Honda-Jade-09

We’ve seen the Honda Jade before – it appeared at Shanghai 2013 as the production version of the Concept S – but only as a China-only model. Honda has since decided that the Jade is good enough for its home market, and will be introducing the MPV in Japan, where it has appeared on the company’s official website ahead of a February launch.

In Japan, the Honda Jade will be sold as a three-row, six-seater MPV (2-2-2) in hybrid form. The Chinese-market Jade is powered by a 1.8 litre i-VTEC engine, but the JDM version is hybrid only, with Honda’s Sport Hybrid i-DCD (intelligent dual-clutch drive) powertrain.

It combines a 1.5L direct-injection engine with a 29.5 PS/160 Nm lithium-ion-powered electric motor, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Sport Hybrid i-DCD, which we have tried, is also used in the Vezel Hybrid (HR-V) and Fit Hybrid (Jazz) models.

Honda-Jade-06

The JDM Honda Jade gets Honda’s Sensing suite of of active safety systems, as featured in the flagship Legend and US-market CR-V facelift.

It features Collision Mitigation Braking (braking only), Road Departure Mitigation (steering wheel vibrations if stray, corrective input, braking), Lane Keeping Assist (steering assist, vibrations if stray, >65 km/h) and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow (can come to a full stop and start off again) among other things. Doesn’t get the Legend’s Pedestrian Collision Mitigation Steering System, though.

Honda moved away from the low-roofed concept for the current Odyssey, but the Jade is pretty low slung for a people carrier, and would be a good looking successor to the Stream. The H brand is on a roll, and the Jade (if fitted with a three-seat mid row bench) would surely garner plenty of attention in our market, which is not exactly rich with mid-size MPVs now. What do you think?