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Honda trumpets Jazz safety

Fighting Fit: Honda's new sub-compact car, known as the Fit in Japan and Jazz in Europe, bears more than a passing resemblance to the five-door Civic.

Honda reveals its all-new sub-compact car

21 Jun 2001

HONDA has pulled the covers off its new sub-compact car - known as the Fit in Japan and Jazz in Europe.

It goes on sale in its home market tomorrow but a question mark hangs over the car's Australian prospects.

"There are a range of issues that need to be considered. It won't be here until well into next year even if gets the green light," Honda Australia customer services director Lindsay Smalley said.

"Pricing is also very difficult to determine with the (fluctuating) exchange rates. It would have to be a sub-Civic car." Given that Civic pricing starts at $23,950 for the GLi manual, the Jazz/Fit may cost between $18,000 and $19,000 - more or less in line with the five-door Toyota Echo.

The newcomer could help plug the void left by the demise of the three-door Civic, which was the volume seller of the superseded line-up.

Honda says its new sub-compact car sets new standards for its segment in terms of crashworthiness, fuel efficiency, performance and cabin space.

It is the first of Honda's Small Max vehicles to combine a new global small car platform and new generation i-VTEC engines.

Its 1.3-litre, 63kW i-DSI engine employs "intensive combustion technology" to achieve an overall fuel consumption figure of 4.35 litres/100km, a figure that meets 2010 Japanese fuel economy standards.

Honda claims the new small car meets the highest safety standards and can withstand a full-frontal barrier collision at 55km/h, a side-offset collision at 64km/h, side impacts at 55km/h and rear collisions at 50km/h.

Inside, the new small car is fitted with padding to protect the heads of occupants and seats that cushion impacts to the neck. Dual airbags are standard.

Left and right rear seats with ISO FIX-compliant child seat installation bars are also standard, while the exterior incorporates pedestrian safety measures to minimise head and lower-body injuries.

Like the current Civic, Honda's new small car is designed with a flat floor to maximise the cabin's flexibility. Honda adopted a centrally located fuel tank and compact H-shaped torsion beam suspension to create a lower floor, which extends cabin height to 1280mm.

The 60/40 split rear seats can be folded flat - complete with headrests - creating a low-floored 1720mm long cargo area. The front passenger seat can be fully reclined to increase this space to 2400mm in length.

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