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Old 13th June 2009, 15:05   #1
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Default Honda Jazz: Your school time nightmare comes back.

Back-bench slackers like me, would vividly remember the school Prefect.

Squeaky clean polished shoes, hair neatly parted, shirt neatly tucked in, the ‘samosa’ on the school tie just right (not like the peanut sized cocktail ‘samosa’ strung miserably from your elastic tie), carting away medals during the school Annual day while you were busy throwing paper rockets into the crowd.

Adding insult to injury was the wistful look in your mother’s eye when she looked at the 10-on-10 on his answer paper during the PTA meeting, while you cringe & unsuccessfully try to hide the red rivulets in yours. Didn’t you just hate him then? Wished you could wring his neck for being so darn good?

The Honda Jazz is your school Prefect; back to haunt you.

The Red car parked in Apex Honda, at first glace, just took my breath away.

The Jazz’s crew cut, Milind Soman-like sharp chiseled looks with its oh-so-right ‘The-Complete-Man’ poise. Low slung, poised to leap ahead on decently tyred 15-inch rubbers. The Jazz’s proportions are totally unreal - not one wayward muscle or a line out of place – leaving you with just no chance to crib about any toad-like eyes, love handles on the side panels or a baboon-butt! Damn!

Remember the PTA meeting moment? (The Prefect’s 10-on-10 and your red streaked answer sheet?) Steeping inside the Honda Jazz is that PTA meeting reloaded.

The silvery grey gossamer-like seats softly coo into your ears and Katrina-Kaif-Aamsutra-like call you to come and feel them. Come on; try not running your hands over me, they almost say. Sink into them and they clasp you gently. I could have done with a tad more thigh support, though.

The head room is surprisingly very good, enough for a 6 foot Sardar and his pagdi. The rear passenger’s knees don’t sink into the driver’s seat back even with the driver’s seat pushed right back. That, I reckon, is coz of a fast one pulled off by the Oriental mind. The driver’s seat track (distance it travels horizontally) is probably lower hence creating an illusion of big knee & leg room at the rear.

The dark grey dash with the light grey lower neatly tucked in, the dark grey-silver switches & dials complete the neat buttoned up school Prefect ensemble. The large dials with the easy-on-the-eyes orange lighting are immensely practical. And then there is familiar mercury- grey 3-spoke steering wheel with audio controls – just to remind you of its bigger cousin – the New Honda City. The plastics used are largely good except for the flimsy door handles which are as much at home with the chic interiors as an emaciated Darfur orphan adopted by a ‘Frisco couple.

You turn the key, the engine purrs to life in just the way you expect a Honda to. Release the clutch and the car gently moves ahead - not a single strain of violence. There is no adrenaline rush, but this car is not a sloth either. Just easy paced rapid strides forward to breast the finish line. Gear shifting is a breeze, gears fall in with a touch. Move from 2nd to 3rd to all the way up, the i-VTEC putters on with barely a sweat glistening on its brow. Floor the accelerator and the Jazz mutters a weak protest, still no menacing growl from this good boy. If the man with the tooth-brush-moustache were alive, he would use the Jazz’s performance with i-VTEC family engine pedigree as evidence of his Aryan-supremacy-genes-do-matter theory.

The electronic power steering – light, just the way the average city slicker would like it to be. The ride is very smooth, not a hint of harshness driving on the smooth Wadala link road. The handling is not pubescent, small car like, but quite confident – adolescence in a way. Feels almost like a larger car – grounded and steady. It helps that the cars is wide and just 160 mm above the ground. Mind the speed bumps though.

While you may yearn for that rush of adrenalin, the hint of madness, the almost human like quirkiness that you may experience with, say, a Ford or a Fiat. The Honda is the quintessential machine –precise, cold, accurate and bloody reliable – all the T’s crossed, quite like your school Prefect.

The Hogwarts owlery (places for the owls to rest in the Harry Potter series, for the uninitiated), you would imagine would be filled with cubby holes to keep the students letters in - the Honda Jazz is quite like that. At last count, there were a zillion nooks & crannies to store all the worthless baubles we Indians are so famous for. An upper & lower glove box, bottle holders on the dash, cup holder on the doors, even a pen holder and guess what a cup holder on the bloody roof! Nah, I just made the last one up.

And now for the piece-de-résistance – ‘Magic’ seats. Rear seats that split 60:40, we know, seat backs that fold down, yawn…. tell me something new, seats that fold up and 60:40 split to boot, all with a light touch? The hell, the seats fold so flat that the rear including the boot could double up as a carrom board. (Getting the holes for the coins is the bitch though). And for the ones who travel with the kleptomaniac kinds, there is a neat pouch under these magic seats, with a neat ‘lock’ away cover. Do we see the Jazz becoming the new favorite for the round trip to Daman or Pondicherry?

While you can slap your forehead and scream why someone didn’t think of this earlier? The Japanese boffin, who thought this up, I am sure did not run out of his lab streaking – Eureka! Eureka. In my mind’s eye he would have submitted this idea, bowed low to his Manager and returned to this CAD machine coffin.

So, with a car so good, there must be a catch somewhere?

For the Honda Jazz, it’s the price.

At close to seven-and-a-half lakh rupees, that’s ex-showroom Mumbai mind you, she doesn’t come cheap. Getting her home will put you back by over eight lakh!

With this pricing, the Japs just beat the Marwari in their naked intention to rake in the moolaa. Mind you, this car is under 4 meters and with an engine smaller than one point two litres and enjoys a twelve percentage excise benefit. But who are we to complain when the only place Che makes waves is on T-shirts bought by a trillion mall stalking teenagers and the Reds are busy signing up Yankee baseball stars.

With the R-word doing the rounds these days, there aren’t many overpaid juvenile software types or the i-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-cash Derivatives trader or the valuation PhotoShopping i-banker types queuing up for the Jazz. For now.

However, there are enough and many who can afford to flash the H label and whiz past poor sods like you & me wishing that if only the Jazz was about a lakh cheaper….

ps: No pictures. Shots I clicked are inadequate when compared to the detailed ones clicked by GTO.
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:39   #2
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I think this is the review we want on the front page
( along with GTO's Of course)
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:42   #3
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What was thy GRE score ?
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:43   #4
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Now THAT - is a review to be proud of Kaushik. Bravo! Wonderfully written, thanks!
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:43   #5
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That was a very gentle review. Its still not a oh-so-perfectly done car like the RSX. People who will buy it will really love it and others will really hate it (for the price and some extra reasons)
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:51   #6
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beautifully written.... i wish the car was as good... in other words a value proposition.
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Old 13th June 2009, 15:54   #7
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Cool review! I'm super impressed with the writing skills on display here!
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:07   #8
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Oh man, that was a wonderful review. I dont care about the car, but the review was mind-blowing. So many wonderful images are running through my mind. Thanks a lot, my friend.
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:13   #9
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Nicely written

Originally Posted by kaushikz View Post
Back-bench slackers like me, would vividly remember the school Prefect. .
Originally Posted by kaushikz View Post
For the Honda Jazz, it’s the price.
Since you brought in this analogy, it is worth looking my Grad School Perfects 8 years down the lane, today. Two things common to all I know are

1) They did not leap ahead of the back-benchers, as predicted when we graduated. Most of them lag behind.

2) They all have huge EMIs to pay.

Same with this school perfect too, huh??
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:15   #10
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Extremely well written review.

Now the real question is whether the Jazz is worth its price?

My answer is a big emphatic NO!

I guess that with Jazz, it is time the overconfident H-company see things go a bit against their greedy dreams.
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:21   #11
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Bravo! Your review has just evoked nostalgia for me. I was one of the back benchers myself. As for the Jazz, your review needs to be put on the front page of the site. Only missing some pictures and you're set.
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:23   #12
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Marvelous review my friend !! Where all you were till date.. will look forward for such reviews later on as well.

Will I pickup a Jazz.. Well at the said price "Hell, How can you think of it !!"
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:27   #13
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The moment I saw this thread and saw the author, I knew I HAD to read it! I wasnt disappointed! Awesome!
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:37   #14
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Default dude. That's all i can say!
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Old 13th June 2009, 16:50   #15
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Awesome review Kaushik, keep them coming...
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