diesel unit. The 1.5 liter diesel engine on the new Jazz will make 98.6 Bhp-200 Nm, and will use a fixed geometry turbocharger. A five speed manual gearbox will accompany this engine.
Honda will not offer the Jazz Diesel with an automatic gearbox option, which will be reserved for the petrol variants. The petrol powered Jazz that Honda exports to South Africa is sold with two engine options – the 1.2 liter i-VTEC motor (87 Bhp-110 Nm) that is used by the likes of the Brio and the Amaze, and the 1.5 liter i-VTEC motor (117 Bhp-145 Nm) that also powers the City.
Both the engines are available with five speed manual and CVT automatic transmission options. For India, the Jazz is likely to be sold with both engine options, while the CVT gearbox could be made available only on the smaller engined option in the interest of keeping the selling price low. Adding a CVT automatic option to the 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol motor would push up the cost of the Jazz to unreasonable levels, considering that India taxes sub-4 meter cars with engines larger than 1.2 liters at a higher rate of excise.
Looks, features and creature comforts are the various changes that have been made to the Jazz B+ segment hatchback that was first unveiled in 2013. With hefty localization to boot, the car’s second coming into India could prove to a much more successful affair.