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The new Honda Jazz delivers plenty of choice, including a new hybrid variant that delivers ample refinement and efficiency.

14 Jul 2021


The Honda Jazz has amassed plenty of popular appeal here in Singapore. Affordably positioned, easy to drive and endlessly reliable, it's become something of a go to choice for many drivers when looking for a first car.

And of course, there is one overriding key to its appeal - it's a simple car.

Now, we have the all new fourth generation model, tested here in its Hybrid variant. On its face, this car is far from simple.

Contemporary choice

The design of the new Honda Jazz is certainly controversial
The way the Jazz looks is sure to divide opinions. Some may find the rounder overall aesthetic cute, others may pan it as ugly. 

Personally, while I do think the previous generation model was better looking, I don't find the look of the new Jazz offensive. However, I do think that it makes the car look smaller than it actually is.

Inside, there is much more to like. You get plenty of modern equipment, including a 9.0-inch infotainment system that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto (one of the times it pays to be an Apple user). There's a sleek set of air-con controls, and also an electric parking brake with auto hold function.

The ULTRA rear seats can be folded upwards to fit tall objects in the rear cabin
The cabin also feels more spacious. This is because the A-pillar has been made more than 50% slimmer, which translates to more overall glass surfaces. This creates a sensation of lightness and airiness, which is welcome in what is ultimately still a small car. And, legroom at the rear is generous for a car in this segment. 

The Jazz also hasn't lost any of its interior flexibility. Yes, the boot in this Hybrid variant is on the small side at 284 litres, but thankfully you can still easily expand hauling space by either folding the rear ULTRA seats flat, fold them upwards, or even fold the front passenger seat flat to create a long loading space.

Greener choice

The big news with this new Jazz is the debut of Honda's e:HEV hybrid powertrain. It's a complicated thing to try to get deep into the nitty gritty technical details, so I won't bore you with it. The more I drive the car, the more I realise that the less you think about the specifics of what's happening with the drivetrain, the better.

Driven normally, the Honda Jazz Hybrid is capable of returning a fuel economy figure of 23.1km/L
What you do need to know is that it is a pretty efficient unit. I managed 23.1km/L without really trying to drive to particularly efficiently, nor with the 'Econ' mode engaged.

The drivetrain also provides very smooth power and acceleration. The combined 125bhp and 253Nm of torque is more than sufficient for daily driving. And, it feels notably refined at higher speeds, where a naturally aspirated engine would typically be working a little harder. Here, because of the way the hybrid system works, it's actually quite aurally pleasant. The car is also able to operate in EV drive at highway speeds.

Overall, I think it is a well-considered hybrid powertrain. Perhaps not quite the efficiency that you'd find in a Toyota, but better than what we experienced in the directly comparable Note e-POWER.

The Jazz Hybrid comes equipped with useful Honda Sensing features
Beyond the powertrain, the Jazz Hybrid also demonstrates better overall ride comfort and composure. This might be due to the additional weight, but the car feels better planted to the ground.

You also get useful Honda Sensing features, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assst System and Road Departure Mitigation System.

Not so simple choice

The Jazz used to be a simple choice. The new one? Not quite so.

The new Jazz Hybrid delivers a solid blend of practicality and comfort, and great fuel efficiency
Between the petrol and hybrid variants, I think the Hybrid is the one to get.

You get much more equipment and a more potent yet more efficient powertrain for not much more money. This car here is only $6k more than the base petrol model. A lot of the price difference is offset by the $15k VES rebate that this Hybrid variant gets.

Is it the go-to choice in the market, though? For hatchbacks, there's the Nissan Note e-POWER that is a very comparable hybrid alternative for pretty much the same money.

Today, the new Jazz faces stiff competition across multiple fronts
There are larger sedans like the Hyundai Avante and Kia Cerato that cost less. And, there are also quite a number of compact crossover options as well, which will appeal to the mass market SUV-mad sensibilities of our current day and age.

So, while I do think this new Honda Jazz Hybrid is a good car worthy of consideration, it faces much stiffer competition than before, and from more fronts too. It may be a good choice, but it's not a simple choice anymore.
Also read our comparison article on:
Honda Jazz Hybrid vs Nissan Note e-POWER Hybrid

Car Information

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Promotion
There's a promotion for Honda Jazz Hybrid

Price

: $107,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve i-MMD DOHC i-VTEC

Engine Cap

:

1498cc

Horsepower

:

-

Torque

:

253 Nm / 3000 rpm

Transmission

:

Earth Dreams e-CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

-

Fuel consumption

:

26.3 km/L

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