Honda Jazz (2015) First Drive

02 Honda Jazz 72dpi

The third generation Honda Jazz is now available in South Africa and drove it in Cape Town.

The Honda Jazz is a popular city car around the world and is renowned for offering incredible space, practicality along with a generous helping of specification. It has a proven track record in SA, and was one of the first small city cars to offer a respectable safety rating as well as innovative interior versatility.

Fast forward to 2015, and the Honda Jazz which, we saw unveiled online has made its South African debut. The 2015 Honda Jazz gets a nice and modern front end, with the rear looking a lot fresher than the outgoing model. I think the design language is striking, particularly when paired with one of the more vibrant colours available. On the launch, I chose the delicious orange which was very eye catching.

Engines and performance

Essentially, the new car offers seven models, with two engines and two gearbox options. There's a 1.2-litre engine and a 1.5-litre engine available. The smaller 1.2 offers 66 kW and 110 Nm, while the 1.5 has 88 kW and 145 Nm. The smaller engine Jazz can hit 100kph in 13.5 seconds, while consuming a claimed figure of 5.6l/100km. The 1.5 is a little quicker, being able to hit 100kph in a claimed 9 seconds, with fuel consumption sitting at 6.0l/100km. On launch, I drove the top specced 1.5 manual gearbox, and I feel the engine offers commendable performance.

Specifications and features

The Honda Jazz does not skimp on safety features. Passive safety features include dual front, side and curtain airbags, inertia reel seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters for front occupants, and height adjustable seatbelt anchors. Child seat tethers are fitted to the rear. These features are joined by an array of active safety systems that includes ABS anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency braking assistance (EBA). The Trend also benefits from Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assistance (VSA).

The model I drove came with a multifunction steering wheel as well as  cruise control and Hill Start Assist. Alloy wheels and a full-size spare wheel both come standard in the 1.5 Dynamic. The interior gains a pretty seven-inch display in the dashboard, which incorporates the audio system, Bluetooth telephony, the trip computer, and more. There's also leather trim on the steering wheel and gearshift knob, while a fully automatic climate control does a sterling job of keeping the summer heat under control. The best part has to be the two USB ports and HDMI port which will make use of your smartphone's features for car use.

SA Launch

The launch route took us through the Swartland region of Cape Town and we skirted the towns of Paarl and Wellington. The car's 1.5 engine performed well, and the gearshift was typically Honda, which is a great thing. The car's features make it a competitive option in this segment and I feel like it will continue to be a best seller in our market.

2015 Honda Jazz Price in South Africa

The new Honda Jazz will go on sale in February 2015.  All models except the entry-level Trend come with a four-year/60 000 km service plan included in the price, while services on all models are at 15 000 km intervals.

Jazz 1.2 Trend Manual                  R179 900 Jazz 1.2 Comfort Manual              R204 900 Jazz 1.2 Comfort CVT                   R221 900 Jazz 1.5 Elegance Manual            R234 900 Jazz 1.5 Elegance CVT                 R249 900 Jazz 1.5 Dynamic Manual             R249 900 Jazz 1.5 Dynamic CVT                  R264 900