Three Honda products have been named 2021 Red Dot winners in the Product Design category of the Red Dot Design Award, which is one of the most recognisable design awards in the world. They are the current Honda Jazz, the Jazz Crosstar version of the hatchback, and the Forza 750 flagship scooter.

The current Honda Jazz made its world debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show and went on sale in Europe and Japan in early 2020. The fourth-generation B-segment hatchback carries the spacious cabin and user-friendliness that the Jazz/Fit excels in – Honda says it offers multifaceted “comfort”, a value that cannot be expressed through specs.

This Jazz inherits a spacious cabin and versatile seat configurations that goes beyond what one expects from a compact car. A true embodiment of Honda’s “man maximum, machine minimum” (M/M) concept, it also features plenty of storage areas and cargo capacity. Visibility – already fantastic – was further improved by reducing the thickness of the front pillar to less than half of its former size, without compromising on crashworthiness. The driver’s view out is also helped by a flat dashboard and an unhooded meter panel.

Other practical things include a “table console” between the front occupants, front seats that have been re-profiled with a more “body stabilising” design (supports the pelvis and lumbar spine using a resin mat, a Honda first), and rear seats that feature thicker and softer padding for better comfort.

The cute and soft exterior of today’s Jazz was designed based on the concept of “the most pleasant partner in customers’ everyday lives”. With the keywords “friendly feeling”, “sense of reassurance” and “driving performance”, the design team strived for a design that would be beloved by a broad range of customers. Perhaps not so much by Malaysians obsessed with sporty everything? If so, one can always look to Mugen.

The Jazz is sold in Japan in five flavours – they are the Basic, the slightly more upmarket Home, the range-topping Luxe (think chrome trim and genuine leather), the lifestyle Ness option and the SUV-style Crosstar. The latter comes with the usual SUV-linked cues such as increased ride height, roof rails, a bolder front grille design, plus black cladding and side sills. There are also Crosstar-specific rims and water-repellant fabric upholstery. The latter is the only special variant sold in Europe alongside the regular Jazz.

Meanwhile, the Forza 750 is an interesting scooter that features user-friendly packaging and a powertrain that combines a high-torque and fuel-efficient inline two-cylinder 745cc engine with a dual-clutch transmission. Honda says that this model combines the comfort and convenience of a commuter scooter with the “fun of riding” from a big bike. The under-seat 22L storage can take in a full-face helmet.

“We believe this is recognition of our success in designing our products with the passion to ‘make the daily lives of our customers more enjoyable’, which has been passed down from generation to generation at Honda ever since the establishment the company. We will continue to follow this unchanging principle and think outside the box to create designs which will provide surprise and excitement in customers’ daily lives,” said Toshinobu Minami, COO of the design centre at Honda R&D.

What do you think of the latest Jazz versus the third-generation model that we’re familiar with? Like it or not, this Jazz won’t be coming to our region – in its place is the City Hatchback that has already been launched in Thailand and Indonesia. Get used to it because Malaysia is next.