THE Honda Jazz is a B-segment compact car that was first introduced in Japan in 2001.
It is known as Fit in Japan, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and the United States.
Malaysia is the only country outside Japan to get the third-generation Jazz Hybrid.
Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd launched the Honda Jazz Sport Hybrid in the middle of last year.
Powering the Honda Jazz Sport Hybrid is a 1.5-litre double over head cam i-VTEC four-cylinder engine paired to a seven-speed i-DCD transmission, with 109hp at 6,000rpm and 134Nm of torque at 5,000rpm.
The 0.86 kWh lithium-ion battery powers the built-in 29hp and 160Nm electric motor. Together, it generates 135hp, which is equivalent to a 1.8-litre engine.
Honda claims that the Jazz Sport Hybrid is able to sprint from standstill to 100kph in nine seconds and has a top speed of 180kph.
Measuring in at 3,955 mm in length, 1,695 mm in width, 1,524 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,530 mm, the Jazz weighs 1,158kg and has a 40-litre fuel tank capacity as well as a 314 litres of boot space.
The Jazz Sport Hybrid is equipped with electric power steering, shift by wire gear system, 3D speed meter design multi-information instrument cluster, cruise control, push start button with smart entry, Econ button, 15-inch alloy wheels, fabric upholstery, LED daytime running lights, halogen headlights, 6.8-inch display audio, four-speaker sound system, touch panel automatic air-conditioning system, and LED tail lights.
As for the safety aspects, the Jazz Sport Hybrid is fitted with four airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, rear sensors, security alarm with immobiliser, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist, emergency stop signal function, multi-angle reverse camera and rear ISOFIX mounting points.
The Honda Jazz Sport Hybrid is priced at RM87,500 including insurance and Goods and Services Tax. It is covered by a five-year unlimited mileage warranty at 10,000km service intervals.
It also comes with an eight-year warranty for the lithium-ion battery.
The Honda Jazz Sport Hybrid is indeed a lovely car to drive. It is easy to manoeuvre around town and most importantly a comfortable hatchback.
Its interior gives a futuristic and premium feel. The materials and plastics used are high quality and fine. The dashboard is clean and simple, it is finished in grey and accompanied by silver and glossy black trims. The seats are comfortable and supports nicely. It keeps the occupants in place when cornering.
The combination of the combustion engine and electric motor works flawlessly. Despite weighing slightly over 1,150kg, the hatchback is fun to drive. The seven-speed dual clutch transmission works perfectly, managing the gears and engine power smoothly, quickly and seamlessly. There is no delay in throttle response.
At the speed of 110kph, the engine maintains low revs and there is hardly engine noise, wind noise, as well as tyre noise.
The suspension works well. It glided over broken patches of road, potholes and humps comfortably. The medium hard setting suspension did not lose any traction waiving around high speed corners. It remained glued to the ground as if it were a sports car.
The steering wheel felt good to hold and was well-tuned and precise. It provides accurate road feedback to the driver.
Although the Jazz might look diminutive from the outside, it is spacious in the inside. It has generous legroom, headroom and shoulder room all around, even for a large frame adult.
Honda’s engineers somehow managed to produce more leg room and headroom in the rear.
We drove the Honda Jazz Sport Hybrid for more than 300km. We managed to achieve 20km to 24km per litre of petrol (km/l), after mixture of city and highway driving.
Cruising on the highway below legal speed limit, resulted to 30 to 35 km/l. After some pedal-to-the-metal driving, it displayed 15 to 19 km/l.
Overall, the Jazz Sport Hybrid is a fantastic compact car to drive around city and long distance, but there were some features missing.
We felt that the Sport Hybrid should come with more USB ports, or even 12-volt power sockets. It would look more sporty and modern if it comes with LED headlight.
The Jazz Sport Hybrid should also come equipped with auto locking system, where it will automatically lock the car doors when the car starts to move.
Lastly, it would be great if the hatchback comes with the auto-folding side mirrors and sharks fin antenna, just like the City Hybrid.