The third-generation Jazz proves itself once again to be the defacto, class-leading compact hatchback. There is much to be said about Honda’s much-loved Jazz compact hatchback (aka the Fit in other markets). Since its debut in 2001, the formula has never changed. Massive space with good driving dynamics, while being frugal and reliable at the same time.
The fourth feature, is what the Jazz epitomises: Inexpensive and tuneable at the same time, like the pre-2000 Honda Civics. We’ve been looking for a suitable Jazz for almost three years now, knowing that there are hardcore Fit/Jazz lovers have gone as far as importing their own manual transmission models and race it actively at local motorsports.
The new, direct-injection 1.5-litre engine, paired up with a reworked CVT transmission, makes 130bhp seem fun in “S” mode – with the seven-speed simulated-manual mode. “Honda Factory Racing” L15B as the owner claims…
Speaking of the owner, he once famously said: “I like stock Jazz”. We sort of agree, since it came stuffed with plenty of “mods” like steering wheel remote controls, paddle shifters and cruise control. It has LED headlights, with LED position lights and rear LED combination lights. Almost, unmoddable – just because it’s so good from the start.
The GK is stiffer, more planted, has better body control and pretty good steering feedback. It makes twisty roads fun to negotiate. Last but not least, the new Jazz feels less nervous than the older model thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase and softer suspension. But, no matter the car, a racer will always be a racer.
First to go is the nice and supple ride quality, for the nice firm sporty ride from the “Street Zero A Blue” comfort series coilovers. Next up? Increasing the brake performance, with 4 pot stoppers and bigger rotors up front, while retaining the rear for a more forward-bias brake balance.
The brakes demanded more space, and thus warranted a bigger wheel setup in 16”, but for the lightweight goodies, the choice of authentic wheels means that there is less unsprung weight for the suspension to deal with. Besides, wide AD08R tyres have levels of grip that is impossible to break on a small car like this… maybe that is why he was so fast in the Autotest…
No one can simply drop a car by inches and expect the suspension to work it out itself. More adjustments were made to keep the numbers as close to the original as possible with the inclusion of lower control arms. To make the rear end much more responsive, the two additions are the less comfort oriented bushings in the rear torsion beam, and an additional anti roll bar for less body roll and much less understeer.
The engine is not yet old enough to have a huge plethora of performance parts unlike the K20 big brother, but there are ways to make it feel better. Drop in stainless steel airfilter and a rigid engine to chassis connection are the tickets to enjoying more of Honda’s trademark rev-happy power plant. And just for competition use: Secret Flow by Ben Soon Exhaust, which frees up a bit more horsepower and torque at the high rpm range – and sounds radical too!
To the general public, the Jazz has exceeded the expectations of a mere compact hatch. But in the racing circle, this car, equipped with a full-on automatic transmission, can prove that “point and shoot” technology can still keep up with the best of the manuals!
Honda Jazz “JizzR” 1.5 RS
L15B “Honda Factory Racing”
Hurricane Drop-In Filter
Hardrace Engine Mounts
CVT in Sports mode
Motoren Werkz Build
Custom Secret Flow by Ben Soon Exhaust
Cusco Street Zero A Blue
Hardrace front lower control arm
AP Racing 4pot CP7600
290mm 2 piece rotors
Hardrace rear anti-roll bar
Powerflex rear trailing arm bushing
High performance racing driver
Mugen Sports Styling Pack