New Honda Jazz revealed, exclusively a hybrid (for now)
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It's been a big day at the Tokyo Motor Show, with Mazda and now Honda debuting new electrified platforms. In Mazda's case it was the all-new fully electric MX-30, and in the case of Honda it's a fresh-faced new Jazz.
Perhaps the biggest bombshell with Honda's pint-sized new hatch is the move to make all versions of it hybrids in its home market of Japan (where it's known as a Honda Fit). There's no word yet on whether the rest of the world's Jazz range will follow the same line.
For reference, while hybrid variants of the Jazz have never been sold new in New Zealand, they've been a staple of the line-up in Japan. Many have since made their way to our shores as imports. Nevertheless, the timing is on point given that the new Toyota Yaris — when it lands here — will also come as a potential hybrid.
Specific details around the new e:HEV two-motor hybrid system are slim, apart from statements that it will form the basis for more engines across the Honda range in coming models. For what it's worth, the outgoing hybrid Jazz/Fit made use of a 1.5-litre four cylinder engine alongside an electric motor and battery pack, which was rated for 100kW/170Nm and a rated consumption figure of 2.9L/100km. The powertrain will "drive smoothly by an electric motor for virtually all situations of everyday driving," according to Honda.
Away from all the engine stuff, the new Jazz sports a few key tech updates. The Honda Sensing safety suite is standard across the range, bringing things like Autonomous Emergency Braking, radar cruise, and lane-keep assist to a wide number of models.
Five different trim levels were unveiled at the reveal, although expect these to vary from market to market. For Japan at least, the 'Fit' line-up includes the base model 'Basic', the more optioned out 'Home', the SUV-style Crosstar (complete with cladding and roof rails), the funky two-tone 'Ness' (image of its interior above), and the flagship 'Luxe'.
While its cute exterior will attract interest, it's once again the Jazz's interior that appears to pack the most punch. Once again, the brand has focused on maximising the use of space.
Various birds-eye angles of the cabin show ample legroom for rear-mounted passengers, as well as a greater mix of textures and colours than in current models. No word yet on whether Honda's 'Magic Seats' are back for the new Jazz, but Honda has made sure to note that the next-generation Jazz will be "as versatile as that of the previous-generation".
Apart from the sheer space, the cabin is also impressive in its design. Honda have ported numerous touches from its popular E EV, including the two-spoke steering wheel, the use of brighter materials to liven things up, and the general simplicity of its layout.
There's been no word yet on Kiwi availability just yet (we've contacted Honda New Zealand, and will report back with an update). But it's expected that the new model is likely to debut here in 2020.