Honda made waves earlier this year by launching two incredible new vehicles, much to the delight of the general populace. With the upgraded and updated Honda Jazz Sport and the powerful new Civic Type R, Honda has certainly put themselves on the map with innovative and modern vehicles. In the very competitive hatchback segment, Honda has now stepped up their game by providing us with the Honda Jazz Sport variant of their supremely popular hatchback.
Simon Edwards is the seasoned and experienced Dealer Principal at Imperial Honda East Rand. Having been with the brand for thirteen of the eighteen years which he has dedicated to motoring, Simon is candid when noting that the team of loyal and dedicated staff members that serve the dealership are the reason for their success. Offering unmatched quality and reliability, the Honda brand carries a long history of commitment to these core philosophies. In line with this, Simon strives to create an environment of honesty, integrity and fair dealings at the dealership, which stems from an understanding of how people invest in the vehicles they purchase. Thanks to an appreciation for the dynamic motoring world, Simon was able to work his way up from being a salesman many years ago to being where he is today – continuing to work hard towards growing both himself and his dealership. An underlying sense of care and respect is evident throughout interaction with the team and carries through in my interview with Dean Du Croq.
As the Sales Manager at Imperial Honda on the East Rand, Dean tells me how he enjoys seeing colleagues and clients growing and learning, adding that this dealership has a lot to do with why this is possible. For the past ten years, Dean has nurtured a love and appreciation for the team he works with, and his understanding for the unique traits each person possesses stems from his background in hospitality. As such, Dean seeks to always put his client’s needs first, and hopes to one day manage his own dealership in the same way. Having wanted to sell cars since his youth, Dean firmly believes that listening to your clients is the right way to approach them.
Danny Sibanda is the New Vehicle Sales Executive I chat to about the Honda Jazz Sport. Also having ten years of experience behind him, Danny is an enthusiastic supporter of the Honda brand for the reliability and peace of mind it offers. The brand, according to Danny, represents reliability, and has done so for many years, and he thus finds it very satisfying to present Honda vehicles to his customers. With a smile, he also notes that he would drop everything he is doing, for his customers. With this kind of dedication, he has earned his reputation for being committed and loyal to the core.
When looking at the upgraded Honda Jazz Sport, I feel obliged to note that the model on which it is based was already quite a brilliant vehicle: the original Jazz was somewhat underrated, although its practical nature soon gained traction as its popularity grew. Now in the Jazz Sport variant, Honda presents a vehicle that can run about town, ferry your family to and fro, as well as go camping on the weekend. Launched early in 2018, the Jazz Sport recorded brilliant sales figures thus far, clearly building on the success of its predecessor.
Now with a more powerful engine than before – and still packed with features – the new Jazz Sport is also presented at the same price as the older Dynamic variant. Being substantially refreshed, it boasts a sportier, edgier look that is quite eye-catching, as well as an updated cabin and cockpit. Inspired to a large extent by the Type R’s styling, the Jazz Sport has a more assertive form with a bold spoiler and red pinstripe. The grille is prominent with slim, tapered headlights and really makes itself known wherever it goes. The Jazz Sport also has striking 16-inch alloy wheels in a glossy black finish.
A much more premium interior greets you upon entry, with soft-touch, classy finishes accented by hints of chrome throughout, echoing the sporty vibe. Cloth upholstery – with stand-out, sporty stitching to differentiate it from the norm – is standard, whilst leather can be added as an optional extra. There are full audio controls on the steering wheel, which connects to a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, which is user friendly and incorporates Bluetooth, HDMI and iPod/USB connections to 6 speakers. There are unique little triangular windows near the front passenger and driver’s side which really add to the visibility aspect of this vehicle. A rear-view camera and electric windows are standard, as well as electronically retracting side-mirrors that I find quite nifty. Satellite navigation is not included, although arm rests in the front and back (as well as enough cupholders) mitigate this fact, especially the cup holder near the driver’s right hand, under the cooling vent.
The cabin is quite spacious, due to a compact engine bay designed to increase leg room inside. The boot of the Jazz has quite a reputation, due to the legendary “Magic Seats” which allow you to maximise space in the rear, making it possible to literally define the space in the back and boot in numerous ways. Talk, about what has been successfully popped into the back of a Honda Jazz, is quite candid at the dealership and items such as a treadmill and a quad bike are on this list. Amongst other things, according to the Sales Executive, even a washing machine has been successfully loaded inside. As a pet-owner, I smile with appreciate at the way the seats fold down seamlessly and create a flat floor base, as this is ideal space for fur-babies to comfortably ride along with me. With the seats up, the boot capacity is noted at 359 litres, which enlarges to 889 litres with the seats folded all the way down.
My opinion of the actual drive of the Honda Jazz Sport is that it is a fun, engaging vehicle to drive. With its new facelifted look, the Jazz Sport gets noticed wherever it goes. The driving force in the new Jazz Sport is the 1.5 iVtec 4-cylinder engine which produces a satisfying 97kW of power and 155Nm torque. Not only has the engine been revamped, but the suspension system has also been upgraded and fine-tuned. Together with a new braking system implemented in the Jazz Sport, the drive of the vehicle is enhanced and has improved the already well-specced safety of the vehicle. One draw back is that it’s currently only available in automatic, which I personally like, but logically agree should have an alternative.
Although having the sports kit on the new Honda Jazz Sport lowers it substantially, the ground clearance is still sufficient to not have to worry about speed bumps or low rises doing any damage to your vehicle. A worthy note regarding fuel consumption adds even more benefit to this dynamic little vehicle – rates of 5.6 litres to every 100 kilometres (even when driving the vehicle in sports mode for higher revs and stronger responses) are first-hand counts from the team at Honda East Rand. With a starting price of R312,000 – the Jazz Sport is a worthy investment for those wanting the practicality and versatility of a hatchback with some oomph.
Anticipating a dynamic year, Imperial Honda are selling the Type R’s and the Honda Jazz Sport at a rapid rate. The improved innovation and advancements that Honda are adding to the vehicle market at this time translate to high-quality vehicles (including the current line up at Imperial Honda in general), topped with the new Honda Jazz Sport and the Honda Civic Type R, which really is bringing Honda in line with other premium brands.
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson