The Geneva Motor Show is the European motor show debut of the revised Honda Jazz and marks the return of a CVT automatic transmission to the endlessly flexible B-segment hatchback.
New CVT Automatic Transmission
When Honda’s engineers set about revising the popular Jazz model, one of the priorities was to give Jazz customers an automatic transmission that would not impact on fuel economy or CO2 emissions. The solution they came up with was to combine a Continuously Variable Transmission, similar to that seen in the first Jazz, with a torque converter unit. The torque converter replaced the start clutch arrangement of the previous CVT unit, giving improved parking speed drivability and better highway fuel economy. It meant customers could benefit from the smooth, low stress driving experience of an automatic, without compromising its environmental performance.
The exterior of the Jazz has been given a makeover with the front lights given a subtly different shape, which are complemented by a new matt black mesh grille in between. The front bumper has also been re-profiled to enhanced aerodynamics and appearance. At the rear of the car the lights now have red sections at the top and bottom, with the centre section remaining white.
The interior has seen a total change of dashboard color, with a much darker plastic now used, giving a completely different ambience to the cabin. Chrome rings have been added to the climate control display and air vents, to contrast with the new dashboard. The seat fabrics have been given a new blue and black pattern to compliment the new surfaces of the dashboard areas. All illuminated areas of the dash are now lit in a soft amber color, unified across all instruments and complimenting the new interior materials.
The interior retains the legendary practicality which is made possible by the unique central fuel tank layout of the Jazz.
The Jazz’s Magic Seats are a key feature of the interior, with the ability to drive down into the floor of the vehicle, giving a completely flat load bay, with a very low floor. Alternatively, the bases can be flipped up through 90 degrees to give a tall load space from the floor to the ceiling for carrying a huge variety of items, from bicycles to pot plants. The rear seats can now recline a few degrees, to allow rear seat passengers the possibility to adjust the seat pitch to their liking.
The Jazz’s exterior dimensions establish it firmly as a B-segment hatchback, but its enormous 399 liters of boot space (including underfloor area), which can be extended in seconds to a cavernous 1320 liters with the seats folded, endow it with more load volume than some C-segment vehicles.
Detail revisions to suspension and steering settings have yielded significant improvements in both ride and handling for the new Jazz. Engineering teams in Germany and the UK, where a significant percentage of Jazz models sold in Europe are produced, spent time refining the already impressive chassis on a variety of roads. To allow drivers to enjoy the improvements, the engineers increased the torque around the centre position of the steering wheel, to give the driver more feeling.