Ever since its introduction, theHonda Jazz (or Fit) has been the sort-of-a replacement for the iconic ’90s Civic EG3 hatchback. After Honda Philippines decided not to offer the hatchback in the 1995 model year, enthusiasts looked for a worthy replacement. When the Civic Sir, with the legendary B16 VTEC engine was released, the thirst was temporarily quenched, but with the prohibitive purchase price and expensive parts, enthusiasts once again looked for a cheaper option. It wasn’t until 2001 that the Jazz was introduced. Then all hell broke loose.
Honda did not disappoint. The Jazz, with its small size and good handling made it the new street favorite. Wannabe racers marvelled at the combination of weight and power. Serious tuners either modified the 1.2 engine or replaced it altogether. With its 5-door hatchback configuration, it was like the EG was reincarnated.
The new Jazz, now with a bigger iVTEC, 16-valve,1.5 engine and CVT transmission (or a base 5-speed manual), is now more powerful and fuel efficient at the same time. The power-to-weight ratio is better than ever. And, there are more variants to choose from; the base V, CVT, VX Navi, and RS Navi CVT.
The interior is sporty Gray, with silver highlights.The gauge cluster has the Speedometer at the middle. It can seat 4 passengers comfortably, add another and its a tight Fit. (pun intended). Everything is angled towards the driver, giving more space for the front passenger.
The Jazz still retains its basic shape, but now features more lines and accents. The tail lights are now bigger and wraps up to the D-Pillar and tail gate. The hood is now more rounded and the headlights and grille blends in smoothly. The fascia also features a trapezoidal driving light compartment and sports a mini air dam.
The tires are 185/55/16 with 6in-15spoke rims; a performance combination. It grips well but transfers road noise to the passengers more than usual.
The Jazz has been a perennial favorite of both young professionals and tuner guys. The sub compact size is also sought after by female drivers mainly because of ease of operation.
It’s enjoying over 20 years of popularity, and we can’t wait for its future innovations. A turbo engine? Supercharger or EV Jazz perhaps? Crossing our fingers.
Text/Images by Earl Manalansan