Tokyo 2019: Honda Jazz – 4th-gen debuts, five variants, two-motor i-MMD hybrid system, Sensing

Greetings from Japan, where Honda has officially unveiled its all-new Jazz at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The fourth-gen hatchback, which is sold as the Fit in Japan and the US, is scheduled to go on sale from February 2020.

The automaker says that the new car has been developed with more “emotional value” than numerical absolutes, with comfort and engagement taking precedence. Design-wise, the new car has a softer, more-rounded look, less rakish than the third-gen GK it replaces.

The front end features larger, less geometric headlamps that include square projectors and U-shaped LED daytime running lights within the clusters, and while the company’s Solid Wing Face grille is still around, but the design has been simplified.

Tokyo 2019: Honda Jazz – 4th-gen debuts, five variants, two-motor i-MMD hybrid system, Sensing

Natural, crisp lines run horizontally along the sides of the car, and sharper, more vertical shoulder lines emphasise the rear fender and wheel arches, reinforcing the car’s broader stance. The rear design of the car echoes the clean lines at the front, with a sleek new horizontal light cluster layout and discrete roof spoiler.

Other design elements include a thinner A-pillar, which is half the width of that on the current car. This doesn’t just improve frontal visibility but also ensures a safer structure by enabling impact energy to flow to the front quarter light pillars in the event of a collision. The frontal visibility is also enhanced by relocated windshield wipers, which are now positioned to be barely visible.

Variety is the name of the game, with the Jazz being presented in a diverse range of styles – five are available for the car, namely Basic, Home, Ness, Luxe and Crosstar, as already revealed in the leaked image set earlier in the week.

The Basic is the entry-level model, featuring a simple and endearing design, while the Home presents the car with coordinated colours and materials, including natural looking fabric seats, a genuine leather wrapped steering wheel and Prime Smooth soft padding.

The Ness, meanwhile, sports up the car by ramping up the colour presentation. The variant also adopts water repellent materials for the seat surfaces and soft padding on the instrument panel.

The Crosstar is the most rugged version of the car, presenting it in a crossover fashion much like the Perodua Axia Style, but with increased ride height. Exclusive exterior design elements include a unique front grille, wheel-arch cladding and model-specific 16-inch aluminium wheels as well as integrated roof rails. Inside, the Crosstar also gets water repellent materials for the seat surfaces as well as soft padding on the instrument panel.

The Luxe, as its moniker suggests, is the most posh of the lot. The exterior features platinum chrome plated elements and 16-inch wheels, while interior fitment includes leather seats as standard, the idea being to create an elegant and comfortable space for occupants.

No details on specific powertrains were revealed today at the launch, but the automaker says that its new dual-motor i-MMD hybrid powertrain – which replaces the current Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) system – designed for the car is set to feature prominently, the unit very much a key element in the company’s push in its new e:HEV direction, with the car set to be the first model in Honda’s line-up in Europe to wear the new “e:HEV” powertrain badging.

In Europe, the car will only be sold with the hybrid system, but the Jazz will be available with the usual range of petrol engines in other markets.

Inside, new design cues include a two-spoke steering reminiscent of that from the Honda e and an instrument panel with a flat-topped design that emphasises horizontal and straight lines. The front seats are a new generation body-stabilising design, which feature mat-structure support in place of the previous spring set-up, offering less fatigue to occupants over longer drives.

As for the rear seats, the Magic Seats continue on, with the same seat arrangements as seen previously, but the units now come with a larger and thicker seat pad to improve comfort.

Infotainment-wise, there’s a new LCD touchscreen interface with swipe controls to browse recently used applications and media lists. Other items include a WiFi hotspot as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, available via wireless connection on the Jazz for the first time.

Safety and driver-assistance tech for the new Jazz will include a front wide view camera on top of the automaker’s Sensing suite, which will come standard on the car across the entire model range. The Jazz will also be the first model equipped with the Honda CONNECT onboard board communication module that has been developed exclusively for Honda vehicles.

GALLERY: 2020 Honda Jazz Basic

GALLERY: 2020 Honda Jazz Home

GALLERY: 2020 Honda Jazz Ness

GALLERY: 2020 Honda Jazz Crosstar

GALLERY: 2020 Honda Jazz Luxe