When Honda changed the Civic, it went radical. But the new Jazz is just like the old oneIt’s easy ds it for Honda as it reveals its new Jazz supermini, which gs on sale later this year. With the Civic, the company took a previously dull car and made something futuristic. By contrast, the new Jazz looks very much like the current one.

Honda has stuck to the six-year-old Jazz’s winning formula, adding a touch more space, and making it even more economical. The wheels are now further apart, to allow for a bigger cabin and the new car is 55mm longer and 20mm wider. But within that Honda has pushed the windscreen forward to enlarge the cabin and provide more head-, shoulder- and leg-room. At the same time, the driving position has been improved and the front screen pillars have slimmed to improve the view out.

Getting in and out is easier because the rear doors now open in three steps, as do those at the front. Top-spec models will now have a glass roof that extends from the front as far as the rear seats. Heat-absorbing glass and a powered sun-blind keep occupants comfortable.

Honda promises a more upmarket look and feel for the cabin and new, more comfortable front seats feature. Rear seats that tip up cinema-style to free space for shopping or bags are carried over from the present model and made easier to operate. Dearer Jazz models will also have a split-level boot that offers 399 litres of space, which Honda claims beats any other supermini.

But the steering adjusts only up-down on cheaper models. For in-out adjustment, you’ll need a Jazz fitted with a 1.4 engine.

As before, there’ll be a choice of two petrol motors, a 1.2 and a 1.4, but this time they offer 89bhp and 99bhp, an increase over those in the current car. Both post impressively low CO2 emissions figures of 120 and 123g/km, while fuel economy is exceptional, at a promised overall maximum of 55.4 and 54.3mpg respectively. Those emissions figures but the cars in cheap road tax brackets.

A light glows on the dash of cars with a manual gearbox to indicate when it’s best to shift gear and use least fuel. A six-speed auto-manual gearbox is available with the 1.4 engine and this achieves up to 54.3mpg overall and of CO2.

Prices will be announced later but expect them to span £9k-£12k as they do now.

Stephen Jury


July 30, 2008

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