This is the new Honda Jazz. Revealed back at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, it’s a fresh rival for the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo – and it features a new platform and a new twin-motor petrol-hybrid powertrain. It’s on sale now, priced from £18,985 for the entry-level SE model, with first deliveries due to arrive in summer this year.

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Prices for the mid-range Honda Jazz SR start from £20,185, while the well-equipped Jazz EX starts from £21,385. Honda has also added a new, SUV-inspired Crosstar EX variant to the vehicle’s line-up, which will attempt to muscle-in on the Nissan Juke’s territory with a starting price of £22,635.

New 2020 Honda Jazz: design and trim options

The design of the new Jazz will be familiar to existing owners. Like the old model, it features a one-box MPV-like shape, which Honda says maximises interior space. The A-pillars have also been slimmed down, in a move that both improves the view out of the windscreen and increases the rigidity of the bodyshell.

Up front, there are a pair of larger headlamp units and a chunkier bumper compared to the previous model. Despite this, the standard Jazz’s dimensions are almost identical to those of its predecessor, measuring around four metres long, 1.6 metres wide and roughly 1.5 metres in height.

Around the back, the previous Jazz’s vertically stacked lights have been ditched in favour of more conventional horizontal units, which sit beneath the rear window. The rear hatch cuts deep into the back bumper – as on the previous model – so there should be a generous opening for loading bulky items into the boot.

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The Jazz Crosstar EX is a bit more rugged, featuring new bolt-on roof rails, two-tone paint, a unique front grille design, an elevated ride height and black plastic cladding around its wheel arches that contribute to its mini-SUV flavour. Honda also informs us that the Crosstar’s interior features “water-resistant upholstery,” presumably in case you exceed the car’s maximum wading depth, or spill your cappuccino.

Buyers can also choose from Honda’s range of “Premium” paint finishes – all of which add £550 to the Jazz’s list price. Options include Platinum White, Shining Grey, Midnight Blue Beam and Surf Blue. Honda also offers a couple of “Premium+” colour schemes, including Premium Crystal Red and Premium Sunlight White, which are priced at £650 each.

New 2020 Honda Jazz: e:HEV hybrid system

Perhaps the highlight of the new Jazz range is Honda’s new e:HEV twin-motor petrol hybrid powertrain. The Jazz e:HEV will be both the first Honda to use the new technology and the first model to receive Honda’s latest e:Technology branding, which will eventually feature on all of the Japanese brand’s electrified products.

Every variant of the new Jazz will feature Honda’s e:HEV powertrain, which comprises a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, two electric motors and a compact lithium-ion battery pack, for a total output of 108bhp and 253Nm of torque. The combustion engine sends drive through an innovative fixed-gear transmission, which Honda says is smoother and more efficient than a conventional CVT.

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The standard Honda Jazz has claimed WLTP economy and emissions figures of 62.8mpg and 102g/km of CO2, while the jacked-up Honda Jazz Crosstar offers respective figures of 58.9mpg and 110g/km of CO2. Honda also says its e:HEV powertrain gives the Jazz a 0–62mph time of 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 108mph.

Honda’s e:HEV hybrid system is fitted with three, selectable drive modes – Hybrid Drive, EV Drive and Engine Drive. The first balances petrol and electric running, while recovering electricity from deceleration and storing it in the battery pack for later use. EV Drive forces the Jazz to run in electric-only mode, while Engine Drive combines the petrol engine and electric motors for maximum performance.

New 2020 Honda Jazz: interior

Inside, Honda has tried to retain the previous Jazz model’s impressive cabin space while adding more advanced technology. As such, the car’s hybrid drive system has been located within the chassis and the engine bay, with the fuel tank mounted in the middle of the car, to avoid impacting the room available for passengers.

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As such, boot capacity stands at 298 litres with the rear bench in place. Fold the rear seats down, and storage capacity swells to 1,203 litres. Honda’s popular Magic Seat design also remains in the rear, giving owners the option of folding the rear bench backs flat or flipping the bases up to create a taller load space.

The cabin gets a central display screen and a digital instrument cluster ahead of the driver. Honda tells us that the touchscreen offers smartphone-style swipe controls and that both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are built in. For the first time, these and other downloadable apps will be operable in the car via a wireless connection.

The Jazz gets new seating, too, with wider ‘body-stabilising’ front seats that are designed to reduce fatigue on longer journeys and new deeper rear seats to boost comfort for those in the back. The rest of the cabin retains a minimalist and uncluttered design approach and, in response to consumer demand, Honda has fitted physical air-conditioning controls.

New 2020 Honda Jazz: safety equipment

The new Honda Jazz features an array of sensors and a high-definition camera, all of which feed data to Honda’s Sensing active safety suite. The system offers the usual range of technology, such as lane-keeping assist, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control – as well as an improved collision mitigation brake system, which can detect cyclists and pedestrians at night, as well as react to oncoming vehicles moving into the path of the Jazz.

There’s also a new front-centre air-bag, which is fitted to the rear of the driver’s seat and expands to occupy the space between the front passengers. Honda says the system helps reduce impact between the driver and passenger in the event of a side-on crash, reducing injuries to head for the occupants by 85 percent and 98 percent respectively.

For rear-seat occupants, Honda has fitted a further air-bag for the bench seat pad, which prevents passengers from impacting the door and C-pillar in the event of a side-on collision. The system is also compact enough to not have an impact on the practicality of the Jazz’s folding “magic seat.”What does the new Honda Jazz have to beat? Check out our list of the best superminis on sale



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