Honda’s supermini, the Jazz, has been revised, bumper to bumper writes Hannah Gordon
What is it? First launched in 2001 the Honda Jazz has been a familiar sight on our roads, the new updated 3rd generation promises more interior space and refinement. Available now with just one engine choice can this reliable little car carry on from where it left off?
Who is it aimed at? We all know the stereotypical Honda Jazz driver is probably women over a certain age, but Honda are trying to change this by appealing to a larger audience. The styling and simplicity paired with an impressive technology package and a vibrant colour palette to chose from means this car should attract a younger crowd.
And the Styling? The Jazz shares some of its styling with the Honda HRV including the headlights. It still retains its upright posture almost MPV like in styling and this helps to make access in and out easier. The new styling gives the Jazz a sharper and more inviting look and everything above the S range gets alloy wheels as standard.
Under the bonnet? Honda have kept things simple with just one engine choice available, a 1.3 litre petrol engine, naturally aspirated and producing just 102bhp, but this car isn’t designed to beat anyone at the traffic lights. Instead the engine is refined and pulls well through the gears, there is a six-speed manual and the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic gearbox. The CVT gearbox is rather annoying though and I wouldn’t recommend choosing it over the manual option unless you really have to.
What about inside? The interior is extremely spacious and the MPV exterior styling helps to give a decent amount of headroom. Interior quality is good and the materials used feel hardwearing, all trims above the S get a 7” touchscreen infotainment system which is easy to use and the Navi options get a Garmin Satellite Navigation system which works well. The Magic Seat system offers versatility and extra space with the rear seats folding completely flat and going from a 354 litre boot space to a huge 1314 litres. This space is better than the Ford Fiesta and is only marginally beaten by the Nissan Note.
On the road? The Jazz is a nicely set up car that excels well with any type of driving conditions, the steering is direct and not too heavy whilst the engine doesn’t pull like a train it does give you a sense of knowing whats going to happen without a kick from a turbo. The suspension soaks up holes in the road and the cabin noise is fairly minimal. Although this car does seem to have a higher centre of gravity than its rivals body roll is unnoticeable and the Jazz is a pleasant car to drive, especially if you choose the manual option.
What about Safety? Honda’s are extremely well known for their safety and reliability and the new Jazz should be much the same, plenty of standard safety equipment is available in the higher spec options including Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning. The Jazz has also received a full 5 star Euro NCAP rating.
What are my Options?The S spec is the most basic but anything above this such as the SE and EX comes full of options as standard. Pearlescent paint is an extra £500 and the CVT gearbox will add £1100 to the price. The SE Navi and EX Navi add the Garmin satellite navigation and £610, whilst if you fancy something a bit different then the Sports pack with bodykit and spoiler will set you back £1295.
Will it break the bank? Although a diesel or hybrid option isn’t offered the little 1.3 litre petrol does return decent figures. The best performing package is the Honda Jazz S with the CVT gearbox which gives you a combined MPG of 61.4 and CO2 emissions of just 106 g/km. All the range whether you go top spec, manual or automatic claim to return above 55mpg and the highest tax band is just £30 a year. The Honda Jazz also comes with a 3 year or 90,000 miles warranty.
So the Verdict? The Honda Jazz has always been a very likeable car, this 3rd generation shows a more stylish approach and the kit levels available are generous. Honda come with a superb reputation and it remains to be seen if the Jazz can shake off its ‘OAP’ tag. The new Jazz is extremely spacious, well put together and refined to drive, whilst the CVT gearbox is forgettable the six-speed manual is the first choice. This is a car with an ‘all in good time’ attitude, but whilst the engine isn’t particularly punchy it does offer cheap tax and good MPG figures. Prices are a bit on the steep side starting at £13,495 for a basic manual, and rocketing up to £17,705 for the EX Navi Automatic.
Why you will buy one? Spacious, Refined, Well build
Why you won’t? Expensive, Automatic gearbox
Honda Jazz 1.3 i-VTEC
Max speed: 118 mph
0-62 mph: 11.5 seconds
Emissions: 106-120 g/km
Model price range: from £13,495 (S manual)
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 57.6 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 354 litres
Length: 3995 mm
Width: 1694 mm
Height: 1550 mm
10th April, 2016