The successful Jazz brand continues with new Sport
The highly popular Honda Jazz brand will once again move forward with the introduction of a new Sport model. Taking the Jazz on a 180km roadtrip along the South-African east coast, we tested the abilities of the Jazz on the road, as well as the wet skid pan of Dezzi Raceway.
The Jazz Sport will as of 2018 replace the top-of-the-range Dynamic model and will bring some new flavour to the Jazz brand. The engine fitted to the Sport is also completely new and is more powerful, fuel efficient and has fewer emissions.
Walking around the car before we started, the Sport features less of the side skirts and roof-spoilers seen on the previous Dynamic versions. However, it looks sportier with its wider and more aerodynamic body.
Fitted to the front are LED daytime running lights with gloss exterior surroundings. Also fitted are low profile 16-inch Berlina black alloy wheels.
Inside, a black leather with red and sporty stitching greets you. Also fitted to the interior is a well designed infotainment (USB, HDMI, CD-player and Bluetooth included) system, six loudspeakers and a new keyless, start-stop pushbutton.
With the Jazz being slightly bigger, rear leg room has significantly been improved with 359 litres of luggage space (889 litre if the rear seats are folded down).
The interior feels refined and well-designed with hands-free technology, cruise control, air-conditioning and rear parking sensors. All of these come as standard fitments.
Topping the engine range, the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine produces 97kW (@6600 rpm) and 155Nm (@4600 rpm). Weighing 1066kg in total, the Jazz Sport has ample power to slice through traffic. The engine revs quite high as per usual with the CVT gearbox, but will produce a claimed fuel consumption of 5.6 litres / 100km.
The suspension is soft and well adapted for comfortable road use, even in this sporty package. It is well understood why older generations tend to purchase this car. However, with the clever design and interior practicality, the new Jazz Sport can be practical family vehicle too.
The car is fitted standard with safety features like ABS, EBD, Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).
All these safety features were fully tested in our gymkhana-like skid pan track. Putting up a short, wet and tight gymkhana track, Honda presented us with the opportunity to set up the fastest times around the track, but to also test the safety features.
The times were fast and competitive, with only 0.500 seconds separating the four cars. This shows just how well the Jazz has been built, giving confidence to every driver to put the car to the limits.
With this new package and numerous new features, the Jazz Sport will be sold at exactly the same price as the previous Dynamic, which is R310 000. This should be regarded as a well-earned victory for the brand. Being able to manufacture such a good package and with a very competitive price, even with the Southern-African inflation mark reaching new heights, this is a victory in its own respect.
Sold with a five-year/ 200 000km warranty, four-year/ 60 000 km service plan and three-year AA roadside Assistance package, the Jazz might just be one of the most practical packages on the current market.
Well done Honda!
Text: Franco Theron
Pictures: Galimoto Media