Honda has announced its fourth-generation Jazz, which is to be sold exclusively as a hybrid and will "raise the bar in terms of comfort and driver enjoyment."
The new Honda Jazz, which uses a similar dual-motor hybrid system to the CR-V Hybrid but downsized for its supermini application will use a 1.5-liter petrol engine and a pair of smaller electric motors, but according to Honda, the powertrain "provides an exceptional blend of strong and effortless driving performance and impressive fuel economy."
The Honda Jazz is available in three driving modes so you can choose between running on the engine, the motors, or a combination of the two and is the first in Honda's current line-up to go hybrid-only. However, Honda said last year that all of its combustion-engine models in Europe will be offered with hybrid powertrains by 2022: "Honda will expand the application of its i-MMD dual-motor hybrid system, with the introduction into smaller segment cars an important first step."
The new Jazz, which must remain familiar enough to appeal to loyal Honda customers also brings in new people to Honda's entry-level model. However, according to Honda's UK sales boss Phil Webb, Honda will launch a campaign to help educate on the hybrid Jazz given the older age of many of its loyal customers. Keeping the familiarity, the new Jazz seats offer similar comfort to that of a premium saloon and the rear seats retain the flexibility of previous Jazz's in their versatility.
However, bringing in a new audience to Honda's entry-level model, Honda will offer its latest My Honda+ smartphone app, which includes remote vehicle lock and unlock, Intelligent Geofencing which alerts an owner if the vehicle breaches a pre-set 'geofence' zone, and the ability to send journey information from the app to the car's navigation system.
Infotainment and connectivity features can also be activated using voice commands, with Honda's so-called Personal Assistant, which was first seen on the Honda e.
According to Honda, its voice activated system is capable of understanding multiple requests, for example: "OK Honda, find me an Italian restaurant with free parking, WiFi, that is open now." The results from your request will then be displayed on the touchscreen before plotting the best route to the chosen location and displaying it on the navigation screen. The touchscreen is intended to minimize driver distraction and the menu navigation is designed to reduce operation time by 58% over the previous model. It has also reinstated physical controls for critical functions such as heating and ventilation.
With three trims available in the UK, the SE, SR, and EX, as well as the crossover-style Crosstar, Jazz standard features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic headlights, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Black paint is the default cost-free option but six other paint options are also available and the Crosstar will be exclusively available in two-tone combinations with a gloss-black roof.
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