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Old 11th October 2020, 16:02   #1
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Default Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Index
  • Page 1: Critical Initial Ownership Review: Honda Jazz
    • Intro
    • Dislikes
    • Likes
    • The search for a car
    • Cars Considered
    • Dealership Experience
    • The decision
    • Delivery
  • Page 2: Review of the Jazz
    • Design
    • Quality
    • Comfort and practicality
    • Driving dynamics
    • Audio, ICE, and Controls
    • Initial Reliability
    • Miscellaneous
  • Page 3: Final remarks
    • Conclusion
    • Appendix
      • FE
      • The market over a year later
      • Facelift
      • Pricing/Discounts
    • Index
      • OTR Price
      • Our Price
      • Observed fuel economy
      • First service cost
---
I have noticed many people open their reviews with a soulful, sentimental, poetic write up. May be it is so the reader may share a bit of that tingle, that fizz that the owner feels when he (I'm taking a demographic gamble here) thinks about the shining new car in his driveway; his pride and joy, the machine with which he anticipates many fine memories... the corners he will carve... the straights he will gun it on...

So I have determined I will not write one about the subject of this review: the Honda Jazz VX CVT (erstwhile top variant) our family purchased in mid-2019.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-gdusv7b.jpg
The Jazz in question

It's not because of any contempt I have for the car, but the reason is rather three pronged:
  • The Honda Jazz is not a vehicle that evokes any feelings of passion.
  • It sets the tone of this review.
  • It saves me time and embarrassment.
Confused about the second point? You see, I feel like when people spend a great deal of money on a car, by default they have a soft spot for it. It makes sense because they have just made that decision and have no reason to regret it yet. And even if they do, they would not be so quick to accept they spent a million bucks on an L And after the honeymoon phase is over, the soft spot remains due to the emotional bond. I'm not trying to imply there are any catastrophic issues with our Jazz, but when you analyze something with that mindset you tend to gloss over the bad and focus on the good.

So I'll try to make this review (my first post) different by balancing such reviews with my apathetic one. Admittedly BHPians are a rational bunch and fairer user reviews are not to be found online. So I certainly cannot be unfair to this car. But I still aim to present a different tone in my review. There isn't much literature on the Jazz on TBHP beyond the official review anyway so I have the added motivation to write fairly.

Let's get cracking then, with the...

Dislikes
  • Dull powertrain. Low torque motor with CVT slapped to it
  • Boring driving dynamics. Lifeless electric steering. Tuned for comfort
  • Mid grade materials. Not the disgusting creaky stuff of Maruti-Suzuki, but you can do better at this price
  • ICE not very useful on its own, functionality largely derived from CarPlay/Android Auto.
  • Not particularly fuel efficient despite not being fun-to-drive
  • Seats don't fold flat and no 60/40 split (magic seats are gone)
  • Paint quality could be better
  • General lack of anything special or quirky
Likes
  • One of the few cars this side of 10 lac which is actually planted and solidly built
  • Design is agreeable to most. Not particularly beautiful, nor dull, nor ugly
  • Reliable (at least the expectation thereof)
  • Decent ride quality
  • A great deal of space, despite its reasonable footprint... probably the most spacious car in this segment. Airy cabin with a lot of headroom and legroom
  • Well equipped. Nothing cutting edge but the whole suite of convenience features onboard (fully key-in pocket and hands-on wheel experience)
  • Good ergonomics, everything is where you expect and nothing is really awkward. Sufficient storage area
  • Safe, kind of ties into the first point. 2 airbags only, but stable structure (confirmed by NCAP although not on developing market models) and obedient driving behavior
You know, I have generally noticed a very low interest in the Jazz so I'm sure some of you may wonder "How the hell did you end up in a Jazz? Are you OK? We are all here to support you and you can reach out if you ever need help." Well, I'm fine, and I'm about to make the reasoning very clear. So buckle up...

Let's go back a couple years, to the start of this story...

The search for a car
It's really not certain when it was clear it was time to turn over our fleet of two cars. But, thanks to the 15-year-rule for petrol cars in NCR, they had been approaching their scheduled obfuscation. Our City (dolphin wala) had been suffering from CVT shudder issues for some time now. So, some preliminary searches were conducted but never materialized because there was still some time left and the shudder had temporarily subsided post some maintenance. Taking on not one but two brand spankin' new depreciating assets at once was also deemed a poor move.

Further down the line we were approached by a family member who was interested in our City. We began our car shopping exploits again. It was decided we would restrict our search to something that could be an only car-- maneuverable enough in the city and practical enough on the highway. Something that could replace both the City and Alto. An MPV might be considered further down the line if need be.

Cars Considered
Our research to replace the Alto left us with some pretty neat starting data. Only car translates to a mid-range sub 4 meter, which overlaps largely with the stuff we checked out the last time. However, some crossovers (a category not considered then) met the criteria too. Not to mention, with low running (single digits on most days) and NGT rules it's best to stay gas. With largely urban usage + only car, auto is a given. With this in mind, we went car shopping.

Firstly, we eliminated some contenders without even stepping into the showroom:
  • Maruti Baleno/Swift - We tried out the Baleno the first time we were looking for cars. The automatic was not very impressive. Moreover the build quality was absolutely atrocious. It just did not feel structurally sound, and the interior materials were poor.
  • Mahindra XUV300 - They still haven't got their manufacturing game up so niggles were expected. And, there were some concerning reports of unreliability on the SsangYong it's based on.
  • Ford Figo - Supposedly not available with an AT at that time.
  • Hyundai i20 - Again a car structurally compromised specially for us poor dirty third world brown folks.
  • Hyundai Venue - I'm not entirely sure if it was even fully out at that time but I think it was and we stayed away from it primarily because it was a new model.
  • Ford EcoSport - Another thing we drove the first time (despite it not meeting our criteria that time). Not good value.
  • I feel like I'm forgetting some options. Even though this was not too long ago but they were largely rejected for not being solidly built enough.
So quite simply this leaves us with not much more choice than:
  • Tata Nexon - 5 star safety? Fantastic. Turbo 1.2? Great. 60:40 rear bench split (the only one of the three which offers it)? Useful for dog purposes. A decent platter of features. Ostensibly this car had all we needed. Tata QC and after sales would have to be researched, though.
  • VW Polo GT TSI - The default option. Fantastic motor (1.2), euro build, compact (it is actually an illusion, thanks to what I presume is thick sheet metal and its EU-regulations-abiding design. It is too large for how cramped it is inside). VAG and ASS don't go together, though-- again something to ponder upon.
  • Honda Jazz - This was the sleeper option at first. It is quite literally a City hatchback so seems like the perfect replacement for a City and an Alto. We had dealt with Honda service before. And, my dad has owned nothing but Japanese cars his entire life (he hasn't owned a particularly small number of cars either). Not intentionally, mind you, but because of the priority he gives to reliability and safety his car searches always concluded with Japanese cars. This was the safest bet in the peace of mind department.
Dealership Experience
  1. First we went to the TATA showroom. It had changed hands seemingly twice since we last went to check out the Tiago and Hexa. Our SA quickly offered a test drive. My dad informed the fellow we were only interested in Petrol AMT, to which the response was "sorry sir abhi manual hi milega". We considered postponing until milega but the SA insisted and we relented. He walked us out of the showroom to what was certainly a face only a mother could love (pre-facelift). My dad pressed the push-button start only to be greeted with a characteristic diesel clatter. In retrospect perhaps we should have walked out at that moment itself. Instead we went through with the TD and even some bargaining deliberations, in the name of research. We were made some offers with questionable add-ons. The mid-grade XMA variant was pushed, but we found it missed on some essential features (like the rear window defroster, which would make it difficult to use throughout our winters). With a sour taste in our mouths we left, but only after agreeing to a TD with a petrol AMT Nexon when possible.
  2. TATA Nexon AMT Petrol TD Impressions: My mom actually ended up liking the design. (Only a mother...). I was expecting the AMT to be jerky but my dad wasn't and it caught him off guard. Power on tap was decent. The driver who came with the SA for the AMT TD claimed the brake pedal was actually the clutch pedal (perhaps implying the car was slowed by engine braking). Our dog could comfortably sit in the boot but the seats don't fold flat. Decently heavy doors as expected with its safety record. The seating position is obviously more commanding than the other 2.
  3. Volkswagen - Turns out the VW showroom that once was on that road had shut down. We got connected to a different VW showroom and requested a TD of the Polo GT TSI. It was promised within 3 days, and in the interim we decided to check out the Honda showroom nearby. (Spoiler alert: 3 days later became 5, and 5 days later became 7, and there was no Polo until 2 weeks later-- the story was that the test car got into a fender bender and had to be fixed up).
  4. We dipped into a Honda dealership on the same road and were assigned an SA-- who seemed to be invisible. After an uncomfortable wait someone finally showed up and very uninterestedly explained the Jazz variants to us. After this, we were informed that there was no test drive vehicle and there wouldn't be one for at least 2 weeks. Before leaving we tried to see what kind of trade-in value they would assign our City (out of curiosity). They sent a delegation to our parking spot who looked all over it, asked some questions, took some pictures-- you know, the regular schtick... then they refused to make us an offer. They said it'd take a few hours and asked for our number which they never called. We rang up the dealership later that day and again the next day, nobody picked up. Surely weren't interested in dealing with them after that.
  5. Honda attempt 2 - The next week, we asked the next-nearest Honda dealer to send us a Jazz CVT to test. It was arranged on time. It really was not notable except for the fact that the AC was not cooling the car at all! We tried to feel the air coming out of the vents but it did not feel particularly cool. The SA's excuse was that it was an accidental test vehicle with some unsorted issues, and we could come down to the showroom and check out another one there. Fair enough. Still, some observations: Honda has done an excellent job with packaging. The Jazz is shorter than the Polo but has a much longer wheelbase and ample space inside, whereas the Polo has a reputation for being cramped. Of course the Polo has a proper pair of bumpers and a higher crash safety rating, but it is at this cost. Also, it's ridiculous that they've given the CVT some fixed/favorable ratios so that it behaves like an auto. Defeats the entire purpose and I don't think it does any favors for reliability. The ride quality was the best of the three cars. It became a serious contender after this drive.
  6. Volkswagen attempt 2 - Finally, we got a spin in the Polo. Observations: the first thing that stuck out was that motor! Well, that's a lie. To get to experience the engine you have to first sit in the car, and there what sticks out is how cramped it is. I was expecting it to be almost coupe-like given how much people complain, but it was certainly not so. Still, I could not sit behind myself without my knees touching the front seat. But get going and it's a great engine (1.2 TSI) and a great gearbox (DSG DQ200) that takes front stage in your mind. Driving dynamics and stability eclipsed the other 2 contenders and was leaps and bounds ahead of toy cars like the Baleno. Some glaring features omissions like a rear camera (!) and push button start. This remained the top contender albeit challenged by the Jazz now.
  7. Honda attempt 2 part 2 - We took the SA up on the offer to check out the Jazz at the dealership. Lo and behold: that car's AC was also not cooling the cabin. The SA sent us off on a drive to see if running the motor would increase the effectiveness but it was not so. We wanted to check out their service center (which was nearby) so the SA took this opportunity to get us out of the car and troubleshoot. When we returned to the dealership that Jazz was sitting in the shade. The SA asked us to step inside and indeed it was nice and cool. So the issue has been diagnosed as the AC not being powerful enough to cool the car on a summer day. Yikes! Important to note that we also tried a manual Jazz' AC which may have been better (wary of Placebo) but still subpar.
  8. Volkswagen attempt 3 - We knew there were dealerships for VW and Skoda in the vicinity of that Honda showroom. We pulled up Google Maps and headed over but it was no where to be found! We asked a passer-by who informed us the Skoda dealership had closed and gave us directions to the VW one. We popped into the VW "dealership" only to find it was just a service center. The VW dealership too had closed. A clerk there allowed us to check out the AC on a Polo there for PDI. On the same day at roughly the same time, it was better in the sun than the Jazz was in the shade. But it is notable how 3 VAG showrooms in South Delhi alone had been shut down. (The first one seems to be back under new ownership). Inadvertently we also got a look at the servicing bay, which was at least visually decent.
I should mention that when we went to the Honda service center (see point 7), we got a chance to discuss the CVT shudder that plagued our City. The advisor claimed to not have seen any such issues in his time working there. He went on to make some boneheaded statements such as "all automatics are CVT, there is no other type of automatic" (Referring to Honda's lineup? Hopefully, but he cited some other manufacturers who definitely did not use CVTs at that time) and implied that our issue is characteristic to "automatics" and that the shudder was actually "changing gear". My father offered to take the service advisor on a ride in our City to show it was certainly not that. I don't actually know the conclusion of that drive was. But looks like it convinced my dad not to drop this option or at least this dealership.


The Decision
The Nexon was kind of put on the back burner because the top trim, even after discounts, was a lakh harder on the wallet than the base OTR price of the Polo. It was also incredibly ugly.

The competition was then largely between the Polo and the Jazz, the classic heart-head dilemma. Even my dad (as I mentioned earlier he values reliability and practicality) placed the Polo above at first (partly due to my insistence but also because the engine/gearbox combo + dynamics were that good).

Further, the Jazz was not a sure shot to be trouble free. The AC issue was concerning and it was not clear whether or not the CVT shudder issues had been fixed. Also, my dad spoke with some colleagues who own VWs. Nobody had any complaints VW after-sales service beyond cost, or reliability. Thus far, the Polo had the edge.

Then we did due diligence regarding the Jazz' issues. My dad spoke to a colleague who owns a Jazz who said the AC is not great but works (his was a pre 2018 model and manual, though). I inquired on TBHP and the response from post 2018 owners was overwhelmingly that the AC really sucks but it's not unusable. However, most responses were from folks, and while it seems the AC works sufficiently under 35 degrees, the high in Delhi is above 35 for at least half the year.

On the CVT issue: A wet clutch is used to start moving when the car is put in D. Conventionally, it is not expected that transmission fluid will be changed over the lifetime of a car, and it was not given in the service manual. But we hypothesize, since CVTs have a more intensive motion, the fluid runs low and collects debris and over time the clutch wears out, leading to a shudder when moving from a standstill. We got a hold of the service schedule (confirmed by BHPian blackasta) which shows Honda has quietly implemented a trans fluid flush every 40000km (it is also now suggested for manuals albeit at a much larger interval). It seems they've tried to fix it. No BHPians complained about this issue.

The decision remained difficult. Both cars had mild concerns, Jazz decidedly milder than Polo. The Jazz was much more spacious with a marginally smaller footprint-- greatly appreciated in what may eventually be an only car. The build of the Polo was somewhat better. The Jazz was somewhat cheaper despite having more features. The claimed fuel efficiency was also in the Jazz' favor. The Polo had a much stronger motor and was safer. After much deliberation, the tie was broken not by either car but rather by their dealerships.

I must commend the Honda SA, a confident young gun who had joined recently after working for Tata. He hustled hard to make the sale and grab his commission. While the VW SA was sluggish to respond and took multiple days to respond, and often did not even pick his phone, the Honda guy was very responsive. As mentioned, he came with the TD in a timely fashion. He made sure he was present at the showroom when we came at short notice. He managed to get a hold of the stockyard folks pretty efficiently when we were inquiring about what they had. He supposedly even made a trip there (somewhere in rural HR not very close to the dealership, so probably had some other reason to go if he really did). On the other hand, the VW dealership would take a couple days to respond, only to deny any further discounts when inquired. The Honda SA would offer more and more aggressive discounts as soon as we would back off from the deal a bit.

The concerns about VW's disappearing showrooms and this lackadaisical attitude were not quite a dealbreaker-- we were still expecting to buy the Polo as long as it wasn't too much more expensive-- but it did not help matters, to say the least. Yet, when we put down the deposit for the Polo and started to wind down negotiations with Honda, the Honda SA responded with a killer discount which we simply could not refuse. Now it was a financial matter: a fatter discount on an already cheaper car. There would be no need to have stuff like the parking camera arranged for separately. So from the brink of Polo GT TSI, we ended up with a Jazz. (I'll be honest, I was a bit salty about this, so I won't have any trouble writing a condescending review).

P.S. We decided on Silver (called "New Silver" because pre facelift it was different) because we wanted the most reflective color given how terrible the AC is. The lower variant misses out on rear camera/sensors, steering controls, and some other unfortunate misses despite not being radically cheaper.

Delivery
I notice a lot of reviews have a substantial section about the delivery, another point where the emotions come out. Ours was completely uneventful, and was done at our house. Before that, however, we visited the dealership when the car arrived for the dealer inspection to do our own TBHP PDI. The VIN was the same as the one the SA sent us (a July manufactured car). 30 odd kms on the odo. We turned on the AC and sat in the car in the sun. It was not as hot as the 45 degrees the other days but a healthy 40 or so, and the car cooled down within decent time. It was decided then; we would be the owners of this Jazz. (Well, my dad would be. Artistic liberty.)

Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of the delivery, which lasted perhaps 10 minutes. The odo was consistent, the VIN was matching, no dings or dents, so the SA and his assistants took their box of chocolates and (after a short discussion on the situations of insurance and number plate) buggered off to the metro.

Last edited by Aditya : 3rd November 2020 at 05:07. Reason: Extra smileys deleted
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Old 11th October 2020, 16:07   #2
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Default Review of the Jazz

I'd like to pre-emptively apologize for the dust that appears in some of these photos. I took these photos in a field and in my infinite wisdom decided the door should remain open for a protracted period. The car had just been cleaned, too. If I can replace these images with less vomit inducing ones at a future time I will. Also, the compression to under 6MB has not done any favors to the picture quality and some artefacts may be visible. My amateur photography skills are the icing on top.

If you notice any similarities to the City of its vintage, that's because it is the Swift to the City's dZire. This analogy isn't quite true in spirit since the Hondas both have largely unique monocoques/designs and they are squarely in separate segments. But the platform is the same, the interiors are largely the same, the transmission is the same, the track is the same, the wheelbase is the same, and as far as I can tell even the features on offer are the same... the 6 lac OTR top-to-top variant difference comes up in the motor (88hp 1.2l iVTEC Jazz vs 115hp 1.5l iVTEC City/1.5l iDTEC City) further compounded by higher tax due to displacement >1.2l (>1.4l for Diesel), longer body (not worth much beyond boot volume and status) further compounded due to length >4m, LED lighting, and of course, a dash of Honda ki marzi.
But let's talk about the Jazz here for a moment.

Design
Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-tf1z8yo.jpg

The design is a pretty neutral one. It will not offend anyone, it will not excite anyone, it will not even bore anyone.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-ounrec9.jpg
Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-qkcz6t1.jpg
The bad angle, it looks very stubby and kind of van-like. The small wheels don't help. That dent was caused by a peacock (I could write an entire article on that menace to society), but it will be fixed shortly.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-bovqsvk.jpg
Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-txlgp62.jpg

I must say, this is actually a pretty impressive feat. I'm not a guy that keeps up with film and celebrities but I would liken it to the guy who plays Hulk in the newest series of comic book movies. On the inside, it's the contemptible hard plastics we see from the Japanese laid out in a fashion that perhaps 10 years ago would be appealing. Now it might even be considered subpar given what I've seen (in photos) from Hyundais and Kias. It's the exact same interior as the contemporary City except with less silver inserts because it's meant for slightly poorer people.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-dbca41038b1e4b9681fc4c90c1ffe4fe.jpg

The dials are similar: Not extravagant, not boring.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-1be7f490408a472db9fc0916b5bc261e.jpeg

They have a sort of ambient lighting thing going on (The strips on either side of the speedo) which changes colors based on instantaneous FE (Green for good, blue for average, brown for bad. The brown looks particularly bad. Better to drive with a light foot).

Quality
Open the door and you will be surprised at how heavy it is. Or so it seems. This is, in the words of the Big Man with the Orange Tan, "fake news". In reality, it is the handle that has been given high mechanical resistance. Further, the door is screwed a little extra tight to make it seem like it is heavier. The Euros are ahead in this matter and these days there are other cars (like the Nexon) which are a bit better.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-a22dc35088014423b93fd8934c9c996a.jpeg
The referenced door.

Inside, better plastics are used by Instagram models. These are quite scratchy and quite hard. Obviously Maybach level materials are not expected. But supposedly these days the Hyundais et al. have got higher quality materials in the same price range.

If you click the image of the dash in the design section you'll be able to see the typical pattern that these guys put on the dash plastics. It sometimes feels like they all just source their dashboards from the same supplier in China or something.

Insulation is up to par. That is to say, you certainly won't get a migraine from the noise. But it's by no means something that'll make you go "wow, that's actually pretty quiet!". Maybe a better set of tyres will help.

Panel gaps are consistent but they are wide.

The paint is not of top quality either. In fact, a spot even chipped off. We are very careful (especially with the new car) so it's not clear how that happened... I guess it's not unlikely it was due to the carelessness of some passer-by. The service center touched it up on goodwill. Still, was disappointing to see how thin and easily chipped the paint is.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-db8e3c6698f24b5aaa9927b1ab33dfff.jpeg
No, it's not my camera. That's the orange peel effect all right.

Comfort and Practicality
The ride is slightly better than the competition but it's not the greatest thing of all time. Our City (previous generation of this platform) had a much nicer ride.

Like an entrance exam, the seats are decently large and supportive but quite hard.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-810f7edf3e7d454d802cde4a2bae53c8.jpeg
Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-e015cddd00344e7ca482437ff07789e7.jpeg

There is a front armrest now, though, so all that can be forgiven.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-45505d1902be468587f6dfbaaf0f4e30.jpg
Jazz owners are blessed with the visible Front Armrest.

The first full summer we had with the car was the infamous "Summer of CoViD-19" so it was not driven during the worst of the heat. It worked acceptably in whatever 40 odd degrees it was occasionally driven in, so AC crisis averted thus far.

Credit where it is due, the space is very welcome. I can sit behind myself with ample room to spare (I'm portly and 5'11, with a relaxed seating position). Also, the car is definitely more planted than our City. I as a passenger sometimes felt motion sickness in our City but it is largely abated in the Jazz. Most thoroughfare in Delhi is good but on occasion we have had to traverse some not-good roads (*ahem* Rohini *ahem*), there has not been any trouble with 3 people in tow as far as scraping goes. Besides, the ground clearance is roughly the same for all the choices in this segment. Headroom is also very good.

It is silly that they have removed the magic seats. They were not available on the CVT anyway but that was such a fantastic feature (especially keeping in mind the dog). Now we are left to suffer this bench seat that does not nearly fold flat and is not nearly level with the boot floor. Come on, at least give us 60-40 or an adjustable boot floor.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-10f32564791e469d99c7f1bbfb22edb4.jpeg
The scene with seats down.

Driving dynamics
This is probably the worst part about this car, and other than that there's not much to say about it. It is very clearly not meant to be enjoyable to drive. The electric steering is garbage and feels like a simulator. The brakes are bitey. It may be stable at speed but there's nothing fun about driving this car. It's not a punchy motor (anyway bottlenecked by CVT) and it isn't particularly fast. It is not at all agile or eager to change directions and has that bad steering. The transmission is programmed so that it behaves kind of like an AT, hence defeating the purpose of a CVT. This does also allow for the provided CVT paddle shifters which is quite funny.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-68466517a5c0429e823776701522f1e1.jpegCritical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-73af075eb52548ffb9c5e9e756db43be.jpeg

They don't work well (not because of glitches or anything but rather because it's a freaking CVT) and can't help with much other than giving a short jerk of acceleration by forcing a shorter ratio when you tap minus. The rubberband effect, although not as dominant as it was in our City (perhaps in part due to this TC like programming), is still noticeable.

Audio, ICE, and Controls
The audio quality won't really blow your mind. We are not so picky with audio and I personally don't really notice the quality unless it is exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. This is neither. The ICE is not very useful in day to day usage past the radio and reverse camera (although it is decently responsive and clear). We have to go out of our way to use the ICE just for the sake of it sometimes. Past the radio, its functionality is largely superseded by Android Auto/Apple CarPlay-- Navigation by Google Maps, which is also better since it has has traffic data. Bluetooth music by 4G music (Spotify etc), which again has a wider catalog of music. I don't have much interest in looking at photos on my car ICE (anyway you need to use a flash drive to bring them on).


Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-1b586882908449ce860391499ec76c74.jpeg
The extent of the functionality of the ICE. (On the next page there is a shortcut to the settings menu and a photo frame).

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-556df951a8cb4f2e99bcde7973667ccf.jpeg
Apple CarPlay, as advertized on the box.

A quirk of the ICE: awful English. Some examples off the bat (You can see my phone in the reflection, sorry about that):

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-edb52ee6a32a472a84a32a291d73614c.jpeg
When you connect your iPhone (before Apple CarPlay has been set up, or if it is disabled)

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-479e858f8c364bfc8199bbb47a335ada.jpeg
Not as egregious as the other ones, but the usage of "register" and "the" is questionable.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-d112c9bcc3a444bca45f387c5dd8e04c.jpeg
When you "register". ("a" should be "to" or "to the")

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-1add988bfc5145acbe5decace29edae1.jpeg
When you can't "register".

The reverse camera is of OK quality. There are three "angles" which are actually all just transformations of the same wide angle feed from the camera. The guide lines are not adaptive!

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-a0e3e2445340485c87527b981e9a77dc.jpeg
Wide angle feed from the camera. The three thumbnails at the bottom of the screen give you an idea of the other 2 views. None can convey any more information as they are the same feed with a transformation applied to it.

The Jazz is another victim of the silly trend of using capacitive buttons for climate control. Now, I don't hate it as much as some other people on this forum. I think it's not particularly distracting or difficult to use (at least in this application), but the question is "why"? There could have been a front camera or sensors. Or magic seats. If that stuff won't break even then there could have been an adjustable boot floor or ambient lighting. It could even have been none of these. Having this doesn't improve the car in any way at all.

Past stuff like the omission of magic seats there's not much more visible cost cutting and no blank switches. But given its optimistic pricing there should certainly not be any.

There are steering mounted controls (there better have been). The positioning is decent but may be a bit unwieldy if you have smaller hands. You will use it on a day-to-day basis for accepting calls and controlling the radio. The voice commands are gimmicky.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-76208916121c42bda45d83e4c239beb3.jpeg
Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-f7e81335bd604862be61e80feaf743f1.jpeg
Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-e6f731315782457e8aa0efa69708a328.jpeg

Initial reliability
As expected, the initial reliability has been flawless. Now, our running is already low but it has been almost eviscerated by the CoViD pandemic. In fact, the Jazz is parked inside and the Alto (not gone yet) outside so much of the remaining driving duties are performed by Alto. As a result, the Jazz has run less than 3000 kilometers. But don't expect any issues in the short or long term (other than potentially the CVT shudder, fingers crossed on that one but it is unlikely).

Miscellaneous
The black fabric on the cabin floor is not at all ideal for places like Delhi where there is a lot of sand. Even if you clap your sandals together before entering will the mats get dusty.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-d39607af464a4701980d67803a6a43d7.jpeg
This is after I got in to take photos. The car had, as mentioned previously, been cleaned not long before.

The headliner and the central cabin light is exactly the same as our City (2004 generation).

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-poggers.jpeg

There is no air conditioning outlet for the rear passengers.

The full suite of gauge cluster lights, as shown when the car is turning on:

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-f533a62b633e4ad691ded51b4957fcd6.jpeg
Like a christmas tree.

See that in the bezel on the tailgate? That's an LED. It turns on with the headlights in continuum with the main cluster. Introduced in the 2018 "New Jazz" facelift.

Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz-69dd417828c848da8242f9329d6e17a6.jpeg
I imagine it's meant to mimic the CR-V.

Last edited by chieftain : 1st November 2020 at 09:22.
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Old 12th October 2020, 20:41   #3
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Default Final remarks

Conclusion
So after reading all this text, which I hope was not too tedious, you may be wanting for a succinct conclusion.
And perhaps you yourself would conclude from the review that we bone-headedly eliminated some superior rivals, and based on a purely circumstantial factor (the final discount) we ended up with what is at best a mediocre car at a still-above mediocre price.

There is surely an element of truth to that, but in fact the Honda Jazz actually has my mark of approval. I would not even hesitate to recommend it to someone considering a car in this segment (unless they are looking for something fun, then go Polo). Especially if it is to be an only, primary or beater car (like most buyers in this segment) because it's hard to go wrong with such a car.

Sure, the door may be a bit deceptive in its weight. But it's still one that shuts with a decent thud, unlike most other options. Yeah, the plastics are not very nice to look at or touch. But you know the interior is going to be durable, and you can't say that about the Hyundais, Tatas, etc. of the world just yet. It's way better than the Marutis and indigenous Mahindras.
There's not much doubt the Honda will be very reliable and this confidence can only be matched by Maruti and Toyota.

And it may not be as fun to drive as a Swift (a bit overrated IMO). But it is far more poised.
It may not be as fast as a Polo. But the ride is better.
Maybe the Venue gets some features the Honda doesn't. But I would not lose any sleep over this, as much of it could be considered gimmicky. The Honda is decently equipped in its own right.
And let us not forget about the packaging. If you are looking for practicality, I think you can ignore the mediocrity and the mental gymnastics I'm doing to justify it, and consider the Jazz on this account alone. The only sore spot is the non-flat folding-ness and lack of 60:40 split in the rear seats. The boot space is good, and there are oodles of passenger and storage space in the cabin.

Indeed, the Honda Jazz is not a vehicle that evokes feelings of passion. But the lost love there is made up in the many happy miles. You will come to appreciate the workhorses that these vehicles are. The lack of quirks and poor driver engagement relegate the Jazz to the background of your life. It will be merely an appliance you use to reach your destination (and indeed, a good chunk of buyers are looking for no more than an appliance). But when you get to your destination, and you get there every time without any protest, it will be difficult not to love it. It turns from a soulless piece of hardware to a faithful, unconditional companion. The Jazz may not be eager to please as its competitors, but in a way it doesn't need to be. That would be missing the point.

It is fair to conclude that the dear buck you pay for the Honda goes a long way because it buys you peace of mind. Some of the money that would be used for a nicer interior or more features instead goes into integrity in the Jazz. You will not be as safe in most other options. You will be much more prone to issues, especially fatal ones, in most of the other options. I'm not saying it's a Land Cruiser, though. And no question we have had some hits and some misses dealing with the Honda guys in our area. But it's certainly never been a catastrophe like you will hear from VAG or TATA or Mahindra owners. Not to forget, occasionally even MSIL falls short (Magic Auto, Dwarka's stupid explanation and Maruti's horrible support for my Baleno. EDIT: Resolved). And threads like this one (Hyundai India - The occasional serious quality lapse and apathetic manufacturer response!) make me wary of Hyundai reliability and ASS. The truth is, it's difficult to consider most competitors because they are simply not well built enough. Some are structurally unreliable. Some are mechanically or electrically unreliable. Some are both.
The Jazz is one of the few options which is neither.

So, it's a mediocre car, but a solid and consistent one. A nice car which disintegrates in a fender bender or keeps breaking down, and keeps you worrying, averages out to be beneath mediocre over its lifetime. And if you ignore driver engagement, the Jazz could be considered a jack of all trades. If you are looking for a king of some, like a fun car, look elsewhere. If you really think you need some of the connectivity features on these newer cars look elsewhere. If you just can't stand the Jazz' interiors look elsewhere. But keep it high on your shortlist otherwise.

It's hard to go wrong with such a car.

Appendix
FE: You may notice I paid very little heed to fuel economy. As I mentioned earlier, our running is very low so forgive me if I didn't give it enough consideration in the review. It's not awful, but the ARAI numbers are better for competitors (other than the Polo). While the ARAI to ARAI comparison is much closer, if your running is very high you may want to consider other options. I have a feeling you would not be looking at petrol ATs in that case. If you are, though, you may still consider the peace of mind afforded by the higher entry and slightly higher running cost.

The market over a year later: It's true that since we bought this car some new and far more formidable competitors have appeared. But my reasoning still stands, I don't find it unlikely we would have ended up in a Jazz anyway. I haven't had a chance to see any of these new cars in person. But even if the Altroz is as solid as I expect, the Tata experience-- particularly for a potential only car-- is a gamble (especially with our bad experience on the TD itself). The Venue/Sonet are actually more expensive than the Jazz, and looking past a nicer interior, engine (turbo, not even that sure about the 1.5), and some gimmicks, I am not so sure if it's a truly sound vehicle, perhaps due to a general mistrust of Hyundai. Along the same lines I'm not sure whether the upcoming i20 will be India-ized or not. But the decision would again be contingent on the discount we would get on the Jazz.

Facelift: Also, the Jazz has been given a minor facelift and a new, even more expensive top variant (ZX) with the BS6 re-launch. It's not clear what's new past the minor cosmetic change, so the review should remain relevant. Also unclear is the difference between VX and ZX, save for the sunroof. If it indeed is just that, I would recommend you stick with the VX (unless you really want the sunroof that much... come on, in our 35+ degree weather and pounding sunlight?).

Pricing/Discounts: I will say this-- given its uncompetitive pricing it's not too unrealistic to expect some nice discounts. If you cannot find a dealer who is willing to make the price more palatable, the value is questionable and my recommendation might be in jeopardy. Still, it is cheaper than the Venue/Sonet, Nexon, etc. but on the expensive side of the hatchback competitors. At that point the question becomes the value you personally assign to the extra bit peace of mind that comes with the Jazz. Important to note we bought our car at a very unremarkable time (no festive offers or end-of-year clearance).

Index
Dear reader, I'm not quite done bothering you just yet. Data is all the rage these days. I haven't much to offer but some stuff which would be useful for prospective owners.
OTR Price (at the time): roughly 1.1 million bucks
Our Price: roughly 0.95 million bucks, with free accessories and extended warranty thrown in. (The best the Polo guy was willing to give us was 10.4 + extended warranty with no accessories on an already poorly equipped car)
Kitna (first 500km, cumulative): 5.3 kml^-1
Kitna (first 1000km, cumulative): 7.9 kml^-1
Kitna (to date, 3000km, cumulative): 9.3 kml^-1 (Our usage is largely city driving with many speed breakers throughout the way. Expect >12 cumulative with normal usage at this mileage. Highway driving has been limited thus far)
First non complementary service cost (Fourth service): 4000 bucks

Last edited by chieftain : 31st October 2020 at 22:53.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 07:31   #4
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

Your car is going to our homepage today
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Old 2nd November 2020, 08:04   #5
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

I am a happy owner of a 2017(december) honda jazz v cvt with 43k on odo. I can vouch for each and every word you have mentioned and like you I also moved from City to Jazz. It can even carry a truckload of family luggage along with a wheelchair + 5 full sized passenger on a long trip with relative comfort. Some of the sedans will struggle to do that. Yes, its a bit bouncy on bad roads but its a perfect city car and always put a smile on my face due to the usable bootspace. If you have happened to notice the extra leg space for the passenger in the back seat has been created by reducing the travel of the front captain seats. For average Indian height of 5'8'' its OK but anything beyond it, the under thigh support takes a beating on long drives and your left unused leg feels a bit jammed due to short travel of the seat. Apart from that a wonderful car. Highly reliable and very practical. Wish they had plonked the 1.5lt engine into it. If Honda could just put a S symbol on it and reduce the price to about a lakh of rupees, it will be a hot cake in Indian market due to "herd mentality".

Last edited by adi_gt : 2nd November 2020 at 08:06.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 10:30   #6
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Wow. I have never read another ownership review quite like yours. All pros and cons balanced nicely.
How has your service experience been? Does the Jazz still have Honda's infamous 6 month/10,000 km interval?
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Old 2nd November 2020, 10:32   #7
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Default Re: Final remarks

Quote:
Originally Posted by chieftain View Post
Indeed, the Honda Jazz is not a vehicle that evokes feelings of passion. But the lost love there is made up in the many happy miles. You will come to appreciate the workhorses that these vehicles are. The lack of quirks and poor driver engagement relegate the Jazz to the background of your life. It will be merely an appliance you use to reach your destination (and indeed, a good chunk of buyers are looking for no more than an appliance). But when you get to your destination, and you get there every time without any protest, it will be difficult not to love it. It turns from a soulless piece of hardware to a faithful, unconditional companion. The Jazz may not be eager to please as its competitors, but in a way it doesn't need to be. That would be missing the point.
And this is the essence of the ownership experience of the Jazz (or most Toyota/Honda products).

Can’t agree with you more, about the positives & negatives. However, the negatives are not at all deal breakers, in my opinion, as that isn’t the target audience of the Jazz.

The aircon takes a tad longer to cool down the cabin, but I attribute that to the expansive glass area in the Jazz. It has never not been sufficient, even in the 40C Goan heat.

We have the exact same variant as you, and is the daily driver of my sister (lead foot, thanks to her learning to drive on a Cruze MT) who manages to get 16 kmpl over 80kms of daily driving. This car has been her daily driver since June 2019, and not once has it let her down. She’s clocked 26,000kms already and she swears by it for comfort, lack of fatigue & fuss free transportation.

If only more owners purchased cars with safety & reliability as their primary concern, rather than vanity & short sightedness, especially when they have a 1 car garage! It’s heartbreaking to read about vehicles which start to fall apart before even the 5yr mark and owners (who aren’t well off) not getting any wiser about their choices.

Last edited by ChoosetoCruze : 2nd November 2020 at 10:36.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 12:46   #8
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Very detailed review and Congratulations on your purchase. You have very rightly described Jazz for what it is.

I have a 2015 Jazz V-CVT at 28k kms and like you predict even after 5 years interiors look just like it came from showroom. The CVT oil was changed at 4 year mark even though it was under 40k kms as per service schedule.

No other issue in 5 + years of ownership, shut it and forget it type of ownership. Only warranty claim I have made so far is the A/C blower which had developed a whine at lower speeds. Honda dealer promptly replaced it without any questions. I have extended warranty to 6th year which cost me 62XX/- approx. I further intend to take the 7th year warranty next year.

Being 5 years old and driven in Mumbai traffic, it has had 2 coats of paint on the front bumper for minor scratches rest all is factory fresh.

One thing I hate is 5000 kms or 6 months service interval. With average monthly running of less than 500 kms its a pain.

Wish you a happy ownership.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 13:08   #9
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Congrats on your choice. I certainly love the Jazz. In fact, I had booked one in Dec 2011 to be delivered in 2012. Unfortunately for me at that point, the Jazz was being assembled in their Thailand factory which had to close down for a couple of months because of floods and that ended my dream of owning one.
Two things I must say Honda shouldn't have changed is the 60:40 rear seats which were awesome and the diesel generator which has now been discontinued because Honda couldn't find takers for this in the Jazz. Instead, they should have worked at making the engine more refined and used quality sound dampening.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 13:41   #10
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

FE really depends on the traffic condition. In heavy traffic conditions like Mumbai, Bangalore most of the cars will give FE around 10. I used to get 10-12 in Mumbai. In Hyderabad, I used to get around 14. From last 8 months due to WFH policy I'm driving my car in Trivandrum with hardly any traffic and I easily get around 15-16 in city.

On Highways, I could get 17 plus on a fully loaded Mumbai -Trivandrum drive ( 1780 kms ). When driven solo on highways at 100 km/hr, I easily get around 19-20. While coming from Pune, due to downhill slope towards Mumbai , one can easily get above 20.

Whenever your get time just take the car out on highways to open up the engine power band and you will find it much more enjoyable driving in cities. Initially even I used to get very less mileage. After reading review from Mahajan Sir, I changed my style of driving. One needs to master the ability to extract power and mileage from a CVT transmission. eg, when moving from standstill, as soon as rpm reaches 2000 just leave the gas pedal and again press gently. Car will still reach 80 at 1500 rpm. My car has completed 47K in 3 years. Best part of the car is the seating position. My family has 2 Jazz( cvt and manual ), a city manual and a WRV petrol and I find Jazz has the best seating of the lot. I keep changing transmission oil every 20000 kms as a preventive measure
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Old 2nd November 2020, 14:55   #11
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

My second car is a Jazz. I wish every time I drive it that it had a 1.5L engine from the City. Its really slow especially with A/C on and the full family onboard. How I wish I could upgrade the engine like they do in many countries outside of India. I would gladly just pay for the new engine and be done with it. The rest of the car with features are good enough for me.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 15:55   #12
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Thank you for the review. I am guessing our cars were bought around the same time in 2019. My Jazz VX CVT just completed a year. I am as happy as I could have been. I was well aware of what I should expect from Jazz, having driven MS Ritz for close to 10 years (still going strong), I have learned/understood what I value in a Car or to put it plainly 'live within the means'.

In general, the Jazz customers are a satisfied lot. As the way you've put it, the whole 'Jazz' experiencing could never be overwhelming nor would it be disappointing.

I on the other hand can't stop grinning every time I drive. I feel like having found my driving 'Nirvana' with the CVT in the Jazz.

Yes, the magic seats would have been lovely, the center fascia could do without those touch buttons, a little more power would have been nice. But would someone like me trade that for peace of mind, quirky design, new age turbo engines. No, thank you, says the mind.

I have been sitting on the draft of my ownership review for a while now, hopefully your review will push me towards completing mine.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 17:13   #13
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Thank you for a great read. I am somewhat torn about this car as well.

I love it's spaciousness. We left Delhi for our family home in Uttarakhand in anticipation of the pandemic lockdown and this car accommodated 4 adults and 3 kids with ease.

That said,

- The AC is a major bummer. The ASC keeps telling me it's fine but it just does not do the job. I am not satisfied. I sense that it's fine in short hauls and with few passengers but more than two and on a long highway drive - it really does not do the job.

- The car is not meant for hill driving. My father's i10, which stays in Uttarakhand, can take an incline at ease in 3rd gear while I have to downshift to 2nd or most often 1st gear to take relatively easy inclines. I have come to accept that it is what it is. But I look at my father's 10 year old i10 and the Jazz, and cannot believe just how underpowered is the Honda engine.

- Finally, overtaking on highways is also very annoying as you have to downshift significantly for it respond.

PS - going by your image background, I think we are in the same neighbourhood of South Delhi.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 19:49   #14
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Nice and honest review. My Daily drive is a year old jazz cvt vx. I decided upon the jazz after looking at the baleno , polo , venue and i20.
It’s an extremely relaxing and comfortable car for city use. The looks and interiors are spacious and comfortable. I did upgrade the ICE and got Stanley leather seat covers and a few accessories fitted to uplift the interiors. Overall it’s a good no nonsense car. Internationally the jazz is sold as the Fit which sells in good numbers in its segment.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 23:49   #15
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Default Re: Critical Initial Review : Honda Jazz

Nice review! It felt like your heart was initially elsewhere (Polo? ). But as you listed, when one plans to have only one car in family then one can't go wrong with practicality of Jazz. Its kind of Jack of all trades.
When I was in India, and wanted to replace my Alto, I test drove both i20 and Jazz, and to be honest I found Jazz's steering to be with better feedback and its suspension was better tuned for Highway driving (it felt solid) as compared to boat like feel in i20. Add the space/practicality, high revving Honda motor and big front windshield giving that big car feel, that was enough to seal the deal (Mine was VX MT 2016 Model with Magic seats and all black interiors). I drove it for 10,000 kms in one year (a lot of highway driving) before I moved to Canada.
Here, in Canada, I was actually not surprised to see that it is consistently ranked the best small car and commands really high resale value. In fact, Autotrader.ca has called it Car of the year 2020 (best overall car across categories, despite being an older model). Of course it comes with a bigger engine here and with more features/safety, but practicality and reliability remains same.

https://www.autotrader.ca/newsfeatur...ers-announced/
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