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New Honda Jazz gets funky for 2020

  • Jazz evolves, with stronger stance and hybrid technology
  • Crosstar's SUV-esque looks add kerb appeal
  • Key features remain intact, despite extensive changes

Always known for marching to its own beat, the Honda Jazz is getting a remix for 2020. Extensively re-engineered, the fourth-generation Jazz has a wider, more assured stance and a new body design that allows a significant reduction in size for the windscreen pillars - moving the vision-obscuring bulk further back and less in the driver's eyeline.

This practical change makes a big difference to how the Jazz looks - it's effectively masks the height of the short, small car, and draws the eye towards the distinctive glazing at the front and implied stability of the low, wide bodywork. It's a great illusion - because inside, the Jazz has retained the cleverly folding Honda Magic Seats arrangement and generous height that makes it one of the most practical cars you can buy with such a compact footprint.

Honda Jazz side 2020

Hybrid power with electric-car feel

It's not just the look that changes, keeping the Jazz competitive against the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and new Vauxhall Corsa. As its rivals are moving towards electric or small-displacement turbo power, the Honda Jazz will be offered with a single powertrain in the UK. Honda's new e:HEV system is a two-motor hybrid that we've yet to be given more detail on; Japanese videos introducing the e:HEV version of the Honda Fit confirm the layout with a battery at the rear, and a petrol engine with electric motors at the front.

Previous Honda systems have referred to the drive motor and generator as a two-motor setup - so we're confident that the 2020 Jazz will be front-wheel drive, with a variation on the system found in the C-RV, and this is more about branding the hybrid models to support the all-electric Honda e.

Tech details aside, Honda aims to give the new Jazz the same feel as an electric car. That means seamless gearing, a familiar sensation for past Jazz drivers with CVT automatics - and silent operation in EV modes.

Crosstar - Jazz hits a high note

Increasing youth appeal and relevance for the Jazz, particularly in the UK, there's a rugged SUV style model called the Crosstar.

Honda Jazz Crosstar 2020

This features increased ride height, contrasting details with a new grille design, water-resistant seats and integrated roof rails. As yet, there's no indication of this getting all-wheel drive - and the packaging needed for Magic Seats and e:HEV would probably prevent it - but it's got the looks to carry it off and battle the popular Ford Fiesta Active.

More technology and higher quality interior

Inside, the Jazz has an all-new and striking interior with a wider dashboard, less complex design and higher-quality materials. A large central touchscreen indicates new infortainment, with wireless Apple CarPlay support and an on-board WiFi hotspot introduced to the range for the first time.

Honda Jazz interior 2020

Improved camera and radar sensing allows the Jazz to detect road edges and kerbs without markings, and completes a suite of safety technology that includes low-speed adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping, and night-time detection of pedestrians and traffic turning across the Honda's path for the autonomous emergency braking.

Expected to go on sale in the UK in mid-2020, the new Jazz and Jazz Crosstar look like a promising update for the popular small Honda. Parkers will be among the first to drive the new Jazz, so check back regularly for updates.

Honda Jazz rear 2020

Find out all you need to know about the Honda Jazz

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