Honda Jazz
Click to enlarge

Honda has launched the new Honda Jazz in Malaysia and although the two engine options are gone, the single i-VTEC engined model comes in two different equipment levels – Grade S and Grade V priced at RM104,800 and RM109,800 respectively.

Let’s look at the new Honda Jazz after the jump.

VIDEO: Honda Jazz Malaysia

Honda Jazz

Honda Jazz

The difference between the S and V grades lie in the equipment levels that each variant offers. The V grade has larger wheels – 16 inches wrapped with 185/55R16 tyres compared to the S grade’s 175/65R15 tyres on 15 inch wheels. It also has different front and rear bumpers, a side sill garnish, a different grille, an exhaust pipe finisher, retractable door mirrors with turn indicators, leather steering wheel and gear knob, steering wheel audio and cruise control and most importantly the paddle shifts on the steering wheel.

The V grade has a black interior while the S grade has a black and blue interior. I am guessing most will go for the V grade at only RM5,000 more for all the extra equipment.

Honda Jazz
Click to enlarge

Both the S and V range come with a vehicle information display system at the instrument panel which displays vital information about the car such as remaining range in km based on the fuel remaining in the fuel tank, and real time fuel consumption. These can help you manage your fuel consumption better.

The new L15A i-VTEC engine has been updated, now putting out 120 PS at 6,600rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. The 120 PS is a higher peak power compared to the previous 1.5 VTEC engine but it is also achieved at a much higher RPM which means you have to rev higher to get it – 6600rpm vs 5800rpm.

Honda Jazz

This new i-VTEC SOHC engine uses a stepped variable valve timing and lift system, varying timing and lift according to two different settings – one for low load operations, another “high cam”. Intake and exhaust valve count for each cylinder are now 2 each – 4 per cylinder which means this engine is a 16 valve unit as opposed to the previous engine’s 12 valve setup.The valve shut-off feature that closes one of the intake valves for better low RPM performance is not found on this L15A engine (not needed?) but available on the smaller L13A engine that is not available in the Malaysian market.

Other features of the L15A include a drive by wire electronic throttle, a new intake manifold with a resonator which helps with low to mid range torque, a high-tumble flow intake port, an integrated exhaust manifold head with a closely-coupled cat converter for better emissions, and a finally a world-wide first: a pattern piston coating design wihch features a patterned surface coating on the piston to improve lubricant retention around the sides of the piston for reduced friction.

Honda Jazz

The Fit/Jazz is equipped with various transmissions worldwide including a conventional manual, a CVT, a 5-speed auto or a 6-speed i-SHIFT automated manual transmission, but in our market Honda has decided to offer the 5-speed auto. Honda says they found that the automatic transmission instead of the CVT used in the previous model was the best choice for our driving style from a driving experience point as it involves a combination of city and sporty or highway driving, while the CVT is more suited to pure city driving such as the conditions in Japan.

The 5-speed automatic gearbox has its 4th and 5th gears as overdrive gears. Its ratios are 2.995, 1.678, 1.066, 0.760, and 0.551, with a reverse ratio of 1.956. From my personal experience, highway cruising is sure to be quite relaxing with such a low overdrive gear available – high speed cruising with a low engine RPM for a more quiet, unstressed and serene feeling.

Honda Jazz

The brakes have gone up an inch at the front and the rear drum on the previous generation Jazz has been replaced with disc brakes with this new Honda Jazz. Anti-lock brakes are standard on all variants. Both models also have dual SRS airbags.

Honda’s engineers went to interesting (and funny) lengths to make the Jazz practical. The usual fuel tank position is still there – under the front passenger seats, but check this out – the new Honda Jazz has 10 cupholders. That’s alot for a car that only sits 5. Other conveniences include a dual glovebox, a front console box, an underseat box located under the left rear seat, convenience hooks (also called curry hooks or teh tarik hooks), and a 346 litre rear cargo capacity. With the rear shelf which covers the rear cargo area installed this becomes 337 litres. This cargo space is smaller than the European or Japanese Honda Jazz/Fit as we get a spare tyre with the car while the European and Japanese customers get a tyre repair kit. The absence of a spare tyre in those markets increase bootspace.

Comparison between old Jazz and all-new Honda Jazz
  New Jazz Old Jazz
Engine 1.5L i-VTEC 1.5L VTEC
Transmission 5-AT CVT
Displacement 1497 1497
Compression 10.4:1 10.1:1
Max output 120 PS @ 6600 110 PS @ 5800
Peak torque 145Nm @ 4800 143Nm @ 4800
Emissions Euro 4 Euro 4
Length 3900 (+55) 3845
Width 1695 (+20) 1675
Height 1525 1525
Wheelbase 2500 (+50) 2450
Weight S: 1110, V: 1120 1080
Turning radius 4.9 4.9
Tires S: 175/65R15 (+1″)
V: 185/55R16 (+1″)

The engineers have also made some engineering changes so that the new Jazz feels more refined compared to the previous one. Cabin noise is now rated at 4 dB less compared to the old Jazz. The same goes for seat vibration. Steering vibration is reduced by 2 dB. The Ultra Seats still have the Utility mode, Long mode and Tall mode but the Relax mode is now gone. Honda says studies found that not many people used the Relax mode, and removing it allowed them to design the seats to be more comfortable. For the rear seats, the cushion length has been increased.

As for the suspension, the basic design is still the MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. The front caster angle has been changed from 2.16 degrees to 3.33 degrees while the caster offset goes from 5.4 mm to 19.8 mm. These improvements allow for better straight line stability. The rear torsion beam training arm length has been increased from 396 mm to 435 mm. The mechanical control geometry has been reduced from 316 mm to 239 mm. Spring lever ratio goes from 1.54 to 1.11. The changes to the rear suspension improve stability and ride comfort.

Honda Jazz

Rear visibility has improved by 30% and front by 10%. The front windscreen upward view angle has improved by 1.4 degrees. The front quarter window is now 3 times larger. Rear headroom has increased by 10mm, and the rear seat knee clearance is up by 40mm.

The in-car audio system uses an integrated CD player with MP3 support. There is also USB audio input so you don’t have to waste your CDs – just put your MP3s on a thumb drive and slot it in. Those who already have an MP3 player can use the aux input function. For both variants, this audio system plays tunes through 4 speakers.

Honda Jazz

There are four colours available for the new Honda Jazz – Taffeta White, Alablaster Silver, Crystal Black Pearl and Cerulean Blue Metallic. Both variants come with a 3 year or 100,000km warranty, and 6 months (or 10,000km) free service.

Honda also offers a Modulo package for the new Honda Jazz. The Modulo parts consist of fog lamps (RM880), a tailgate spoiler (RM780), illuminated side step garnishes (RM600), Modulo 16 inch alloy wheels (RM2480), alloy pedals with rubber grip sections (RM150), interior footwell lighting (RM380), and a trunk tray (RM270). The fogs and Modulo wheels are only available for the V equipment level. All the items except the wheels are available as one package for RM3000, which saves you about RM60.

Honda Jazz
Honda Jazz Modulo

Honda Jazz
L-R: 15 inch wheels, 16 inch wheels, 16 inch Modulo wheels

Honda is also encouraging the use of child seats in Malaysia by offering Modulo child safety seats. Three sizes are available – S for infants aged up to 9 months old, M for babies between 9 months and 4 years old, and L for toddlers 4 years old and above. They cost RM1,540, RM1,620 and RM1,360 respectively.

Finally, a Garmin nuvi-based GPS navigation system with Malaysian maps and a 9.7cm by 5.7cm display is available for RM2,440.

VIDEO: Honda Jazz Launch

PHOTO GALLERY: Honda Jazz in Malaysia
Click thumbnails to view high resolution photo