Sometimes we have to rub our eyes and make sense of what we are seeing. This can be applied to the new Honda Jazz 2018. This is supposed to be a car that got a facelift from Honda. But has it? Yes there are some new features and styling ques. The other car here in the comparison, the Hyundai Elite i20 2018 does feel visibly refreshed. The car got a host of design updates and interior updates.
Which car is better? Which one is the best choice for you? Read our thorough comparison report to find out more.
So what’s new? Let’s start with the Honda Jazz 2018. It’s not changed itself when it comes to dimensions. The car does not have any new panels. The grille, the headlights, the mirrors, the fog lamps are all the same. The changes that are present are new 15-inch alloys, LEDs integrated in the taillight cluster and two new color options – red and silver. The rest is all the same. There were high expectations from Honda to refresh this car. It’s been the same since 2015, when it was launched. The car looks bland and in front of the i20 looks old. We could only wait till next year when Honda introduces a new-generation Jazz. We will have to wait and see.
The Hyundai Elite i20 again does not look very different from its previous model. But there are subtle and nice touches that make the car stand out as a new model. It’s easy and visibly easy to spot the changes in the car. This 2018 model gets nice touches like the new Hyundai family grille along with LED DRLs placed low on the front bumper, new 16-inch alloy wheels and a cool set of LED tail lights. There is the new rear bumper design, the number plate has moved up to the boot lid.
Overall, design is a subjective topic. Someone will like the design and exterior of either car. But we can settle on one thing that the Hyundai Elite i20 2018 does look more updated and fresh than the Honda Jazz 2018.
Again let’s begin with the Honda Jazz 2018. The story inside is the same as the exterior. There are no big updates. But there are some updates that are very welcome. There is the new 7-inch ‘Digipad 2.0’ touch screen infotainment system from the Amaze. Cruise control has also made its way on the Jazz, and is a feature not available on the Hyundai Elite i20 2018. Other new features include a push-button start/stop system, front centre armrest and rear parking sensors. The car does miss out on giving a sunroof, 6 airbags like the i20 and Honda has discontinued the Magic Seats with this update. The interior overall is of very good build and finish. Everything you touch and feel does not feel as premium as the Elite i20, but feels long lasting and durable. The interior is not all-black anymore. The beige seats from the Amaze have made their way into the car. The Honda Jazz also does not give any amenities for the rear passengers. There are no rear AC vents or a 12-volt charging socket. The car does score in one area better than the i20, which is a lot of cubby holes, cup holders and a massive 354 litre boot.
Moving on to the Hyundai Elite i20 2018, this is a whole different story altogether. There is a certain air of plushness that the Jazz does not offer. Everything feels expensive and premium. The center console, the instrument cluster, the infotainment system are all way better arranged. There is larger 7-inch touch screen with better touch and feel than the Honda Jazz’s Digipad 2.0. The interior also features sliding front armrest and rear AC vents. The rest of the dashboard remains almost same as the previous model. Features that add to the special touch are automatic climate control, Arkamys eight-speaker audio system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, keyless entry and automatic headlamps. The rest of the dashboard remains unchanged. There are no other changes on the inside. The bootspace for the i20 is small compared to the Jazz at 254 litres.
Firstly the Honda Jazz 2018, engine and transmission options have remained untouched. The petrol variants are powered by a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that make 89bhp and 110Nm of torque. This engine gets two options, a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The diesel variants are powered by a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine that makes 99bhp and 200Nm of torque. The diesel is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission. Mileage figures stand at a maximum of 18km/l for the petrol manual and CVT. The diesel will give the best mileage of both, at 27km/l (all mileage figures are ARAI tested. Real life figures will be lower). The Honda Jazz 2018 we tested was the petrol CVT. And we are disappointed to report that the car is not at all a hoot to drive. The gearbox does get Sports Mode with paddle shifters but that does not make the car any good too. The CVT elastic effect is highly pronounced here. The gear changes are slow and painful. The run to 60km/h is very dry. This is not expected of an I-VTEC engine. What baffles me is that the same engine in the WRV is amazing. We would recommend going for the diesel manual. While it’s not by any measure an handling machine, ride quality on the other hand is brilliant and so are the brakes.
Now let’s talk about the Hyundai Elite i20. The car has kept impressing us and keeps raising the bar. The Elite i20 continues to use the same 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engine. The petrol unit produces 83bhp and 115Nm of torque and comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The car we tested was the petrol CVT. The diesel engine on the new Hyundai i20 facelift is good for 89bhp and 219Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed gearbox. The CVT in this i20 is very good. The gearbox is nippy and shifts rapidly. Downshifts are slow but nothing to be disappointed about. Handling is good and so are the brakes. The ride is not as soft as the Jazz, but is not tiring or hard either.
All things considered the Jazz is not the car we hoped had come to the market. We hoped that this car was more than a simple feature update. We hoped that it could have some first-in-class features. The Elite i20 completely demolishes it in features, design, practicality, specifications and driving pleasure. The price is again a place where the Honda Jazz 2018 is demolished. The Jazz starts around 8.60 lakhs (on-road Mumbai) and goes up to 11 lakhs for the top variant. The Hyundai Elite i20 on the other hand starts from as low as 6.71 lakhs (on-road Mumbai) and goes up to 10.8 lakhs (on-road Mumbai). The clear choice of this comparison is the Hyundai Elite i20 2018. We hoped the Honda Jazz 2018 was a better package, but it really did not make the cut this time.