Maybe they won't admit it, but two of our editors will be a little sadder this month. Vernon and Stephanie own a first-generation and second-generation Honda Jazz, respectively. This week, they will be bombarded with ads, stories and social-media posts announcing the official release of the all-new, third-generation Honda Jazz, reminding them that there’s a newer model out there.
Still, for our Chief and our in-house Traffic Stopper, this inevitable motoring experience is a lot easier because the Jazz is one of the few model lines that don’t have a bad generation. All cars that bear the Jazz badge have been well received by the motoring public, as well as by aftermarket enthusiasts.
And it looks like this winning streak will continue with the new iteration.
For 2014, Honda’s subcompact hatchback has a funkier form, and is instantly recognizable as a new model. If the Japanese carmaker showed restraint in the transition from the first- to the second-gen Jazz, this time it’s confident enough to make a marked departure in design.
All around the car are signs that Honda designers have been busier than usual. The very futuristic grille is the most visible change, featuring a prominent bar with a large 'H' badge that's similar to the one in the recently launched Honda City. The City resemblance continues with the feature line that runs through the doors, connecting to the taillights. All similarities stop at the rear: The taillight-and-reflector assembly goes all the way to the roof of the Jazz. This kind of rear design used to be more associated with the CR-V model. All in all, the new look is the most eye-catching design yet for this popular line.
Interestingly, the 2014 Jazz only grows in length, from 3,915mm to 3,955mm. Width and height remain at 1,695mm and 1,525mm. The added length translates to 30mm more wheelbase, and, ultimately, to bigger cabin space. This can be felt when you sit in the spacious back seat.
Up front, the driver and the front passenger will be kept busy by the touchscreen controls for both audio and air-conditioner (VX and VX+ models only). This is the same amazing system found on the new City, and it has that nifty smartphone/mirroring feature via HDMI as well.
The Jazz also drops the 1.3-liter engine to give way to an all-1.5-liter lineup. We’d complain about the engine carrying over if this 118hp mill weren’t so perky and thrifty. And if you’re reading closely, yes, this heralds the return of the coveted 1.5-liter Jazz with a five-speed manual transmission. This is such good news we almost don’t mind that the base 1.5 V manual only gets steel wheels with a wheel cover.
If your appetite has been whetted--and it should be--here are the official prices of the all-new 2014 Honda Jazz:
* 1.5 V MT - P768,000
* 1.5 V CVT - P808,000
* 1.5 VX CVT - P908,000
* 1.5 VX+ CVT - P948,000
The provisional prices we published last Sunday were only off by P2,000 for each variant.
Now, join us in praying that Honda Cars Philippines activates a manual demo unit. We know we all want to find out how that variant drives. In the meantime, watch our exclusive video below. (And don't forget to check out our photo gallery at the top of this page.)
If you're viewing this on a mobile device and can't see the video, please click here.