Let’s touch on a touchy topic for Honda fans. The new Jazz (or Fit) is making waves, and reactions are quite mixed across the board. The reason why most people are quick to admonish the new refresh is because of the large fan base that the subcompact hatchback has. Just like every iPhone, every new-generation Jazz was met with stern criticism from owners and non-owners, and that trend is continuing now.
I still remember the launch of the 2008 GE and 2016 GK generations of the Jazz. People were quick to dismiss the hatchback’s design. The nose of the subcompact kept getting shorter and shorter, while the cabin area got boxier and boxier. There were also design elements that people did not like at launch. People who felt strongly about the design either swallowed their pride and bought the car, or left it alone in favor of another option.
So let’s get to the meat of the matter, the more you stare at the new Fit/Jazz, the better it gets – kind of. I can infer that people are not fans of the design because it seems too plain and smooth compared to the angular design of the GK-generation – a design language that can be found in Honda’s current lineup of cars. Change is not immediately accepted at first, and our perception of normal becomes challenged, but over time people warm-up or grow distant, cementing the fact that taste and design are subjective and can be time-based.
The Fit-Ness trim level got my attention in particular thanks to its bright accent colors. It looks good all things considered. The exterior is definitely smooth as a pebble in a riverbed, but touches like its projector headlights and LED DRLs made me swoon. Unlike the previous generation, the hood now looks slightly longer, and the grille – or lack thereof – elongates the nose further, making it less bubbly.
The rear is where I find myself sighing with a little disappointment. The front grabbed headlines while the rear became the butt of some jokes. If you squint hard enough and don’t take size into account, the Jazz starts looking like a certain minivan. It also looks too round for my taste. The front is okay, but the rear suffers from a case of a bubble butt. Let’s not speak too soon though, on launch the rear bumper may get a refresh that will balance out the roundness.
To end, I think that the initial outcry will be quelled once reviews and people start getting their hands on the car to own or drive. I think that when it comes to the Jazz, it’s a try-before-you-buy, or a don’t-mettle-until-in-the-metal type of situation because it could be better in person, or could come with a different design. The actual product may be better than you think once behind the wheel. Also, the RS variant is the best-looking Jazz currently offered in the Philippine market, but will we see a road-sailing variant of this new model? We hope so.
With that said, I can’t wait to see this model in its Philippine spec.