How is this possible? Simply, it requires deep knowledge of the subject, persistence and zeal (all Japanese have), but also the patina of the front to stand out. Cars like the CRX, CR-Z, NSX, Type R (all of them) that if you put them side by side you think you’re reading an organic chemistry chain, but that all had developed a chemistry with their driver to achieve the goal: the creation of legends . The Honda Jazz may not have the patina of the legendary, but honestly, when it brought even simple hybrid technology to superminis most people were burning… fuel oil. And now, in 2023 comes the renewed generation of the already excellent and popular supermini to make the difference, improved in points. In key points!
The one-volume shape lives and reigns promising large spaces, ample visibility and Japanese usability. But our test car doesn’t just have the name or the look of a sports version (it has a nice grille on the grille, spoiler, 16″ wheels and a small “burry” for the exhaust), but much more, as well as sports suspension (the stiffness of the front springs has been reduced by 8%, while the rear springs have been increased by 20% and stiffer shock absorbers have been installed), power management sport mode in addition to Eco and Normal, and gear shift simulation paddles that take over the intensity of regenerative braking. And the sporty touches are completed with a beautiful interior with a three-spoke steering wheel and very nice looking and textured material seats (not nice is the price at €31,200, but we’ll come back to that later).
The rest of the equipment highlights a premium body with nice-to-the-touch plastics, 10 airbags, the new Honda Sensing, the umbrella of security systems with a front camera and a total of 8 sonars that detect from road boundaries to walls and windows (!), screens 9 ” for the multimedia and 7” for the instrument panel (without, unfortunately, the existence of digital circular indicators, since due to technology the existence of a tachometer does not stand), LED lights front and back and ACE, the body building system, Advanced Compatibility Engineering by Honda which uses a network of structures in the front frame to absorb and deflect the energy released by a frontal collision.
Although you guys probably already know this, let’s mention a few details about the hybrid system which includes a naturally aspirated 1.5 liter twin-cam i-VTEC petrol engine running on the Atkinson cycle (a proven solution in hybrids) which now produces 107 PS (increase of 10 PS) and 131 Nm of torque and an automatic gearbox with a constant transmission ratio called i-MMD, with two compact and powerful electric motors (electric CVT) of which one has a power of 122 PS (increase of 10 PS) and a torque of 253 Nm from…zero to 3,000 rpm drives the front wheels together with the gasoline engine and the other 106 PS generator and starter (located on the crank), charges an air-cooled lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 0.8 kWh.
The trick, then, was brilliant: the engine unit of the larger HR-V was used in a smaller model, with the result that the numbers tell the truth: 122 PS, 253 Nm (!), 0-100 km/h in 9, 6 sec (with CVT don’t forget), CO2 from 106 g/km and average consumption at 4.5 L/100km. Juicy numbers, part of which comes from the special gas pedal mapping.
There are three main driving scenarios: Starting, accelerating and driving with a constant “throttle” in EV mode, where the Jazz drives purely electrically, general use with medium pressure on the system as Hybrid mode, where the car again drives electrically with the engine charges the battery, while when the time comes to press the right pedal the car moves the petrol engine in engine mode.
EVALUATION (OUT OF 10)
HONDA JAZZ eHEV Advanced Sport 122PS
ROAD BEHAVIOR 8
DRIVER SATISFACTION 8
VALUE FOR MONEY 7
Driving a powerful hybrid model with the existing technological assumptions is more or less a predictable experience. Electric start, pressure and noise from the transmission system, relatively limited dynamics at half throttle, but above all economy and easy living. In the case of the Advanced Sport Jazz it is not exactly like that.
Or, to put it better, it’s quite different. Yes, the start is electric and yes, full throttle from a standstill is punchy but noisy. Until the logic of nimble driving comes with… gas halfway and maintaining speed.
Do you know something? This Jazz has the best ride quality of a powerful hybrid (beaten only by the bigger and more powerful Kona and Niro).
Revving up, the continuous, uninterrupted power delivery is top notch without excessive noise (or, if you want really good frittered noise) and, most importantly, without feeling like you’re going to be hanging on for power. The even more powerful card of the new Jazz is the sense of direction, the precision of the steering wheel and the turn-in that makes you think that the car has active four-wheel steering. According to the brand, this is due to another hidden ace, the Agile Handling Assist (AHA) system that improves the car’s dynamics in maneuvers by applying braking pressure to the inner wheels for effective Yaw Control. Which yes, it works, without even feeling weird.
Only a couple of issues arise, as the car could be sporty, but due to dimensions and volumes it is not, especially if you increase your pace too much and need to hit the brakes, while the comfort due to sport implementation is reminiscent of the Japanese school. An improvement to the silent blocks and very quiet Yokohama tires would be two nice bonuses. And, on the other hand, everyday life can run unimaginably quietly and purely electrically for long periods of movement and when the petrol engine is activated once in a while you don’t notice the slightest thing.
And we return to the price, which yes, is very high for the category, being the most expensive but also the most premium, well-equipped, safe and fun-to-drive of all the supermini hybrids we have driven (attention! we are talking about the total package), without burning much fuel and also having “Free” in the Ring. If you consider the sporty aspect of this version to be an exaggeration, you can always choose the basic version which has a faster 0-100 km/h!
MODEL HONDA JAZZ eHEV Advanced Sport 122PS 2023 TIMH €27.500 FEES €0
MOTOR 1,498, Hybrid System, 4 Cylinder, In Line FUEL OIL Hybrid
POWER kW(PS)/rpm 89(122) TORQUE Nm/rpm 253
TRANSMISSION CVT, front wheel drive
PERFORMANCES 0-100 in 9.6 sec, final 175 km/h
CONSUMPTION/CO2 4,6 L/100km, 105 g/km
HONDA JAZZ eHEV Advanced Sport 122PS 2023
FOR QUALITY, ENGINEERING, SPACES, PRACTICALITY, EQUIPMENT, DRIVING, PERFORMANCE, CONSUMPTION.
AGAINST COMFORT IN SOME CASES, PRICE.
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