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2020 Honda Jazz

No, it's not cheap, but I don't think it was either before. Well, let's see what it has to offer in addition to the competition. The bodywork has become an idea simpler, to its advantage. It still offers astonishingly much space at this outer length, even in the luggage compartment. Good view forward thanks to filigree A-pillars. The design of the interior, especially the dashboard, puts it at the top of its class.

The seating concept is also leading the way with its rear seats that can be folded in the backrests or seat surfaces. The backrest of the front passenger seat is also foldable. Whether the additional airbag between the front seats will catch on, remains to be seen. All in all, the Jazz offers a well thought-out overall concept, although it has only grown a little longer and has shrunk a little in wheelbase and height.

The suspension behaviour was adapted more to the competition.

This is a strange hybrid concept. But since its the only available version, we have to deal with it. It's just kind of like the CR-V Hybrid. Also, in principle, you won't find the misleading designation 'Serial Hybrid'. However, we are not told about the capacity of the battery.

We have always fought against alleged serial hybrids, because from the point of physics view it makes little sense to convert chemical energy into kinetic energy, then into electrical energy and then back into kinetic energy. Sometimes the reason given for this is that the petrol engine can be put into a more favourable operating condition, which allegedly more than makes up for the enormous waste.

Now this Jazz has a CVT gearbox, which probably simulates gear changes for the European version. It is very popular in Asia, probably in its original form and with good reason. But this is the argument with away from the ideal operating condition, because a CVT transmission, because it is continuously variable, can put a combustion engine in just about any operating condition.

And if the undoubtedly strong E.Motor helps you to accelerate, then you will not uncouple the combustion engine. No, there's only a very small area where it could work semi-serially, which is when you start the car. The electric motor can do this much better and the combustion engine is spared this. This is then added from a certain low speed.

You can't drive purely electrically without the combustion engine anyway, because according to our research the battery has only a very low capacity. So one could argue that Honda has installed a larger generator instead of a normal battery, which obviously can also work as an electric motor.

Our theses are based on the relatively low empty weight compared to other hybrids. You can also hear quite clearly how the combustion engine drives the car in normal driving conditions and on the highway. Even the typical CVT revving up before a required acceleration process is well damped, but still clearly audible.

Not mentioned so far: The combustion engine naturally works extremely efficiently according to the Miller method, which can be seen in the relatively high geometric compression. Thus the consumption of the testers of course not very high. Only one really managed less than four liters, well below the WLTP value indicated by the factory

The loading concept of the Jazz is very remarkable. It starts with a fairly low loading edge and then, seen from the rear, a very deep, rectangular tuby. So if you have a large bag, flowers in pots or wine in the box, then you simply put something like that in the tub and nothing can fall over. We would welcome an opening for cleaning, for example, potting soil with a stream of water.

That then continues forward to a relatively small elevation, which is probably due to the hybrid technology. Now, 2:1 folding rear seats are truly nothing special, but it is that they shrink together with their seating surfaces to create a truly flat surface except for the edge described. And to go one better, you can alternatively fold up the seat surfaces. What you can then transport, we leave to your imagination.

The Crosstar can at least be recognized by the somewhat different front look and the roof rails.

Now we almost forgot to mention the cross-variation. This is always a welcome opportunity for manufacturers to generate a little more profit, because the car is simply raised and the areas that become free on the body are covered with black plastic. And to paint a roof differently than the rest of the car does not really go beyond the budget during production.

By the way, the Crosstar with only two 's' is only available in the highest specification..

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