Test Drive: Best-selling Honda Jazz given a nice tune-up

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HONDA has launched a new version of its best selling car ever – and the biggest demand is expected to come from the owners of existing models.

The Honda Jazz first took to the road back in 2001 and since then a staggering 5.5 million have been sold.

Now the third generation is set to go into showrooms in the UK in September offering even more space , flexibility and value for money.

The Japanese car maker has a fiercely loyal customer base and Jazz owners will be the first in the dealerships to order the new model, but Honda bosses are convinced the latest car is also good enough to snatch large numbers of buyers from rival brands.

The new, slightly longer Jazz has loosely retained the best selling design of its predecessor but it now has a sharper, more distinctive form with a sportier nose and deep cuts in the bodywork. But perhaps more importantly it also has even more headroom, elbow room and space for luggage.

The Jazz’s famous “magic seats” have been retained, but increasing the wheelbase by 30mm (and the overall length by 95mm) has helped with the creation of 115mm more rear seat legroom and added 17 litres more boot space.

And should you happen to be a surfer you can now lower the backs on all but the driver’s seat and get your surfboard inside rather than having to carry it on the roof.

But it’s not just the car’s length that has increased. The new model now offers 20mm more space between passengers who are sitting alongside each other. The design of the seats, which can be folded flat in seconds to create van like proportions of space or left upright but with the seat squabs folded up like cinema seats to take large items across the width of the car, has always meant the Jazz could punch above its weight as far as coping with luggage was concerned, but the latest car takes it to a new level. The new car is available with just one engine, a new 1.3-litre i-VTEC petrol unit which replaces both the 1.2 and 1.4-litre ones available on the outgoing model.

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