The demand for the premium hatchback segment has been on a rise and Honda’s Jazz is one of the contenders. It is majorly the petrol variant that is in demand in this segment with under 35 per cent of the share going to diesel powered premium hatchbacks. These vehicles are designed for city and highway driving. We took the Honda Jazz petrol for a 800 kilometre drive in the Rajasthan heat to find out how does it perform. Did it fair well? Read further as the mystery unfolds.
Honda has plonked the Jazz with a 1.2-litre petrol engine that churns about 88bhp of power and 110Nm of peak torque. Now, as there is a higher duty on petrol engines in excess of 1.2-litre, Honda and even the competition have restricted themselves on petrol engine size on their premium hatchbacks.
We began driving from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer, an almost 290 kilometre drive with majorly single lane driving. We were just two in a car and your luggage was easily swallowed by the Jazz with a lot more room left for at least two more people. We commenced our journey from the city centre, which was packed and crowded. At 1 o’clock in the afternoon with the sun right above your head, the Jazz managed to cool the cabin fast, however the joy was restricted only to the front seats as the rear ones had to struggle for a bit longer as there are no rear AC vents.
With cars, rickshaws and bikes coming from all directions unannounced it was a bit of a struggle. The concept of using indicators and wing mirrors seemed alien. So, there have been times where we had to brake hard enough. To save time instant acceleration was needed. The Jazz did well in both the aspects. Even though most of the power was at higher rpm, there was no struggle to get the momentum. The engine is happy to rev up to 5000rpm post which it feels somewhat like a struggle to extract any performance post this engine speed.
When we reached the state highway, the Jazz felt more of a comfortable cruiser with us in the fifth gear. There was need for instantaneous power to overtake, and one downshift did the job for us. The Jazz petrol has sufficient power but it does lack the thrust that its diesel variant will produce. The sweet exhaust note means that you won’t really miss the diesel engine power.
We were using Honda Connect App on our smartphones as it gave us updates on the closest Honda dealership on the route, fuel log, trip analysis, vehicle’s health and even an option to share our location with our loved ones.
The drive to Jaisalmer was comfortable and the large front seats meant less tiring journey. The ride is a tad stiff but then the handling of the Jazz is good. It doesn’t have the alacrity of the European hatchbacks, but it does the job well. The steering wheel is light and lively. The stability of the Jazz even at high speeds is good.
Throughout our stay in Jaisalmer and even on our way back from a longer route via Barmer. The Jazz obeyed all our instructions with ease, be it overtaking or hard braking when any obstacle appeared from no where. On our return journey, we did some amount of night driving too. The reach of the headlamps at low beam is just fine but the spread is much better. In low beam one can drive at 60-80km/hr with ease. While the reach in high beam is much better and one can cruise at 100km/hr with that visibility. There were many instances when we were redlining the engine and yet the mileage calculation in the Jazz was around 13.5km/l, which indicates how frugal this engine is.
On many instances we drove over broken tarmac and still the ride was pliant. The car’s under belly didn’t scrap or bottom out even once. This speaks about the ground clearance of the Jazz. Most of the road shocks were absorbed with minimal amount getting transferred into the cabin. The Jazz did behave like any other big Honda vehicle as we were isolated from the road undulations, heat and even noise. One downside on the Jazz are the tyres, which are skinny and produce a roar, loud enough to kill your peace if you are cruising without any music.
The Jazz petrol you be your pick if you have majorly city driving with once in a while visit on the highway. The Jazz diesel is more for those who have loads of highway driving or have excess money to much a Jazz with better performance.