The Honda Jazz is now a hugely attractive option for premium hatchback buyers. Honda announced prices for the face-lifted Jazz, and the base variant is nearly Rs 1.4 lakh less than the existing Jazz base variant. At Rs 5.5 lakh, the Honda Jazz petrol has now become one of the best propositions at this price. Let’s understand how.
The Honda Jazz is available in three variants, all with a 1.2-litre petrol engine. The base variant, Jazz Standard, is priced at Rs 5.5 lakh, the Jazz Select at Rs 5.75 lakh, and the top-end Jazz X at Rs 6.06 lakh.
It is the hefty price drop of Rs 1.4 lakh that makes the Jazz an attractive buy now. The top-end new petrol Swift ZXi launched yesterday is priced at Rs 5.53 lakh. The i20 Asta, which has comparable features (and also climate control) costs Rs 5.83 lakh. The Polo 1.2 Highline, which has comparable features, costs Rs 6.04 lakh.
Jazz has been the biggest hatchback in terms of space (it is taller and longer than the second-biggest hatchback, the Etios Liva), and it had a peppy engine (a strength in all Honda cars). But it didn’t have too many features, so the price premium was way too much for most buyers to be convinced about this car. And there were no diesel variants.
As a result, the Jazz has been selling an insignificant few hundred cars every month. With interest costs and fuel costs rising sharply in the past few months, Honda had to do something about the Jazz value proposition if it wanted to have any presence in this segment.
The new Jazz launched today should make buyers consider this as a serious option.
What’s new apart from the price cut
Looks: Honda hasn’t changed the body shell of the Jazz in anyway. Instead it’s gone in for what the industry calls a “minor model change”, which includes subtle design changes to freshen the look of the car. The headlamps, for instance, are different and are more sharply raked.
The grille too gets a fresh look with chrome on the Jazz S and Jazz Select and a hexagonal sporty pattern on the Jazz X, while there is a change in the front bumper design as well. The integrated fog lamps on the Jazz X variant in the bumper too are different. In profile, there are hardly any noticeable changes to the car, except that the Jazz X gets electric auto-retract mirrors.
At the rear, there is a subtle change to the bumper making it slightly sportier and the rear tail-lamp lenses get a slightly different treatment. Otherwise the car looks largely the same, externally.
Interiors: There’s a difference in the color scheme – the plastics used are darker and there are chrome rings around the AC vents, with an orange back-light for the instruments. Beige and black combination upholstery adorns the Jazz S and Jazz Select, while the Jazz X gets a blue-black combination.
The new Jazz also allows the rear seats to be reclined for better comfort for rear passengers (Jazz Select and Jazz X). Honda’s magic seats for the Jazz still remain in place. These seats offer flexibility of space, folding flat for luggage loading and also in 60:40 split, as well as upright for tall items such as golf clubs. There are 10 cupholders around the car.
Suspension: The suspension set-up in the Jazz has been tweaked for even better handling and riding.
What stays the same
Engine: The new Honda Jazz is powered by the same 1.2 litre iVTEC petrol motor that produces 89 bhp of max power and 110 Nm of max torque to comply with Indian small car norms. Honda does not have a diesel engine in its portfolio, and won’t have one till 2014 at least.
Boot space: At 366 litres, the Jazz stays as hatchback with the largest boot in this category.
Safety features: Safety features such as ABS, EBD and dual airbags are standard across all variants. The Jazz Select and Jazz X get sporty alloy wheels as well.
The Honda Jazz scores over others when it comes to space and riding comfort. It is also great in terms of handling. And it is the biggest hatchback among all other cars. It scores on looks and interiors also.
It may not be the best in mileage, and it does not have one feature is expected among premium hatchbacks: climate control. And of course, the fact that it comes only in petrol version.
Nevertheless, after this price cut the new Honda Jazz is among the best propositions now, and this should be a cause for concern for the Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo.
Technical Specifications of new Honda Jazz
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* Prices mentioned are ex-showroom Delhi