Face Off: 2015 Honda Jazz vs 2014 Volkswagen Polo

VW has made quite a big impact in its relatively short time here in India. The Polo has received high praise for its build quality and impressive engines. However, what happens when you pit German precision against Japanese engineering? Well we are about to find out. In this face off, the 2015 Honda Jazz goes toe to toe with Volkswagen’s Polo.

Design:

2015 Honda Jazz:

The Honda Jazz is a rather impressive looking car. Sporting typical Honda styling with angular headlights, sharp cuts and creases across the body, the Jazz makes for an interesting hatch. Honda has gracefully melded a hatchback with MPV characteristics such as a high roofline and long wheel base. As a result, the Honda Jazz offers more space than most of its rivals.

2015 honda jazz front
Front View of the all new Honda Jazz hatchback

VW Polo:

Unlike the Honda Jazz, the VW Polo is all about order. The German hatch makes minimal use of angular design elements to provide a clean silhouette. VW is renowned for its precision engineering however, design is more of an art than a procedure. The Polo feels far too clinical and lacks art in its form.

2015 Volkswagen Polo front three quarter
The VW Polo adopts a more minimal, understated design language.

Winner: Honda Jazz

Interior:

2015 Honda Jazz:

Honda has replicated the City’s cabin for the Jazz. The Japanese hatch features the same interior elements such as the dashboard layout and steering wheel as its sedan brother. This results in the most feature loaded cabin in the hatchback segment. The new Jazz sports a touchscreen infotainment system, touch sensitive A/C settings and steering mounted controls for Bluetooth telephony and music playback. Buyers have an option of choosing between an all black or beige and black interior.

2015 Honda Jazz cabin
Dashboard of the all new Honda Jazz

VW Polo:

The clinical precision of VW continues inside the cabin as well. However, with its latest iteration, VW has provided the Polo’s interior with sporty undertones. The flat-bottomed steering wheel, silver accents around the center console and the glossly black finish found on the gear knob and steering wheel all add a bit of character to the otherwise dull interiors of the German hatch. Volkswagen is yet to provide a significant update to the music system first introduced on the Polo.

2015 volkswagen polo dashboard
Dashboard of the new VW Polo

Winner: Honda Jazz

Under the Hood:

2015 Honda Jazz:

The Jazz has been introduced with an extremely powerful pair of engines. The petrol powered Jazz houses a familiar 1.2 l i-VTEC engine under the bonnet. The four cylinder petrol mill churns out 87 hp @ 6000 RPM and a peak torque of 110 Nm @ 4800 RPM. Honda offers the petrol variant of the Jazz with both a five speed manual as well as a CVT gearbox.

Diesel enthusiasts will welcome the inclusion of Honda’s all new 1.5 l i-DTEC EarthDreams motor. The engine remains identical to the one used on the City sedan and as a result the diesel Jazz produces an impressive 98 hp @ 3600 RPM with peak torque of 200 Nm coming in at 1750 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six speed manual gearbox.

VW Polo:

Although Volkswagen offers the Polo in high performance petrol and diesel avatars, these variants of the Polo fall into an entirely different price bracket. For the purposes of fair comparison, we are not considering the GT editions of the Polo. The petrol variant of the Volkswagen hatch is powered by a 1.2 l four cylinder unit that churns out 74 hp @ 5400 RPM and max torque of 110 Nm @ 3750 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a five speed manual gearbox.

VW’s diesel Polo is available with a detuned version of the 1.5 l four cylinder mill found on the Polo GT TDI. The oil burner produces 89 hp @4200 RPM and a peak torque of 230 Nm at 1500 RPM and is mated to a five speed manual transmission as well.

Winner: Draw

Verdict:

The Honda Jazz is a force to be reckoned with. Offering more power and features than any of its rivals for the same price, Honda will rapidly demolish the competition. Although VW produced a quality car, the manufacturer skimped on tech and power; two aspects that Volkswagen could have easily provided without bumping up the price tag. The Polo may sell in good numbers however, if VW ever hopes to hit the top spot here in India, it must not underestimate what the buyer is ready to settle for.

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.

Face Off: 2015 Honda Jazz vs Hyundai Elite i20

honda jazz front

Japanese automotive heavyweight Honda has finally made its big comeback into the premium hatchback segment here in India. Honda hits the hatchback market with its eagerly awaited next gen Jazz. The first generation Jazz performed quite poorly in India thanks to its exorbitant price tag and the lack of a diesel engine. This time however, Honda has increased localization levels and introduced its all new i-DTEC EarthDreams diesel engine that is already in use in the Amaze, Mobilio and City.

We take a look at how the new Japanese hatch fares against one of the biggest selling cars in India – the Hyundai Elite i20.

Design:

Honda Jazz:

The new Honda Jazz sports an interesting design. While Hyundai has adopted a restrained and sophisticated exterior for the Elite i20, the 2016 Honda Jazz gives the impression of being the life of a party. The laid-back design, zany color options and the name itself produces an aura of vivacity around the Japanese hatchback. Unlike the Mobilio, City and Brio, Honda has opted to drop the unnecessary all chrome grille and replaced it with a simple black plastic unit that is complemented by a simple silver line that runs from end to end, a welcome change in design. The overall silhouette of the Jazz is a cross between a large hatchback and a compact MPV. The body style has allowed for Honda to pack in oodles of interior space.

honda jazz front three quarter
The Honda Jazz’s smart layout allows for maximum interior space

Hyundai Elite i20:

Hyundai’s Elite i20 is graced with the South Korean car maker’s all new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy. While the design language’s first iteration focused on striking looks, version 2.0 seeks to polish itself to add a touch of refinement and class to Hyundai’s range. The hexagonal grille, headlight design and beautiful rear end all meld together to form a shell that appeals to both the executive class as well as the youth.

2014 red Hyundai Elite i20
The 2014 Hyundai Elite i20

The design of both cars can only be described as outstanding and it all boils down to a matter of preference.

Winner: Draw

 

Interior:

Honda Jazz:

Honda’s high levels of localization has allowed the manufacturer to cram as many features as possible without bumping the price up. Similar to the City, the new Jazz features a fully loaded touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation and standard connectivity options such as Bluetooth, AUX and USB input. Similar to the The dashboard features the typical asymmetric Honda design that is driver-centric allowing for the driver to easily reach the necessary buttons and knobs.

Hyundai Elite i20:

Similar to its exterior, the Hyundai Elite i20’s interior is uncluttered and classy. Unlike the previous model that featured an all black cabin, the new Elite i20 features a combination of beige and black to provide a less claustrophobic cabin. However, with its main competition migrating from a conventional music system to a fully loaded touchscreen infotainment system, the Hyundai may feel slightly dated to some.

Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20
The Elite i20 makes use of a combination of beige and black plastics to provide an airy feel to the cabin

Winner: Honda Jazz

 

Engine:

Honda Jazz:

Although Honda cars may not be as popular as they once were back in the early 2000’s, the manufacturer’s engineering prowess has not diminished. The 2015 Honda Jazz’s engine lineup is a testament to that statement. Powering the petrol variants of the Japanese hatch is the manufacturer’s 1.2 l i-VTEC engine that churns out 90 PS and 110 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual or CVT gearbox.

maroon honda jazz
The 2015 Honda Jazz offers both petrol and diesel this time

The Honda Jazz’s diesel engine may be one its most interesting selling points. The Japanese car maker has fitted the hatch with the very same oil burner found on the City, Mobilio and Amaze without any changes to the performance numbers. As a result, the Jazz provides a whopping 100 PS and 200 Nm of torque, the best in its segment. The 1.5 l i-DTEC engine is mated to a six speed manual and manages an impressive fuel economy of 27.3 km/l.

Hyundai Elite i20:

Hyundai has not made any mechanical changes to the new i20. As such, the South Korean hatchback is still powered by the 1.2 l petrol and the 1.4 l CRDI diesel engines. The 1.2 l petrol mill produces 82 hp @ 6000 RPM and 115 Nm of torque. The CRDI unit churns out 89 hp and 220 Nm of torque.

drive new 2014 i20
The Elite i20 could use a more poweful engine

Winner: Honda Jazz

 

Verdict:

The second gen Honda Jazz has been eagerly awaited by car fans. The peppy styling, powerful engine and feature loaded interior will make the Jazz one of the hottest selling cars in this segment. Honda’s revival in the Indian market has begun full swing.

honda jazz front
The Honda Jazz is the winner