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Seconds out… Honda’s Jazz supermini takes fight to the Nissan Juke with all-new crossover model

Honda has officially unveiled the specifications of its new Jazz model – and it includes a Nissan Juke-rivalling crossover variant.

The Jazz Crosstar, an SUV-inspired model that will also compete against the likes of the Ford Fiesta Active, further underscores the appeal of jacked up versions of superminis and even city cars.

Available with the same hybrid powertrain and interior features as the standard model, the new Crosstar features increased ride height, contrasting wheel arches and other detailing, a new front-end and grille design, water-resistant upholstery and integrated roof rails.

The other big news in the Jazz launch is that it comes with a new hybrid powertrains. In fact, the Crosstar is only available as a hybrid, like the rest of the Jazz range.

The new Jazz will arrive on these shores in the summer, powered by a new dual-motor petrol-electric hybrid set-up and up against the likes of the Fiesta, VW Polo and new Vauxhall Corsa.

One advantage is that it’s also the first model to get Honda’s new hybrid livery. Called the e:HEV version, the Jazz is the first Honda to use the new tech and receive the branding – which is likely to be rolled out across Honda’s hybrid range.

The all-new Jazz e:HEV plays a key role in Honda’s commitment that 100% of its mainstream European sales will feature electrified powertrains by 2022.

The e:HEV system comprises two compact electric motors connected to a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC petrol engine, a lithium-ion battery and a fixed-gear transmission via an intelligent power control unit.

The total output of 109 PS / 80kW can propel the car to 62mph in 9.4 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 108mph.

Its fuel-efficient hybrid system produces CO2 emissions from 102 g/km and official fuel economy of 62.8 mpg on the standard model and 110 g/km and 58.9mpg on the Crosstar.

The system features three interchangeable drive modes, which the car automatically switches between:

  • EV Drive: the lithium-ion battery supplies power to the electric propulsion motor directly
  • Hybrid Drive: the engine supplies power to the electric generator motor, which in turn supplies it to the electric propulsion motor
  • Engine Drive: the petrol engine is connected directly to the wheels via a lock-up clutch

There are changes all around the Jazz. On the outside, it’s sleeker looking, wider and lower, with smaller windscreen pillars to improve driver visibility.

Inside, the cabin has had a refresh with a wider dashboard, better quality materials and a big central touchscreen.

Earlier Jazz models won praise for their levels of interior space, and Honda has worked hard to further deliver on this through impressive packaging of hybrid drivetrain components into the chassis and within the engine bay.

Key to maximising cabin room is the positioning of the fuel tank in the centre of the chassis beneath the front seats, which is unique in this class.

This enables the Jazz to retain the popular rear “Magic Seats” set-up that offer both “fold-flat” or “flip-up” seat flexibility, depending on cargo space required. It also includes a compartment in the floor which lets you can carry things like tall pot plants upright.

As you’d expect, this is the most connected Jazz ever. Connected infotainment services are accessed via the touchscreen or are voice activated, including weather, parking locations, music, navigation, location finding, and telephone services.

There’s smartphone mirroring, with built-in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, available via wireless connection or by using a USB cable. WiFi Hotspot is also available on the Jazz for the first time.

It’s also safer, thanks to new driver assists. Honda‘s Collision Mitigation Braking System has been improved with night-time operation to detect pedestrians and cyclists.

For the first time on the Jazz, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist System are available as standard.

Intelligent Speed Limiter recognises traffic speed signs and sets the speed limit and can automatically decrease the car’s speed.

All trim levels now come with ten airbags including a new front centre airbag designed to prevent the driver and front seat passenger’s heads from colliding during an accident.

The new Jazz, including the Crosstar, will be available this summer. There’s no official confirmation on price yet – the current Jazz range starts from £14,760 for an S trim model.

Belfast Telegraph