There is no doubt that some are saddened by Honda Cars Philippines' announcement to discontinue the Jazz here. But it's not just the Philippines that won't see the fourth-generation Jazz in showrooms anymore. Most Southeast Asian markets, such as Thailand and Malaysia, won't get it either.
But fear not, Honda Cars Philippines is ready to roll out its spiritual successor, the Honda City Hatchback. In some ways, it even brings the City back to its roots since the original model from the early '80s was a hatchback. That model even had the option of a Motocompo scooter under the trunk floor. Of course, don't expect this new one to come with a free moped in the trunk.
By now, we already know what it looks like. After all, it made its global premiere late last year. But Honda didn't just chop off the trunk and call it a day. You won't mistake it for the sedan when you look at other angles, and there are a few tweaks inside as well. In Thai-spec models, the City Hatchback comes with flexible ULTR seats. That means you can flip the seat bottoms up and fold the backrests flat. That's one feature we'd love to see in the local version. After all, it carries the baton passed on by the Jazz.
The City Hatchback will be launched here by April 20, 2021. That makes the Philippines the first country to get the left-hand-drive model. There are no spec details for now, but it's likely to be close to the Thai versions apart from the engine. For the Philippines, we're expecting it to be the 1.5-liter i-VTEC mill from the City sedan. Of course, it would be a pleasant surprise if HCPI offered the 1.0-liter turbo. While we're at it, a six-speed manual would be nice too.