The launch of new Honda Jazz brings some spice to the premium hatchback segment in India as since 2014 it was solely dominated by Hyundai Elite i20. Since last decade or so the premium hatchback segment remains one of the most favorite segments for the buyers and no longer consider as an alien concept. Why we are saying this? Because 7-8 years ago the segment struggled to attract buyers and the failure of first GEN Jazz is a biggest example of it.
But the things have changed now and i20 can be credited for encouraging this change as since its launch in India it has been among the bestselling cars. In 2014 the premium segment saw number of launches first Volkswagen Polo, new Hyundai Elite i20 and Maruti Suzuki Swift but at the end of the year new i20 emerged as people’s car. Now, Honda Jazz is making its comeback to India with a diesel engine, better price and new design. The ex segment benchmark is now trying to regain the title again from the current benchmark ruler Hyundai Elite i20. So here is the showdown between the two you all are waiting for
Among the petrol variants, the new Jazz and Elite i20 have similarly entry level prices at Rs. 5.30 lakhs while the top variants are way affordable than that of Jazz. The same story is repeated in diesel trims too, Elite i20 starts at Rs. 6.42 lakh as compared to Jazz Rs. 6.49 lakh. Top variants of elite i20 are again more affordable among the two. Soon, the story could turn other way around as Hyundai will increase the prices of all its cars.
Engine and fuel efficiency:
The 3RD GEN Honda Jazz and Hyundai Elite i20 are available in petrol and diesel guises. New Jazz retains the 1.2L i-Vtec petrol from previous model that produces 88bhp [email protected] and 110Nm of [email protected] which is slightly better than i20’s 83bhp power but falls behind in torque department as it delivers [email protected]
On the contrary, the 1.5 I-Dtec diesel engine of new Jazz which is the same unit we find on Amaze and City outshines Elite i20. The 1.5l i-Dtec develops 98.5bhp as compared to Elite i20 1.4L CRDi 89bhp power while Jazz offers 200Nm of torque and elite i20 makes 220Nm.
Hyundai Elite i20 is available with a 5-speed manual gearbox in petrol and a 6-speed manual gearbox does duty in the diesel variants. Like its competitor, the Jazz diesel variants are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission while the petrol Jazz can be had with a 5-speed manual and CVT gearbox with Paddle shifters (first-in segment).
Out of both the models, Jazz beats i20 with all hands down in petrol as well diesel. New Jazz returns 18.7 KMPL for the manual, 19km/l for AVT and whopping 27.3Km/l for the diesel variants. In comparison, Elite i20 has an 18.6km/l for the petrol and 22.7km/l for diesel.
Both cars are equipped with a 1.2l unit but delivers different results, the Elite i20 is best suited for easy driving style on open roads. The initial and mid range are the strongest point for elite i20 and the 5-speed is smooth and convenient. Where Elite i20 is strongest Jazz gets weak which means Jazz’s initial revv response isn’t lively like i20 but it gets better with mid range and excels in the top end range especially near 7000rpm. The CVT gearbox is the biggest USP for new Jazz so Hyundai needs pull up the socks and needs to bring an automatic ASAP.
The Jazz is for the time gets a diesel engine, the figures of the engine do look good on paper as compared to i20 but in real world it’s exactly opposite. On the other hand, diesel Jazz offers lag free performance and handy 1500-2500rpm. The mid range is good but at highways it offers very little to excite and gets irritably louder during higher rpms. Whereas, Elite i20 offers better shifts, it is faster, quieter and punchier than Jazz. Hyundai clearly outdone Jazz in the diesel segment.
Space and Dimensions:
Both the cars in the comparison fulfill the government’s sub 4m category and among the two Elite i20 is the longest with 3985mm length and 2530mm of wheelbase against Jazz 3955mm and 2530mm. Though Jazz has shorter but it is more spacious than i20 thanks to the smart packaging and seating options which doesn’t means i20 is bad. The knee room in elite i20 is acceptable and shoulder space for three is too good while the headroom space is limited due to its sloping profile at rear.
Despite this, Jazz still looks spacious and comfortable of the two. Ingress and egress is way comfortable in Jazz as compared to i20 but where i20 scores more is the under thigh support. The all new Honda Jazz takes the space and practicality to the maximum by relying on “Man Maximum, Machine minimum” philosophy.
While Hyundai Elite i20 gets a typical European styling with longer and wider bonnet, the Honda Jazz’s curvy and MPV like design makes its one of the most smartest looking car. The facelift did helped Jazz to freshen things a bit with angular headlamps, black matte finish front grille, crisp lines on the sides and 3D effect CR-V inspired trail lights which looks slightly quirky and bulky. The design of new Jazz won’t offend anyone but it neither has the wow factor in it to blow you away.
On the other Hand, Hyundai elite i20 too faced similar reviews initially but with the time the car has grown over the buyers and won many awards since its launch. The design and overall packaging has major role to play in achieving these milestones. The Hyundai Elite i20 catches the eye with its smart proportions, mature and conventional styling with some little proportions taken from the previous GEN model. The car looks sporty with sweptback headlamps, honeycomb grille; buttery smooth sides make i20 more appealing. The blackened C-pillars bring the expression sloping roof and sleek Bloomberg tail lamps make one of the best looking cars in the country. Overall, there is no denying that Elite i20 still looks better and carries a design that’s going to be outdated too soon.
Interiors and Safety:
On the inside, the new Honda Jazz gets the dashboard which we have seen in City sedan that looks futuristic, contemporary and fresh. In terms of equipments, i20 is the segment benchmark but new Jazz looks the only car to give it a really tough fight. The new Jazz comes with a touchscreen unit with AVN and a separate screen for climate control which is a big plus over elite i20, reverse camera, distance to empty, paddle shifters and magic seats (first in segment), leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls etc. One would feel that the cabin of new Jazz is a bit over styled which you will either hate or love.
Hyundai Elite i20 gets a much simpler and cohesive dashboard with neat layout finished in dual tone color combo makes it the comfortable place to be in. The best thing about i20’s cabin is the Quality and fit and finish which is way better and up market than new Jazz but not by huge margin.
Talking features on i20 are the automatic headlamps, 2DIN audio system with 1GB storage, height adjustable driver’s seat, rear view camera with park assist, glove box with cooling function, lock/unlock button, reverse camera with park assist, automatic climate control, adjustable OVRMs and special mention to the rear ac vents which is a big plus over Jazz. Hyundai Elite i20 lacks a touchscreen unit but the company will soon add it the i20. Overall, both cars are rich on features while fit and finish of i20 outscores new Jazz by a whisker.
The new Jazz scored 5-stars in EURO NCAP Crash tests while Hyundai Elite i20 scored only four. The Jazz is available with ABS and EBD as standard across all variants while the top spec variant is offered with reverse camera with guidelines, pedestrian mitigation technology, impact mitigating headrests etc. Both cars got dual airbags, engine immobilizer, front fog lamps, central locking to name a few.
Pros and Cons:
All New Honda Jazz
- Better petrol engine which is effortless to drive
- First in segment CVT gearbox with Paddle shifters
- Best in class space with big 354 liters of cargo capacity
- Promising 27.30 KMPL diesel mileage is a deal breaker
- Touchscreen infotainment system with AVN navigation make the car even more desirable
- Noisy diesel engine nowhere close to Elite i20
- Missing some equipments like rear ac vents and keyless go entry
- Quirky rear design
- Magic seats are available only on tip variant while earlier it was available on all trims
Hyundai Elite i20
- Eye catchy sharp design which looks futuristic
- The powerful diesel engine offers excellent drivability over new Jazz
- Fully loaded with features and equipments
- Stronger foothold in the market as compared Jazz
- Limited headroom availability at rear for tall passengers
- Missing equipments like touchscreen infotainment system, side airbags, rear disc brakes etc
- Not a driver’s enthusiastic car, Polo is more fun to drive