Close to S$110k with COE for a compact hatch is expensive, theoretically, but as we’ve shown the Jazz is more than your average compact hatch, offering room and flexibility to rival even a small MPV.
If you really do want to economise, there’s the gasoline 1.5 Base model and 1.5 Home models. Base has manual everything (lights, aircon, wipers, no alarm, and pleather shift knob), while the Luxe adds leather and auto features as mentioned. But as we said, the key choice facing consumers in 2021 is whether not to go with the hybrid powertrain or not – considering the S$106,999 for the E:HEV Luxe is only S$4k more than the 1.5 Home, and S$7k more than the 1.5 Base, it’s a no-brainer to aim straight for the hybrid.
In-segment, the car’s key rival is the Nissan Note E-Power, now that the Toyota Prius C is no more. The Nissan offers a bit more driving oomph thanks to the BEV-like E-Power acceleration, but it’s not as spacious or flexible, and is a little less efficient. You can get the Suzuki Swift mild hybrid for under S$100k with COE now, and it drives a little nicer, but has far less space, while the Swift Sport offers proper driving fun, though non-enthusiasts will balk at the manual.
The technically-one-size-up competition comes from the mainstream sedan segment, most of which range from S$100k to S$110k with COE, but as sedans, they’re not as flexible for cargo, although they have more legroom. Also, none are full hybrids besides the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid (around $S140k with COE because of a Cat B COE). Closer competition comes from Toyota’s Yaris Cross Hybrid (around S$110k with COE) small SUV.
Yet despite all this fierce competition in the sub-S$120k price point, the Jazz still stands tall as a car that has a combination of qualities none of those above can quite challenge. It’s a concept improved and not disproved, digitised but not distressing, hybridised but not bastardised. The new Jazz is a seriously impressive car, and it deserves an adoring audience.
|Engine||1,498cc, inline 4|
|Power||98hp at 5600-6400rpm|
|Torque||127Nm at 4500-5000rpm|
|Battery||Lithium Ion, Under 1.0kWh|
|System Power||Not applicable|
|System Torque||Not applicable|
|VES Band||A2 / -S$15,000|
|Agent||Honda Kah Motor|
|Price||S$107,999 with COE and VES|
|Verdict||Fourth-gen compact hatch is brilliantly useful, super efficient, and probably the best compact hatch around|