Honda has been involved in many forms of motorsport on both two and four wheels and a considerable amount of the performance technology has filtered through to production models. The motorcycle division has certainly benefitted from its racing department as MotoGP and WSBK results confirm. In the four wheeled department the company produced amongst other derivatives the diminutive S800, theS2000, the NSX R and the iconic Civic Type R. The latter is probably the finest example, its latest version with a 2.0-litre VTEC turbo four cylinder engine producing an extremely healthy 228kW and 400 Nm a superb 6 speed, short shift manual transmission coupled to an excellent chassis it truly is one of the best of Honda’s very rapid offerings. So when I received news that I was to receive the new Honda Jazz Sport I was quivering with anticipation.

It certainly looked the part standing in the driveway from the large chrome Honda emblem on a black grille that blends into the LED headlight clusters featuring daytime LED running lights all this above an aggressive deep front spoiler with a large air dam flanked by fog lights. Gloss black 16 inch alloy wheels shod with185/55 R16 rubber, an impressive rear diffuser and a very significant spoiler topping the tailgate as well as red pin striping and gloss black detailing enhance the new Sport version.

The sport theme is reflected in the interior, with the addition of metallic pedals, steering mounted gearshift paddles and red stitching throughout, beyond that it is the normal Jazz seating and features including the flat fold rear seats. 

It’s nice to know that the Jazz has got occupant safety well covered with six airbags, ABS with EBD, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA),Brake Assist BAS/EBA), high level brake light, emergency brake and hazard lights, rear PDC and camera.

On the road the good chassis dynamics are obvious with a firm but comfortable ride and great road grip from the tweaked damper settings, likewise stopping power is greatly improved with disc brakes all round.

The 1.5 litre 4 cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine claims figures of 97 kW with 155 Nm of torque driving the front wheels through a CVT gearbox and there is my issue with the Jazz Sport. Despite the addition of steering mounted paddle shifts the transmission is just not a match for the high revving and very willing motor, acceleration is reasonable but could be a lot better if fitted with a manual gearbox.

Overtaking moves with a flat throttle tend to produce a lot of revs but not the go one would expect from the flagship of the Jazz range. Pricing is on the high side in this category, I agree there is a lot of kit on board but branded as a sport version and looking every inch a performance derivative, one would expect the driving experience to reflect this, sadly that CVT denies driver fulfillment to match those aggressive looks

Honda Jazz 1.5 Sport
Vehicle Type: Hatchback
Engine: 1.5 litre petrol inline 4  97kW 155Nm
Transmission: CVT Automatic / FWD
Max Speed: 180 km/h
0-100km/h 9.8 seconds
Fuel Consumption Average: 5.6 l/100km
Tank Capacity/Range: 40 litres / 714 km
COEmission: 133 g/km
Load Capacity: 359- 889-1881 litres
Warranty: 5 years / 200 000 km
Service/Maintenance Plan Service Plan 4 years/60 000km
List Price: R373 300

 

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