The two heroes on Honda’s extensive display at the Johannesburg International Motor Show are the all-new Jazz hatchback, and the aspirational, sporty Accord Tourer.
Both cars make their South African debut at JIMS, and are expected to evoke much interest at the show.
NEW HONDA JAZZ
Honda’s all-new Jazz builds on the key attributes of its hugely popular predecessor, thanks to even more interior space, better functionality and more powerful, more frugal engines – all wrapped in a stylish, contemporary design
At first glance, the exterior design is more evolution than revolution. But this represents only one small aspect of the thousands of changes that characterise the all-new Jazz.
It retains key concepts of the previous Jazz, including the central fuel tank layout and the Magic Seats, which ensure world-beating interior flexibility. But while the best features have been retained, new Jazz is also improved in every other area.
A slightly larger, cab forward-style body allows better visibility and means the new Jazz is even more spacious, specifically benefiting rear legroom and boot space. The Magic Seats can be operated in one, easy action, too.
Safety equipment levels have been upped, including the introduction of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. Larger wheels, a revised suspension, and a longer wheelbase and wider track, allow greater agility while enhancing ride comfort.
The new Jazz is offered with significantly more powerful, latest-generation 1,4 and 1,5-litre four-cylinder engines, linked to either a five-speed manual gearbox, or a new five-speed automatic transmission.
The 1,4-litre engine produces 73 kW of maximum power, compared to the 61 kW of its predecessor. The torque peak is up from 116 to 127 Nm, further improving performance. Nevertheless, the 1,4-litre engine achieves a combined-cycle consumption figure of just 5,8 litres/100km.
The new 1,5-litre engine offers similar gains. Compared to the 81 kW and 143 Nm of the previous unit, the new 1,5-litre is good for 88 kW and 145 Nm. Fuel economy comes to 6,4 litres/100km for the manual model and 6,7 litres/100km when equipped with the five-speed automatic transmission.
At 3 900 mm long, 1 695 mm wide and 1 525 mm tall, the new Jazz occupies its own, unique niche. It fits in between the superminis and compact MPVs, offering the style of the former and the practicality of the latter.
Overall height remains the same, but the Jazz is 55 mm longer and 20 mm wider. A wheelbase increase of 50 mm, and front and rear track increases of 35 mm and 30 mm respectively, aid handling stability.
Despite those increased dimensions, the kerb-to-kerb turning circle of 9,80 m remains unchanged.
The new Jazz is even easier to get in and out of, thanks to rear doors that open wider and in three stages.
The introduction of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure provides multiple energy-absorbing pathways to disperse impact energy, thereby preventing cabin deformation.
Standard on all models are dual front and side airbags, while the EX-S also gets full-length side curtain airbags. Three-point seatbelts are provided in all five seating positions.
The ingenious interior layout of the previous Jazz, with its compact suspension and centrally-mounted fuel tank, ensured exceptional interior space and cargo carrying capacity. The new Jazz retains that configuration, but its increased external dimensions take interior comfort to a new level.
The slightly increased length and width have clearly benefited passenger space, making the new Jazz the roomiest, most flexible contender in its class.
The latest Magic Seats are even more convenient to operate. A single-motion, dive-down operation means there is no longer any need to move the front seats forward to collapse the rear seats. The Magic Seats allow the interior to be adapted to a variety of modes.
High-quality, pleasantly tactile materials, a stylish design and tasteful hues endow the cabin of the new Jazz with a distinctly upmarket feel.
More comfortable front seats with better support, a driver’s footrest, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a steering wheel adjustable for reach and rake, and larger rear seats are just some of the features contributing to the more cosseting, more relaxed cabin environment.
Additional sound insulation and increased body rigidity also play their part in making the Jazz’s cabin a pleasant place to be.
The Jazz is a truly global car, sold in 115 countries, with annual sales of around 400 000 units. Total worldwide sales to date exceed two million units.
Its primary attraction lies in its unique ability to provide the style of a B-segment hatchback, matched to the versatility of a B-segment MPV. Sales in SA commence in early November.
NEW HONDA ACCORD TOURER
Honda’s all-new Accord Tourer offers sporty styling, greater refinement and a unique package of safety systems, together with excellent dynamic capabilities and strong environmental credentials.
Significantly wider and slightly lower, the ‘sharp-edged’ design, with its pronounced muscular wheel arches emphasising the car’s wider track, gives the Accord Tourer a distinctive, strong stance. The distinctive nose and flowing lines deliver a tauter, more athletic shape.
The evolution from the previous-generation Accord is even more pronounced in the case of the Tourer, where the previous emphasis on load carrying practicality has evolved into a more dynamic expression of its advanced technology, while still retaining a strong degree of versatility and practicality.
Its smarter, sleeker proportions are characterised by a gently sloping rear roofline and a steadily rising lower window edge. The tapering profile conveys the Tourer’s performance credentials. The curved tailgate glass and the sculpted lower panel, with a pronounced raised profile, add further distinction at the rear.
The new Accord Tourer is equipped with the same comprehensive array of the active (accident avoidance) and passive (crash safety performance) safety technologies as its 2.4 Executive sedan counterpart.
The Accord’s completely new platform is shared by the sedan and Tourer, with approximately 75 percent commonality between the two. They now have an identical 2 705 mm wheelbase, helping to create a roomier cabin front and rear.
Despite its dynamic styling, the Tourer’s 406-litre luggage capacity (VDA, with all seats in place) is one of the best in the sport wagon category.
Expressed in practical terms, it’s sufficient to comfortably accommodate four 46-inch golf bags, or four large suitcases. Larger loads can be carried with the rear seats folded down: in this configuration the Tourer is able to transport a mountain bike without the need to remove the bike’s wheels.
To expand the luggage area, the new Tourer offers easy to use, single-motion rear seats that can be readily collapsed in a single action to create a virtually flat load space with flush, clean sides.
Like the sedan, the Tourer is comprehensively equipped, with a long list of luxury and convenience items. These include leather upholstery, electrically adjustable seats, windows and mirrors, a convenient CD receiver sound system with MP3/WMA capability, the ability to link an iPod to the sound system, as well as an electric glass sunroof and cruise control.
The new Accord Tourer features Honda’s advanced 2,4-litre i-VTEC engine with outstanding performance and fuel economy. This powerplant places the Tourer firmly at the forefront of its class, while fully complying with emissions legislation. Transmission choices consist of either a six–speed manual or a five-speed automatic.
The 2,4-litre engine delivers 148 kW at 7 000 r/min, together with peak torque of 234 Nm at 4 500 r/min. Its effortless performance is all the more remarkable, given its fuel economy – 9,0 l/100km in the combined cycle.
The Accord Tourer shares the same chassis and dynamic capabilities as the Accord 2.4 Executive sedan, ensuring crisp steering, sure-footed handling and exceptional ride refinement.
Approved accessories include a cargo space divider and a dog guard to make the most of the available space, while a tailor-made boot tray, a cargo mat and a boot edge protection mat reduce wear and tear.