Honda Jazz vs. Acura NSX

by News Guy on August 28, 2012

(Guest post)

The Honda Jazz is known to us as the Honda Fit here in America, as well as Japan and China, and the Jazz to the rest of the world. Well before it was brought to America in 2006, the Jazz was a top 3 selling car in all its years in Japan except for its debut year in 2001, where it finished at #6 overall. Pretty impressive for a sub-compact, and it’s doing pretty well for itself here in the U.S..

While it’s labeled as a sub-compact, it actually has more interior cargo volume than some large SUVs! Thanks to the way Honda configured the interior, with the fuel taken under the rear seats to open up space in the floor both in front and behind the rear seats, you can actually transport some pretty tall objects, such as young trees or small bookshelves, without needing to lay them down.

As far as competition, the Jazz/Fit held the market pretty well against rivals like the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris pretty well, particularly due to its versatility, amenities and fuel-economy, but some new offerings from the Koreans such as the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent will most likely bite into the Jazz/Fit sales in markets where they compete.

Going Upscale – The New Acura NSX

The Acura NSX (or Honda NSX outside the U.S. where the Acura brand doesn’t exist) was a major leap for sports cars when it was introduced in 1990 due to its extremely light weight, but also the power coming from its VTEC V6 engine. Weight was saved by using aluminum in the engine instead of steel, and the car sold for MUCH less than similarly styled “competition” like the Ferrari. While I don’t think the NSX was intended to try to compete with cars double or triple its price, I don’t doubt it stole sales to those who aspired for higher, but couldn’t afford it…but still wanted the style and performance. They could take it out on the track and be confident it would stick to the tarmac, power through the turns and keep up with the American, Italian and German competition.

But in the summer of 2006, the last NSX was sold in Spokane Washington and the car hasn’t been produced in about 7 years.

But at the end of 2011, Honda brought out the Acura NSX Hybrid concept at the North American Auto Show to rave reviews. The one sticking point is the use of an all-wheel drive (AWD) system rather than the original rear-wheel drive (RWD) system. But Acura’s AWD system has proven to be vastly superior and capable, and it would only improve the handling of the new NSX.

The new NSX was advertised very heavily during the 2012 Super Bowl with Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, but the first model won’t come out until the 2015 model year as it stands now. Will it be surpassed by competition by then or is Honda going to ensure they stay competitive with their hybrid system, since a few sports/luxury brands are already introducing concepts (Porsche) and production (Fisker Karma) vehicles? The next 2 years will tell!

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