THIS HAS PROBABLY been one of the best looking little cars I’ve driven in a while, not to mention in one of the coolest “stock” colors I’ve seen on a car in a quite a long time. The Honda Jazz is one of the automotive industry’s anomalies, small outside, just like Dr. Who’s Tardis but surprisingly spacious inside. This being the third generation of the Jazz in the Philippines, it still held true to what it’s always offered which was a car that was small enough to zip around the city and is fuel efficient. These days, those still hold true, but now with every generation, they keep looking better and better too!
The Jazz is cute, and cute is what usually appeals to girls, but this current Jazz, adorned in an original Mugen bodykit, trim and wheels, it suddenly loses its cuteness and takes on a whole new macho appeal. I know because when we had it for a week, it turned a lot of heads. At intersections, I got a lot of questions about it from other motorists whilst in their cars, especially drivers of the older generation Jazz. Walk around it, you’ll see that it really does look good. Even the LED daytime running lights, a feature I’m usually not too fond of, looks pretty good.
If you’re wondering, this color is called Vivid Sky Blue Pearl and is pretty visible and will definitely get attention. What is the full Mugen package? You get front and rear bumpers, Mugen grille, side skirts, Mugen 17” alloys with 205/45’s, LED daytime running lights mounted near the LED projector foglamps. Carbon fiber side mirror covers, with blue tinted mirrors and the cost of turning you everyday ordinary Clark Kent Honda Jazz into one of these is only P400,000.
No one said looking good came cheap. This generation of Jazz feels more grown up that the past two generations, the VX+ variant has a contrast of matte surfaces intermingles with some piano black and brushed aluminum.
Everything is right where it needs to be and pretty much centered on the driver. Operating the touch screen entertainment system has a moderate learning curve along with pairing with Bluetooth telephony or audio. It can mirror your iPhone 4 with an HDMI adapter, but down the road, with some firmware updates, it should be able to mirror android and later model Apple phones.
The steering wheel mounted audio controls help a lot. Sadly there are no leather seats for a car that costs P948, 000 but you do get a lot of car and a car that can fit considerably more than other brands in its category. Its ULTR seats allow it to fit quite a bit of cargo in different configurations and even transform into something you can comfortably sleep in.
Under the hood, you get a 1.5 liter SOHC i-VTEC engine that puts out 120hp and 145Nm of torque, the CVT is new and will help with good fuel economy and will make sure that your RPMs are always at the lowest for your speed. We haven’t done a fuel economy run in this Jazz but I expect somewhere in the area of 13-15km/liter; depending of course on how you drive.
The ride is exceptional for a car in this category, we were able to take it on a long drive and it handled well on mountain roads with climbs and twisting turns, and since it has a spacious cabin, it didn’t feel like you were in a small car at all. The suspension set up is good and with the wider wheels, just ate up the corners with little under steer and slip. This is also due to the electronic driver aids like the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) that works to make sure that all your wheels have traction on the road. This Jazz also has an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
It’s a good looking car and the Mugen set up is an option for those who want nothing but the original for their Jazz. It is steep, but you get an option that you can’t deny looks pretty damn good.
SPECIFICATIONS: VEHICLE TYPE Front Engine, FWD, 5 passenger, 5 door hatchback; PRICE P948, 000; ENGINE TYPE SOHC i-VTEC inline 4 16v; DISPLACEMENT 1496cc; POWER 120PS @ 6600rpm; TORQUE 148NM @ 4800rpm; TRANSMISSION CVT/7 speed; WHEELBASE 2530mm; LENGTH 3955mm; WIDTH 1695mm; HEIGHT 1525mm; KERB WEIGHT 1084kg
COMPANY INFO HONDA CARS PHILIPPINES, INC. 30th Floor, Trade & Financial Tower 7th Avenue, cor 32nd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig 1634 Philippines Honda Cars Hotline : 1-800-1000-Honda Tel. No. (632) 857-7200 to 19 Website: www.hondaphil.com.
Words and photos by Neil Pagulayan