Wheels Asia - - Editor’s column - TEXT AND PHO­TOS AARON HIA

Our man got his hands on a tur­bocharged Honda tourer for the week­end and it turned out to be a pretty ex­cit­ing fu­ture op­tion…

It is no sur­prise why they say that do­ing one’s pas­sion as a job is like never hav­ing to work a day in one’s adult life. It isn’t a sur­prise then, that Wheels Asia is set­ting new me­dia stan­dards for many to fol­low, as we seek to pro­vide so­lu­tions and har­monise the mo­bil­ity is­sue here in Singa­pore.

As of late, we’ve seen the rise in de­mand for cars that are able to take up the role of fer­ry­ing the fam­ily, as well as bi­cy­cles to fur­ther close the gap for in­di­vid­u­als who want to cy­cle at spe­cific lo­ca­tions, but are un­will­ing to cy­cle the full dis­tance down to their in­tended des­ti­na­tions. As such, the cars re­quired for such a task are often as­so­ci­ated with the likes of SUVS, since they are gen­er­ally roomier, spa­cious and able to ac­com­mo­date bulky items such as bi­cy­cles.

For the week­end, I had the op­por­tu­nity to take a new­comer to the mar­ket, the Honda Jade RS, a 1.5 litre, tur­bocharged tourer; a first for Honda in Singa­pore on a few fronts. Firstly, it’s a tourer that looks to break the spell of the SUV on­slaught and se­condly, it pos­sesses Honda’s tur­bocharged en­gine, something to fi­nally break into the lat­est trend of down­siz­ing en­gine ca­pac­ity while re­tain­ing per­for­mance.

For the ama­teur cy­clist like me, I cy­cle within the typ­i­cal bound­aries of Singa­pore. How­ever for the yearn­ing in­di­vid­u­als who have many more years of ex­pe­ri­ence, they might want to ex­pe­ri­ence a drive up North to lo­ca­tions such as Me­laka and Perak for the an­nual Cen­tury Ride. That aside though, the Honda Jade is one such car that breaks the tra­di­tion of re­ly­ing on bulky, large SUVS to com­plete the job of fer­ry­ing peo­ple and bike.

The Honda Jade com­bines the out­look of a sedan and a hatch­back with the space of a SUV, sans the out­ra­geous ride height. This of course, pro­vides great load­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties be­cause of the spa­cious trunk space that can ac­com­mo­date a full road bike with­out hav­ing to de­tach any­thing, with all the seats folded down. These seats of course, are easy to fold for quick load­ing, something that might come in handy dur­ing rainy days when one is parked in the open.

It is a cinch to load the bi­cy­cle onto the Honda Jade, thanks to its typ­i­cal, ve­hi­cle height and hatch­back rear ac­cess. Un­like SUVS where the boot clear­ance is usu­ally higher, it is eas­ier to lift a bi­cy­cle (not that it is all that heavy) to waist height, rather than to chest lev­els, mak­ing it less stren­u­ous on your spine and shoul­ders.

As such, I joined my usual posse of cy­cling en­thu­si­asts for a quick, 40km spin around Sele­tar. Pack­ing the bike via the trunk was a fuss-free af­fair. In fact, if the bike was an­gled cor­rectly, one cap­tain seat in the Jade could still be used to ferry an ad­di­tional pas­sen­ger, apart from the front pas­sen­ger; com­fort­ing to hear surely, should you need to ferry a fam­ily mem­ber, laden with bags of gro­cery back home from the su­per­mar­ket af­ter a typ­i­cal cy­cling rou­tine.

The Honda Jade was relatively zippy, thanks to its well-bal­anced, tur­bocharged

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