Honda Jazz IMA Hybrid & From York Press)

28 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Honda Jazz IMA Hybrid & From York Press) отключены
HONDA Jazz Hybrid

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Honda Jazz IMA Hybrid

The Honda Jazz Hybrid is capable of running on the electric motor alone under certain low-speed conditions

MY neighbour owns a Honda Jazz, and so does her mum. In fact, both mum and daughter are second-time buyers of the Jazz.

That’s in part down to me, because I owned a Jazz for four trouble-free years while my neighbour – a frequent visitor to the service garage with her former car – looked on enviously before taking the plunge and joining the Jazz club.

We both bought the Jazz for similar reasons – that renowned reliability, excellent fuel economy of about 50mpg, the load-swallowing practicality and the reasonable price tag.

Yet the last generation Jazz was something of a dark horse. Despite me and most of the motoring press telling you and anyone else who would listen that it was pretty much spot on in almost every department, it remained a second favourite to some of the more default supermini choices.

Yet those who did their homework were rewarded with an uncommonly capable, honest and unpretentious little car.

The new version still looks like a Jazz, but has more of a grown-up feel without falling victim to unnecessary dimension increases. And there’s a new twist – Honda has introduced its proven and reliable hybrid technology to its best-selling car.

This new variant sits alongside the established 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines and brings Honda hybrid motoring to a whole new audience as the Jazz becomes the world’s first B-segment hybrid car.

The cleanest Jazz yet, it features the same powertrain as the company’s Insight hybrid; a 1.3-litre i-VTEC engine combined with an automatic CVT gearbox, with an electric motor sandwiched between the two to create a parallel hybrid system. And just like the Insight, the Jazz Hybrid is capable of running on the electric motor alone under certain low-speed conditions.

This brings CO2 emissions down to 104g/km and delivers 62.8 miles per gallon on the combined cycle. These figures mean free road tax for the first year and only £10 per year thereafter.

More importantly perhaps, Honda has managed to include the technology without compromising the incredible versatility of the Jazz.

It features all the practicality of the petrol variant, most notably the famed “magic seats” that tip and tumble at the touch of a finger and an impressive load-lugging space of up to 883 litres.

At the heart of the Jazz Hybrid is the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system.

On its own, the engine has a power output of 88PS with a flexible torque profile peaking at 121Nm. Perfect power characteristics for a frugal city car. But the key to Honda hybrid systems is the support given by the electric motor.

That helps boost performance by an extra 14PS and 78Nm.

In addition, there’s scope to have some fun with paddle-shifters on the steering column and a Sport mode for extra zip.

But of more importance is the Econ to the right of the steering wheel.

When the switch is engaged, it tells the car’s management system to adopt specific settings to improve fuel consumption and it does this with a negligible effect on performance.

To keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to economical driving manners, the dashboard features a system called Eco Assist.

Already a familiar sight to Insight and CR-Z drivers, it uses the ambient lighting of the speedometer to advise the driver on how their habits behind the wheel is impacting on their fuel economy.

It glows green when the car is at its most economical and gradually turns blue as the driver exceeds the best balance of throttle or braking.

Changes to the exterior have not been purely cosmetic.

As well as giving the car a new look, the revised front and rear bumpers have also been designed to reduce drag.

Design features have also been added to distinguish between the Hybrid and petrol versions.

As an example, the front grille, headlights and tail lamps on the Hybrid are all finished in a chrome blue surround to mark it out from the petrol models.

HONDA Jazz Hybrid

Leather upholstery makes a very welcome appearance for the first time in the range, while further work has been done to improve the ride quality of the original Jazz – which gave an over-firm ride – with revised suspension settings adding to the driving experience.

But it’s when you be slide comfortably inside that the Jazz really starts to impress.

A large dose of feelgood factor has been added, thanks to better materials, a more appealing design and improved equipment levels.

What’s more, the designers have spent yet more time trying to squeeze even more from the interior dimensions.

The design puts the rakish windscreen further forward, helping the sense of space.

If the Hybrid is not for you – and you might well end up doing some sums about improved economy versus a higher price – the regular 1.2-litre unit is more than capable, but the 1.4 has the extra urge that gives confidence out on the open road and at a motorway cruise, loaded up or not.

If there’s anything to criticise the Jazz for, it’s that it doesn’t provide as much entertainment behind the wheel as some of its rivals.

But that’s like criticising a supertanker for being less wieldy than a speedboat.

If you want a supermini with sparkling responses you can have one, but it won’t have the practicality, ease of use or bulletproof feel of the Jazz, hybrid or not.

Honda Jazz IMA Hybrid

Price: From £15,995 (Jazz range from £11,295).

Engine: Four-cylinder 1,339cc petrol engine, with metal-hydride battery.

Performance: 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds; top speed 109mph.

Economy: 62.8mpg combined.

HONDA Jazz Hybrid
HONDA Jazz Hybrid
HONDA Jazz Hybrid
HONDA Jazz Hybrid
HONDA Jazz Hybrid

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