Civic-type front grille identifies sleeker and roomier next-generation Jazz.
Civic-type front grille identifies sleeker and roomier next-generation Jazz.
Piano-black interior finishes and 7-inch infotainment screen give the new Jazz a more upmarket image.
Piano-black interior finishes and 7-inch infotainment screen give the new Jazz a more upmarket image.

Honda South Africa has confirmed that the third-generation Jazz will be launched here in February, following the car’s debut in its Japanese home market in September 2013.

The all-new B-segment hatchback retains the spaciousness and versatility of the iconic “magic seats” with an updated exterior design and added safety.

The magic part of the flexible rear seats is that they’re, like before, able to collapse flat or the cushions can fold up against the rear backrests to offer various cargo-carrying permutations, even if you’re moving house and need to lug pot plants up to 1.28 metres tall.

There’s up to 1 492 litres of cargo space, much more than rivals like the Toyota Yaris or VW Polo. The ingenious interior packaging is thanks partly to the fuel tank being located under the front seats, but there’s now even more passenger space as the third-gen Jazz has grown 15mm in length and 30mm in wheelbase. Honda’s miniature mom’s taxi retains its monobox shape but it’s been glammed-up with a very Civic-like front end and a distinctive “character” line along its flanks.

The engine range is expected to be largely similar as now, with updated versions of the 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre petrols and the petrol-electric hybrid. The new 1.3-litre is claimed to offer class-leading fuel economy of 3.8 litres per 100km.

The interior has taken a step forwards in look and feel, and includes piano black finishes and a 7” infotainment screen.

Local pricing and full specifications will be revealed at launch time.

The first-generation Jazz was launched locally in April 2003, followed by version two in late 2008. Both previous incarnations of the Jazz, called the Fit in Japan, were voted that country’s Car of the Year.

Global sales of this trendsetting small-car-with-big-space are more than five million vehicles to date.

Mercury Motoring