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Honda Jazz-full Dreams

The Honda Jazz has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 5.31 – 8.59 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• Versatile package wearing sharp clothes. One car for several roles
• Spacious, user-friendly cabin. Easily the roomiest hatchback in India
• Big 354 liter boot is the segment best. Magic seats bring tons of flexibility
• Practical & efficient diesel, refined & revv-happy petrol and a convenient CVT. Take your pick
• Comfortable ride quality. Much improved over the older Jazz
• Light controls and easy maneuverability. Effortless to drive in the city
• Features such as feather-touch climate control, reversing camera, touchscreen ICE, paddle shifters (CVT) & more

What you won’t:

• Loud diesel engine is nowhere as refined as the Elite i20’s. Doesn’t like high rpms either
• 1.2L petrol has a weak bottom end. Feels lethargic <2,500 rpm • On-road premium for diesel is Rs. 1.3 - 1.5 lakhs! That's higher than the competition • Magic seats only on the top variant (earlier Jazz had them on all trim levels) • CVT unavailable with the VX trim! No fully loaded Automatic • Skinny 175 mm tyres. All competitors offer thicker rubber (Elite i20 = 195 mm) • Missing goodies (steering reach adjustment, keyless entry & go, rear air-con vents, driver armrest & proper dead pedal) Honda entered the hatchback space 6 years ago with a competent product, the 2nd generation Jazz. It was a chic, spacious and versatile little car that was capable of several roles, thanks to its clever packaging. Equally, the Jazz symbolised all that was wrong with Honda at the time. Ask me, I'm an owner of the ol' Jazz. It was overpriced, poorly equipped and didn't have a diesel option. The Hyundai i20 offered to the market what the Jazz didn't. As just one example, the Hyundai had 6 airbags while the Honda didn't even get alloy wheels!! From being perceived as an expensive hatchback initially, the i20 suddenly became value-for-money after the Jazz' pricing was announced. Fact is, i20 sales shot up after the launch of the Jazz. Refreshed and better-equipped Jazz variants didn’t help matters and it remained a sales dud. Prices were slashed in order to move surplus stock, and Honda finally pulled the plug on the Jazz in 2013. With the new 3rd generation Jazz, Honda intends to change that. This time around, you can choose from 3 engine & transmission combinations, including a diesel mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and a petrol CVT Automatic. India is the first market to get the Jazz 1.5L diesel and the configuration will remain exclusive to us for now. Honda has already begun its export operations too, with the Jazz 1.5L i-VTEC being shipped to markets like South Africa. The car will also be heavily localized; 90% in the new generation as opposed to 70% of the old. This helps bring manufacturing costs down. And it's not just the costs or pricing. This Jazz has a better shot at success because the big hatchback market has matured now. The segment practically didn't exist in 2009! The overall dimensions are similar to the old car. At 3,955 mm, it's 55 mm longer than the outgoing Jazz, but 30 mm lesser than Hyundai's Elite i20. It's about 40 mm narrower than the Hyundai too (measuring at 1,694 mm) and taller by 39 mm at 1,544 mm. The Jazz shares its platform with the Honda City. Walk up to it and the first thing that strikes you is the mini-MPV look. Honda calls this a 'Crossfade Monoform Design' which essentially means that it's one cohesive form, unlike conventional cars that are classified as two-box or three-box vehicles. The company has clearly taken an evolutionary approach while designing the new Jazz. The styling is a throwback to the old car's MPV's design, with some aggression dialed in. The sharp cuts & angular lines are in line with Honda’s current design language. I feel it’s a welcome departure from the old car’s curvier image. That said, the stance remains heavily cab-forward. The glass area is huge, especially with the massive front windscreen and quarter-glass windows that should have had their own power window switches! The styling is definitely a bit eccentric and it's not universally appealing like the Elite i20. Admittedly, the Jazz has always looked like a bit of a blob on wheels. That said, while the design may divide opinions, it's not off-putting or offensive. The front-end is dominated by a large black grille and a touch of silver. I like this face better than the City's which wears way too much chrome. In fact, Honda seems to have avoided garnishing this car with large doses of chrome, except for the hatch that wears a wide chrome strip. What you'll also notice at the rear is the big spoiler. The side profile has been given a strong beltline/ridge that makes it look less slab-sided. Panel gaps are even for the most part, while paint quality and exterior fit & finish are good. Overall, the new car feels well screwed together. Look closely and you can spot some inconsistencies though. The bonnet, for one, had an irregular gap on a few of the media cars. This wasn't the case with the older Jazz, although it's more uniform than some early examples of the City which had the boot, bonnet, and doors misaligned. The build quality feels better than the old Jazz which is tinny in comparison. The doors of the new Jazz might be light, yet they open and shut with a reassuring clunk. Just don't expect Euro-like solidity. This clunk isn't even as 'clean' as the Elite i20's. The new Jazz looks sharper than ever. Will appeal to mass-market tastes. Large piano black grille dominates the front end. I'm glad that it doesn't have the City's excessive chrome here.No escaping the massive chrome strip at the rear though. Isn't to my taste. Those unusual vertical reflectors look very Volvo-esque. Tail-pipe barely visible.

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