Turbo Gem (Honda Jade RS)

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Wagon? MPV? OwO what’s this?
Jade isn’t a MPV boasting maximal space by shedding all pretense of vanity. It’s an interesting wagon-like MPV, but the real winner is beneath the bonnet. Honda’s entered the turbo age in a solid, wholly expected way.

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So, Honda with stock turbo…
Indeed. The company’s been infamous for its high-revving, naturally aspirated performance engines for decades. Look at any K20A-equipped model for instance – but even its less thoroughbred engines have been sweet in the same way, such as the B16’s of the 1990s.

Honda is adopting turbocharging now, and with more turbo models in the pipeline, we can’t wait!

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Wait, even more turbo Hondas?
Indeed. A new family of turbo engines which will also be found in the next Civic sedan and the new Civic Type R. They pack everything you’d expect of a modern turbo engine: direct-injection, friction reduction, VTEC and so on. The result is that the Jade’s 1.5 is more efficient and just as torque-y as Honda’s own 2.0-litre NA engine, which does dispel the need for the older “stop-gap” 1.8-litre R18 engines found in the Stream, which happens to be the car the Jade is replacing in the Honda lineup.

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RS… means Really Sporty?
Well there is no official definition for the “RS” badge on the Jade, but many years ago, the RS badge on a Civic stood for “Road Sailing”. With a majority of drivers demanding smooth power delivery, it only makes sense that Honda build a transmission to cater for the crowd (and no, no manual option unlike the Jazz RS). It feels like it doesn’t have a turbo at all – partially of the CVT sensation of having the engine at a constant RPM during acceleration.

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On the upshot, you do get seven imaginary gears for you and it’s relatively frugal on fuel for a 6-seat MPV. You can engage Eco mode and the car will dial down the throttle response, in reality, 15km/l is achievable if you are very careful of how you drive and if you have a light-weight family.

It is good to know that Honda’s magic ride and handling is still alive in the Jade. It rides firmly, has a nice communicative steering and it has a certain amount of poise when going through fast corners.

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But… six seats?
Logically, most seven seat MPVs on the market today have the 2-3-2 arrangement, with some having the 2-2-3. Trust us, we survived a 600km journey in the back row of a 2-2-3 and we nearly murdered our travel companions for the sake of comfort. In the Jade, seats are arranged in the 2-2-2, with the second row featuring V-Slide Captain’s Seats that can be joined or separated, depending on who you’re ferrying around.

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A full load of six is relatively comfortable even for long trips. However, you may want to toss out two if you have a lot of load to deal with. Which is good news, cause the third row seats fold flat and the Captain’s chairs can be slid backwards for ultimate comfort for two passengers. Yes, yes, we hear you, mom and dad…

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Will this appeal to the Honda die-hards?
Despite being laughed at by a once-popular TV motoring show, the Edix did surprisingly well in the local scene and the Jade is poised to take over its role as well. The Jade does well if it’s often used for four people, and six on occasion and it looks more stunning than your typical boxy MPV. It also has decent load of comfort equipment like LED lights, keyless entry and so on…

So young couples, and small families, here is the perfect ride…

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Honda Jade RS
Engine: 1,496cc Inline-4, turbocharged
Power: 150bhp/5,500rpm
Torque: 200Nm/1,600-5000rpm
Transmission: CVT
0-100km/h: 9.3 seconds
Top Speed: 225km/h
Fuel consumption: 6.4L/100km
CO2: 146g/km
Price: S$131,999
Availability: Now (www.honda.com.sg)

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Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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