In the 80’s, I got my first car which was hatchback—a hand-me-down from mom, to my sister then to me. Back then, hatchbacks, although small and cute, were more akin to lady drivers. So when the keys to the hatch were turned over to me, I immediately accessorized it and slapped on wider fenders, an air dam, alloy wheels with Pirelli P7 tires, a Momo steering wheel, a Pioneer KP500 head unit, a new color scheme and some more accessories to make it look meaner and manlier. That hatch of mine I loved and took care of until I left for 16.
Three decades later… I get an offer to drive the third generation Honda Jazz. The Jazz is known to be a very cute hatchback that has become very popular because of its great drivability, flexible utility, excellent fuel efficiency and exceptional safety. At my age however, this car seems to be all too babyish… more like it will suit my kids better. But when I saw the all-new Jazz VX with Mugen parts, oh boy—it surely made me feel young(er), again.
The 1.5-liter Jazz delivered to my doorstep was the top-of-the-line VX model slapped with original Mugen accessories. Slapped on it is an original Mugen body kit that includes an air dam, rear spoiler, integrated front and rear bumpers, LED projector fog lamps, LED daytime running lights, carbon fiber side mirror covers, hydrophilic side mirrors with turn signal repeaters, illuminated side sill, F1-inspired tail lights (which are actually Mugen rear fog lights) and 17” alloy wheels shod in 205/45 rubbers.
The all-new Jazz already has a new design cue that gives it much sharper look–with character lines that start from the front fender and sweeps up towards the integrated brake and tail lamps giving it that moving appearance. Looking at it from the front, the Jazz oozes with space-age aura, complemented by the black Mugen grills and integrated fog lamps set on a black base with faux brake ducts. The black lip of the air-dam also helps highlight the striking shape of the Jazz’s fascia.
Inside, the Jazz VX+ is packed with more exciting features. Aside from its multi-utilitarian seat configuration, the Jazz is filled with high-tech devices built-in to the Jazz’s entertainment system with controls ergonomically incorporated in the steering wheel. The dash is in sporty black finish highlighted by aluminum and piano-black accents. Apart from the audio system, the 7-inch touchscreen also controls the Bluetooth and other vehicle settings.
The Jazz’s cabin grew bigger, 122 millimeters, in fact, providing rear passengers with legroom as big as the Jazz’s mid-sized sibling, the Accord. The Jazz is still equipped with the ULTR seats that allow users to fold down the seats flat to accommodate bulky cargo. Other noteworthy features of the Jazz VX+ are the enhanced safety technology including the rear parking camera with dynamic guidelines, six airbags and electronic stability control.
Powering the Jazz is the eco-friendly 1.5-liter single overhead cam i-VTEC engine designed with Earth Dreams technology. The mighty but frugal engine generates a maximum power output of 120 HP and 145 Nm. The engine is mated to a 7-speed CVT transmission that has been programmed to shift to higher gears on lower revs that results in excellent fuel consumption of 10 kilometers per liter in city driving conditions and 17.7 km/l on highway driving conditions.
I’m not crazy about the color blue (I’m color-blind) but the Vivid Sky Blue Pearl that the VX came in was so vibrant in my eyes that it made me want to gaze at it and drive it again and again.
The Mugen garbed Jazz is definitely a looker. It easily gets attention from both pedestrians and motorists from far away. Envious stares can also be seen from drivers of much faster and more expensive cars.
This car cannot be had that easily, though. The price for the Jazz VX+ alone is PhP 948,000. With the Mugen package, Honda Cars Philippines is still deciding when to bring it in. Industry insiders however said the Mugen package will cost another PhP 400,000. Pricey? Yes! But is it worth it? Well, if the Jazz VX is an Rx to make one feel young again, then it absolutely is!