For three generations now as the Fit and Jazz nameplates, Honda has been rocking the sub-compact market worldwide. It is one of the models found in the market that simply cannot be ignored or shunned by consumers because it offers so much value and covers so much required ground. Its competition may loathe its success but they certainly respect it. Depending on the market, you can even get pure EV and all-wheel-drive systems as well. The new Jazz covers so many bases that it even has a 135 bhp Hybrid variant (up to 37.2 km/L) which I hope Honda Philippines imports next year when the excise taxes take effect. So, hurrah for consumers and our lungs that we finally get green technology exempted from additional taxation to promote alternative fuel use to extend range and reduce carbon emissions.
In case any of you missed some key details of the new Jazz from our last reviews, the new Jazz has actually grown a bit, so it is at its largest and most rigid. Honda is supposed to have used ultra-high strength 780 MPa yield steel for 27% of its bodywork. It may be shorter in overall length by 1.6 inches but it does use a longer wheelbase by 1.2 inches so rear legroom is supposed to be increased by 4.8 inches. Honda liberated more usable space and simultaneously improved the Jazz’s handling by installing the fuel tank under the front seats instead of the usual placement further rearward. So, besides the increased visibility, the new Jazz has the most amount of model interior volume ever to exploit the clever patented ULTR seating.
Weight distribution could still be improved though with 62.1% up front and 37.9% at the rear. I was sad to see that such a neat new car that looks spritely in RS trim still sports rear 7.9-inch drum brakes; thankfully, the 10.3-inch vented discs up front compensates enough. Our test car came in Rallye Red but I would recommend that you buy the signature Phoenix Orange Pearl color because it is only available in the top-range RS variant as well as it matches more appropriately with the abundant orange interior stitching found on the leather steering wheel, gear knob, arm rest, and on the fabric seats.
The RS is the variant to have, despite the higher price, because you get so much more special equipment to support the highly practical, configurable, and flexible car. The extra 11 kilos of weight, compared to the standard V-model car, gets you unique 16 x 6J Gloss Black Aluminum Alloys wrapped with 185/55R16 83H Bridgestone Turanza ER370 tires, Cruise Control, a 180-watt 7" High-Resolution WVGA (800x480) Electrostatic Touchscreen with Navigation with 6 speakers up from 4 with an extra 20 watts of amplification, automatic climate control, Smart Entry with Push Start system, unique RS design updates to the front grill, side sill, rear spoiler and bumpers, side and side curtain SRS bags, fog lamps, powered foldable painted gloss black side mirrors, and full LED lighting on both ends.
The Honda Jazz RS is really a very good overall sub-compact; I think it’s the very best in its class. I wish it had the more energetic powerplant from other markets, though, especially for the RS since it looks so much more aggressive than the standard car. That extra power would really help out the car and even improve fuel economy because the engine would be healthier and power would arrive sooner for better real-world everyday driving. But as it is, the Jazz RS is already outstanding and I highly recommend it.
Specification – 2017 Honda Jazz RS Navi
Engine: Inline-4, 1498 cc, sohc 16V, i-VTEC, CVT
Max power: 118 bhp @ 6600 rpm
Max torque: 107 lb ft @ 4800 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 9.3 sec.
Top Speed: 192 km/h (120 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 29 mpg City / 36 mpg Highway (21 km/L overall)
Price as tested: PhP 1,029,000.00
C! RATING 10 /10
+Good looking, versatile, standout packaging, more spacious and comfortable.
-We don’t get the slightly more powerful direct injection DOHC version (L15B1) of the 1.5-liter engine which has 12 hp more and 8 lb-ft of torque more at 200 less rpm found in other markets.