Honda's new compact hatch is ready, with a face that calls the original to mind, hybrid power, and a full safety suite.
- shares

Honda has taken the wraps from its next-generation Jazz at the Tokyo motor show, with a new hybrid powertrain and standard autonomous emergency braking across the entire Japanese range.


UPDATE October 23, 3:30pm: Although it hasn't confirmed what the engine will be, and makes no mention of it in the press materials, Honda has said a petrol engine will also be offered for the new Jazz line-up. Our headline and copy has been amended to reflect this change.


The new Jazz, known as the Fit in its home market, will be offered with a 'more compact two-motor hybrid system' and a petrol engine of as-yet unconfirmed displacement and outputs.

According to the company, the hybrid system means the Jazz will "drive smoothly by an electric motor for virtually all situations of everyday driving".

For reference, the outgoing Fit/Jazz Hybrid available in Japan features a 1.5-litre Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder petrol engine teamed with an electric motor and battery pack, good for a combined 100kW and 170Nm.

Drive is sent to the ground through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic in the current model, with fuel consumption rated at around 2.9L/100km.

We'll update this story with more details about how the new Jazz's hybrid powertrain stacks up when they become available.

Where the current Jazz misses out on active safety systems like autonomous emergency braking, the new model will have the full Honda Sensing suite as standard.

That means AEB, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise, and a new 'short-distance collision mitigation braking system'.

Powertrain aside, the new Jazz looks to build on its practical predecessor's legacy with a spacious interior – albeit one with nicer materials and a greater focus on driver comfort.

Honda says the seat padding is larger and thicker than before up front, while the rear seats are apparently "as versatile as that of the previous-generation" model. Whether we'll see Magic Seats isn't clear, but expect the Jazz to act like a little van with the second row folded.

Gone are the analogue instruments, replaced with a compact digital readout. The two-spoke steering wheel is very similar to that of the 'E'.

The climate controls and dashboard are simple, with space for a touchscreen (although Honda hasn't specified its size) between the vertical air vents.

A range of different trim levels will be offered in Japan, ranging from the simple 'Basic' to the high-riding 'Crosstar' (pictured below). There's also the 'Home' and 'Luxe' – but the highlight is the 'Ness' (as in Honda Fit Ness), aimed at sporty and fashionable customers with colourful, water-resistant interior fabrics.

Australia

Honda Australia has told CarAdvice "it is too early to provide any local details for the new Jazz at this stage".

It's worth noting, however, the company has previously hinted at a 2020 launch for the new-generation Jazz as part of its range-wide rollout of its Honda Sensing active safety technologies.

Sales of the current Jazz are down 19.2 per cent year-to-date, and it sits behind the Hyundai Accent, Mazda 2, the soon-to-be-replaced Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift, and Kia Rio.