New-gen Honda City hatchback to replace Jazz in some markets
Honda Thailand has revealed the Honda City hatchback, which will go on sale alongside the City sedan sold there, as a replacement for the third-gen Honda Jazz in markets like Malaysia and Thailand. Available in three trims, including the sportier-looking RS variant, the City hatchback measures in at 4,349mm long, making it 200mm shorter than the City sedan, but still well over the 4m mark, the size of the current-gen Honda Jazz currently on sale in India, which allows it the benefits of the sub-4m categorisation. Meanwhile, with a wheelbase of 2,589mm, or 11mm shorter than the sedan's, it promises to offer similar levels of space, along with the added flexibility of 60:40 split folding seats with vertically folding seat bases for storing tall items in the second row, and Honda's MagicSeats in the front row that fold back all the way.
The Honda City hatchback, overall length aside, is similar in width and height to the sedan variant, and looks identical when viewed from the front. The look remains familiar up to the rear doors, with a flat roof extending over the C-pillar instead, and a hatchback tailgate. The tail lights appear very closely adapted from the sedan's longer and slimmer units. The RS variants get sportier bumpers and gloss black trim to complement the styling, while lower variants look closer to the new-gen Honda City available in our markets. The City hatchback, proportionally, looks cohesive, with the high-set clamshell hood going well with the hatchback body style.
The powertrain for the City hatchback, across variants, is limited to the 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbo-petrol engine (122PS/173Nm), mated to a CVT automatic, while the kerb weight of the City hatchback varies between 1,161-1,179kg, while the fifth-gen Honda City weighs in at 1,153kg at the kerb. Equipment levels are the same as the City sedan, as is the interior layout and design.
While the fourth-gen Jazz (also known as the Fit in Japan) is on sale in international markets already, and would be a good fit for India considering its sub-4m size, the shrinking demand for premium hatchbacks makes it unviable for Honda to adapt the new-gen Jazz on an all-new platform, developed as a global model with higher development costs, to be cost-competitive for Indian markets.
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