All that Jazz!
The second-generation Jazz/Fit (GE-series) debuted in 2007 and continued the winning streak by being in Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list from 2007-2013 as the Best Small Car; Greenercars.org‘s One of the Greenest Vehicles of 2007 and 2008; MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards 2007 Best Small Car and Best of the Year; U.S. News & World Report Best Economy Car for 2008; Cars.com Top 10 Urban Vehicles for 2008; MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Awards 2009 Best Small Car; Motor Trend magazine’s 2009 Car of the Year Finalist; U.S. News & World Report 2010 Best Hatchback for the Money; Consumer Reports’ Best Overall Value from 2010-2012 and Best Cars for Families Awards as the No. 1 in Affordable Small Cars. Such a huge list of awards for such a small car. The 1st-generation Jazz (GD-series) was introduced in the Philippines in 2004 and received a minor facelift in 2006. We test drove a 2nd-generation Jazz (GE-series) in 2009. Ever since the Philippine debut of the Honda Jazz in 2004, I was enamored with the Japanese sub-compact. My admiration for it grew, even more, when Jeff Reyes and I finished second place as Team Philippine STAR in the 2007 Petron Xtra Mile Challenge Media Edition, and again in the 2008 Petron Xtra Mile Challenge Championship Edition, where we drove 1,323.5 kilometers on a single full tank of fuel. When Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) deployed the Jazz 1.5 S MT to replace the Civic and City in the 2007 Honda Media Challenge gymkhana races, my admiration for it became even stronger. I joined the celebration when Honda announced that more than 5 million Jazz/Fit units were sold around the world in 2012. That’s why I’m such a huge fan. When HCPI asked me if I’d like to test drive a third-generation Jazz (GK-series), their top-of-the-line 2019 Honda Jazz 1.5 RS Navi CVT, I immediately jumped at the chance. The RS Navi CVT, as the name implies, is the upmarket Rally Sport (RS) version of the Jazz equipped with a satellite navigation system, a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and body enhancements such as a special front grille, bumper and air-dam spoiler, side rocker panels, rear roof-mounted spoiler, rear bumper with lower air diffuser that are exclusive to the model. Our good friends at HCPI sent their Jazz 1.5 RS finished in a bright hue of Rally Red that contrasts with the gloss black 15-spoke 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels shod with 185/55R16 Bridgestone Turanza tires. Just being around this “Hot Hatch/Boy Racer” made us feel 20 years younger. Our Rally Red Jazz RS shares a lot of mechanical features with the other variants of the Jazz GK-series, which was launched in 2014. The P868,000 Jazz 1.5 V MT with a 5-speed stick shift, the P918,000 Jazz 1.5 V CVT equipped with the Earth Dreams CVT, the P998,000 Jazz 1.5 VX Navi CVT, and our P1,088,000 Jazz 1.5 RS Navi CVT are all powered by a transverse-mounted 1,497cc inline 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine with a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) and 16 valves that chruns out 118 horsepower at 6,600 rpm. Acceleration is brisk, especially with 145 Newton-meters of torque moving a subcompact hatchback weighing just 1,043 kilograms. Like our RS, the 1.5 VX rolls on 16-inch wheels while the 1.5 V MT and CVT variants roll on 15-inch wheels. Because of the exclusive bumpers, our Jazz 1.5 RS is a few millimeters longer (4,051 mm versus 3,989 mm) than the other variants.