Jazz 1.5 VTEC
date : 7th May 2006
so-called 1,4 litre version of the Honda Jazz in fact
retains its 1339 cc capacity in the new line up. But itís
the 81 kiloWatt VTEC motor with Hondaís pioneering
variable valve-lift technology that will grab the attention
of Honda fans.
When the Jazz was launched in mid 2003 it broke new ground
in combining mini-MPV space with overall city-car
dimensions. It achieved this with a very elegant shape that,
to our mind, has been spoilt by the boy-racer add-ons
intended to emphasise the extra power of the VTEC model.
There is an aftermarketish look to the skirts or sill
extensions, which donít quite flow into the rest of the
bodywork, and the same can be said for the flared out front
In any case, this Jazz uses a "cooking" version of
the VTEC engine, with emphasis on torque and a redline well
short of the legendary 9000 limit that has given other VTEC
mills iconic status.
Honda have attempted to Jazz-up the Jazzís interior in its
mid-life makeover by the rather obvious technique of adding
metal-finish surrounds to some of the trim items.
These work well on the steering wheel and the major
ventilation dials which retain a quality look, but the
re-designed radio has flimsier knobs and a "Rapongi-by-night"
look that detracts from the overall classiness.
the core values of the Jazz remain, and these include
exceptional space and panel-fit quality.
The 30 per cent power hike provided by the VTEC motor over
the 1,4 twin-plug engine gives the Jazz strong
middle-of-the-road performance for a car in this price
Thereís power throughout the rev-range, but itís the
smoothness of power delivery that really impresses. Somewhat
strangely, Honda have not provided overall performance
figures for the 1,5, but Car Torque estimates a 0-100 time
of around 11 seconds and a 190km/h top speed.
A set of larger diameter alloy wheels and low profile tyres
would go a long way towards fleshing out those bodywork
overhangs. And also sharpen up the handling, which is
vice-free and predictable, but is perhaps not as wieldy as
some lower-slung hatches in this price bracket.
You have to choose between space and boy-racer pace, and in
this case space still remains the Jazzís most telling
The suspension is profiled towards comfort rather than
razor-sharp crispness, as high-speed running over an
undulating road shows. But damping rebound control is good
and thereís no wallowing effect over bumps.
Car magazine tested the original so-called 1,4 model and
recorded 13,6 seconds for the 0-100, and a top speed of a
173 at the coast.
There is noticeably more urge from the 1,5 litre VTEC motor,
and torque of 143 Newton metres at 4800 is reasonable,
though quite high up in the rev range.
Honda claim fuel consumption levels of the 1,5 litre model
should equal the 1,4 DSi, although we feel that itíll be a
bit heavier on fuel, returning an overall figure in the 8
litres to a hundred bracket, depending on driving style.
Honda Jazz 1.5 VTEC
- Power: 81 kW @
- Torque: 143 Nm @
4 800 rpm
Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
- 0-100 km/h: N/A
- Top speed: N/A
- Fuel consumption:
- Price: R142 500
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