Through the years: Honda Jazz generations
The Honda Jazz presented a smart interior packaging, peppy performance, fuel efficiency, a fun-to-drive factor, and the legendary Honda reliability--all wrapped in a simple one-box shape that measures a little more than four meters.
That's why millions of Jazz cars were sold around the world since the first generation was launched in 2001, and why it's garnered a shelf-load of car-of-the-year awards from the USA, UK, and Japan.
Here in the Philippines, the Jazz was equally admired, too. That's why this subcompact will missed as it makes way for the upcoming City Hatchback in the local Honda lineup.
So as a fitting farewell to this funky car, let's take a look back at the Jazz generations.
First generation (2001 - 2008)
The original Jazz debuted in Japan in 2001 as the Fit, a name the car also wore in some markets. This car packed the spacious interior and seating configurations that soon became the Jazz hallmarks.
Honda designed the Jazz with a short front end, and fitted it with a compact suspension system which allowed the floor to be lowered. Creating more room in the cabin was the fuel tank, which was placed under the front seats rather than the usual rear seats.
With room to spare under the rear seat bench, Honda was able to introduce the "Ultra Seat," a set of seating modes which included Utility, Long, Tall, and Refresh.
In Utility mode, the 60:40 split rear seats fold down as close to the floor as possible to create a level surface to the cargo hold. It's the same story in Long mode, but here the front passenger seat is folded in order to accommodate objects as long as two meters.
In Tall mode, the rear seat cushions fold upward movie theater seat-style to accommodate taller items such as a plant. In Refresh mode, the front seats are reclined 180 degrees to create a level "bed" to the rear bench.
At launch, the Jazz was powered by a 1.3-liter i-Dsi engine that generated 82ps and 116Nm of torque, which can be mated to a five-speed manual, or a (CVT) gearbox with seven simulated gears.
That engine and gearbox combo was also seen in Philippine-spec Jazz cars, which reached our shores in 2004. The car also brought along the buzz it made in Japan, so it was well-received by the motoring press and the consumers alike.
That i-Dsi engine also fulfilled Honda's promise of ultimate fuel-efficiency, as the Jazz was driven by the press thousands of kilometers around the country in one full tank.
In 2005, the Jazz became available with a 110hp 1.5-liter VTEC engine and a five-speed manual option, and in 2006 included that with revised bumpers, LED tail lights, and new color options. Many people called the 1.5 manual Jazz a hot hatch.
In 2007, Honda said about 230,000 Jazz examples were sold throughout Asia.
In the used-car market, prices for the original Jazz range from P250,000 to P300,000.
Second generation (2008 - 2013)
The second Fit was introduced in Japan late 2007 for the 2008 model year, and reached the United Kingdom and the Philippines, to name a few markets, as the Jazz shortly after.
This Jazz retained the short nose and center tank design, but with a longer wheelbase and wider track for even more interior space. Honda also improved the refinement and ride quality.
The Ultra Seat is still the interior highlight, while improved engines made their way under the hood. These engines were the 1.3-liter i-VTEC with 99ps and 127Nm of torque, and the 1.5 i-VTEC with 120ps and 145Nm.
A five-speed manual was mated the 1.3 liter mill, while a five-speed torque converter automatic was an option. The 1.5 came as auto-only, so some missed the old car's "hot" variant.
But the 1.5-liter Jazz gave the driver some involvement with its paddle shifters, and the VTEC engines across the range made their signature sound and pulling power from 4,000 rpm upwards.
In 2011, the Jazz range was updated with new bumpers, LED tail lights, and interior materials. Expect to pay around P350,000 for the Jazz made between 2008 and 2011, while facelifted cars can go upwards to P450,000.
Third generation (2013 - 2019)
Launched in Japan in 2013, the Fit/Jazz improved upon its winning formula, but mixed this with new running gear and even more interior space. Honda put the spotlight in the Fit Hybrid model in Japan, which had a claimed fuel economy of 36.4kpl.
In the Philippines, the Jazz returned in 2014 with a 1.5-liter (120ps, 145Nm) and five-speed manual combination for the base model. The same engine powered the higher-spec cars, and matched this with a CVT gearbox.
As expected from a car launched in that time, the Jazz featured touchscreen infotainment, and even touch-sensitive climate controls for the top-spec cars.
The third-gen Jazz received an update in 2017 which included restyled bumpers, and features such as navigation, multi-view reverse camera with and voice command in the new RS Navi trim.
As this is the last Jazz to be sold in the country, Honda said that their dealer network will continue to sell the car until supplies last. Prices start at P918,000.
Fourth generation (2019 - present)
The fourth installment of the Fit/Jazz was uncovered at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show in 2019, with a new hybrid system called the "e:HEV" as its highlight.
The e:HEV uses Honda’s dual-motor i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) hybrid system. The system combines a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine that makes 98ps and 127 Nm, and two electric motors.
One e-motor acts as a generator to recharge the battery, while the other helps in propulsion duties in lower speeds.
Meanwhile, the fourth-gen Fit's design highlights include slim front pillars that and a lower instrument panel to allow for better line of sight, and a front wide-view camera to aid the car's emergency auto-braking capabilities.
With more than 25,000 units sold locally, the Jazz will surely find a home to those who'll miss the nameplate.
Photos from Honda Global and Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI)