The Entirely New Honda Jazz

In Short Cuts by Neil Lyndon

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Short Cuts – Hearts should lift in multitudes at the news that Honda will be unveiling an entirely new Jazz at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show.

Many a mouth will turn down, however, to hear that Honda still haven’t realised what an impossibly stupid name they insist on giving that brilliant little car.

With the original Jazz in 2001, Honda practically invented the concept of the one-box or monospace small car with reconfigurable load space. And, despite its horde of imitators, nobody has ever done it better. In its two versions over the last 13 years, the Jazz has sold in millions and has swept up shelves full of trophies and gongs not only as every nation’s Car of the Year but as the car which is most loved by its owners,  is most dependable and most likely to be replaced by another with the same (irksome) name.

Photographs of the prototype to be seen in Paris show it to have lost the shape of the plum duff which has been the Jazz’s dominant design feature and to have acquired a swoopy front end and scoopy sides almost as if it had been designed by Ford’s Martin Smith. Like the existing Civic and forthcoming H-RV, the new Jazz will feature a space-saving centre-placed fuel tank and a new 1.3 litre petrol engine with five-speed gearbox or CVT.

With their fanatical concentration of engineering and manufacturing, Honda have always exhibited a magnificent indifference to flimflam issues such as design and marketing. If they continue that approach with the new Jazz, we might even resign ourselves to living with its idiotic name.

It could be worse, after all.

In China, Japan and America, this car has always been called “Fit”.[/text_output]

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