The new Honda Fit, better known to UK motorists as the Honda Jazz, has made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show in Japan.Due to go on sale early in 2020, the new model has a two-motor e:HEV hybrid drive system providing all the power. The new Jazz retains the class-leading comfort, space and practical qualities that have traditionally set the car apart from supermini rivals, plus a higher quality interior with more advanced connectivity technology. What's even more intriguing, is the Honda Jazz Crosstar crossover SUV variant - an option for more adventurous Jazz fans.
The new Jazz will introduce the efficiency benefits and performance of hybrid power to the mass market and accelerate Honda towards achieving its ambition of all its European mainstream models to feature electrified powertrains by 2022.
For the first time ever in Europe, there will no purely petrol or diesel engines offered in the new Honda Jazz. Instead, it will be powered by a e:HEV twin-motor petrol hybrid powertrain, which provides an exceptional blend of strong and effortless driving performance and impressive fuel economy. The system is newly developed for Jazz and provides a smooth, responsive and direct driving feel.The Jazz is the first Honda to use the new technology and the first model to get Honda’s new e:Technology branding that will eventually feature on all the firm’s electrified products.
Another addition to the Jazz range is the new ‘Crosstar’ variant, designed to appeal to those seeking a more crossover style design. Available with the same hybrid powertrain and interior features as the standard model, the new Crosstar features increased ride height, a unique front grille design, water-resistant upholstery and integrated roof rails.
Inside, Honda has looked to retain the previous Jazz model's impressive cabin space while adding more advanced technology. The 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 on the room available for passengers.
The cabin gets a central display screen with three large physical air-conditioning controls below 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. 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.
On the safety front, there’s an enhanced system of sensors with a high definition camera forming the basis of the Honda Sensing active safety suite. This enables an improved Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), which can now detect pedestrians and cyclists at night and react to oncoming vehicles moving into the path of the Jazz. In addition, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system can now operate in low speed traffic, keeping the car in lane and maintaining distance to the car in front.