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When it comes to illustrating just how much a new model has changed, we know few methods can beat lining it up alongside its immediate predecessor. So we decided to give the privilege of our New vs Old comparison gallery to the rule book-rewriter that is the popular Honda Jazz.

Launched in July merely a year after the introduction of the locally-assembled (CKD) facelifted second-gen Jazz petrol, the new third-gen 2014 Jazz is evidently a major departure, looks wise.

Ignore the old car’s ‘floating’ bumpers and fog lamps bestowed upon it by the optional Modulo kit; you can clearly see the new car has adopted quite an attitude through its edgier and more aggressive styling – a wonderful contrast to the old car’s rounder and cutesier appearance overall. This new V grade car rides on 16-inch alloys; the old car wears 15s.

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The new Jazz hasn’t gotten any wider or taller than the old one, but it’s longer – by 55 mm in overall length and 30 mm in wheelbase. This translates to more room for occupants as well as luggage. Boot volume with all seats up is now 363 litres; a notable increase from the previous 337.

Under the bonnet resides the same 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 120 PS and 145 Nm of torque. Max power is made at the same 6,600 rpm, but max torque now arrives 200 rpm lower at 4,600 rpm. Also, as in the Honda City, the old Jazz’s five-speed auto has made way for an ‘Earth Dreams’ CVT.

Throw in lower kerb weights across the board (old car 1,110 kg, new car 1,067-1,088 kg depending on variant) and it’s not difficult to see how Honda can tout an improved fuel economy of 17.8 km per litre.

So the new car has rear drum brakes as opposed to the old car’s all-round discs, but the upshots more than compensate for that. Where the previous car had only one spec to choose from since local assembly began (Hybrid aside) – which sits roughly between the new car’s base S and middle E grades in terms of equipment – the new Jazz has three variants. And there’s so much more standard kit as well as options, which include navigation and a Mugen kit for the first time.

Still need more evidence of the ‘newness’ of the 2014 Honda Jazz? Just step aboard. The dashboard is altogether more upmarket, more contemporary and, due to the comparative absence of buttons and knobs, less fussy than the old car’s.

The brilliant Ultra Seats and centre fuel tank layout are retained. The new car’s rear seats are more sculpted, with distinct side bolsters setting them apart from the old car’s flat rear bench. For the first time, our Jazz gets keyless start and entry, a touch-screen with HDMI and touch-panel auto air-con, amongst others – although of course you’ll find these only on higher-spec cars.

Finally, safety. An aspect in which the new Jazz shines. While the old car had two airbags whether you liked it or not, the new V grade car has six airbags and hill start assist. Although the new S grade car is actually worse for wear here than the old car, having no VSA. ASEAN NCAP recently tested the new Jazz (equipped with VSA) and rated the six-airbag variant five stars and the two-airbag variant four stars.

Learn more about the 2014 Honda Jazz through our comprehensive launch report, interview with Jazz Assistant Large Project Leader Daisuke Uragami, and test drive report from Hua Hin, Thailand. The Jazz wasn’t launched in time for Driven Web Series 2014, but we featured its sedan sister in Episode 1.

Also, compare the Jazz with rivals such as the VW Polo, Suzuki Swift, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio via CarBase.my‘s car comparison feature.

2014 Honda Jazz Grade V

2013 Honda Jazz with Modulo package

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