I haven’t even had the chance to sit down and finish my review for the Nissan Sentra 200 CVT, and another car has honked its horn on the driveway asking for a write-up: the Honda City 1.3S AT. Well, I actually had to take a cab to pick it up from the Honda marketing office, but that’s another story.
The second-generation Honda City 1.3S AT was actually released in 2009, and so this review might come in a bit late. But as they say, better late than never. These are actually just first impressions, as I still have to make a verdict much later, after I take this little pocket rocket out for a spin in these next few days.
Small but versatile
The first thing I thought when I first got into the driver’s seat of the Honda Jazz was that it’s definitely smaller than your garden variety compact sedan. Remember, this is straight out of my experience with the midsize Nissan Sentra 200, but even with the Toyota Vios as my daily driver, the general impression I got with the Jazz was that it’s smaller at least in some aspects of the interior. In terms of legroom and seat comfort, though, I’d give it to Honda for designing the seats and configurations with a bit more comfort in mind.
Big or not, versatility is actually where the Honda Jazz wins, given the dozen or so configurations you can setup the rear seats with, including flat, tall or very long, which can be perfect when you’re hauling all sorts of cargo, like small furniture, plants and the like.
In terms of power,I must say that matching a 1300 cc i-VTEC engine with a 5 speed automatic transmission takes a little getting used to, especially when climbing steep slopes. I’m talking about going up and down Antipolo/Taytay’s Highlands Pointe to check out the magnificent city skyline, which necessitated a lot of manual tweaks on the shifter lever and flooring the pedal, just to get the right amount of uphill acceleration.
On the city streets, the Honda Jazz has enough zip to keep you moving at a decent pace. Remember that it’s fuel efficiency you’re probably after with the Jazz, and so raw power might not exactly jibe with the concept of saving on fuel cost. The short gearing of the first gear or primera compensates for the low power output especially when going uphill, but this means that you don’t get to zip out of the starting line.
I have yet to review performance at highway speeds when we go down south over the weekend, perhaps also a climb to Tagaytay. Do tune in for an update.