LONDON -- Honda hopes features such as segment-leading interior space will boost sales of its Jazz subcompact in Europe.
Honda will debut a European-specified version of the Jazz, which is sold as the Fit in the U.S. and Japan, at the Geneva auto show on Tuesday. European sales of the new Jazz start in the summer.
Honda is touting the car's 354 liters of trunk space, which rises to 884 liters with the rear seats down, as the biggest in its class.
The Jazz is also 95mm longer than the current car and has a 30mm longer wheelbase, which significantly boosts interior passenger space.
Honda has struggled to make the Jazz a key player in Europe's subcompact segment. The Jazz finished 18th in the segment last year with sales of 37,509, down 11 percent on 2013, according to JATO Dynamics.
The new, third-generation Jazz is based on the same platform as the new HR-V subcompact crossover, which will also go on sale in Europe this year.
The European Jazz will be available with a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment with an Android operating system. Safety technology will include automatic emergency braking at lower speeds.
The sole engine at launch will be a new 1.3-liter 102-hp gasoline unit, which is slightly more powerful than the current 1.4 liter. In Japan, the car is also available with a 1.5-liter gasoline hybrid drivetrain that will be offered in Europe in 2016, Honda Europe sales chief Philip Ross told Automotive News Europe.
Ross said Honda is banking on the new Jazz and HR-V, as well as the revamped CR-V compact crossover, to lift sales and push the company back into profit in the region. Honda has reported a fiscal year profit in Europe just one time since 2007.
Last year Honda sold 132,579 cars in Europe, according to JATO, down 5 percent on the year before. The Jazz is currently the company’s No. 3 seller after the CR-V and the Civic compact car.