DSG like 6-speed sounds great. 5-speed MT gear ratios sound like another mistake… again
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 28, 2008
2009 European Honda Jazz -- Nice improvements with a disappointment.
Honda's all-new Jazz 5-door hatchback achieves class leading interior space but more importantly, significantly improved fuel economy with the HCH-II’s 1.4-litre with i-SHIFT and an available 1.2-litre iDSI.
The new Jazz retains the concepts of the previous Jazz with its center fuel tank layout and Magic Seats giving it a world beating interior flexibility. With theses best features retained, the new Jazz brings change to every area, raising the bar even further and promising to expand on its success in the super-mini segment. The previous generation was given more than fifty awards and has sold over two million around the world since its 2001 launch. Expect the second generation to do even better.
A slightly larger, ‘cab forward' style body brings better visibility and an even more spacious interior to the benefit of rear seat passengers with more legroom. The Magic Seats now drop down in one easy action and their versatility is now complemented by a new Double-Trunk feature in the luggage bay.
Safety upgrades in the second generation Jazz includes the recently introduced Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, active front seat head restraints and VSA. Larger wheels, revised suspension and a longer wheelbase/wider track bring greater agility while enhancing ride comfort. And new 89 HP, 1.2-litre and 99 HP 1.4-litre i-VTEC engines deliver better performance characteristics while boosting fuel economy to exceptional levels – 46.1 mpgUS (5-speed MT) and 46.1/44.4 mpgUS (6-speed DSG/5-speed MT) combined, respectively.
Greater economy and lower emission from two new engines
New, more powerful gasoline engines, capable of outstanding economy, are designed to appeal to customers who might be downsizing as well as those looking to achieve fuel economy comparable to diesel powered models. Adopting Honda's VTEC technology (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control), the new 1.2 and 1.4-litre four-cylinder engines are connected to either a 5-speed manual transmission or, on 1.4 models, Honda's i-SHIFT 6-speed automated manual transmission which includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
A new SIL (Shift Indicator Light) fitted to manual models, similar to that found on the new Accord, provides a visual prompt of the best gear shift points to maximize fuel economy.
The bad news… 5-speed manual transmission
The 1.2 and 1.4-litre models are equipped with an evolution of the previous 5-speed manual transmission with gear ratios optimized for a more sporty driving experience
while ensuring mediocre fuel economy. Maybe someday Honda will get it but as of this writing, they are completely lost with fuel costs in Europe approaching and in some cases breaching $10.00 per gallon USD
i-SHIFT (6-speed automated manual transmission)
As well as a 5-speed manual gearbox, the 1.4-litre engine can be teamed up with Honda's latest i-SHIFT transmission. The first time a 6-speed automated manual transmission has been offered in this vehicle class, the gearbox offers better fuel economy than is possible with either a true automatic or a CVT (continuously variable transmission).
The unit is a development of the system first fitted to the Civic, with improvements made including; reduced gear change times, smoother shifts and more intelligent automatic mode shift logic.
Cab forward styling with increased dimensions
Overall height remains the same, but the length and wheelbase of the new Jazz are up by 2 inches. It is also slightly wider - by Ύ of an inch. All aid in increased handling stability. Despite the increased wheelbase, the turning diameter is still just 32.1 ft.
Safer ACE body structure
Even more efficient safety performance results from the introduction of the ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure, a concept that is being progressively rolled out across the Honda range. Its structure, in particular a front polygonal main frame, helps to reduce the negative effect of misalignment between vehicles of different sizes and construction and multiple energy absorbing pathways disperse impact energy to prevent cabin deformation.
Standard on all models are dual front and side airbags, full length side curtain airbags and three-point seatbelts in all five seating positions, those in the front with dual-stage pretensioners. The front passenger airbag can also be deactivated to allow a rear facing child seat to be fitted to the front seat and for the first time Jazz is equipped with seatbelt reminders for both the front and rear seats. Front seats are also fitted with active headrests to minimize the potential for whiplash injuries.
Larger cabin with even better functionality
The interior layout of the new Jazz allows rear seat passengers an extra 1.4 inches of knee room, while the distance between front and rear passengers is up by 1.2 inches. The slightly wider body also means shoulder room increases by 1.7inches the front and rear.
Reduced width A-pillars, a larger windscreen and quarter windows three times the size of those in the previous model allows greater visibility.