Honda has released the first official images of the new Jazz, which is due to hit UK showrooms this autumn.
Successor to the current strong-selling supermini, Honda claims its new Jazz will build on the qualities that made the old model so popular in the UK. The new city runabout is 55mm longer and 20mm wider than before, boosting cabin space. But it also gets two new petrol engines that are claimed to increase fuel economy substantially.
The new entry-level motor will be an 88bhp, 1.2-litre four-cylinder with sub-120g/km CO2 emissions. Above this buyers will also be able to select a new 1.4-litre unit with 98bhp. Both engines use VTEC variable valve timing technology and Honda promises diesel-rivalling fuel consumption figures. There are no plans for a diesel powered Jazz at the moment – instead Honda is focussing on introducing a hybrid powertrain, which should arrive within two years.
Honda will also offer a six-speed roboticised manual transmission as an option with the 1.4-litre engine. This gearbox means the Jazz can apparently achieve 54.3mpg with its larger petrol engine.
One of the big weaknesses of the original Jazz was its bumpy ride quality, which should be improved significantly in the new car. The new Jazz has a 50mm longer wheelbase and 35mm wider front track, both of which should improve stability.
Honda is also keen to emphasise the Jazz’s credentials as a town car. The doors can now be opened wider than before and the A-Pillars have been narrowed to improve front visibility.
New Jazz prices will be announced nearer to the car’s launch later this year, but expect it to cost from £10k.