January 22, 2015 @ 11:37 AM

Review: Honda Jazz 1.5L E-Spec

Jerrica Leong wants to know if the full spec V is the way to go or is the E-spec worth considering as well.


Jerrica Leong wants to know if the full spec V is the way to go or is the E-spec worth considering as well.

So the third-generation Honda Jazz has been getting rave reviews from everybody but everybody’s eyes had only been on the V-Spec Jazz. Does the middle child of the Jazz brotherhood deserve the same raves as the V-Spec? We know the E-Spec Jazz lacks the touchscreen interface and the air-conditioning requires you to adjust it via dials along with a simple steering wheel that only has one set of buttons. Is it still as much fun as the higher spec brother?

Exterior (Score: 4/5)

This is how a Jazz sans the Modulo or Mugen package look like. Even without the extra add-ons the Jazz still looks sporty. With the huge fenders and the not-so-fussy door trims, the Jazz  sets a style statement that would appeal to both sides of the gender. I do disagree that the new Jazz has a masculine design because in the eyes of girls, the Jazz sans ornaments plays the cutesy best friend character even more than the previous generation.

Interior (Score: 3/5)

In my opinion, here is the losing point of the E-Spec Jazz. I don’t mind the lack of a centre touchscreen interface and I’m all for the air-conditioning dials, but the radio could have been done better. I do not like the lack of buttons on the radio, it is all just too “fiddly”. The sound system is brilliant though and the four speakers equipped in the E-Spec Jazz drowns out the tyre roar that is surprisingly loud inside. No Auto Volume by speed on the Jazz, but who needs that when you can adjust it manually?

The most obvious missing piece in the E-Spec Jazz is the lack of a centre console and armrest. The compartment is only available in the V-Spec. Not exactly the item that I would expect to be exclusive to the highest spec-ed car though…

Power and handling (Score: 4/5)

Since NVH levels are surprisingly high in the Jazz, I got a satisfying roar whenever I revved the car for a quick overtake. The car is punchy when it comes to sudden spurts for overtaking cars and the overall speed the Jazz feeds you will have you playing the speeding road bully.

Handling on the Jazz is as you would expect from a Honda. This makes the car the perfect city car. I couldn’t say the same about the size though, while its direct competitor, the Polo, had felt every bit the compact car, the Jazz felt a little wider and just a little longer to give you much confidence when it comes to manoeuvring around tight spaces.

Tech and Safety (Score: 4/5)

Even in the E-Spec Jazz, you get keyless entry and push start button. The steering lacks the Hands-Free Telephone Steering Switch Control but you can still connect your phone via Bluetooth or through the single USB port, it had taken a little bit of “dialling” to turn on the audio though so, really, the lack of buttons on the radio is troublesome indeed. I would go so far as to say I would prefer the E-Spec’s connectivity to the V-Sped as I’m not an iPhone user since the apps have not yet been extended to the Android supporters yet.

The only difference in safety features between the E and V variant is the number of airbags. The E-Spec Jazz only comes with two airbags upfront compared to the six the V spots.

Summary

This version of the Honda Jazz has a much improved design from that of the previous generation, there is just something about the design that cracks a smile across your face knowing that you’re cruising in a car that not only looks good without any excessive accessorising but also drives extremely well.

But the question is: do we have to purchase the highest spec variant to be able to enjoy the best of the Jazz? My answer is no. The E-Spec Jazz has almost everything you will get on the V variant, the only notable difference is the lack of the centre touchscreen interface and the missing centre console and armrest. The former is forgivable if you’re not one to interact with your car often but the latter requires a will to forget!

Overall score: 15/20

Honda Jazz 1.5L E Spec
Price

RM77,522.00 without insurance
Engine
1497cc, inline-4, 16 valves, SOHC i-VTEC, 118bhp @ 6600rpm, 145Nm @ 4600rpm
Transmission
CVT, torque converter, front-wheel drive
Length / width / height / wheelbase (mm)
3955 / 1694 / 1524 / 2530
Weight
1081kg

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Topics:  First Drives

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