HYBRID CARS are increasing popular as motorists seek ways of cutting their fuel costs, but most hybrids are quite large mid-sector models. There is potential demand for a hybrid in the supermini division, and the Honda Jazz is leading the charge.
The Jazz is Honda’s most popular model, selling mostly to middle-aged customers, and Honda feels that its petrol-electric hybrid Jazz will not only please existing customers, but appeal to younger buyers too.
Certainly the Jazz hybrid offers significant lower running costs – £10 a year road tax (after the first year is free) and a combined economy figure of 62.8 mpg.
However, some small diesel powered rivals (Ford Fiesta Econetic and VW Polo Bluemotion, for example) can beat those figures, and cost less to buy. But they are not hybrids, of course. The Jazz hybrid costs £15,995, around £1,500 more than a conventional petrol-engined Jazz and is the cheapest hybrid you can currently buy.
You get a 1.3-litre petrol engine with 87 hp, a top speed on 109 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 12.3 seconds. And while official combined fuel consumption is 62.8 mpg, most drivers will get a tad less that that in normal driving conditions.
This Jazz comes with CVT automatic transmission as standard and it is a smooth efficient unit which aids fuel economy yet still offers nippy acceleration pace.
To further aid fuel economy there are lots of visual aids to remind you to drive frugally, including the dials changing from blue to green as you drive more economically. There is also a start-stop feature. Honda’s reputation for build-quality and dependability is unmatched, and so it is no surprise that the Jazz maintains this high standard. It feels solid, is well-finished, and drives with agility thanks to light steering and revised suspension, which also provides a very comfortable ride.
The entry-level Jazz Hybrid includes CVT auto gearbox, air conditioning, front and rear electric windows and door mirrors, on-board computer, paddle-shift gear selector if you want to over-ride the auto system, multi-airbags, remote locking, and Hill Start Assist.
It’s roomy for four adults, has adequate boot space and the drop-down rear seats and large tailgate help make it a very practical day to day car. It’s an attractive user-friendly small car with significant ‘green’ credentials.
FOR: Honda build-quality, lower running costs, fluent driving feel.
AGAINST: Can look a little-old-fashioned from some angles, engine a little noisy at times.No related links found