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Honda Jazz Anniversary Drive: Jazzing in Jaipur...

01 August 2016, 12:43 PM

It’s a standard practice among carmakers to send out a press release of sorts when it comes to celebrating first year anniversaries of their products. Honda India though decided to scale things up a bit and fly us motoring journalists to Jaipur when the time came to celebrate the first anniversary of the Jazz. Right, then!

Following touchdown, we headed straight to our assembly/lunch point wherein we spent time with the blokes from Honda and fellow journalists who were to join us for the short drive that lay ahead. It was at this point when we got to sample the fiery yet legendary Rajasthani meat curry called Laal Maas. “It’s so good!” was my initial response with a smile though I guess I spoke too soon. The fierce red chillies did their trick and I ended up using every tissue on the table to wipe the stream of sweat down my face. I survived though.

Having had the deceptively volcanic curry, it was time to get briefed and behind the wheel of our cars, all being the Jazz, of course.

We found ourselves in a petrol-manual Jazz which made mincemeat of the unruly traffic within the city, thanks to its light controls and brilliant all-round visibility. Thankfully, we were soon out of Jaipur and onto NH52 which heads North-West from the city and to our destination where our overnight halt was in order. Whereas the Jazz has enough gusto to get past slow-moving traffic in the city, overtaking on a fast four lane highway is quite restricted, especially when you have four generously sized blokes and their entire luggage on-board. With a full load, we ought to squeeze every ounce of horsepower out of that little engine to pass oversized trucks that are such common sight.

The Jazz, as we know, is all about space and clever utilisation of it. Keeping that in mind, Honda arranged for a couple of challenges against the clock, just before we neared our overnight spot. The first challenge was to make full use of the ‘magic seats’ feature by accommodating potted plants and a bicycle too! Our second challenge, meanwhile, had us negotiating a slalom course with a twist. So the idea behind this rather tight slalom was to put the Jazz’s impressive manoeuvrability to good use slowly and not charge through the cones at breakneck speeds.

The second day dawned for us at Samode palace, a 400-year old example of jaw-dropping Rajput architecture. Built in the early 16th century, the palace has fortress-like setting and houses beautifully constructed corridors and rooms. That said, we had the best time ogling at the palace owner’s collection of vintage cars including ever-gold classics like the Morgan 4/4 and the Mercedes-Benz 180.

After a lazy breakfast and lots of photo-ops with the vintage beauties, we were out and about for a 5-part challenge called “Jazzing in Jaipur”. The challenge dictated us to first scavenge on the outskirts of Jaipur city and then around some popular destinations within the city, with nothing but clue cards giving hints about the forthcoming unknown destination. Now although we started in high spirits and reached the first destination real quick but from thereon it all went awry as we missed some checkpoints, got stuck in heavy traffic and took some really long detours. Ultimately, we finished second to last but having had an overload of local delicacies on the way, did not regret one bit.

By mid-afternoon, we were back to the assembly point and eventually settled in for our homebound flight. All along this short road trip, the Honda Jazz made for a brilliant companion, thanks to its massively comfortable interiors and a refined petrol motor. That said, I would have liked the ride to be less bouncy and the air conditioning to be more effective (under the sweltering heat of Rajasthan, at least). Truth be told, I’m only nit-picking here because the fact remains that the Jazz is a premium city car that does a good job of fitting into the urban landscape and as we found out, chewing up those highway miles under full load as well.  

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