European versions of Honda's Jazz, called the Fit in Japan, will have 1.2 or 1.4-litre i-DSI (Dual Sequential Ignition) engines with twin spark plugs and compact combustion chambers.

Provisional fuel consumption figures for the EC combined cycle are 53.3mpg for the 1.2 litre model and 51.4mpg for the 1.4. Both the 78PS 1.2 and 83PS 1.4 engines conform to the EU2005 emission regulations with CO2 emission levels of 126g/km for the 1.2 and 131g/km for the 1.4 litre engine.

Honda claims that these emission levels are comparable to those of most recent turbocharged direct injection diesel engines.

Compared to the 1343cc engine in the outgoing European-spec Logo, the new engines are 8% lighter, 118mm shorter and 69mm narrower. Key features include reduced valve angles to create a smaller combustion chamber, a more compact air cleaner, a serpentine auxiliary drive system, a plastic intake manifold and a stainless steel exhaust pipe.

Other notable features include a rear mounted exhaust manifold, for improved packaging and more rapid heating of the catalytic converter, plus friction reduction technology that uses molybdenum-impregnated piston skirts.

Both engines will come with a standard five-speed manual transmission, but a new CVT option, with seven-speed semi-automatic shift control system, will be introduced later.



At 3.8 metres in length, the five door Jazz competes at the upper end of Europe's B-segment but Honda claims that features such as the unique centrally mounted fuel tank ensure a roomy interior more like that of a C-segment contender.

The Jazz has a new folding rear seat design that can be used to create either a totally flat load floor or a second, independent load area.

Load volume with all seats in a standard seating arrangement, is 380 litres, said to be on par with C-segment vehicles. This space is large enough to accommodate four large suitcases in an upright position.

The retraction mechanism of the 2:1 split rear seat is designed so that collapsing either section completely into the footwell can be done in three steps by a person standing just inside the rear door opening.

The 2:1 split seat base can also be tipped up and locked against the seat back to create a second load area between the front and rear seats capable of holding a variety of objects for added load flexibility.

The resultant space is 1280 mm high, sufficient to accommodate two mountain bikes with their front wheels removed.

Honda says this space could also be used, for example, to carry tall plants, provide an alternative load area when rear access is limited because tight parking prevents the tailgate from being fully opened, be used when the weight of an item means it is easier to lift it the short distance into the rear footwell, become an area where young children can stand up in to change clothes at the beach, be an ideal place to stow a folded wheelchair or a convenient place for wet or dirty items to prevent the soiling of luggage in the rear.

European Jazz sales start in early 2002 with supplies coming from Honda's Suzuka plant in Japan.

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