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2021 Honda Jazz (Europe) Review

BODY TYPE: Hatchback
The European B-segment is a very lucrative one, and testimony to that is the large number of models currently selling there. From European to Japanese carmakers, all are trying to snatch as big a piece of the pie as possible.
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One of the best selling models in this segment is the Jazz, a Honda model that elsewhere goes by the Fit name. Until 2020, the range of Jazz models managed to keep at the top of the sales charts thanks to a pleasant design, more than decent standard equipment, and an engine range comprising almost exclusively internal combustion engines.

In February 2020, Honda announced that would change, and with the launch of the new version, Europeans will only have the choice of an electrified Jazz, as the model would sell “exclusively across Europe with an advanced hybrid powertrain.”

1Exterior design & features

Borrowing a lot of styling cues from the electric Honda e – cues that we will extensively see in the future on other Honda models as well – the new Jazz keeps true to the segment it is part of.

The car measures 3,995 mm in length, 1,694 mm in width, and 1,539 mm in height, while riding on a 2,530 mm wheelbase.

There are a few changes, visually speaking, compared to the previous model. They include an A-pillar that is half the width of the one used before, as a means to improve forward visibility. The modification was made possible because of the improved torsional rigidity of the new body.

The overall lines of the car have changed as well, making it look wider and closer to the ground. A small roof spoiler is available at the rear, above the new light cluster.

For the first time, the Jazz is offered in both the conventional body style, and a Crosstar variant that move the range closer to the crossover segment.

2Interior design, features
and passenger space

The interior of the new Jazz has become more modern than the one used on the 2017 version. There’s a completely new shape of the dashboard, that now features a center-mounted touchscreen, and the instrument cluster has gone fully digital. Physical controls remain, as per the request of the customers, Honda says, for heating and ventilation.

The biggest challenge for Honda engineers was to make the new Jazz as roomy as the one before it, despite having to fit more hardware for the hybrid powertrain. To that effect, several modifications had to be made to the engine intake system, the transmission, and the power control unit.

With careful cuts and additions, and with the fitting of the fuel tank beneath the front seats, in the center of the chassis, Honda managed to squeeze 298 liters of space for cargo with the rear seats in a normal position and 1,203 liters with them folded down.

3Gadgets

The three years that separate the new and old versions of the Jazz are mostly visible when it comes to the technology available.

The new Jazz comes with a center touchscreen that can be used to access information about weather, parking locations, music, navigation, location finding, and telephone services. As far as the other control means of operation go, time for the most regularly-used controls is reduced by 58% compared with the previous model, Honda says.

The new Jazz is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible, either wirelessly or via an USB cable, and for the first time the model offers a Wi-Fi hotspot. Also, the Personal assistant that debuted on the Honda e is available as well.

4Performance

As said, the new Jazz is going exclusively electrified in Europe, in a form called e:HEV. That’s Honda speak for a regular hybrid powertrain that brings together an internal combustion engine, electric motors and a battery.

The ICE unit in this case is a 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC gasoline, linked to two electric motors, a lithium-ion battery, and a fixed-gear transmission. Available in three driving modes, the combined powertrain develops 109 ps and 253 Nm of torque, translating into an acceleration time of 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 175 kph (108 mph).

The combined fuel economy for the new Jazz with this powertrain is 4.5l/100km as measured according to the WLTP procedure, and 4.8l/100km for the Crosstar variant.

5Safety

The new Jazz is equipped as standard with more safety systems than ever before. Even the number of airbags has been increased to ten, with the addition of a new front center airbag, located in the driver's seat back and ready to expand to the side.

For the first time, the new Jazz comes with adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. There’s a new wide camera for increased front view, and a collision mitigation system that has been improved to detect pedestrians and cyclists during night time.

As on other Honda models, the Sensing suite of safety technologies is available, with speed limiter, high-beam headlights and traffic sign recognition.

6Conclusion

The 2021 Jazz e:HEV is the first step of a larger Honda plan that calls that by 2022 all its mainstream European sales to be electrified vehicles.

The new Jazz goes on sale on the continent in the summer of 2020. Prices start in Germany at €22,000 for the Jazz and €26,250 for the Crosstar variant.