Although its hybrid cars are not quite popular in Europe as they are in the United States, Honda will continue to offer them in Europe and announced that it will import the hybrid version of the Jazz in 2016. This means a year after the standard model goes on sale in Europe.
According to JATO Dynamics, Honda sold 4,500 units of the Jazz hybrid last year in Europe, while Toyota sold around 50,000 units of the Yaris hybrid. As you may know already, Honda stopped selling the CR-Z hybrid coupe as well as the Insight gasoline-electric hybrid in Europe due to poor sales.
The new 2015 Honda Jazz was unveiled in prototype form this month at the 2014 Paris Motor Show and the production version will arrive at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
Honda will offer the 2015 Jazz with a new Earth Dreams Technology 1.3-liter i-VTEC petrol engine, bolted to a six-speed manual transmission or with an optional CVT automatic gearbox.
Honda already offers the new Jazz in Japan since September last year, where it is sold as the Fit. The hybrid version of the Fit carries a 1.5-liter petrol engine as well as an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. We expect to see the same version in Europe, but only a year after the petrol-powered model will arrive.
The new Honda Jazz is underpinned by Honda's new B-segment platform that also underpins the all-new HR-V. This new platform makes use of highly efficient packaging solutions like a lower-profile fuel tank mounted under the front seats. This configuration frees up underfloor space below the rear seats, allowing this new B-segment platform to accommodate the carmaker’s innovative Magic Seats system.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Jazz is longer both in overall length (plus 95 mm) and wheelbase (plus 30 mm). This allows passengers to enjoy a generous interior space, with the Jazz leading its class in terms of leg, shoulder and headroom both in the front and rear cabins.
The new Jazz also leads its class in terms of cargo space. It now could carry up to 354 liters (VDA), which could be increased to 884 liters (VDA) just by folding down the rear seats. Each of the 60:40 rear split Magic Seats could be configured in different modes to optimize the interior space of the new Jazz.
In 'Utility' mode, the rear seat is folded back forward and the seat base is lowered, thereby creating a long, flat floor. In 'Tall' mode, the rear seat base is locked in a vertical position to free up space from floor to ceiling. In 'Long' mode, the front and rear passenger seat backs are folded forward to a horizontal position.
Accessing the boot is made easier by a wide tailgate and a low load while loaded objects are now secured more properly by four tie-downs.