Jazz – Honda’s little big car
• Big inside, small outside (B-segment exterior, C-segment interior)
• New Global Small Platform featuring centrally mounted fuel tank and compact suspension front and rear
• Debut of Honda’s i-DSI engine, featuring twin plug sequential ignition
• 5-speed manual transmission at launch, CVT (with a 7-speed semi-automatic shift control system) follows in summer 2002
• The "Magic" rear seat: simple to use, exceptionally flexible; fully collapsible creating flat load floor; innovative secondary load area
• Overwhelming choice as 2001-2002 Japan Car of the Year
• On sale February 2002
Honda’s Jazz is one of the most significant small car debuts in recent years – it represents a quantum step forward rarely seen in today’s era of evolutionary caution.
Already the model has taken the Japanese market by storm, to take both the Japanese Car of the Year and Japan’s "RJC Car of the Year" titles. (This is the second successive year that Honda has won both titles – repeating the Civic’s success the year before.)
In its home market, where it is sold as the Honda Fit, the Jazz quickly established itself as best selling small car. By November 2001 it had displaced the Toyota Corolla to take the Number One position for overall car sales, selling at the rate of 20,000 units per month.
And now it is set to shake up the European market. Two outstanding features separate it from the small car establishment, first its innovative packaging and then its new high efficiency petrol engine.
Despite the Jazz having an overall length of just 3830mm (placing it around the middle of the B-segment), interior accommodation is on a par with many vehicles in the next class up, the C-sector. A unique, centrally mounted fuel tank located beneath the front seats permits extremely efficient packaging – and allows two different rear seat folding modes to be used for unprecedented flexibility. The so called "Magic" seat can be used to create either a totally flat load floor or a novel second, independent load area in the middle of the car.
The spacious interior is complemented by the completely new 1.4 litre i-DSI (Dual and Sequential Ignition) petrol engine that uses twin spark plug technology and compact combustion chambers to achieve a blend of lively performance, exceptional frugality and compact dimensions. The new 1.4 litre SOHC engine conforms to the EU2005 emissions standard - and achieves 49.6mpg economy in the EU combined cycle test, with CO2 emissions of just 134 g/km, among the best in class.
The Jazz is expected to make a significant contribution to Honda’s European sales when it enters the market here in early 2002. The model is built at Honda’s Suzuka plant in Japan.
Attractive and contemporary design
Jazz’s innovative, monoform design shares styling cues with the larger Civic and Stream models and is characterised by the same ‘short nose’ theme. Flared, muscular wheel arches give the Jazz a broad, purposeful stance, while the rising lower edge of the side windows and the gradually falling roof line give more than a hint of coupe-like styling.
The small quarterlight ahead of the front side window, and a further side window behind the C-pillar, ensure excellent all-round visibility. Furthermore, there is a choice of 10 lively exterior colours offered to meet individual style preferences.
A sporty and distinctive interior
The Jazz has an emphatically sporty interior based around what Honda calls a ‘dynamic layered style’ concept. The bold, open-line motif mixes light and dark shades of chic grey with metallic accenting throughout the cabin. A metallic instrument panel and aluminium-coloured three instrument cluster add to the sporty ambience.
The audio system (or optional satellite navigation system/CD player) is seamlessly integrated into the centre panel. Beneath this are the heating controls, with the three large rotary switches designed to appear almost independent of the panel.
The floor-mounted centre console incorporates a deep storage pocket and two illuminated cup holders ahead of the gear lever. There is also an additional cup holder positioned behind the gear lever, as well as another storage pocket. Furthermore, a storage undertray beneath the fascia is provided on both the driver’s and passenger’s side.
The front doors open with three stage checks for added convenience up to a maximum of approximately 70 degrees for comfortable entry and exit.
Sources of noise and vibration have been tracked down and eliminated, using an efficient combination of vibration-damping material, soundproofing, and insulation to produce a supremely quiet and comfortable interior. In particular, the doors employ a dual seal which achieves a significant reduction in the amount of noise penetrating the cabin.
Centrally mounted fuel tank contributes to unique package
Externally the Jazz occupies the same kerb space as a supermini, (or B-segment car), but once inside new benchmark levels of packaging efficiency are immediately apparent. A key role is played by Honda’s new Global Small Platform featuring an innovative, centrally located fuel tank, mounted just beneath the front cabin floor. This arrangement, together with the H-shaped torsion beam rear suspension allows for a much lower rear floor. At the same time this rational layout provides increased body rigidity, enhanced crash protection in all directions as well as improved protection of the fuel tank, since it has complete perimeter protection provided by the floor cross members and the floor frame.
In addition, Jazz has a relatively short nose section, freeing up further cabin space. This is made possible by the compact nature of the engine, the simply constructed, yet high-performance front strut suspension, as well as the new front side frame construction. Together with its monoform design, with a windscreen base raked well forward, Jazz offers an unprecedented amount of cabin space for a vehicle in this class.
The tandem distance (measured from the hip point of the front seat passenger seated normally to that of the rear seat passenger, and a key indicator of in-car roominess) is 935 mm, a figure on a par with many larger C-segment contenders. Similarly, load volume with all seats in place, is a capacious 353 litres (VDA), also matching many C-segment vehicles. The load area is also highly practical, with a wide-opening tailgate, a cargo floor located at 462 mm and a loading lip at just 600 mm above ground level (unladen). Usefully, there is also sufficient space beneath the rear seats to accommodate small packages.
The ‘Magic’ seat: clever, simple and flexible
Jazz offers a remarkably flexible rear seat arrangement, opening up a whole range of loading possibilities. Significantly, it is also very easy to use, Honda acknowledging that there is little point in providing such features if the amount of effort required in their operation becomes a deterrent to their use.
The innovative retraction mechanism of the 2:1 split rear seat means that collapsing either section completely into the deep footwell requires just three easy steps and, unlike some competitors, all from a position standing just inside the rear door opening.
First the front seat is moved forwards by means of a lever located on the outside shoulder of the front seats (not S grade); the rear seat is then collapsed – with the headrests in place – by means of a similar lever; and finally the front seat is moved back to its original position – all without moving from the rear door opening. The result is a perfectly flat load floor with a maximum 1740 mm load length capability. This allows even large objects such as a mountain bike to be carried. In addition, by sliding the front passenger seat forward and fully reclining it, a 2.4 metre load length capability can be realised.
To return the rear seats to a seating position, the front seat is simply slid forward and the rear seat assembly lifted back up; the seat bottom remains locked to the seat back during this action and is released by pulling up the leg frame. The seat bottom is then folded down, and the front seat slid back.
However, as a further innovation, and the reverse of this procedure, the 2:1 split seat bottom can be tipped up and locked against the seat back. This creates in effect a second load area between front and rear seats capable of holding a variety of objects for added load flexibility.
The resultant space measures a highly practical 1280 mm in height and is sufficient to accommodate two mountain bikes with their front wheels removed. The possibilities are endless: the space can be used to carry tall plants; to provide an alternative load area when rear access is limited because tight parking prevents the tailgate from being fully opened; or where the weight of an item means it is easier to lift it the short distance into the rear footwell; it can become an area where young children can stand up and change wet clothes at the beach; the dimensions are ideal for a folded wheelchair and it is also a convenient place for wet or dirty items to prevent the soiling of luggage in the rear.
Four star Euro NCAP target
One of Honda’s prime objectives in designing the Jazz was best-in-class levels of safety. A carefully devised body structure based on extensive computer analysis and a real-life crash testing programme means that the Jazz is expected to achieve Euro NCAP ratings of four stars for occupant protection and three stars for pedestrian protection.
Key to the Jazz’s performance is the ‘arch-type’ front side frame, which as well as absorbing a large amount of impact energy in its own right, then channels energy back below the cabin area into the floor frame thereby minimising cabin intrusion. In addition, the cross members of the adjoining main frame surround the fuel tank providing a protective perimeter frame. This arrangement assures high body rigidity and improved crash worthiness in a rational and simple design.
Complementing these excellent structural characteristics, the Jazz incorporates excellent pasive safety features comprising standard driver and front passenger SRS airbags and front seatbelt pre-tensioners; additionally the SE Sport incorporates side airbags. All models feature three three-point rear seat belts to make the Jazz a fully-fledged five-seater.
To reduce the likelihood of whiplash injuries during rear impacts, a new front seat design has been adopted. The headrests have been moved slightly forward, while the bending characteristics of the upper seat structure provide a more controlled energy-absorbing role to lessen the forces exerted on the neck of the occupant as he or she is pushed back in such situations.
In common with all new Honda models, ISOFIX child seat anchors and top tether are provided on the rear seat.
An unobstructed area between the bonnet and engine, bonnet hinges that compress upon impact, a specially designed front bumper and energy absorbing wiper pivots all contribute to pedestrian safety.
Totally new "Dual Spark" petrol engine
At the heart of the Honda Jazz is an all new 1.4 litre petrol engine. The i-DSI (Dual and Sequential Ignition) unit represents the second phase of Honda’s ‘next-generation’ i-Series of petrol engines.
Whereas the recently launched i-VTEC engines of the Stream and Civic Type-R models have been designed to achieve a balance between high performance and high fuel efficiency, the SOHC i-DSI engine offered in the Jazz pursues the ultimate level of fuel efficiency and compactness without compromising driving pleasure.
Low emissions and outstanding frugality have been made possible by providing each cylinder with a pair of spark plugs mounted diagonally opposite one another within a compact, high-swirl design, combustion chamber. This arrangement accelerates flame propagation to achieve intensive, extremely rapid and highly efficient combustion which generates high pressure and thus high output.
The dual and sequential ignition system optimises the timing of each spark plug based on engine speed and engine load. The intensive combustion at all engine speeds not only controls knocking, but also permits a much higher compression ratio – 10.8:1 – to achieve a higher output with less fuel consumed compared to a conventional design.
Lively performance across all engine speeds combined with outstanding fuel economy (49.6 mpg or 5.7 l/100km), is the result. The 1.4 litre engine delivers 83 PS at 5700 rpm and 119 Nm at 2800 rpm; torque delivery is exceptional and the resultant output curve is both wide and flat to ensure high levels of flexibility during everyday driving.
The compact dimensions and lightweight nature of the new engine also greatly contribute to packaging design flexibility.
Initially the 1.4 litre i-DSI engine will be offered with a 5-speed manual transmission, but a new Honda CVT option, equipped with a 7-speed semi-automatic shift control system – promising excellent fuel economy – will be introduced next summer.
Compact front and rear suspension
The front MacPherson strut suspension is very space efficient and in combination with the compact engines, helps to achieve a remarkably tight turning circle of 9.4m (or 9.8m for the SE Sport with 15-inch tyres).
An extended H-shaped torsion beam span and a re-designed damper area at the rear, together with the relocated fuel tank allowing a much lower cabin floor, create more space for rear seat passengers and luggage. The adoption of a larger diameter pipe arm, wider-span compliance bushings and an improved spindle mount structure improve rear wheel-ground contact stiffness leading to more linear responsiveness, superb handling stability and a high level of agility.
The braking system features ventilated discs at the front and drum brakes at the rear. ABS braking with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) is standard on SE and SE Sport models. The Jazz is equipped with a highly advanced and efficient electric power steering (EPS) to provide optimised steering characteristics at all road speeds.
For the UK market, the Jazz will be offered from launch in three trim levels in line with other Honda models, S, SE and SE Sport.
Standard equipment for all three versions will include electric speed-sensitive power steering, electric front windows and door mirrors (which are also heated), central locking with deadlocks, rolling-code ECU immobiliser, trip fuel consumption display, rear wash/wipe and radio cassette player.
The SE grade adds ABS/EBD anti-lock braking, air conditioning, electric tilt/slide glass sunroof, remote central locking, electric rear windows, driver’s seat height adjustment, rear speakers for the audio system and colour-coded door handles.
Finally the SE Sport model offers 15in alloy wheels, side SRS airbags and intermittent rear wiper operation.
A full range of accessories will be available allowing customers to fully personalise their Jazz. External items include mud flaps, B-pillar trim, front, side and rear body protectors, rear roof spoiler, a chrome grille trim, front fog light kit, parking sensors, and additional alloy wheel designs. Interior trim includes metal transmission and window switch escutcheons, a leather steering wheel and a speaker tweeter kit. The standard centre console can be replaced with an alternative unit featuring a centre armrest with CD storage beneath, increased front storage and slide out cupholders at the rear. A full range of Honda infant, toddler and booster child seats is also available.
The Jazz enters a market sector that in sales terms is forecast to remain fairly static; in Western Europe last year B-segment sales accounted for 25 per cent of the total market – equivalent to 3.7 million units. However the monospace sub-category in which Jazz competes is set to become increasingly popular, with volume expected to rise significantly over the next few years.
Honda anticipates the Jazz will increase Honda sales overall within Europe, at the same time attracting younger customers and further enhancing the Honda brand image.
Its unique proposition is that it succeeds in capturing essential B-segment values such as attractive exterior styling, compact dimensions, fuel efficiency and manoeuvrability and, through innovative technology, blends them with C-segment attributes of interior space and flexibility - in a high quality, highly individualistic design.
Key target customers are 20-35 year old males and females without children, particularly early adopters, who are perhaps buying their first car and perhaps their first Honda; young families aged 30-40; and empty nesters aged 55 plus who may well have previously owned a Honda.
The Jazz in detail
• Attractive, well-proportioned styling
• New Global Small Platform delivers packaging efficiency to C-segment standards in spite of B-segment exterior dimensions
• Super short nose features arch-type ramp side frames for outstanding impact safety characteristics
• Frontal and side impact to Euro NCAP four star standard targeted
• Pedestrian safety to Euro NCAP three star standard targeted
• Class leading body rigidity and NVH performance
Honda’s new Jazz delivers exceptional interior spaciousness within B-segment dimensions and clothes it in a pleasingly well-proportioned design that is not overly tall. An overall length of 3830 mm positions the Jazz around the middle of the B-segment, even though its C-segment type interior dimensions suggest otherwise. Its height, at 1525 mm, falls somewhere between conventional B-segment contenders and the growing number of B-segment MPV models appearing on the market. The Jazz is also remarkably manoeuvrable, with a class leading 9.4 m turning circle (S and SE grade).
The secret behind its packaging efficiency is Honda’s new Global Small Platform which uniquely features a fuel tank mounted in a central position beneath the front floor. As well as providing a supremely safe location, its positioning here frees up additional space in the rear of the car. This, together with a particularly compact rear suspension design, allows the rear floor to be lowered by a substantial 220 mm (compared to the previous Honda model in this class), benefiting both luggage space and rear passenger accommodation.
The compact dimensions of the Jazz’s i-DSI engines and the strut front suspension, meanwhile, deliver the ‘super short nose’ that maximises the cabin space available - front overhang is just 715 mm compared with the 800 mm for the previous model. At the same time, the new platform provides excellent body rigidity and impact protection characteristics.
The concept of ‘zenshin’ adopted in exterior design
Jazz’s innovative, original styling is based on a design concept of ‘zenshin’, meaning new, progressive and integrated. Its characteristic short nose creates a monoform design, a theme established in the larger Civic and Stream models and further refined in this model, and its highly aerodynamic nature significantly helps fuel economy at motorway cruising speeds (the Cd figure is 0.31).
Flared, muscular wheel arches give the Jazz a broad, purposeful stance. At the front, the large, multi-reflector headlamps with clear lenses flank a steeply rising, scalloped bonnet that features a central crease line accentuating the sporty and distinctive form.
The rising lower edge of the side windows is complemented by the gradually falling roof line to give a ‘hint’ of coupe-like styling. The small quarterlight ahead of the front side window, and a further side window behind the C-pillar, in addition to the large-sized front windscreen, add to Jazz’s excellent all-round visibility. At the rear a crease line running across the width of the tailgate at taillight level adds further distinction.
Rigidity gets a boost
Extensive use has been made of computer simulations for more efficient and cost-effective development of the body. As well as lessening development time, these techniques have allowed the engineers to minimise weight and determine the optimum materials while improving the overall design. One of the benefits to emerge from this process is a significant improvement in body rigidity. Both bending and torsional rigidity are increased significantly over that of the previous Honda model in this class, delivering improved impact resistance, reduced interior noise, as well as enhanced handling and ride since the suspension mounting points always remain in correct alignment.
Significant areas of additional stiffening include across the width of the front panel, the dash lower panel, the C-pillar and around the tailgate opening.
Arch-type side frame delivers outstanding frontal impact safety
Dealing with the energy involved in a frontal impact is made all the more difficult by the reduced dimensions of a small car. Managing that energy in the ‘short-nose’ design of the Jazz presented an even tougher challenge. However, by using its experience in the larger Civic and employing its "G-control" technology, Honda has achieved best-in-class levels of safety and is confident that the Jazz will achieve a four star rating in the Euro NCAP front and side impact tests.
Key to Jazz’s performance in frontal crash tests is the front ‘arch-type’ side frame. This smoothly curved chassis member absorbs substantial energy in its own right through progressive deformation, but its design is such that it directs the impact energy down and beneath the cabin, so minimising intrusion into the critical passenger safety cell.
These side frames work in conjunction with the immensely strong floor structure that is created by the cross members and longitudinal members surrounding and protecting the central fuel tank on all four sides. The ‘cross-floor’, tunnel-like structure that results from this perimeter frame provides exceptional floor stiffness. This also benefits side impact performance in which centre pillar reinforcement works together with floor cross member stiffness for outstanding performance in maintaining cabin integrity.
Leading pedestrian safety features in true Honda fashion
Honda continues to conduct extensive research into pedestrian safety centred on its Active Safety Vehicle, the ASV3, together with sophisticated pedestrian dummies, road accident analysis and computer-assisted accident simulation. The effectiveness of that programme was recently demonstrated by the Civic 5 door which recorded the highest ever rating in the Euro NCAP tests for pedestrian protection. Honda expects a similar three star rating for Jazz.
Specific items on the new Jazz include:
• an unobstructed area beneath the bonnet allowing it to deform on impact
• bonnet hinges, front wing mounting brackets and radiator top brackets that compress under impact
• energy-absorbing front bumper beam
• energy-absorbing sliding wiper pivots
Driver and front passenger airbags are fitted to all Jazz models, while side airbags feature on the SE Sport model. Front seatbelt pre-tensioners are featured across the range. All three rear seatbelts, including that in the centre, are three-point for maximum safety, while a third centre head rest is available as an option.
To reduce the likelihood of whiplash injuries during rear impacts, a new front seat design is used. Headrests are now moved slightly further forward, while the bending characteristics of the upper seat structure provide a more controlled energy-absorbing role to effectively cushion the occupant as he or she is pushed back.
Child seat ISOFIX and tether anchor
The rear seat is equipped with two ISOFIX child seat fittings that ensure the correct installation of the child seat in a direct connection to the car body for greater safety; an ISOFIX compatible child seat can also be fitted to a car not equipped with the system.
Research has demonstrated that the effectiveness of ISOFIX depends on the shape of the child seat, how it matches the shape of the car seat and the firmness of that car seat. This is because, in the event of a frontal impact, it is still possible for a child seat to rotate forwards, potentially placing additional forces on the neck and torso of the child. That’s why Honda is pioneering the fitment of child seat tethers in its new models, including the Jazz. The tether runs from the top of the child seat and is connected to a hook located in the roof of the load area, which is covered by a plastic cover when not in use.
Appropriately for an innovative small car, Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) performance of the Jazz is to a high level and both road noise and acceleration noise place it at the very forefront of the class. The high stiffness platform plays a key role in this regard. Specific measures include sealed liquid engine and transmission mounts (see Drivetrain section) and an exhaust system utilising double spherical damping joints. The NVH characteristics of the engine are reduced at source by a number of features including the high stiffness cylinder block, the large diameter crankshaft journals for added stiffness, the light weight, high stiffness aluminium sump, and the centre feed intake manifold.
Noise intrusion into the cabin is reduced significantly by the use of double seals entirely encircling all four door apertures. These are located on both the inner edge of the door and on the outer edge to create a very efficient seal.
Through the use of high performance materials and careful analysis of their effect, Honda has achieved a highly refined cabin ambience, yet reduced the weight of insulating materials by between 30 and 50 per cent depending on location. Among the measures adopted are:
• Bonnet insulator
• Dash outer insulator
• Front wing end insulator
• Dash panel sandwiched with melt sheet
• Noise-absorbing roof lining
• Urethane foam dash insulator
• Urethane foam floor insulator
• Noise absorption floor insulator
• Floor-applied, light weight high-damping melt sheet
• Noise-eliminating urethane foam placed within the B-pillar
Extensive anti-theft protection
The Jazz features a series of theft-deterrent measures, including a standard equipment rolling code type immobiliser from which it is virtually impossible for thieves to clone the entry code.
The ignition key features a built-in transponder, which, when removed, immobilises the engine fuel injection and ignition. When the key is reinserted and turned in the ignition, the transponder in the key transmits a code via an antenna built into the steering lock surround to the engine management computer. If the code, which changes each time the key is removed from the ignition lock, is confirmed by the engine ECU, the engine will start - but only then. The immobiliser communication unit, engine ECU and ignition key/ignition barrel transponder are all linked via a bus communication.
All models (with the exception of the S grade) feature keyless entry (with the exception of S grade models) with a remote system that uses FM radio waves, rather than infra-red, for more effective operation over a 3 metre range. It features a relock function to prevent mis-operation. The ignition key is of the wave-type design which provides added anti-theft protection and has the added benefit of minimising damage to clothing.
Other security features provided as standard include:
• Immobiliser sticker
• Visible VIN
• Front and rear door handle protectors
• Door lock protectors
• Key rod protector on front doors
• Front and rear harness protectors
• Dead locks and tailgate lock protector
Door lock and rod protectors are designed to deflect attacks where ‘slim jim’ type mechanisms are slid between the door and the side window glass to gain entry.
The deadlocks make it impossible to open a door by using the interior lock knobs since they are isolated once the door is locked. Therefore, even after breaking a window no door can be opened. To activate this system the car must be locked - either by the key or the keyless system - and then relocked again within five seconds using the same method. To unlock the car, the key is turned or the button pushed just once.
The Jazz comes in a range of 10 lively colours, four of which are new: Ice Blue metallic, Iris Red pearlescent, Orchid Yellow and Mint Opal Green metallic. The other six are Clover Green pearlescent, Milan Red, Eternal Blue pearlescent, Taffeta White, Satin Silver metallic, and Nighthawk Black pearlescent.
• Interior styling theme is distinctive and sporty
• Unprecedented interior flexibility
• 935mm tandem distance comparable to C-segment
• Rear seats with 2:1 split fully collapse for completely flat load floor and have elegant folding mechanism for extremely simple operation. 353 litres boot space (VDA); maximum loadspace (with seats folded) 1321 litres to roof level
• Unique tip-up rear seat bases create secondary load area for exceptional versatility and maximum load height of 1280 mm comparable to MPVs
The lateral thinking demonstrated by Honda’s design engineers in arriving at the unique centre fuel tank layout, matched to the short nose elements described in the Body section above, results in a level of interior space that is on a par with many C-segment contenders. A fuel tank beneath the front floor and a compact rear suspension make for a low load floor, while the short nose design means the proportion of overall length devoted to passenger and luggage space is maximised. As a result, the Jazz is the roomiest, most flexible contender in its class, and competitive against many C-segment contenders.
The outstanding feature of Jazz’s interior is not just that it is flexible, but that it is also conveniently flexible. There is little point in providing an interior that can be converted in any manner of ways, if the process of achieving that is so laborious that the owner rarely attempts it.
Honda has therefore engineered an elegant mechanism that allows the rear seats to be fully collapsed, creating a flat load floor, in just three simple steps. That same mechanism also allows the rear seat bases to be lifted and secured to their seat backs which are left in position, effectively creating a second, 1280 mm high load area comparable to MPVs.
This is how the Magic seat - as it is called - works:
Utility Mode in which the rear seats are fully collapsed:
• Stand inside the rear door opening
• Slide the front seat forward by means of a lever* located on its outside shoulder
• Collapse the rear seat using a simple lever
• Slide the front seat back to its original position
*not available on S grade
None of this operation requires you to move from inside the rear door opening; there is also no need to remove the rear headrests; and the rear seats collapse cleanly into the footwell.
To return the rear seats to a seating position:
• Stand inside the rear door opening
• Slide the front seat forward by means of the shoulder lever
• Lift up the rear seat assembly
• Release the seat bottom which remains locked to the seat back by pulling up the leg frame
• Fold down seat bottom
• Slide front seat back to its original position
Tall Mode in which a secondary load area is created:
• Lift up the rear seat bottom towards the seat back
• Fold down the leg frame, locking it into position
Returning the seat to a seating position is simply the reverse procedure.
The passenger front seat back can be fully reclined onto the collapsed rear seat to allow items of up to 2.4 m in length to be stowed.
Rear seat backs and cushions are both split 2:1 allowing even greater flexibility.
Loading possibilities are endless
Load volume with all seats in their standard seating position is an exceptionally useful 353 litres (VDA), boosted by the low load floor achieved by the central fuel tank location and compact rear suspension. This is comparable to C-segment interior spaciousness. The space is sufficient to accommodate four large Samsonite suitcases stood upright, three large golf bags stacked on top of one another across the trunk width up to seat height, or a collapsible wheelchair stood upright. Four tie down hooks are provided in the trunk floor for added versatility.
In Utility Mode – where the rear seat is fully collapsed – the total load volume to roof level is an outstanding 1321 litres. In this configuration, a 1.7m long storage space is created. The space is sufficient to swallow three 26 inch mountain bikes, with front wheels intact, stood upright. To illustrate the extent of the area created, four Samsonite suitcases, two large and two extra large, can be laid flat. Similarly, three golf bags can be laid lengthwise. With just the larger rear seat portion collapsed, there is sufficient space and length to accommodate a surfboard laid flat; or two 26 inch mountain bikes stood upright.
The height of flexibility
The secondary storage area created in Tall Mode opens up a whole new dimension in loading possibilities, particularly given its height of 1280 mm. The example of a tall plant best illustrates its usefulness, but the flexibility is almost limitless: space for two mountain bikes with their front wheels removed or a collapsed wheelchair; it can double up as an area where young children can stand and change wet clothes; it is also a convenient place for storing wet or dirty items to prevent the soiling of luggage in the rear. The short distance from ground level to footwell also means it offers a convenient location for heavy items, while it provides an alternative load area in tight parking situations where there is limited access to the rear.
The wide opening tailgate (with internal handle), low sill and large aperture deliver class-leading access to the load area. The loading lip is just 600 mm above ground level (unladen), while the cargo floor is located at 462mm. Thanks to the compact rear suspension design, the distance between the suspension pillars is increased by 82 mm compared to the previous Honda model in this class.
Spacious, distinctive interior
A spacious, airy interior is reflected in a tandem distance of 935 mm, a figure which, like the load volume, is on a par with many C-segment contenders.
Climbing into and out of the Jazz is made even easier by the wide opening passenger doors. The two stage rear door opens to an angle of almost 70 degrees; the front door has the added convenience of three opening angles – particularly useful in tight parking situations – similarly opening up to a maximum of approximately 70 degrees.
The interior of the Jazz is above all distinctive, befitting a car that pushes forward the boundaries of small car design. ‘Dynamic layered style’ is the adopted interior theme, which equates to an exciting combination of sportiness and roominess. Bold, sweeping curves are complemented by contrasting light and dark shades of chic grey with metallic accenting. On the door panels, for example, the two colours are demarcated by upward swooping curves while both the seat cushions and seat backs feature dark grey inserts set within a predominantly lighter grey, high-grade fabric covering.
This treatment is complemented by the use of high quality mouldings, trim and switches that are large and easy to use.
The metallic instrument panel and aluminium-coloured instrument cluster add to the sporty ambience. The central speedometer flanked by a tachometer on the left and fuel gauge on the right are located beneath an independent binnacle for added clarity. White graphics and red pointers appear against a black background. A liquid crystal display set within the speedometer is also featured and this can show three different functions which are switched by a button located above the fuel gauge: the odometer reading, a trip mileage reading or average fuel economy.
Storing in-car paraphernalia
Loading flexibility is matched by the provision of plenty of cabin storage space for small items - 15.5 litres in total in the fascia alone. Instrument panel undertrays are provided on both driver and passenger sides. The 3.35 litre space on the driver’s side can hold two 500 ml bottles laid flat, or a folding umbrella, for example, and a coin holder is provided in the outer corner. The passenger’s undertray, located beneath the glove-box can hold a 1.5 litre bottle or five 350 ml drinks cans laid end on end, or two 500 ml bottles laid on their side.
The glove box has been divided into two compartments. The upper 2.85 litre compartment is sufficiently capacious to accommodate up to 26 mini-discs; the lower 4.45 litre compartment can hold 10 CDs plus a number of small items.
The centre console features a front console pocket (alongside the cigarette lighter) with the capacity for nine CDs, 26 MDs or 11 cassettes, and then, moving aft, two cupholders which are illuminated, allowing them to be easily located at night. Alongside the handbrake is a further storage pocket able to hold a mobile phone or three CDs; behind this are two additional cupholders for use by rear seat passengers.
The handy, cylindrical ashtray, similar to that featured in HR-V models, can either be passed around among passengers or stored in any of the cupholders.
The space under the rear seats can also be used to store small items.
Fully integrated audio
The centre panel-mounted radio/cassette or radio/CD audio systems available on Jazz are fully integrated designs, providing seamless styling continuity. The large switches allow easy, error-free operation and a high legibility, liquid crystal display permanently displays the time as well as radio station/ CD track information. Both units are GA-NET II compliant.
An optional satellite navigation system is available on SE and SE Sport grades. Its 6 inch, full colour wide screen provides a clear image either as a simplified arrow display or map display. The information is stored on a DVD which holds details for the whole of the EU. The system is AM/FM and CD-player equipped, and audio and navigation functions can operate simultaneously.
Below the audio units are the heating controls which include three bold circular dials controlling distribution, fan speed and temperature. Power window switches are located on the door armrests, the power mirror switch on the fascia.
The two standard front speakers (and two rear speakers on SE / SE Sport grades) are 17 cm 30 W neodymium units, housed in a resin frame. These are significantly lighter than conventional units and the neodymium magnets improve the acoustics with better low and high frequency response and a reduction in high frequency distortion.
The manual air conditioning fitted to the SE and SE Sport models as standard boasts best in class heating and cooling performance. Standard rear heater ducts ensure rear seat passengers are equally as comfortable as those in the front. Locating the system’s filter behind the glove box makes for easier maintenance which simply requires removal of the inner glove box to gain access.
• New petrol engine marks debut of i-DSI (Dual and Sequential Ignition) technology
• Twin-plug and sequential ignition for intense combustion
• Exceptional combination of lively performance with low fuel consumption
• CO2 emissions of just 134 g/km (S and SE grades) and 137 g/km (SE Sport)
• EU2005 compliant
• Wide spread of torque for supreme driving flexibility
• Highly compact engine design contributes to Jazz’s overall packaging
• 5-speed manual at launch, Honda CVT option with 7-speed semi-automatic shift control system available later
The outstanding qualities of the new Jazz are the result of many different elements and technological advances contributing to the package as a whole. But playing a fundamental role is the brand new petrol engine that delivers outstanding torque, exceptionally low CO2 emissions and an exceptional blend of performance and economy. .
The Dual & Sequential Ignition (i-DSI) engine is the latest member of Honda’s new i-Series family and complements the i-VTEC engines of the Stream, Civic Type-R and new CR-V. Using a range of technologies to promote combustion efficiency – many taken from the highly frugal engine of Honda’s petrol-electric hybrid, the Insight – the i-DSI engine has been designed to achieve the ultimate level of performance /economy within a highly compact package.
Rapid, intensive combustion is a key element of the design and the provision of a pair of spark plugs per cylinder, mounted diagonally opposite one another, and a high-swirl, highly compact combustion chamber – resulting from the narrow valve angle (30°) and SOHC single pivot head - are key elements in achieving this.
Each pair of spark plugs is fired sequentially with the interval between the two depending on engine rpm and load. The intake side spark plug ignites first, then as the flame propagates, the exhaust side plug is fired (before top-dead-centre); the flame expands rapidly into the whole area to achieve complete combustion. This arrangement provides much faster combustion and higher cylinder pressures to provide high engine output. The intense nature of the combustion effectively reduces engine knocking and permits a much higher compression ratio – 10.8:1 – for greater economy.
The programming of the ignition timing map achieves a careful balance between economy and power output. At large throttle openings, up to engine speeds of around 2600 rpm, intake side ignition is advanced and the exhaust side is slightly retarded; in the mid range the exhaust side is further retarded, optimising output; at high engine speeds, ignition is almost simultaneous for optimum power and torque. At part throttle, the simultaneous ignition phase is more extensive, commencing as low as 3500 rpm.
Top torque, effortless economy
This intelligently-controlled, intensive combustion delivers class leading levels of fuel economy, yet torque and power are improved across all engine speeds especially at low and mid speed ranges; the Jazz demonstrates a remarkably flat torque curve as a result. Peak power output is 83 PS (61 kW) at 5700 rpm, with maximum torque of 119 Nm delivered at 2800 rpm. Approximately 90 per cent of that torque is available between 2000 and 5000 rpm to achieve superb flexibility and lively performance.
The Jazz is one of the most fuel-efficient petrol engined cars on the road and consumption on the EU combined cycle is an impressive 49.6 mpg (5.7 l/100 km) for the S and SE – and 48.7 mpg (5.8 l/100 km) for the SE Sport. These figures are matched by CO2 emissions of just 134 and 137 g/km for the respective models. All comply with the tough EU2005 emissions regulations.
Adding to overall efficiency are a number of friction reduction measures including roller followers on rocker arms, an offset cylinder layout and world-first molybdenum-impregnated piston skirts.
Engines contribute to ‘short-nose’ design
The new i-DSI engine is notable not only for its advanced combustion technology; it is also remarkably compact. This benefits overall packaging, liberating more space for passengers and luggage. Key features in this respect include the narrow valve angles to create a more compact combustion chamber; reduced spacing between cylinders that use centrifugally-cast iron sleeves; the mounting of auxiliary equipment directly to the engine and driven by a serpentine belt system; a compact cam chain drive; a rolled-up intake manifold pipe; and the use of a more compact air cleaner. It means that across the width of the engine bay the engine/transmission assembly requires almost 70 mm less space, and from front to rear the reduction in engine size is almost 120 mm.
Like all Honda petrol engines the new i-DSI unit employs all aluminium construction for the cylinder block and head. Other weight saving measures include a plastic intake manifold and an exhaust manifold constructed of stainless steel (which also reduces exhaust gas heat loss) and the new engine is some 8 per cent (7 kg) lighter than the Logo’s 1.3 litre unit.
Better packaging and more rapid heating of the catalytic converter result from the mounting of the exhaust manifold on the rear of the engine. From the manifold, the exhaust gases enter the catalytic converter at an oblique angle rather than in-line and this has the effect of increasing the degree of contact between the exhaust gases and the surface of the catalytic converter, boosting its efficiency and reducing the precious metal requirement.
Manual and CVT options
At launch the Jazz will be equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission. Minimal play, a short shift stroke and reduced load characterise the refined mechanism allowing quick, sporty gear changing.
In summer 2002, a new Honda CVT option will become available, featuring a 7-speed semi-automatic shift control system with steering-wheel mounted controls. This brand new, continuously variable transmission offers levels of fuel economy approaching those of manual equipped cars together with exceptional flexibility. More details will be made available at launch.
The Jazz’s compact dimensions and excellent manoeuvrability are complemented by a suspension design that sets out to deliver a high degree of agility and stability.
At the front, the strut suspension arrangement has been selected for its packaging efficiency matched to high performance. To overcome the tendency of dampers to flex under load, which increases friction and compromises ride comfort, the Jazz features special springs in the front suspension which when compressed generate a force cancelling out the side forces generated by damper curvature. The damper rod diameter is also increased to provide greater bending resistance.
The Jazz’s rear suspension features a wide-span, H-shaped torsion beam mounted to the body structure via bushes, with large diameter tubular arms carrying the wheel spindles. This arrangement, together with the centrally mounted fuel tank, has permitted the load floor to be lowered by 220 mm with an obvious increase in rear seat passenger room and carrying capacity. Load swallowing capability gets a further boost from repositioned dampers to provide a wide load bay.
Electric power steering
Honda continues to expand the number of models equipped with electric power steering (EPS), and the Jazz is the latest to benefit from this advanced system, following the NSX, Honda S2000, Insight and 3 and 5 door Civics.
A microprocessor-controlled DC electric motor works in conjunction with a rack and pinion steering gear, providing assistance to the pinion as it moves the rack. The microprocessor senses vehicle speed and steering torque and is programmed to vary boost accordingly to optimise steering feel. Thus the steering is lighter at low speeds, firmer at high.
• reduced fuel consumption since there is no engine-driven pump
• compact dimensions and reduced weight
• greater programming flexibility
• smoother operation with reduced kickback
In the Jazz, the EPS assembly is mounted 90 mm lower compared with the hydraulic system of the previous Honda model in this class, which provides a number of benefits. In terms of suspension geometry, the location provides an improved toe curve (the amount the tyres angle in or out from the body about the vertical axis); this means that over the vertical travel of the wheel the toe characteristics are substantially improved in comparison to a conventional strut arrangement.
The Jazz’s front suspension moves from slight toe-out at full bump to slight toe-in at full rebound; whereas conventional struts move from substantial toe-out at full bump to almost neutral in the median position and back to substantial toe-out at full rebound.
The Jazz’s EPS system features further refinements including a damper-equipped wormshaft that provides an ideal level of road feedback while minimising noise.
The braking system comprises ventilated discs at the front and drums at the rear.
Those models equipped with four-sensor, three-channel ABS also feature Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). This system is able to measure small front and rear wheel speed differences to ensure exactly the right amount of braking effort is applied to the rear wheels, via the ABS actuator, whatever load the car is carrying and taking into account the load transfer during deceleration. This allows the full potential of the rear brakes to be realised and both reduces the risk of premature rear brake lock-up when braking from high speeds and offers a more consistent pedal-feel.
In addition, under emergency braking conditions, a brake assist system increases the master power braking output via a master power device.