Honda Jazz RS » Manila Bulletin Newsbit

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Good gets even better

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Text and photos by Neil Pagulayan

The Honda Jazz has always been a favorite, especially to the loyalists who love it from day one. This Honda Jazz has so much more to offer than when it originally came out.

The engineers of Honda have figured out how to have the best of both worlds, big inside and small outside.  Its proportions are still quite similar, but its new ‘Tall Boy’ design results in lots of interior space. The new Honda Jazz RS is chock full of sexy bits and features usually found on bigger cars. So we look into the top spec RS (essentially a 1.5 VX NAVI CVT) with a new look and new tech added.

Starting with the exterior, it’s definitely sportier than the non-RS variant.  There’s a new front grille with the RS emblem that juts out just like on the all-new Civic.  It has the RS-Design front bumper with fog lights, RS-Design rear bumpers, new LED headlights with a smart looking Daytime Running Lights and new shiny black 16-inch alloy wheels.  The side mirrors are now shiny black and now power folding.  The rear hatch has a RS-Design tailgate spoiler.

Inside, the roomy interior and seats are flexible to suit most space needs with its four different modes, called ULTR (Utility, Long, Tall, Refresh).The same seats have a new fabric.  There’s a leather-wrapped three spoked steering wheel and shift knob, and these all have sporty orange stitching.  There’s a new seven-inch touch screen audio entertainment system with USB, HDMI connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming and phone functionality. There are also front tweeters for better audio.  There’s a navigation system that also doubles as a back-upcamera with guidelines.

Under the hood is a 1.5L SOHC i-VTEC engine that puts out 120ps at 6,600 rpm and 145Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. The engine is mated to Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT).

The New Jazz has a slew of safety features. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and driver and front passenger SRS airbags. It has Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Hill Start Assist (HSA) for added safety and additionalside airbags and side curtain airbags.

I got to drive this up to Baguio some time back, not long after it was introduced and it didn’t have much trouble going up Marcos Highway with a full load of four guys and our luggage. As I write this review, I’ve had it for a week and it is easily enjoyableas a daily driver. One feature I overlooked on that trip up to Baguio which I enjoyed when I drove it to Clark last weekend was the inclusion of cruise control, which takes a good deal of stress off when on the highway.  Just set it to 100kph and avoid the slow pokes,making an already easy trip easier.  Honda’s Eco Assist System makes driving economically a breeze,at the push of the ECON button.The eco-coaching ambient meter takes some getting used to, but keeping it green soon becomes easy the more conscious you are of it.  Over all, it’s a fun car to drive.Turn off the ECON mode and you’ll find it has some pep.

The RS trim is certain to draw some looks from people in other cars and pedestrians.  It’s on the high end of the price range for its class at P1,029,000 but if you’re the kind that wants all original accessories on your beloved Jazz, then this is variant for you.

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