A vehicle formerly synonymous with bowler hats and old age home parking lots, the Honda Jazz CVT breaks away from the prehistoric association and opens the platform to the needs and wants of a modern motorist.
By SHAWN DONOVAN BRETT
Not only does the edgy and fun styling excite your sporty desires, you will be equally impressed with the frugal yet punchy engine propelling the ambitious Type R impersonator forwards. Whilst the fuel consumption is an acclaimed 5,6-litres per 100km, with mostly short town trips, we managed an impressive 7-litres per 100km.
The exterior is garnished with sporty attire such as the front splitter with pin stripe accents, 16-inch black alloy rims, a boot spoiler just big enough to embrace race car culture and lastly, a rear diffuser which although may not serve any real purpose other than aesthetic. A fine line between cool and unnecessary, either way, my phone gallery is filled with images of the aspiring Japanese boy racer.
The multi-information 7-inch display is convenience at the touch of your fingertips with Bluetooth Hands-Free Telephone functionality. It also features two USB connection points, an HDMI input and a 12V accessory socket for the applications you need.
One thing that is noticeable on the dash instrument display is the ambient lighting that changes as you progress higher through the gears. I’m a big fan of the multi-function steering-wheel that allows you to access everything from hands-free calling to switching songs on your phone – safe and effortless which is a big yes from me.
The 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine has a power output of 97kW and 155Nm, definitely a front runner in the pocket rocket department. While it might not sound like much on paper, it is the combination of its 7-speed CVT gearbox and weight of 1 066kg that makes it an absolute joy to drive as you inch toward the redline. A nice throaty exhaust and chrome tail tips would have been a welcome addition to this model for added grunt.
The stiffened suspension is noticeable as you tackle speed bumps or any uneven ground, but its does not compromise ride quality, this is down to its 135mm ground clearance. With a few aftermarket tweaks this could definitely be a fun track day car.
I found the transition between gears a bit painstakingly slow, especially when the CVT gearbox is hard at work holding the revs and gaining momentum. But shifting it into ‘S’ (sport mode) woke it up a bit where I could make use of paddle-shifting, engaging a bit of VTEC in the process.
There is a range of six models to choose in the line-up with prices starting from R222 700, while this model comes in at R338 900. It also comes with a 5-year or 200 000km warranty and 4-year or 60 000km service plan.