Swivel seat - and all that jazz
By Dean Taylor
Ross and Bev Kay are confirmed jazz lovers, Honda Jazz that is, although they think the music is great as well.
Last year Mr Kay suffered a stroke which has restricted his mobility, but he and his wife still get about in their Jazz.
Even before the stroke he had been slowed down a bit, so Mrs Kay went looking for a vehicle that offered good access for the passenger and a high seat position as well as being economical, easy to drive and having plenty of room for her mates and the meals on wheels she regularly delivers.
She acknowledges Te Awamutu Motors and Ingham Honda were both terrific at letting the couple have a good test of the available cars. She chose the Honda Jazz and is rapt with her new car.
Now Honda has released the Swivel, which she and Mr Kay tested yesterday. This new Jazz has a swivelling passenger’s seat to make access for anyone with mobility impairment all that much easier. It is the first passenger car available in New Zealand with this ‘off the shelf’ option. The seat swivels sideways so the passenger can easily slide onto the seat. The feet go onto a footrest to keep them clear of the door while the seat swivels into the normal position.
Even after a couple of goes Mr Kay was seeing the benefits, and Mrs Kay says it made a huge difference for her. The procedure is much more dignified as well than having to be man-handled into position.
The Swivel has all the attributes of the Jazz, including rear seats which lie completely flat thanks to Honda’s development of a forward mounted fuel tank. Mrs Kay says she doesn’t often need to worry about putting the seats down as she can fit plenty into the boot.
The Swivel option adds just $900 to the price across the Jazz range. Salesman Trevor Hose says Honda is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of advanced technology mobility products.
“We are not just about cars, but all mobility solutions,” he says.
The Jazz Swivel is the first of Honda’s solutions for the mobility impaired to his the car market. Also on the drawing board is an electric seat which not only swivels, but extends out of the vehicle, then lifts the passenger back into place. This will be fitted to the larger Odyssey. Honda will have the option of omitting some high spec options to make this high technology aid more affordable.