Face Off: 2015 Honda Jazz vs Fiat Punto Evo

The Honda Jazz’s first outing in the Indian market proved unsuccessful due to the hatch’s absurdly high price tag and lack of diesel engine. However, Honda has resurrected the Jazz and this time the Japanese automaker hopes to demolish its competition with its attractive price tag, zany styling and powerful engines. We pit the new Jazz against the Fiat Punto Evo and see whether the Japanese hatch has what it takes.

Design:

2015 Honda Jazz:

Honda cars have always had a wide appeal here in India. The car maker’s engineering prowess and aggressive design language had generated a huge fan base in the country. However, in an attempt to catch up to rivals such as Hyundai and Maruti, Honda slowly sacrificed what it stood for. An unfortunate consequence of competing in the ruthless arena that is the Indian car market. With the Jazz however, Honda has gone back to its roots. Combining aggressive styling with peppy color options, the Jazz is quite an interesting little hatchback. The wrap-around headlights, sharp cuts across its doors, LED tailights and stylish alloys manifest into a road presence unrivaled in its class.

rear 2015 Honda Jazz
Rear View of the Honda Jazz

Fiat Punto Evo:

The Punto Evo is another consequence of striving to stay relevant in the ultra-competitive Indian car industry. Fiat has ditched the Punto’s classic looks for a more in-your-face approach. Key changes from the previous generation include new “reindeer” headlights, clear lamp talilights, revised grille and new alloys. The Italian car maker has made generous use of chrome in an effort to increase its upmarket appeal. Chrome finds its way on the grille, front fog lamp enclosures, rear fog lamp enclosure as well as the door handles. Although chrome does improve the overall premium feel of a car, Fiat’s overuse of chrome has diminished the car’s aesthetics.

2014 fiat punto facelift
The All New Fiat Punto Evo

Winner: Honda Jazz

Interior:

2015 Honda Jazz:

The interior of the Jazz borrows heavily from the City. The new Jazz features the same upmarket touchscreen infotainment system and touch sensitive A/C controls that is mounted on the piano black finish center console. Honda has also fitted the new Jazz with steering mounted audio controls; an attribute that is fast becoming the standard in this segment.

2015 Honda Jazz cabin
Dashboard of the all new Honda Jazz

Fiat Punto Evo:

The new Punto Evo also features a sporty all black interior. Unlike the hatchback’s exterior, Fiat has managed to provide a rather tastefully designed cabin for the occupants of the Evo. The amber hue that decorates the car’s instrument cluster and center console melds harmoniously with the various shades of black found around the cabin. The inclusion of an ambient lighting system greatly increases the overall premium feel of the new Punto.

2014 fiat punto evo cabin
Interior of the Punto Evo

Although the Punto’s cabin emanates a certain charm unlike any in its segment, the dated entertainment system and poor quality plastics allows the Jazz to get ahead in this section as well.

Winner: Honda Jazz

Under the Hood:

2015 Honda Jazz:

Few rival Honda in the field of engineering. If the manufacturer isn’t developing engines for F1 teams or its road cars, its team of engineers are showcasing their capabilities in the field of artificial intelligence. The 2015 Honda Jazz is offered in both petrol and diesel avatars. The petrol powered Jazz houses the familiar 1.2 l i-VTEC engine that churns out 87 hp @ 6000 RPM and 110 Nm of torque @ 4800 RPM while the diesel variant is powered by the all new 1.5 l i-DTEC motor that produces a whopping 98 hp @ 3600 RPM and 200 Nm @ 1750 RPM. While the petrol variant can be purchased with either a 5 speed manual or a CVT automatic, the diesel Jazz is offered with only a six speed manual transmission.

2015 Honda Jazz
The 2015 Honda Jazz

Fiat Punto Evo:

The Fiat Punto Evo offers the widest range of engines in this segment. The 2014 Punto Evo is offered in four different engine configurations. Base variants of the petrol Punto Evo are powered by a 1.2 l engine that puts out 67 hp @ 6000 RPM and 96 Nm @ 2500 RPM. The more powerful petrol mill on offer is the 1.4 l unit that churns out 89 hp @ 6000 RPM and a peak torque of 115 Nm @ 4500 RPM.Diesel options include a single 1.3 l Multi-Jet engine available in two states of tune. Lower models produce 75 hp @ 4000 RPM and 197 Nm of peak torque @ 1750 RPM while the top end diesel variant manages to push out 90 hp @ 4000 RPM and 209 Nm @ 2000 RPM.

All engines are mated to a five speed manual gearbox.

2014 fiat punto rear
Engine Options Remain The Same in The New Punto

Winner: Honda Jazz

Verdict:

The Honda Jazz is simply the better package. Until Fiat introduces the next big facelift, the Punto Evo will remain outdated.

2015 Honda Jazz: What’s New?

rear 2015 Honda Jazz

The Honda name will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Indians. Thanks to iconic cars such as the original City and Civic, the Japanese moniker rose from the primal broth of the first names to ever enter the Indian car market and became a brand Indians aspire to own. Sadly, thanks to the heart stopping petrol rates and the SUV craze sweeping our nation, Honda slowly stepped out of the limelight.

2015 Honda Jazz
The 2015 Honda Jazz

With the development of the brand’s i-DTEC Earth Dreams series of diesel engines, Honda is back to take its rightful place among the leaders of the Indian car market. The latest cars to sport Honda’s diesel engines are the City, Amaze and Mobilio, all of which are registering massive bookings since the time of their launch. The next car to be launched by the Japanese manufacturer will be the next gen Honda Jazz hatchback.

Although the original Jazz was a recipe for success, its unbelievably high price tag sent buyers scurrying to other manufacturers. Hopefully, this time around the Japanese marque will release the hatch in a more competitive price bracket. The 2014 Honda Jazz aka Fit has already been on sale in markets abroad for quite sometime now. Honda India however, has taken its time with its launch here. The new Jazz is a complete revamp from its 2009 predecessor. With the most likely inclusion of an oil burner in its range, the new Jazz will surely hit up some good sales figures in the hatchback segment.

Looks:

The next gen Jazz is an impressive looking machine. Although the hatch may not have the same aggressive road presence as some of its other rivals, the Jazz’s styling hints at what it truly is, a fun driver’s car. The front end features all new headlights and reworked grille while the front bumpers now feature large, aggressively styled fog lamp enclosures.

2015 honda jazz front look
Front View

At the side we see a sharp crease that runs along the length of the car and integrates into the reworked taillights. The new Jazz also comes with redesigned alloys as well. The back sees a pair of impressively styled tail-lamps and a thick chrome line running across the boot lid.

 

rear 2015 Honda Jazz
Rear View of the Honda Jazz

Interiors:

The interiors have also been thoroughly reworked with the new Jazz. Now featuring the same piano black center console as the 2014 Honda City, the new interiors have a more zesty styling about them. Similar to the City, the new Jazz’s air con controls are now feature touch sensitive controls. However, unlike the exterior, Honda has not worked too much on the design for the Jazz’s interiors. The exposed plastics and odd layout of the dashboard takes some of the charm from the Jazz’s character. Despite this, the all black cabin and blue backlit instrument cluster imbue a feeling of sportiness lacking in most cars in this segment. With an increased length from the previous generation and a massive 390 L boot space, the Jazz promises to offer the best in class cabin space.

2015 Honda Jazz cabin
Dashboard of the Honda Jazz Face-lift

Under the Hood:

Mechanically the Japanese hatch is unlikely to feature any new engine options for its India release save for the 1.5 L diesel mill. Internationally, the petrol variant is powered by a 1.5 L four cylinder engine that produces 130 HP at 6600 RPM and 114 lb-ft of torque @ 4600 RPM. Sadly, we may not see such a zesty petrol mill for the Indian market. Honda will most likely introduce the Jazz with the 1.2 L i-VTEC engine that churns out 87 HP @ 6000 RPM and 109 Nm of torque @ 4500 RPM.

Honda will also unveil its first diesel hatch in India in the form of the Jazz. Powering the diesel variant of the hatchback will be the company’s 1.5 L i-DTEC motor that delivers a whopping 100 HP. If the Jazz is released with the 1.5 L oil burner, it may well become one of the most powerful hatchbacks of the industry.

instrument panel 2015 Honda Jazz
Instrument Panel of the New Jazz

The 2015 Jazz’s biggest rivals will be the new Hyundai Elite i20, facelifted VW Polo and the Fiat Punto Evo. While its rivals strive to reinvent itself to be far more aggressive and dominating, the Jazz takes a different route. One of the best looking cars out there, the Jazz looks a lot peppier and promises to be incredibly fun to drive as well. With the unveiling of the diesel mill, Honda is slowly regaining its lost momentum and may very well be the next leader of the Indian auto industry.

Image Source: Internet