The 2015 Honda Fit has made its Chinese debut at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. The third generation of the popular hatchback starts at Yuan 73,800 (Rs 7.18 lakh), which is cheaper than the previous car, and will be built in the country by Guangzhou-Honda. The Honda Fit is christened as ‘Jazz’ for the Indian market and is expected to be launched here by the end of this year.
The Honda Fit was launched first in the Japanese market in September, last year, and became the country’s top-selling car in just a month after its debut. The Jazz has always been a big hatchback and now, with an increased 30mm wheelbase, the new car is bigger than the previous one. For the Chinese market, the Honda Fit will be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine which churns out 130bhp and 155Nm of torque. The engine powers the front wheels through either a five-speed manual, or a CVT gearbox.
Due to the government regulations in India, the Honda Jazz won’t get the 1.5-litre unit in India. Instead, the car will be offered with a 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel unit, also seen in the Amaze. This will be the first time Honda will offer the Jazz with a diesel engine, as the i-DTEC unit hadn’t been launched when the previous car was in production.
Introducing a diesel engine for its cars was a late, but smart move by Honda and has worked wonders for the Amaze and the new City. The unit will also be seen in the Mobilio MPV, which is also slated to be launched in this year. And while the Jazz has always been one of the best cars in the segment, its sales were marred by the high price tag and the lack of a diesel unit. With the new Jazz, Honda will have to rethink its pricing strategy to give competition to other premium hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Polo and the Hyundai i20, which is also expected to be updated soon.