Chris Nixon rounds up the latest motoring news.
Jazz up your July
An all-new Honda Jazz is due in local showrooms by the end of this month.
Australians have bought almost 100,000 Jazz hatchbacks since it was first introduced in 2002, attracted by its funky styling, easy driveability and versatile interior allowing it to carry anything from passengers to furniture to bicycles.
There’s a three-model range with the starting price unchanged at $14,990 plus on-road costs, but value for money promises to be better thanks to a number of new features.
There’s one engine, the familiar 1.5 litre i-VTEC delivering 88 kiloWatts of power and 145 Newtonmetres of torque. Attached to this is an efficient new CVT automatic transmission that reduces fuel consumption to an average 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres. Manual transmission is available only in the base VTi and is slightly less economical.
Standard safety equipment has taken a step up and includes hill-start assistance, electronic stability control, six airbags and a three-mode reversing camera (normal, wide, top down).
The Jazz’s back seat has a novel folding system with 18 permutations that make it extremely versatile for such a small car.
For the driver and passengers, there’s now a seven-inch colour touch screen that integrates all infotainment needs – even down to Apple’s Siri voice-command concierge.
The top-of-the-line VTi-L comes with leather upholstered and heated front seats, plus rear parking sensors.
Book a date with Mazda MX-5
The world’s most popular sports car, the Mazda MX-5, will be revealed around the world in its all-new fourth generation on 4 September. Few makers could get away with making this a global event, but over 25 years the little roadster has won around a million sales. There’s also a 25th anniversary website.
Citroen leads warranty race
Not so many years ago, a standard new-car warranty was one year. After it became three years, “upstart” Hyundai broke ranks to offer five years, since copied by many. Now Citroen has announced Australia’s best warranty – six years, unlimited kilometres, six years roadside assistance and six years capped-price servicing. Kia Australia is reported to be considering an extraordinary seven-year warranty.
Isuzu drives Morcombe Foundation
Child safety education crusaders Bruce and Denise Morcombe are delivering their award-winning programmes across Australia in a new Isuzu MU-X off-road wagon. Isuzu has been supporting the Morcombes for several years and recently upgraded their D-Max ute to its SUV cousin, the MU-X. The Daniel Morcombe Foundation has provided child safety education and awareness to millions of Australians over the past nine years.