WHEN it comes to driver and passenger safety, the latest Honda Jazz will have bags to boast about when it arrives at UK dealers in the summer.
For the all-new Jazz is the first of the brand's models in Europe and the first model in its class to feature new front-centre airbag technology as standard.
It means that the latest Jazz will be ahead of the game in terms of occupant protection with European safety testing organisation Euro NCAP set to introduce new test requirements to cover the severe effects of side-on collisions this year.
The new front-centre airbag is fitted within the back of the driver's seat and expands into the space between driver and passenger. It's one of ten airbags in the new Jazz and is designed to help avoid direct contact and reduce impact between a driver and a passenger in the event of a side-on collision.
The new front centre airbag works together with the seat belt pre-tensioners and a higher centre armrest to reduce sideways movement in a side-on crash.
According to Honda's own testing the system can reduce the chances of head injury by 85 per cent for the front seat near-side passenger and 98 per cent for the driver.
The new Jazz also comes with a new rear seat side airbag system which is installed in the back seat pad and activates to protect rear passengers from impacts against the door and C-pillar in the event of side-on collisions.
"Occupant safety is of the utmost importance for our designers when we develop a new car," says Takeki Tanaka, Honda's large project leader. "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."
The fourth-generation Jazz - which will only be available with a hybrid power train - will also come with a more comprehensive suite of safety aids and driver assistance technologies including a wider angle, higher definition camera which recognises a more comprehensive range of road surface and traffic characteristics.