HONDA says its new Jazz, to be sold exclusively as a hybrid, will “raise the bar in terms of comfort and driver enjoyment”.
The Jazz is the first in Honda’s current line-up to go hybrid-only, with other models soon to follow suit. The company announced last year that all of its combustion-engined models in Europe will be offered with hybrid powertrains by 2022.
The new hybrid has remained familiar enough to appeal to those loyal owners, while also bringing in new people to Honda’s entry-level model.
The styling is a minor evolution over the previous model but with more curved lines and redesigned lights, bumpers and bonnet. One notable feature is the split A-pillars, designed to increase forward visibility. The forward cabin design is a simple one, with clean lines and a touchscreen mounted in the centre console.
The Jazz uses a similar dual-motor hybrid system to the CR-V Hybrid but downsized for its supermini application. Honda says the powertrain “provides an exceptional blend of strong and effortless driving performance and impressive fuel economy”.
The CR-V Hybrid pairs two electric motors with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a CVT. However, given its smaller dimensions, the Jazz will use a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a pair of smaller electric motors. These will send a combined 108bhp to the front wheels through a bespoke gearbox with a single fixed-gear ratio for a more linear acceleration curve.
Honda claims a 0-62mph time of 9.4sec and a top speed of 108mph. It says the Jazz is capable of achieving 62.8mpg on the WLTP combined cycle while emitting 102g/km of CO2 in its standard form.
Three driving modes are available, allowing drivers to choose between running on the engine, the motors or a combination of the two. Regenerative braking functionality features, sending a charge to the battery pack under deceleration.
Honda has not yet confirmed which trims will come to the UK but says adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic headlights, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are among the standard features.