1.3 i-VTEC S 5dr CVT
£14,595 - £19,305
8.7 - 12.3 seconds
113 - 118 mph
102 - 130 bhp
106 - 133 g/km
Fuel Economy (Combined)
47.9 - 60.1 mpg
Lots of space and versatile inside; very safe; good resale prices
The handling is a bit vague; the quality of the interior is not great
The Jazz is Honda’s supermini and in some departments it offers a lot more than others in its class. The clever use of space in the Honda Jazz makes it feel a lot bigger than it really is and gives you loads more luggage space than its competitors. Unfortunately though, the handling leaves a little bit to be desired, it is just a bit too wishy-washy; and the interior feels a bit cheap.
There are two petrol engines available with the Honda Jazz, a 1.2 and a 1.4. Both feel well tuned, providing enough whiz around town as well as leaving you enough in reserve for overtaking on motorways. The 1.4 does the benchmark 0-62mph in a respectable 11.5 seconds. I would tend to avoid the automatic CVT gearbox that’s available with the 1.4 as this hinders the Honda Jazz’s performance somewhat. There is also a Hybrid version on offer and while there is a small reduction in horsepower and acceleration it does offer economic and environmental benefits, but unfortunately it is only available with the clunky automatic gearbox.
The Honda Jazz’s handling has evolved greatly over the course of its lifetime, and models made after 2008 are a big step up on their predecessors. The improvements have made the Jazz much lighter to handle around town making city centre driving and parking a pleasant experience. The car, however, is let down by its handling in faster corners, where it feels vague and unresponsive. This not only makes it very little fun to drive on country roads but also leaves the driver feeling a bit unsure about how the Jazz will handle.
The Honda Jazz’s design is a lot softer than some other cars in the Honda range, and while you can see its relationship to the Civic, especially at the front of the car, a lot of the angular lines that set the Civic apart from its rivals have gone leaving the Jazz feeling like a more neutral affair. This may appeal to those who are put off by the more distinctive features of some Hondas but it could also leave you feeling a bit uninspired.
The Honda Jazz’s interior is a bit of a mixed bag, Honda have clearly focussed on one department whilst ignoring another. The area that has suffered through this is the interior styling; the dash just doesn’t look right in this car and seems to have had very little thought given to it, though it is at least simple to use. However, Honda have made up for this by giving the Jazz owner one of the most practical cars in its class. It has plenty of boot space, 399 litres as standard, and that space has plenty of clever features that will make it even easier to use. These features include a low loading sill, headrest that slide away making folding the rear seats even easier and a multifunctional parcel shelf.
Honda have not made it easy for anyone in this department by offering the Jazz with an incredible ten different trims, and with the special editions that car manufacturers are so keen on, things are only likely to get more complicated. The S and S-T are the most basic, but both are pretty well equipped with the only noticeable absence being air conditioning, and alloy wheels. Above these come the SE, SE-T, ES, ES-T, EX, EX-T, EXL and EXL-T. The trims to looks out for are the ES which is where that air-con and alloy’s slip in, and any model with T in it gets you in built sat-nav and traffic messages. The top of the range Honda Jazz EXL-T is a very well equipped car indeed.
The Honda Jazz comes with a lot of safety features as standard, which is one of the reasons it scored top marks on its Euro NCAP crash test. These safety features include front, side and curtain airbags as well as Isofix child seat mounts and active front head restraints which minimise whiplash. You do have to upgrade to at least the ES model to get the electronic stability control (ESP). There are also some neat little extra touches including front wipers that snap off on impact and energy absorbing wings and bonnet hinges.
The Honda Jazz has a great record for customer satisfaction which is a pretty good indicator of how few problems you should have with it, which should help compensate for what is a pretty steep starting price compared with others in its class. Whichever engine you pick the fuel economy should please you, with the hybrid doing a very impressive 62.8mpg, but the standard petrol engines should still manage over 50mpg. The Jazz should also hold its value pretty well for those concerned with resale prices.
Reviewed by cars2buy
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