Honda Jazz SE new car review
Honda Jazz SE – will it tempt targeted younger buyers?
Honda’s Jazz hatchback has been popular with older drivers attracted by a roomy cabin and the brand’s outstanding reliability record. But the latest Jazz, taller, longer and with fresh styling and extra equipment, it is aimed at bringing in younger buyers.
It is likely to succeed in that objective for while the Jazz, from £13,495, is not the cheapest in a sector dominated by the likes of the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, it arguably offers a classier look and more generous standard specification.
There is just one engine available, a 1.3 litre VTEC petrol unit with choice of power outputs, a 6-speed manual gearshift as standard and CVT automatic also available. All models get Bluetooth, DAB radio/CD player, cruise control, auto lights and wipers, air conditioning and clever quick-folding rear seats.
My mid-range SE version added 16-inch alloy wheels, seven-inch touchscreen and front and rear parking sensors, plus the Driver Assistance Safety Pack with traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning and a lane departure system. This version is from £14,995.
The 100 hp engine in the test version offers a 0-60 mph time of 11.3 seconds – a tad slow by class standards – top speed of 118 mph, and the fuel economy figure is 56.5 mpg combined.
Underway, the Jazz feels light and nimble, with comfortable supportive seats and a nicely-designed dashboard with an easy-to-understand layout. Handling is assured and composed and ride quality is very good thanks to revised suspension.
A more stylish interior, more charismatic exterior and a raft of extra kit helps give the Jazz plenty of younger-buyer appeal – and older buyers will still love it too. One big plus-point is its space. It can take 4 or even 5 adults with ease, with good leg and shoulder room.
With all seats in use, there is a generous 354 litres of load space, way more than in the rival Fiesta, and Honda’s ‘magic’ seat system means you can drop the rear seats totally flat with one single movement and get a massive 1,314 litres of loadspace – second-best in class, beaten only by the Nissan Note.
Summing up, the fresher more trendy styling, uprated specifications and brand dependability mean the new Jazz has far wider appeal. It is now a much more significant player in the hotly-contested small hatchback sector.
FOR: Sleek styling, interior space, agile driving feel.
AGAINST: Hard to fault at the price.