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New Honda Jazz debuts front centre airbag system

Honda’s new Jazz is the first of the brand’s models in Europe to feature a new front-centre airbag as standard, bringing potentially significant reductions in injury levels for rear passengers in an accident.

The new front centre airbag technology is standard in the new Jazz

Part of a comprehensive new safety package on the fourth-generation supermini, which is due to start deliveries this summer, the airbag is fitted within the back of the driver’s seat and expands into the space between driver and passenger.

Although Euro NCAP ratings aren’t out yet for the  new model, according to Honda’s own testing, it can reduce injury to the head by 85% for near-side passenger and 98% for far-side passenger.

It’s one of 10 airbags in the new Jazz, which also offers a new rear seat i-side airbag system. This uses a double-structure format, installed in the rear seat pad, and activates to protect rear occupants from impacts against the door and C-pillar in the event of side-on collisions, without impacting the model’s magic seat functionality.

In addition, an SRS airbag system in front of the driver’s knee could help reduce injuries to  the lower limbs, suppressing subsequent effects to the head and chest.

The new airbag developments are supplemented by passive and active systems including Honda’s ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure technology and the brand’s Sensing suite of active safety and driver assist technologies. These have been revamped to include a new wider-angle, higher-definition camera instead of the previous multi-purpose camera and City-Brake Active System (CTBA) sensor set-up to bring a more reactive response to real-life conditions.

Other changes see the Collision Mitigation Braking System get improved night-time operation to also detect pedestrians when there is no street lighting; it’s also now able to brake the car when the driver cuts across incoming vehicles.

The new Jazz, on sale now and priced from £18,985, alsos offer a crossover-inspired Crosstar variant as part of the line-up and a new ‘e:HEV’ badged twin-motor petrol-electric hybrid; the sole drivetrain on offer.

“Occupant safety is of the utmost importance for our designers when we develop a new car,” said Takeki Tanaka, large project leader for Honda. “We completely redesigned the latest-generation Jazz from the ground up, which meant that we were able to incorporate new advanced structural technologies and the latest passive safety features to provide exceptional protection from all kinds of accidents. With the addition of an upgraded suite of advanced safety features and driver aids as standard, we are confident that the all-new Jazz remains one of the safest cars in its class.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.