Honda Jazz (2014 - )
Last updated 26 February 2014
Honda started manufacturing the 2015 Honda Fit at a new, technologically-advanced automobile plant of Honda de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (HDM) at Celeya.
The new Honda Jazz is already on sale in Japan and America, where it is known as the Fit, yet European buyers will have to wait until mid-2015 or later to buy it. The reason, it seems, is that it will be launched with a complete new family of engines.
There will be the 130PS 1.5-litre petrol unit already being offered in the Fit, but Honda is also developing small-capacity direct-injection turbo units, at least one of which, while not confirmed, seems tailor-made for it.
This is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit developing around 120PS There will also be a 1.5 four-cylinder turbo, based on the non-turbo version in the Fit, with more than 200PS.
Honda is targeting class-best torque outputs of 200Nm ft for the 1.0 and an even more impressive 260Nm ft with the 1.5. Honda says this is up to 45% better than the engines they will replace.
It seems that the 1.0-litre engine is also being prepared for use in the Civic. We’ve driven a Civic test mule fitted with the engine in Japan, and it’s exceptionally refined.
There’s none of the wheezy thrum noticed with some three-cylinder engines, largely – the engineers say – because of the efforts they have put into eliminating vertical vibrations, and the car’s liquid-filled engine mounts, which are usually reserved for larger and more expensive models.
Both new engines pull strongly considering their size – we tried the 1.5 turbo in a mid-sized US-market Acura saloon. It might be a bit too powerful and expensive for a car like the Jazz, though.
We also got to sample a Japanese-spec fit with the standard 1.5 engine and a continuously variable (CVT) transmission – not usually our favourite type of gearbox, but in this case refreshingly smooth-shifting and quiet. There’s also a manual option, both of which would find favour with UK buyers.
And Honda has revealed that it is developing a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox for use in the Jazz/Fit, though the introduction date is as yet unspecified.