Honda has just released details of its completely redesigned Jazz small car for the American market, known over there as the Fit. While there's no official word from Honda Australia just yet, this release gives us an excellent insight into what we can expect when the new Jazz hits our shores in the near future.
Two trim levels are noted with the higher spec of the two getting the 'Sports' badge. In standard trim the Jazz will get air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers, MP3/WMA capability, auxiliary audio input, power windows, power mirrors, and power door locks.
On top of all this the Sport edition will receive alloy wheels, an under-body aero kit, rear spoiler, fog lights, security system with keyless remote entry and cruise control. The stereo is also upgraded with six speakers, a five-mode equalizer, and a USB Audio Interface.
Both models will receive a good dose of safety equipment including dual airbags, dual front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), side-curtain airbags, and ABS.
Upgrades extend to the wheel department where each will gain an inch over the previous model. The standard Jazz will receive 15inch rims with 175/65 R15 rubber, while the Sport will get 16inch rims shod with 185/55 R16 hoops.
Only one engine is listed for the Americans but we have two options in Australia - a 1.3 and a 1.5 litre - so it's unclear just what we'll be getting just yet. The 1.5 litre mill is being carried over but with various revisions (VTEC to become i-VTEC) improving power, torque and engine characteristics. Expect 87kWs (up 6kW) and excellent economy from the willing four cylinder. Five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions will be available, with paddle shift available on the Sport model.
Fun styling and a decent feature list will give the Jazz more than a fighting chance when it touches down in Oz, but will it be enough in a market already teeming with class acts? Have your say: thumbs up or thumbs down?