2014 Honda Jazz

12/06/2014

2014 Honda Jazz

New Honda Jazz starts at $14,990 as Honda aims to reclaim lost ground -- again. Honda has set a new benchmark for the price of a car with a rear-view camera as standard.

Priced from $14,990, every version of the new, third-generation Honda Jazz will come standard with a rear-view camera -- even though some of Australia’s top-selling SUVs such as the base models of the Holden Captiva and Ford Territory still don’t have them despite costing more than twice the price.

The previous price low for a car with a rear-view camera was set by the Toyota Corolla sedan introduced six months ago, at $20,700. Due in showrooms next month, the new sharply-priced and well-equipped Jazz is part of Honda’s renewed effort to win back lost sales.

Honda sales are down 33 per cent in the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year. Honda has in fact been struggling for the past five years or so because it has increased prices as most mainstream brands limboed to new lows.

But Honda has loaded the new Jazz with a class-leading level of equipment. In addition to the aforementioned rear-view camera -- the first car in its class to have this across all models -- standard fare includes Bluetooth (with audio streaming) a touchscreen display, six airbags, and stability control. Leather seats are also available for the first time, on the top-line VTi-L at $22,490 plus on-road costs. Metallic paint adds $495 to the cost of all models.

The new Jazz promises to be one of the roomiest cars in its class, continuing with the trademark “magic seats” that flip, fold and stow 18 different ways to create a flat cargo floor or room for five adults.

Unlike previous models which were available with a choice of 1.3-litre engine power and 1.5-litre engine power, the new model will be available with only the 1.5 (88kW of power and 145Nm of torque, for the tech heads). Fuel economy is average for the class (5.8L/100km for the CVT auto or 6.2L/100km for the manual).

The boss of Honda Australia says rear view cameras should be standard on most cars given that the technology has become more affordable. "We think it really needs to be standard equipment these days,” said Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins. “As the (sales) volume increases, it enables us to make rear-view cameras available on cheaper cars."

Almost 100,000 Honda Jazz hatchbacks have been sold in Australia, but it has struggled in the city-car class against the more sharply priced Mazda2, Hyundai i20 and Suzuki Swift.

But Honda hopes the new model will reverse its fortunes. "The Jazz is one of Honda's most important and successful models, not only in Australia but around the world," said Collins. "In Australia, the Jazz has sold almost 98,000 units since it was first introduced back in 2002, cementing it as one of our core models."

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(Source: http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/2014-honda-jazz-detailed-28659)

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