The 2015 Honda Jazz will go on sale in the UK this September, with prices starting from £13,495. The supermini is already on sale in the US and other markets, where it is badged as the Honda Fit.
The new Jazz is 95mm longer than the outgoing car and has a 30mm longer wheelbase, giving it a roomier cabin, and the boot is bigger as well. The ‘Magic Seats’ seen in other Honda models are fitted and can be folded forwards to increase storage space to 897 litres. Boot capacity is set at 354 litres with the rear seats in place.
There’s a new in-car infotainment system, Honda Connect, that offers real-time news, traffic and weather updates and internet browsing, as well as a 7.0in touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. This won’t come as standard, though – a 5.0in LCD display comes with lower trim levels.
New safety features come with the Advanced Driver Assist System package - including Lane Departure Warning and a Traffic Sign Recognition system - which is available as standard on all but the entry-level trims. This new safety technology will be used across Honda’s new product line-up in 2015.
Powering the new Jazz will be a 1.3-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, which can be coupled to either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. A new 1.0-litre option is likely to appear soon after the car's launch.
A hybrid version, using a 1.5-litre engine in conjunction with an electric motor to develop a combined 133bhp, was initially set to be sold in this country but now has been dropped from the UK line-up. Honda officials said the decision was down to the high cost of importing the car to this country.
The new Jazz will be available in three trim levels, with entry-level S versions getting air conditioning, cruise control and automatic lights. Further up the range, SE verions receive front and rear parking sensors, electric door mirrors and 15-inch alloy wheels, and also get Honda's Driver Assistance Safety Pack. Top-spec EX cars gets keyless entry and start, climate control, an upgraded stereo system and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Built on Honda’s global compact platform, the third-generation Jazz retains the same central fuel tank layout as the outgoing model. Honda says that layout allows it to offer “genuine customer benefits in terms of versatility, interior practicality and storage solutions.”
The car’s suspension has also been revised, delivering what Honda calls “a more refined and comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers”.
Honda’s Leon Brannan said: “The Jazz is a hugely important car for Honda in the UK, and has been a runaway success since its original launch. It has an extremely loyal following".