But, please Honda, make the new Jazz a hoot to drive

After the Honda e, it’s time for another car to make our hearts melt, this time at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, where Honda unveiled the new Jazz (aka Fit in the United States). The supermini marks its fourth generation, one that brings a handful of changes inside and out. Bear with us to find out what’s what.

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The Honda Jazz has always been that charismatic, almost dog-like loyal model in Honda’s lineup. Although not as sporty as the Civic, the Jazz started out as a car that was a hoot do drive, delivered decent fuel economy, and offered plenty of space in relation to its size.

The previous-gen Jazz lost some of those attributes, including the spirited driving experience it had to offer, so all we can do is hope that the new Jazz found its lost mojo and will once again enchant urbanites around Europe.

That being said, it’s a bummer we can’t offer you any figures on the new Jazz. We can’t imagine why the carmaker hasn’t come up with at least a basic set of figures, but it is what it is. However, we can tell you that the new Honda Jazz will pack Honda’s e:HEV two-motor hybrid setup as standard - the same one that’s expected to find its way in the Accord at some point in the future. There’s no word on ICE-powered versions, although the current Jazz can be had with either a 100-horsepower 1.3-liter engine or a more powerful, 1.5-liter unit good for 128 horsepower - the U.S. gets only the latter, though.

New Honda Jazz Will Pack a Two-Motor Hybrid Setup Exterior
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Now, you know how we always say that people have the hots for crossovers? Honda knows that, and that’s why it offers a new version of the Jazz, called Crosstar. The Jazz Crosstar is, and we quote, “designed to appeal to those seeking a more crossover-style design.” It will pack the same hybrid powertrain and interior topography as the regular Jazz but will sit higher off the ground and display a modified front grille, roof rails, and water-resistant upholstery inside. In all honesty, this is just a marketing gimmick, and here’s why: Honda always knew how to organize the limited space inside the Jazz, and its Magic Seats setup did a lot to help that cause. So why would you want a crossover-y Jazz just for the extra ground clearance? Are you planning on climbing every curb in your city? No? Then you don’t need the Jazz Crosstar, really.

New Honda Jazz Will Pack a Two-Motor Hybrid Setup Exterior
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That aside, we both love and hate the new design philosophy Honda went with for the new Jazz.

On one hand, the minimalist approach suits the Jazz, especially since it will be blessed by the magic of electrification, but on the other, we feel the nippy supermini lost a chunk of its personality as it embraced more modern looks. Visibility was something of an issue inside the Jazz if you were the driver on a twisty road, but that’s supposedly fixed now as Honda cut in half the width of the A-pillar. We also appreciate that Honda didn’t try too much design-wise, so overall, the Jazz looks clean and on par with what we’d expect from a modern hybrid vehicle - you can form your own opinion by browsing the adjacent photo gallery.

New Honda Jazz Will Pack a Two-Motor Hybrid Setup Interior
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Cabin-wise, there’s a new tablet-style LCD touchscreen sitting on top of the dashboard, flanked by one air vent on each side.

The A/C controls are positioned right under the multimedia screen, while the driver gets a digital instrument cluster that shows relevant car-related info. The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Simply put, everything looks user-friendly, starting with the button arrangement and ending with the neatly designed steering wheel. Since we mentioned the Magic Seats earlier on, know that the Jazz does get them: you can fold flat or flip up the rear seats based on just how much cargo space you need.

The next-gen Honda Jazz will reach the European market in mid-2020, so we’ll get back with more info as the supermini nears its market launch date.

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