The Honda Jazz has been one of my personal favorites amongst the hatchback family ever since it was launched back in 2009. The “cab forward” design was a bit unconventional for some, but the “crossfade monoform” design in its current avatar is as edgy as it gets, lending it a mini MPV look. If the earlier Jazz wasn’t spacious enough, Honda`s latest offering has its wheelbase stretched further by 55mm and it wins hands down when it comes to interior space and versatility,which brings us to its trump card – practicality.
Our long termer is the VX trim which gets the famed “magic seats” maximizing combinations of interior space utilization. The car came to us with around 9400 kms on the odo, and the miles we have logged may not seem awfully much on paper, but it’s been mostly restricted to, well – city commutes. And city commutes is where the Jazz shines, how? Allow us to elaborate.
Let’s start with the best bits, Jazz-y looks, wide opening doors, breezy ingress & egress, supportive seats, numerous cubby holes, acres of cabin space all around, light controls, a frugal engine – the Jazz seems to have it all the important bits. Yes, there are some other could have bits missing considering this is the top of the line (Manual) trim – Auto central locking, push button engine start, day time running lights are some features we feel the Jazz ought to have had. The Jazz boasts of a very refined 1.2l petrol engine putting out a respectable 89 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 110Nm @ 4800 rpm.
In a typical Honda fashion, this i-VTEC unit loves to be revved, and as those torque figures suggest – the bottom end of the rev range remains its weakness. What makes up for the weakness is the short throw slick-shifting 5 speed gearbox with fairly close ratios which coupled with the light clutch action, makes for fatigue free pottering around the city.
Though the Jazz rides on skinny 175 section Michelin Energy rubber, its stretched wheel base and track also lends it matured highway manners. Though our long-termer has only seen a couple of long trips, the versatility remains its forte. Being an avid cyclist, the Jazz happily swallows my entire MTB when I wish to take it to the outskirts of the city for a few excursions. The instantaneous fuel consumption mostly reads around 12.5-13 kmpl within the city and around 18kmpl on the highways, if driven judiciously.
The infotainment system, annoyingly displays a warning message at every start up and has to be “okay-ed” with a firm press on the touch screen. Though the Jazz boasts of a touchscreen infotainment system which doubles up as a reversing camera display with static guide lines –the system isn’t the most intuitive to use, and although it offers a DVD playback the audio quality isn’t quite up to the mark and can be best left in the FM radio modes. The USB and Aux in jacks are accepted via cables in the glove box making for a slightly impractical placement to be used frequently.
While the Jazz has been serving without any gremlins until recently, that the rear doors have been a bit squeaky – something that can be easily fixed with a bit of greasing. Also, we discovered that the central gear surround console has come a bit loose – another petty issue that’s a quick fix. Two minor niggles apart, the Jazz remains a flawless performer. The Jazz offers un-paralleled levels of practicality for a hatchback that grows on you with its unique traits as you spend more miles in it. Watch this space for our future updates with this long termer!
Distance covered – 840kms
Test Economy – 13kmpl
Maintenance costs – Nil
Issues faced – Squeaking rear door hinges, wobbly center console.