2013 Honda Jazz Hybrid Test Drive; Is It Really That Economical and Affordable?
Following the launch of the Honda Jazz hybrid into the Malaysian market in March 2012, Honda Malaysia has brought in the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) Jazz Hybrid to our country; assembled at Honda’s Pegoh plant in Melaka. The 2013 Honda Jazz Hybrid is not only the most affordable hybrid around, it is also the first hybrid to be locally assembled in Malaysia.
Performance and Economy
The CVT gearbox and powertrain remain the same as the imported unit, which is powered by a 1.3 -litre i-VTEC engine and Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system that produces a combined output of 101bhp (87bhp engine +14bhp electric motor) and a combined torque of 199Nm (121Nm engine + 78Nm electric motor).
Honda says that the Jazz Hybrid will return up to 4.7l/100km, but do note that these quoted figures will vary according to your driving style. So if you’ve got a “heavy foot”, you can forget about achieving the claimed consumption figure. The 40-litre fuel tank has a range of up to 550km before needing you to refuel again.
Ride and Comfort
Driving the Honda Jazz Hybrid is like any other car but for one thing; it’s auto start/stop function. When the Jazz is stopped for more than a few seconds, the petrol engine will shut down automatically and you will find yourself sitting in silence. But as soon as you step on the accelerator, the electric motor does all the initial work getting you off the line, until the gas engine cuts in.
Annoyingly, I noticed that since the air-condition shuts down every time you come to a complete stop, it takes a much longer time to cool the whole cabin again – something that can be quite frustrating, especially in our hot climate.
Besides that, the ride and handling of the Jazz Hybrid is quite decent and there isn’t much difference when compared to the CBU model. The cabin is very quiet with very little wind noise and you’ll be able to find serenity especially when driving alone - a great commuter for long journeys as well as running around town.
At first glance, the CKD version looks exactly the same as the imported version; right down to the same blue-tinted LED rear tail lamps, the sleek acrylic and plating grille, and the 15-inch wheels. And, if you are familiar with the petrol-powered Jazz, you won’t notice much difference between the two apart from a few hybrid badges located at the rear of the car.
As soon as you step into the cabin, you’ll notice that some interior equipment has gone missing as compared to the CBU model; such as the cruise control, hill start assist, automatic wipers, audio control on the steering wheel and paddle shifts. The rear brakes are now drum brakes instead of discs, and the airbag count too has been reduced from six to just two.
Predictably, the kerb weight of the CKD Jazz is 7kg less than the 1166kg imported version. The Jazz Hybrid has never looked so popular in metallic lime shade, but the CKD car is now only available in white, silver, metal, brown and black.
Don’t be fooled by the Honda Jazz Hybrid’s diminutive figure because it only looks small on the outside, but remains spacious on the inside. With up to 1321 litres of cabin space made available by lowering both rear seats, you can store a bicycle or even a month’s worth of groceries.
What’s we found particularly interesting was that the Jazz has 10 cupholders! There is also a hiding storage space at under the passenger’s seat for you to store your valuable items. On top of that, you’ll be able to find a slot holder where you can place your Touch n’ Go card or apartment access card inside the glove box.
The Jazz also has a height-adjustable driver’s seat to provide vertically challenged people with good frontal vision. As a driver and a passenger, you’ll be able to find plenty of legroom and headroom with comfortable seats. Although the Jazz Hybrid no longer has audio control controls on the steering wheel, the audio control located on the dashboard is within arm's reach.
Buyer’s Guide: Would we buy one?
The Jazz Hybrid is a practical supermini that is appropriate for families – it is a practical solution to meeting the needs of most everyone from parents who want to ferry their children about, or a fresh grad that needs a good first car.
Plus, it has an interior volume that can swallow just about anything you throw at it, with a long roofline of which you can mount any number of tall items.
Despite its modest power, the Jazz has proved to be a very efficient and reliable commuter. However, the best thing about the CKD 2013 Honda Jazz Hybrid is its great fuel-consumption. Currently the most affordable hybrid in Malaysia, the Jazz CKD is priced at RM89,000 (on-the-road with insurance).
SPECS: 2013 Honda Jazz Hybrid CKD
Price: RM89,000 (OTR with insurance)
Engine: 1.4-litre inline four-cylinder, i-VTEC+IMA
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Power: 101HP, 199Nm of torque
Fuel consumption: 4.7L/100km