Honda Jazz

"'ROAD

  • Distinctive, modern styling
  • Unmatched record for reliability
  • Will stand out in the hatchback crowd
  • Bizarre dashboard design 

ROAD TEST by Nick Fletcher
Honda Jazz

THE HONDA JAZZ, Honda’s small hatchback, has long been a popular choice though some thought its conventional looks were too staid to attract younger buyers.

But that view has been demolished by the latest Jazz, which has distinctive modern styling which should certain widen its customer base.

Prices start at £11,695 and while not cheapest in the sector, you have to factor in Honda’s unmatched record for reliability and above-average re-sale values.

There is a choice of two VTEC petrol engines – an 89hp 1.2 litre and a 99 hp 1.4 litre – with standard 5-speed gearboxes, and with CVT auto transmission available on some models.

The short nose of the new Jazz helps it stand out in the hatchback crowd, and also helps create more interior space, a big plus-point for this model, which also offers a larger boot than its main rivals.

Our test model was a mid-range manual Si version with a 1.4 litre engine, and well-kitted with sports upholstery, front fogs, 16-inch alloys, revised bumpers and side skirts. It also has sports suspension.

Other features include cruise control, climate control, 4 powered windows, radio/CD/USB, and front side and curtain airbags. Price is £14,995.

The cabin is roomy, front and rear and the seating very comfortable. The dashboard is bizarrely designed using every line curve and angle in a geometry set, though the controls are well placed for ease of use.

Height adjustable drivers seat and adjustable steering wheels means most people can get a good driving position.

Bootspace at 337 litres is greater than class average, and the rear seats fold down quickly and easily (and with retractable headrests) to take the available loadspace to 883 litres. And unlike most rivals, the Jazz gives flat load floor.

Underway, the Jazz proves smooth and comfortable, though not that quick given its sporty looks. The 0-60 mph time is 11.8 seconds, top speed 113 mph. Fuel consumption is very good – 50.4 mpg combined and although we felt we drove it quite hard at times, we still got an impressive 46 mpg.

Ride quality is fine most of the time but the stiffened suspension on the Si model is a tad jiggly on rougher surfaces. Overall, the car came across as a neat, stylish, versatile package with a little more class than most in the sector.

This new-look better-equipped Jazz is going to attract more customers to the Honda brand, and they won’t be disappointed . Honda has finished top for customer satisfaction for almost a decade in the supermini class in the famous JD Power awards.

FOR: Attractive styling, great fuel economy, Honda dependability.

AGAINST: Over-fussy dashboard. Continue reading