It’s been a long battle for premium hatchbacks, but the time’s finally come for them. No one’s going to bat an eyelid if you spend as much money on a hatchback as you’d on an SUV or a sedan. Because the customers have finally understood that hatchbacks are more practical, and if you’re looking at enjoying premium features, they aren’t left far behind, either. The Jazz clearly lives by that, and even in its latest avatar continues to paint a great picture for premium, slightly expensive hatchbacks.
The exterior styling isn’t radical, because while the Accord might have got a bit NSX-inspired, and the City might have got meaner, the Jazz sits comfortably with a fairly pleasing design. The increasing popularity of the WR-V (which is basically a spruced-up Jazz) is a clear indication that there are more takers for the rugged design. But as a practical everyday hatchback, the Jazz doesn’t look bad at all. The latest update made the tail lamps a bit longer, but that’s pretty much about it. Would anyone buy the Jazz for its looks? We doubt.
Space; lots of it. As has been exhibited successfully by the Jazz in the past, space is on the top of Honda’s priority list, especially in case of the Jazz. Sadly Honda no longer thinks selling the Jazz with Magic Seats — the variable seating arrangement that made the car more practical and versatile — is a good idea. So it’s back to a conventional layout. But thankfully the space on offer is still very good, and the updated features list includes an optional large 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There’s also cruise control, and if you buy one with CVT, there’s paddle shifters behind the steering wheel as well.
The Honda Jazz is available with either a 1.2-litre petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel. Both engines have their respective strengths. The 90 PS petrol is very refined but needs some push, and at times feels a bit gutless. The diesel, on the other hand, makes 100 PS, has enough poke for both intra-city travel and long distance touring. In addition, Honda claims it can return a fuel economy of 27.3 kmpl, which is quite a handsome proposition if you’re looking at running the Jazz as your primary car. But sadly the diesel engine isn’t the most silent unit, so if you’re particular about noise, it might not just fit the bill. Both engines are available with manual gearboxes, but the optional 7-step CVT on the petrol makes driving the Jazz in traffic-filled conditions an easy task.
The Honda Jazz is priced at Rs 7.4 lakh onwards for the V MT variant, which is the base for the petrol-powered car. The diesel-engined version starts at Rs 8.1 lakh for the S MT variant. The top-spec diesel is priced at Rs 9.34 lakh whereas the top-spec petrol is the AT-equipped VX CVT Exclusive Edition and is available for Rs 9.23 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom. In terms of the competition, the Honda Jazz faces rivalry largely from the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Hyundai Elite i20.
Spacious Easy to live with Honda reliability Pricey Lacks standout features Competition offers more