Sam says it’s an old dog with new tricks
Having driven a family member’s Honda Jazz many times previously, it is interesting to see many characteristics of the older version still clearly present in the newer Jazz Sport except, with some new tricks to boast.
At first, I was slightly taken aback by how high the car revved as it was the first time I experienced a CVT gearbox in a smaller car. So, while I knew nothing was ‘wrong’ with the vehicle, I would definitely take some time to become accustomed to this.
The first new feature in the Jazz Sport is the 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated engine. This gives the driver 97 kW of power and 155 Nm of torque. The power output is slightly higher than the previous model.
Torque could have been a bit better but the car comes with paddle shifters which you can use to get this when necessary. The car has adequate power to overtake easily and drives well on the highway. I would, however, take more care on uneven roads as I do not imagine they tyres will win in a battle against a pothole.
The claimed fuel efficiency is 5.6L/100km. With a mixture of open road and suburban driving and very little driving in congested traffic, I was only able to achieve 7.0L/100km which, while not that bad, is still not as impressive as one would expect. This is especially since one of the main advantages of CVT is reduced fuel consumption.
I thoroughly liked the new looks of the latest Jazz Sport. It has evolved with the movement away from the boxier shaped car to a sleeker looking body. The tested model also had black mags which gave it that extra bit of sportiness.
The interior of the vehicle also has quite a sporty feel. According to the manufacturers, the detailing is inspired by the Honda Civic Type-R. The steering wheel and seats are stitched in red and this colour is featured in various places in the car. Overall, it makes for a very appealing look that matches the sportiness of the exterior.
The Jazz has an HDMI port in addition to the usual USB ports. I was not quite sure what the benefit of this was because the HDMI port is meant to display your device screen on the touchscreen. With the existence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, however, I doubt that it would be used that much.
Something that was retained from previous models is the versatility of the vehicle. It has one of the largest boots in its class. The seats can also still be folded up to use the rear of the vehicle for storage space or pushed flat. In the case of my relatives, we can easily fit an electric wheelchair in the boot then fold up the back seats for groceries when they go shopping.
The Jazz Sport has plenty to offer those who want both practicality and sportiness. The price, however, may cause some to pause before diving into a purchase.
Good to know
Engine: 1.5L naturally-aspirated
Power: 97 kW
Torque: 155 Nm
Claimed fuel efficiency: 5.6L/100km
Price: from R310 000
Warranties and service plans: Five-year/200 000 km warranty, four-year/60 000 km service plan, as well as a three-year AA Roadside Assistance package.
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