Author’s Note: This article uses virtual reality technology to provide an immersive experience. Adobe Flash 9.0 or above is required to view the 360-degree VRs. Average VR size is 2.0Mb each. Yellow ‘hotspots’ are clickable.
So I got an invitation from Honda Cars Philippines a while back… to test drive the all new Jazz… for 2 days… in picturesque Ilocos Norte! My first thought was to clear my schedules, refresh my memories of Ilocos, and pray that we’ll have fair weather during those days. Alas, I guess I didn’t pray hard enough.
Having seen the 2008 Honda Jazz in the recent 2nd Philippine International Motor Show, I can say it is indeed a beauty. The new Jazz expresses dynamism and a super-forward looking form that you can readily see at a glance. The new body structure conforms to a variety of design requirements, including safety and spaciousness. This is a car that merges seemingly contradictory traits to genuinely enhance people’s lifestyles; the design is sporty yet spacious; performance is powerful yet efficient; utility is compact yet capacious, comfortable yet versatile.
Among the new exterior features of the all-new Jazz are: the push-lift fuel lid that is synchronized with the door lock; the larger side-view mirrors providing 30% more visibility (as compare to the old Jazz); a wider 80-degree angle rear doors that open for easier loading and unloading; bigger front and rear lamps that provide more distinctive styling.
As one enters the Jazz, you immediately notice the spaciousness of the interior, couple that with the wider glass area and larger front windshield makes you feel almost boundless. The cockpit is an awe-inspiring 3D design with large-diameter meters of sculpted surface and hairline accents; this exudes in a sporty and advanced feeling that contributes to enhanced visibility. One notable new feature in the dashboard is the fuel consumption meter; a first for small cars, this instantaneous and average reading of fuel consumption provides a LCD display of fuel utilization that translates to better economical driving.
So what was it like for a 2-day test drive with the Honda Jazz in Ilocos Norte?
Our first day was rather gloomy… rain clouds seem to follow us from Manila to Loaog; the only time we felt the warm sunshine was for a few minutes at 30,000 feet! We arrived in Honda Cars Ilocos before noon and after a sumptuous lunch and briefing, we all put on our Jazz t-shirts and did the 1st challenge: the utility contest. This challenge aims to show the spaciousness of the Jazz and by configuring the seats, you can stuffed big and long items together almost effortlessly. After which, it was finally time to do our test drives. The drive towards the town of Burgos is both idyllic and relaxing, along the way, we performed several more trivia challenges from counting palayoks (urn), haggling prices of some local commodities, to interviewing the caretaker of Cape Bojeador lighthouse; and lastly, en route to our resort, a treasure hunt in Paoay Church. We reached our place of accommodations after sunset, dinner was coupled with a picture sharing session, and a light social capped the night.
Waking up in the Bali-inspired Playa Tropical Resort the next day, all well rested and up for another days’ activities; with weather a lot better, I took the wheel, this time of the 1.5 Jazz, on a leisurely cruise. Our group started the drive from Currimao to Saud Beach in Pagudpud; stopping at the town of Bangui to appreciate the giant wind turbines and more photo-ops. Compare to the 1.3 model we drove yesterday, the 1.5 Jazz feels much more ‘solid’, acceleration is more responsive, and a host of other features and technologies such as the paddle shift makes driving more enjoyable.
We started the Eco Challenge after lunch. Four teams, with two teams driving the same engine displacement models pitted against each other in a ‘race’ of speed and fuel efficiency. With Ulysses Ang of motioncars.com at the helm and this writer as navigator, it took us about 1.5 hours to cover a distance of 66Km and consumed 2.9 liters of fuel, a 22.67 kilometers/liter average on uncongested rural roads. The other team did much better with a 30.39 kilometers/liter finish!
Of the 4 teams in our batch, each team won a challenge or more: team 4 of Jouel Lacampuenga & Kankan Ramos won the utility challenge and the eco challenge in the 1.3 category; team 2 of Marvin Tan & Albert Goquingco won one category of the photo contest; team 1 of Roy Medina & Iñigo Roces won the utility challenge, the treasure hunt, another category of the photo contest, and the eco challenge for the 1.5 category, they also emerged as the overall winner; our team ate the most slices of pizza, oh wait… that wasn’t a challenge!???
All VRs taken on October 15, 2008; with the exception of Bangui Wind Turbines, Poaoy Church and Cape Bojeador Lighthouse taken on December 2006. The author can be reached at: