New Honda Jazz showcases hybrid tech and front-centre airbags for the first time
The all-new Honda Jazz features a bold new look, improved interior quality, front-centre airbags for the first time and an all-new hybrid drivetrain, the brand has revealed.
e:HEV hybrid set-up
The biggest change to the Jazz is the introduction of a hybrid drivetrain. It’s the first Honda model to use the tech exclusively, although it’s set to be rolled out across the range soon.
The e:HEV hybrid set-up selects from three interchangeable drive modes: EV Drive; Hybrid Drive; and Engine Drive.
In most urban driving situations, optimum efficiency is achieved through seamless transitions between EV Drive and Hybrid Drive. For driving at highway speeds, Engine Drive is used, supplemented by an on-demand peak power ‘boost’ from the electric propulsion motor for fast acceleration. In Hybrid Drive, excess power from the petrol engine can also be diverted to recharge the battery via the generator motor. EV Drive is also engaged when the car is decelerating, harvesting energy through regenerative braking to recharge the battery.
Front-centre airbag technology
The Honda Jazz has always been one of the safest cars in its class. Now the all-new Jazz will be the first model in its class to market to feature new front-centre airbag technology as standard.The new airbag is fitted within the back of the driver’s seat and expands into the space between driver and passenger. This new airbag, one of ten in the new Jazz, helps to avoid direct contact and reduce impact between a driver and a passenger in the event of a side-on collision.
Externally, the Jazz gets a more minimalist design than before. Its silhouette is instantly recognisable, but the new car gets what Honda calls a “seamless, clean design philosophy”.
The A-pillar (between the windscreen and front doors) is half the width of previous models to improve visibility. The front gets a flatter grille and there’s a set of wraparound headlights too, bringing it more in line with the rest of the Honda line-up.
The rear design of the car echoes the clean lines at the front, with a sleek new horizontal light cluster layout and refined rear roof spoiler. The Crosstar variant (pictured above) hopes to broaden the appeal of Jazz and brings with it raised ride height, chunky black bodywork and a set of roof rails. This gives the Jazz a bolder, SUV-style look.
The cabin has been given a clean, minimalist interior, with an emphasis on utility, practicality and functionality. Front passengers benefit from Honda's newly developed body stabilising seat frame that increases comfort levels and provides greater lumbar support.
Tech has also been given a significant boost, with a user-focused dashboard incorporating a slim instrument panel that sweeps horizontally across the cabin. The central HMI 9-inch touchscreen supports Apply CarPlay and Android Auto, while the 7in full TFT instrument cluster – included as standard – is simple and easy to read. The infotainment will also be available with swipe controls, while below it you’ll find a revised set of heater and aircon controls.
Tech doesn’t stop with connectivity either; there’s a host of new safety features including Collision Mitigation Brake system and Adaptive Cruise Control. The former detects pedestrians and cyclists at night, and can steer the car to avoid a collision.
The next-generation hybrid Jazz, which will be available in Europe from summer 2020, will spearhead the brand's commitment to see all its car model ranges in Europe electrified by 2022. Prices are yet to be revealed.