Honda Cars India gives the Jazz a midlife update

by Mayank Dhingra 19 Jul 2018

L-R: Gaku Nakanishi, president and CEO, Honda Cars India, and Rajesh Goel, senior vice-president and director, Sales & Marketing, Honda Cars India with the facelifted Jazz.

Honda Cars India has revamped its Jazz hatchback, which is currently on sale in its second-generation avatar in the country.

The updated Jazz now gets a couple of aesthetic tweaks on its outside, which primarily include LED treatment of its tail-lamp cluster, chrome outer door handles on its top-end trims, as well as the introduction of two new paint shades – Radiant Red Metallic and Lunar Silver Metallic.

While everything else remains the same, on the inside, the 2018 Honda Jazz now gets a 17.7cm touchscreen infotainment system, christened the Digipad 2.0 in Honda-speak, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionalities. There is also the addition of a front centre armrest, and driver side vanity mirror.

The Jazz has also been updated with a keyless-go system, along with getting cruise control in its CVT and diesel variants. In terms of safety, Honda has brought in rear parking sensors and speed-sensing auto-door lock features to the car.

While the earlier Jazz used to be offered in a total of five trims across diesel and petrol, with the facelift, the company has discontinued the base ‘E’ and the mid-spec ‘SV’ trims and the car will now be offered only in three variants in diesel (S, V, VX), where the petrol will see a total of four grades (V, VX, V-CVT, VX-CVT) in its line-up. The growing demand for automatics in the country has seen CVT now being offered in the top-spec VX trim as well.

The Jazz comes powered by Honda’s 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol motor or its 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel mill. While the petrol mill comes mated to a five-speed manual or a seven-step CVT gearbox, the diesel is only offered with a six-speed manual transmission. The car gets dual airbags, ABS with EBD and ISOFIX as standard across its trims.

According to Rajesh Goel, senior vice-president and director, Sales & Marketing, Honda Cars India, “We are extremely delighted to introduce the new Honda Jazz 2018 with enhanced features. The new Jazz offers amazing value and will surely create fresh excitement in premium hatchback segment. In-line with changing customer preferences in favour of automatics, the Jazz 2018 is now being offered with advanced CVT technology across the petrol range to cater to larger number of customers opting for automatic transmission cars for an absolutely comfortable and engaging drive

The Jazz’s inconsistent India story
Launched first in June 2009, the Honda Jazz was one of the most optimistically priced cars in its segment, leading to a rather abysmal market response. With piffling sales of 23,170 units over a four-year run in the market, HCIL had to eventually terminate the car’s production in March 2013, due to lacklustre sales.

After a hiatus of over two years, the company re-introduced the second-generation Jazz in India in June 2015, which has gone home to 105,025 buyers until last month. Clearly with cut-throat competition in the form of the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Maruti Baleno, the Jazz’s performance hasn’t been up to the mark.

Sources tell Autocar Professional that the current Jazz too has mere two years of life to breathe, and Honda has no plans to bring the 20YM (Year Model) of the car to India. The car is being manufactured at Honda’s Tapukara plant in Alwar, in Rajasthan.