The six-seater would make a good rival to the Prius v.
Smack dab in the midst of the madness that is the Tokyo Auto Salon, CES and the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, Honda has quietly released a new three-row hybrid model called the Jade in its home market.
Surprisingly, the Jade actually debuted in China in 2013, modeled closely after the Concept S shown at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. The Jade is a five-door wagon that is approximate in shape and size to the Toyota Prius v, except that on the inside it utilizes a unique 2+2+2 seating configuration. That's two rows of two buckets each, with some rather luxurious-looking armrests in the middle section, and a two-butt bench in the rearmost row.
Power comes from Honda's i-DCD hybrid-electric drivetrain, which consists of a 108hp 1.5L Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine, a 30hp electric motor and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission sandwiched between the two. It's the same powertrain that propels the Japan-market Fit Hybrid and recently launched Grace hybrid sedan. The Chinese-market version, on the other hand, uses a 1.8L petrol engine instead.
Styling is actually rather sleek, more cohesive than the Prius v and what one imagines a Civic Wagon would look like if that variant hadn't vanished after 1991. The Jade also comes with a full suite of the Honda Sensing safety package that includes technologies such as collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, suppression of road departure and false starts, and sign recognition.
The Jade goes on sale in Japan on February 13. Honda has not indicated whether the Jade will be offered in North America.