As if there isn’t enough to get excited about the all-new fourth-generation Honda Jazz, the company has now claimed that the Jazz E (Hybrid) model will be the most spacious and comfortable vehicle in its class.
Building on the Jazz’s familiar trademarks, engineers and designers “considered all elements of the car as one development team, decisions impacting structure, design and ergonomics were made simultaneously, resulting in class-leading levels of comfort and spaciousness”.
Central to achieving this is Honda’s newly developed body stabilising seat frame with supportive mat structure. The new front seat mat structure is placed at both the bottom and back of the seat and replaces the S-spring design of previous models.
The introduction of a wider seat bottom has allowed the seat pad depth to be increased by 30mm with the additional softness immediately noticeable when seated. This new structure combined with the increased padding allows the cushion to flex moderately but, crucially, not to ‘bottom out’ in cases where the car goes over big bumps in the road.
At the back, the structure of the back seat has been designed to increase lumbar and pelvic support to create a body stabilising effect. This helps prevent fatigue on longer journeys and helps retain a stable posture on uneven road surfaces. Honda engineers also repositioned the seat hinges outside of the rear seatback frame, to improve the comfort of the seat pad. Elsewhere, the seat frame pipes have been repositioned to an increased padding thickness of 24mm.
The newly designed seats are tapered towards the top of the seatback to provide the cushion volume needed to fully support and envelop occupants’ backs. This tapering design also provides a wider space between the front seats making it easier for front and rear occupants to communicate.
The lowest point of the seat height is also 14mm closer to the ground (and two degrees more upright than in the previous model), which, combined with more rounded front corner cushions, improves shoulder to seat separation and makes it easier to enter and exit the car.
Honda have also paid special attention to the ergonomics of the Jazz, to this end, they have repositioned the brake pedal deeper inside the footwell for more comfortable pedal operation. In addition, for the Hybrid model, the fuel tank is packaged in the centre of the chassis beneath the front seats – a unique feature in its class – allowing the new Jazz to retain the versatile rear “Magic Seats” that offer both ‘fold-flat’ or ‘flip-up’ seat flexibility, depending on cargo space requirements.
The Jazz E hybrid is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine but now combines two electric motors and a small battery to deliver 108 bhp. However, the new model does away with the talented i-DCD dual-clutch transmission, in favour of a single-fixed ratio automatic that is claimed to be smaller than the company’s CVT-type transmission and offers smooth, seamless acceleration.
While the local introduction of the fourth-generation Jazz will still take some time, and there is no confirmation at this point that the hybrid variant will make its way here, we can still expect some of the aforementioned features to be included in the non-hybrid models as well – building on the Jazz’s trademark space, practicality, and occupant comfort.