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Honda jazzes up its supermini for 2009


Honda’s highly-successful Jazz five-door supermini gets new looks and upgraded handling and ride in the 2009 model now on sale in New Zealand

Honda began selling the 2009 Jazz in the first week of November.

Both the 1.3S and 1.5S versions now have more powerful and torquier i-VTEC engines, and a five-speed automatic gearbox replaces the CVT continuously variable automatic.

Hondas i-VTEC controls valve lift as well as timing which Honda says allows the car to deliver more power and better fuel economy. The 1300cc Jazz now develops maximum power of 73kW of power and peak torque of 127Nm; the 1500’s out put is 88kW and 145Nm.

The five-speed auto comes from the Civic, and is designed to give the car sportier performance. Racing inspired paddle shifters on the steering wheel allow the driver to shift gears manually.

For people who prefer a full manual gearbox, a five-speed is available in the Jazz 1.3S.

Standard kit on the 1.3S includes power windows and mirrors, central locking, and a stereo compatible with MP3, WMA and CD plus USB connectivity for full ipod or MP3 player integration.

The 1.5 Sport gets cruise control, a security alarm system, sports bodykit, rear spoiler, and foglights, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

On the safety front, all models get ABS anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist.

All models have six airbags – front, side and curtain – and the curtain airbags also deploy in a frontal offset collision to prevent head injuries.

The Jazz now uses Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) structure which is designed to prevent intrusion over a wider range of impact heights and providing passengers better in accidents.

Priority has been given to improving the driver’s view. Front three-quarter windows are now three times larger and the strengthened A pillars are also narrower, for better frontal visibility. The windscreen is further forward at the base, and further back at the top for better forward visibility.

Low-profile drop-down rear headrests allow 100 percent visibility through the rear window, and the exterior mirrors are 30 percent larger.

The Jazz’s seats – Magic Seats in Honda-speak – can be can figured to allow carriage of tall parcels like shrubs or mountain bikes.

To fit in large suitcases or bulky items of furniture, one or both of the rear seats can be folded flat to create the space required.

The rear cabin can be converted to a completely flat wagon configuration, a process that now only requires one lever action, dropping the rear seats flat to the floor.

The Jazz now has three-step door opening and three hold positions, and the rear doors will open up to 80 degrees, making it easy to stow items and cargo through the rear doors.

Honda is offering a range of luxury items for the Jazz. Leather upholstery and trim are offered across the whole range, with red stitching on black leather.

A luxury model, the Jazz Tempo, uses the 1.5 litre engine and specification of the Jazz Sport, and adds special front and rear sports bumpers, sport grille, sport grille, red leather shift knob and distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels.

Honda says the 2009 Jazz can deliver fuel economy of 5.8, 6.6, and 6.7 litres/100km for the Jazz 1.3S manual, automatic, and Jazz 1.5 Sport.

Exhaust emissions meet the Euro IV standard, and fall within the LEV II (Low Emission Vehicle) standards in other markets.

The Jazz can run on E10 petrol/ethanol blended fuel.

2009 Honda Jazz prices

1.3-litre Manual, $22,000.
1.3-litre Automatic, $23,900.
Sport 1.5-litre Automatic, $26,100. Jazz Tempo 1.5-litre Automatic, $29,800.
Leather package options add $2800.

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