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2018 Honda Jazz First Drive Review: Are the Updates Worth it?

The 2018 Honda Jazz is having another go in the premium hatchback segment in India and to help its case, Honda has given the Jazz some new updates. But are they enough to make it a good contender for your money?

Manav Sinha | News18.com@manav_sinha

Updated:September 18, 2018, 11:10 AM IST
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If you were to talk about the advent of premium hatchbacks in India then one of the first cars that did it in a proper manner has to be the Honda Jazz. But over the years, the competition has caught up to it by adding more and more features as well. And now, for 2018, Honda Jazz has come back with a few updates of its own under its belt. We take it out for a drive and tell you our first drive impressions.

Starting off with the first thing that one would notice about a car, which is, its exteriors. And in the case of the Honda Jazz, there’s not a lot that’s new. So much so, that you can call the 2018 version of the Jazz more of an update rather than a facelift. In terms of what’s different on the outside, well, the Jazz gets chrome door handles for the higher variants. Same goes for the new LED tail lamp cluster which now runs all the way to the roof and looks rather nice. The large rear spoiler from the older version has made way for a smaller one and last but not the least, the Jazz badging at the back of the car has moved to the left side. And well, that’s about all the changes on the outside.

2018 Honda Jazz2018 Honda Jazz from the back. (Photo: Ayushmann Chawla/News18.com)

Having said that, the Jazz is still a good-looking car with sharp creases and an imposing stance. Although, we did wish there was a bit more to the update in the form of, say, projector headlamps, LED daytime running lights or perhaps a new wheel design. Guess we’ll have to wait for the proper facelift for all of that.

Once you are inside the cabin, you are greeted by the familiar feel of roominess that the Jazz is known for and the new dual-tone beige and black colour theme help in improving on that feeling even further. The layout and the design of the dash remain identical but the big change inside the car is the new touchscreen infotainment system that supports Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and also doubles up as a display for the rear parking camera and includes navigation as well. The touch response on this is fantastic and it is one of the best systems out there right now. Other changes inside the cabin include a new centre armrest with storage but we found it to be a bit low in terms of height. What that means, is that if you do want to rest your elbow on it, then you might need to take your hand off of the steering wheel.

2018 Honda Jazz2018 Honda Jazz interiors. (Photo: Ayushmann Chawla/News18.com)

Then, there’s cruise control on the new Jazz and the USB ports have been moved to ahead of the gear lever, near the centre console. The new Jazz also comes with engine start/stop button and Honda’s smart key which allows for passive keyless entry. Lastly, there’s a driver side vanity mirror on offer too.

If you are seated at the back of the Honda Jazz then you would appreciate the amount of space that is on offer. There’s enough knee room and headroom and the large glass panels make for an airy cabin and on the bench, seating three abreast won’t be a problem as the transmission tunnel does not intrude in the middle. But in this version of the Honda Jazz, they have removed the magic seats - for which they are known for - with new seats that do not get adjustable headrests anymore. And that’s a bummer.

2018 Honda Jazz2018 Honda Jazz skips on the 'Magic seats' and gets conventional seats instead. (Photo: Ayushmann Chawla/News18.com)

In terms of safety, the new Jazz offers Dual Airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors and speed-sensing door locks as standard.

2018 Honda Jazz2018 Honda Jazz comes with a new centre arm rest with storage. (Photo: Ayushmann Chawla/News18.com)

Mechanically, though, it continues to be powered by the same 1.2-litre petrol and the 1-5-litre diesel engine options. Although, keep in mind that the petrol engine is offered with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT gearbox whereas the Diesel comes only with a 6-speed manual gearbox. And the base S variant of the Jazz is only available with a Diesel engine.

Overall though, the Honda Jazz is a case of an old wine in a not-so-new bottle and that shouldn’t be perceived as it’s a bad thing. It is just an update at the end of the day and that means it still manages to maintain all the good bits which have helped the Honda Jazz carve a space of its own in its segment. This means the Honda Jazz is still a car with great driving dynamics that offers oodles of space and practicality for the passengers in the car. And why fix something, if it’s not broken?



Yes, the changes on the outside are a bit subtle but the list of features that it now comes with makes it a better value for money offering than before. So if you’re in the market looking for a hatchback with a good build quality and a good driving experience – the Honda Jazz is still a car that you should consider.
| Edited by: Manav Sinha
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