April 11, 2012

DRIVEN: 2012 Honda Jazz Hybrid !


It's a green green world. Green is the new white; green is the colour where people wants their plants in; green is what they say is the start of new life; green is what the automotive sector say 'hybrid' and 'EV'. Since Malaysia has only Nissan Leaf EV (which is still in first stage of implementation in Putrajaya), the market has no choice but to accept the hybrids available as green cars first.

After car manufacturers compete with each other to provide the cheapest hybrid car for Malaysia, Honda emerged as the winner in the end with its Jazz Hybrid. Selling at RM94.8k OTR with insurance, the Jazz Hybrid is cheaper by RM2k compared to its closest competitor, but might be a heartache to some recent petrol-engined Jazz buyers because the hybrid is cheaper by almost RM10k and comes with a lot more equipments.

Chrome and white taillight housing look suit silver than green paintjob...

The Honda Jazz Hybrid is basically a Jazz with a 1.3litre IMA system, which comprises an i-VTEC petrol engine of 87bhp and 121Nm of torque while the electric motor produces 10kW and 78Nm of torque. This time around hte IMA system is also equipped with engine start-stop which will off the engine temporary while stopping for a red light and turn it back on once the car starts moving. Since I've driven the petrol-engined Jazz, I'm able to tell the difference between the two variants. Other than some cosmetic changes inside and out, the Jazz Hybrid also has some extra goodies such as 6 airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), paddle shift, hill start assist, ECON driving mode and auto air-cond.

Giving guides on the information display...

The cabin is still as spacious as before, with more than adequate head and legroom for the front and back. I noticed there are hooks for your coat which are attached to the side gripper on top of the rear window, pretty thoughtful and convenient. Not to mention Honda's renowned ULTRA seat, where the rear seat has dozens of configuration to cater the needs of carrying various sizes of goods, is available in the Jazz Hybrid. However, the fit and finishing could be better as the rear parcel shelf of the test car was emitting rattle sound while going over rough road undulations.

There's an 'ECON mode' button at the right of the steering wheel that can reduce the output of the car by 3% and optimisizes air-cond performance, what you get in return is better fuel consumption and reduced emission. While on the go, I didn't notice any difference when the feature is on and off in terms of performance and fuel consumption. Maybe the benefits will become more obvious if travelled for a longer journey. By the way, the engine stop-start was smooth and was unnoticable until its symbol appears in the instrument panel, telling you that the engine is currently in off mode. One small problem though, a small sacrifice have to be made where the air-cond compressor will stop operating when the engine is in off mode. This warmed up the cabin a little bit, especially under hot sun.

The Jazz Hybrid will run solely on electric motor unless the pressure applied by the driver on the accelerator is high to gain more power. The petrol engine will then assist the electric motor and the process of assisting will be shown in the instrument panel, where the needle will deviate between 'Charge' and 'Assist'.

It's a sign that you are behaving well if the colour changes from blue to green...

Acceleration was slack compared to its petrol counterpart. The Jazz Hybrid was having a hard time to gain more speed after passing through our national speed limit. Although the engine has to be revved in order to get the acceleration I wanted, the CVT gear change and engine was smooth and quiet. Gone is the raspy note of the petrol VTEC engine and frankly I have to say that I prefer the Jazz Hybrid engine thanks to its quietness eventhough the latter produces lesser power. At that moment I realize that city is the best place for Jazz Hybrid where it has enough power for daily driving, compact enough to navigate through the hectic traffic, refined and absorb bumps easily.

4 leaves after some heavy-footed driving, not bad...

Handling wise, the Jazz Hybrid is similar to Jazz. The steering was on the light side but still good enough to tackle corners and has acceptable high speed straight line stability, probably the minimal body roll helped too. Fuel consumption wise, I got an average of 7.4l/100km after some traffic jam and heavy-footed driving. There's a Multi-Info Display (MID) which shows your average fuel consumption, energy flow and scoring where the system will award you with number of leaves (out of five) if you drive light-footedly and doesn't brake hard or often. I'm sure the my driving style on that day doesn't deserve four leaves!

After a day out in the Jazz Hybrid, I must say I'm pretty impressed with the package offered by this compact car. The extra equipments, spacious and practical cabin make the Jazz Hybrid a worthy hybrid car competitor. Like they say, it doesn't earn a 'Car of the Year' title (for the petrol-engined Jazz) for nothing...

+ Smooth and quiet engine, roomy (and practical) cabin, equipment list.
- Power, ECON mode doesn't differ much compared to normal mode.


*** *** ***
Alright, that is the end of my review on the Honda Jazz Hybrid. I was with few bloggers to try out the Jazz Hybrid and Insight Facelift on that day. I didn't drive the Insight on that day because I've driven one last time. Check out my review on the pre-facelift Insight here!

This time around, I became the passenger at the back while my fellow friends take the wheel. For the facelifted Insight, it is said to have an increase of 15mm rear headroom by slightly lowering the rear seats and adjusting the roof lining. It also has added insulation to improve the NVH. However, the rear headroom is still at a premium for me and the road, and engine noise is intrusive even at city speed. Probably these issues became more obvious because I drove the Jazz Hybrid, which is more refined and more spacious in the inside, before hoping into the Insight.

Although both Insight and Jazz Hybrid has the same IMA powerplant, the Jazz Hybrid's was more refined than the Insight, which sounds rough when pushed. Probably Jazz is better insulated than Insight...

Having an insight on the Insight...


Honda CR-Z looks stunning! No test drive unit was available though...

There are some Honda Roadshows to promote the newly opened 3S Centres and Honda will be giving out vouchers for free Engine Oil to Honda Owners to be used at the Service Centres!

Date of the roadshows:
3rd - 15th of April : Jusco @ Balakong
23rd of April - 6th of May: Tesco @ Semenyih
15th - 20th of May : Alamanda @ Putrajaya

Good news! Honda Imavest 3S will be operating on Sunday from 8th April onwards from 8am to 1pm, where previously only Mon-Sat. Besides sales and service, it also offer services like insurance renewal (for any car brand owner); fuel injector cleaning; polishing, waxing, disinfect & de-odorising; air-cond servicing and brake, sideslip & suspension diagnostic service.


Finally, you guys can look for the handsome man below if you are interested in the Honda Jazz Hybrid or any other Honda models. His name is Ryan, Sales Advisor of Honda Imavest 3S.

No fred when there's Ryan in the Honda Freed!


Honda Imavest Sdn. Bhd.
Lot 4161 & 4162,
Jalan Besar, Bandar Sungai Long,
43000, Kajang, Selangor.

A map to Imavest 3S centre:

*Follow me @simon_har and subscribe SiMon HaR_ ya ;)

18 Gossips:

Kian Fai Koh said...

cool driving experience indeed especially with RYAN LOL!

Xue Ren said...

nice experience there! :D

Eunice said...

cantikkknyaaa... I hope I can get one la...seriously..

SiMon Har said...

Kian Fai: haha! indeed!
Xue Ren: yup for a hybrid!
Eunice: buy la XD should be suitable for u :)

Nikel Khor said...

I missed the chance to drive hybrid car!

SiMon Har said...

LOL too bad :(

Anonymous said...

Dear Simon..

I'm a bit confuse, my Neo produces 7.1L/100km. And by judging on the 7.4L/100km of Jazz Hybrid that u've mentioned, it doesn't reflect the characteristic of a hybrid that suppose to be fuel efficient.

Appreciate if u can clarify on this matter or perhaps I x really comprehend on how hybrids suppose to work as opposed to normal cars. But the near identical FC is just so surprising.

Cheers.

Eddie

SiMon Har said...

Hi Eddie,

each manufacturer has their own method in calculating the fuel consumption of the car. The 7.4L/100km I achieved in my test drive session is based on the mixed driving condition such as highway, city, high speed and heavy acceleration.
Your Neo's figure should be taken at the speed of constant 90km/h. :)

car hire australia said...

The design inside the car looks comfortable. Just from the post itself, I already want to drive it. The post also shows its benefit of having this car.

SiMon Har said...

Car hire australia: yup it looks futuristic and inviting. go have a drive!

Xander Lawson said...

Even as an estimate, 7.4L/100km is pretty impressive, especially for a hybrid. That's around 13km per liter. I envy you for being able to test drive that Jazz.

electric motor rewinds

SiMon Har said...

oh u can test drive 1 too! just drop by to your nearest Honda showroom or head to the showroom I mentioned in the article!! :)

daniellaprice30 said...

This is a brilliant innovation! Hybrid cars are indeed more practical. I hope I could see a hybrid car at the second hand cars in Liverpool when I get there this weekend.

Rima Tipton said...

I might use novated lease if I want to buy this car. I really like its features and it suits me because I have a tiny framed body.

Ebony Dixson said...

Excellent blog with great information. I like this. novated lease

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