The Honda Jazz and City Sport Hybrid i-DCD are currently the country’s most affordable hybrid cars on sale today, and remain the only cars in the segment to be electrified. Priced at RM84,880 and RM89,200 respectively, the pair undercuts the base-level Hyundai Ioniq by at least RM15k, which briefly was the cheapest hybrid car on sale when it was launched in November 2016.

As certified Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs), the introduction of the hybrid couple marks the Malaysian debut of Honda’s new intelligent dual-clutch drive (i-DCD) hybrid system, which is holistically upgraded from the previous integrated motor assist (IMA) family. Malaysia is also the only other country outside of Japan to get the two cars.

For the first time in Malaysia, the Jazz and City now come with a seven-speed dry dual-clutch transmission to go with the new Atkinson-cycle 1.5 litre DOHC four-cylinder engine. Both are unique to the hybrid only, with the latter being a lean burning engine, producing 110 PS and 134 Nm of torque. Although down by 10 PS and 11 Nm compared to its non-hybrid counterparts, the hybrids get extra boost from an electric motor that’s integrated into the transmission.

Together, it gets a total system output of 137 PS and 170 Nm of torque, and a new lightweight (42.5 kg) 0.86 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (costs RM5,513 to replace) is employed to deliver charge to the electric motor. Honda says the battery, which is 50% larger than the 0.58 kWh nickel-metal hydride battery from the IMA hybrid, is able to deliver between one to two km of pure electric range. The battery also powers the electric compressor, so the air-con remains cold even when the engine is shut off.

As hosts to i-DCD, the City and Jazz Sport Hybrid gain approximately 69 kg from the non-hybrids, so restoring vehicular balance calls for some minor suspension tweaks as well as structural reinforcement.

Honda says there’s no need to worry about the cars catching alight should the battery be damaged in a rear-end collision, because no such case has been reported in its home country where close to one million units of i-DCD-equipped cars have been sold. The company also says the entire battery enclosure has been reinforced for extra measure, so that’ll ought to ease your worries.

To find out how it drives, read our full in-depth review of the Honda City Sport Hybrid i-DCD, or compare both cars’ specifications on Carbase.my.

GALLERY: Honda City Sport Hybrid i-DCD


GALLERY: Honda Jazz Sport Hybrid i-DCD