Review: 2018 Honda Jazz VX Navi
The fuel crisis in the 70’s caused Honda to fill the need for fuel efficient vehicles and they accomplished this with their Civic. Honda was able to maximize the space inside for occupants while keeping the exterior pretty much the same dimensions as the other brands small cars.. The Civic grew up and the Jazz took it’s place, and the need is still remains the same, the need for a fuel efficient car. This week we have a closer look at the Honda Jazz VX Navi, an update to the Jazz which was launched in 2014.
You don’t have to look too hard to find the changes, the grille and front bumper has been redesigned, giving it a more aggressive look. The fog lamps have been exchanged for strips of LED’ Daytime Running Lights. Now look at the rear, they did the opposite, deciding to tone it down a notch. The Jazz is more or less in it’s mid term and despite everything pretty much looking good at launch, the tweaks give it a little more character. Although it doesn’t look as sporty as the RS variant, it still has it’s own character distinguishing it from that and the lower trim variants. So far it doesn’t look dated.
Inside, everything is laid out in the same way as the previous model with lots of cubby holes and cup-holders all around and comfortable fabric seats. There’s the tilt-telescopic steering wheel and fully adjustable driver seats makes sure you get that perfect position. This variant gets a new 7” touchscreen entertainment system, with NAVI and Bluetooth, USB and aux connectivity. The reverse cam is viewed through the entertainment system’s camera and can also connect to wifi. The cabin is still configure-able for your various cargo and personal needs, with different “modes”, utility mode, long mode, tall mode and refresh mode.
Under the Hood
Open the hood and you’ll still get the fuel efficient 4-cylinder 1.5-liter SOHC with i-VTEC that puts out 120 PS at 6600 rpm with 145 Nm of torque at 4800 rpm mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). With the Eco mode switched on, response is stifled, but not too much, just a point where it keeps acceleration smooth and the air conditioning working in step to keep consumption economical too. There is a marked difference when you switch off the Eco mode, you’ll find it turns into a peppy hatchback. The natural tendency of a CVT is to keep you in the optimal rpm range for your speed and because of this, fuel consumption is kept in check as long as you don’t push too hard. You can easily do 13-15km/liter if you’re in too much of a rush most of the time. The VX comes with paddle shifters if you want to put the Jazz in virtual 7-speed mode, which is pretty responsive especially when downshifting to overtake and the VX gets Cruise Control making it convenient on long drives.
The Jazz is a small car making it easy to park and ease into other lanes in traffic jams. Inside, it has interior space which could rival most cars in it’s class and even the some in the next class up. You don’t get claustrophobic when you’re caught in traffic as you would in other small cars even with all your friends with you. The electric power steering is light when parking and manages to have some heft at speed .
This variant is at the top of the price scale for this category at Php998,000, a hair away from 1M. There are also mid and entry variants if you feel you can do with less of the flash features, but don’t worry you won’t be getting any less of a Honda if you got one of those instead of the VX. Honda’s build quality is the same from it’s high end luxury models all the way down to the most entry level of their small eco cars. It’s a car you can pass on to your kids, hang onto until it’s old school or somewhere down the line, sell for higher than other brands from the same generation just because it’s a Honda. Not all brands can claim that.
Words and Photos – Neil