“Will you control your speed?” said my instructor once again, when he felt it necessary to calm down my excitement. But well, how can he expect that? It was my first time on an F1 circuit, that too at the mighty Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida. And I am not the kind of guy that gets handed the keys to a yet-to-be-launched car to be driven on it. It was the new generation Honda Jazz that I rode in July, 2015. It was a pre-launch event called “Hangout with Honda”.
Seeing the new Jazz caught me by fancy. It had gone through an exciting makeover which made its design language aggressive. The facia looked similar to the City where as the bumper was a bit sportier. The wedge-shaped D-pillar had carried itself from the older generation, while the tail cluster got more focus and compact design. Overall, the large shape had been carried over from the previous model but with all the modern touches. By interiors, it had 3.95 metres with a wheelbase of 2.95 metres making it significantly more spacious than the older model. The car had a class-leading 390-litre boot space and a slightly extended wheelbase of 2.58m.
Sitting on the drivers’ seat, I felt a strange mix of excitement and fear. It felt a bit like going to interview a very famous person – I was excited about the experience ahead, but scared of embarrassing myself under the pressure. But, mainly, I just wanted to skip forward half an hour to the bit where I can say I’ve done it (and possibly post a selfie).
As the signal turned green and the flag was waived, I turned on the car and put it in the first gear. Within a few seconds, I got my first telling off – I was doing a comfortable 80kmph. Just like that. The power of this car was phenomenal. It is important to mention the fact that the car was extremely smooth. There were no unexpected shocks which I have normally seen in cars of this segment.
My instructor – a Marketing Professional at Honda Cars India, lead me along a pre-planned route, which took a little more than 15 minutes to navigate. Midway through, he briefed me about the car specifications and his experience with Honda in all these years. Most of his words bounced over my head though because I was totally engrossed in the ride and was enjoying this vehicle. Somewhere I even cruised at 110kmph and to my surprise did not feel any jerks or disturbance. I can strongly vouch for this new Honda Jazz to be smooth, stable and secure. At the turns, I had to slow down and the brakes were perfect.
Coming back to the starting point after two laps, I could see a crowd of young men and women taking photos of the car – and waiting for their turn to ride it. The appeal of such a vehicle is becoming ever clearer and the huge smiles on everyone’s faces made it crystal clear that this car is going to be a blockbuster.
As I got down the car, I told myself “Oh man you were a bit too fast. Had it not been this car, you would not have been able to handle it” But really, as I said all along – if you give keys for a Honda Jazz at the Budhh International Circuit to someone like me, what do you expect?
After driving it and coming back to my hometown, I went to a nearby dealer where I got to know that the pre-bookings have been exceptionally good. All in all, it is a MUST buy. I am waiting for the launch to see it break all the sales records.