Honda Jazz

Small city car that is big on space

 

£11,500 - £20,000 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

55 - 61 MPG

7.3
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 5 reviews
  • More space than old model
  • Improved economy
  • Smart interior design
  • No diesel engine from launch
  • Ford B-MAX has better interior access
  • Unlikely to drive as well as B-MAX

The third-generation Honda Jazz claims to offer class-leading space and even more refinement and efficiency than the outgoing model. Safety levels are up and standard equipment has increased, too. Plastic quality has also been improved to help the car take on other small MPVs such as Ford’s brilliant B-MAX, Hyundai’s five-year warranty sporting ix20, and the relaxing Nissan Note.

Prices start from £11,500 and if you buy your new Jazz using carwow you can save £890 on average.

The interior is, then, the biggest selling point of the new Jazz – it’s spacious, well built and for the most part made from high quality materials. The new infotainment system is easy to use and the optional sat-nav provides clear instructions. Room for passengers and luggage is unrivalled – the new Jazz has as much legroom as a Mercedes S-Class

Despite it’s lighter chassis and recalibrate suspension, testers are not impressed by the way the small Honda drives. It is not as fun as a Ford Fiesta and less comfortable than a VW Polo.

In the engine line-up one 1.3-litre petrol takes the place of the old 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrols. It does without a turbocharger, so is not as eager to overtake as the turbocharged rivals from Ford and VW. To keep up with traffic, the engine has to be worked hard and this make the Jazz quite noisy when driving.

Entry-level equipment is plentiful with air-con, automatic lights, DAB radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity. We recommend spending a bit more and getting the SE model which comes with the easy-to-use new seven-inch infotainment system, parking sensors and alloy wheels.

Cheapest to buy: 1.3-litre S petrol

Cheapest to run: 1.3-litre S petrol CVT

Fastest model: 1.3-litre S petrol

Most popular: 1.3-litre SE petrol

The interior of the new Jazz has improved materials and quality over the old model and thanks to the large windows and thin pillars, visibility is excellent if not the best in class. That, coupled with the slightly high seating position gives a great overview of the road ahead and is helpful when parking, if you haven’t specced the park sensors.

Honda Jazz passenger space

If cabin space is a priority for you, then the Jazz is the best in it’s class.It trumps any rival on legroom and headroom. The small supermini can carry four tall adults on longer journeys without any discomfort and the huge range of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel, means that anyone can find a comfortable driving position.

Honda Jazz bootspace

At 354 litres, Jazz’s boot has grown as well. It’s much bigger than any rivals offer – the Kia Rio has 288 litres and the Renault Clio is a bit closer with 300 litres. The Jazz comes with Magic seats in the rear that not only sit flat, but also have bases that can be folded up to carry tall plants, for example. When the rear seats are down, boot space increases to an impressive 1,314 litres, beaten only by the bigger Nissan Note with its 1,495 litres.

Honda boasts that it has fundamentally changed the suspension of the new Jazz making it better to drive. Testers reckon that there is a substantial improvement over the old car, especially in reducing body roll, but the Jazz is still far off the best-in-class Fiesta and a series of small bumps can send the body bouncing uncontrollably.

Around town the Jazz is nippy and easy to manoeuvre with light steering, but out on the motorway it becomes quite noisy.

The only engine option available for the new Jazz is a 1.3-litre petrol that produces 104hp and 91lb ft of torque. However, without the help of a turbocharger the engine needs to be worked hard to keep up with traffic and that means lots of gear changes if you choose the manual gearbox. The good thing is that it’s a six speed and is geared for cruising.

The auto gearbox, being a CVT, is not recommended unless you really need it, because it makes the car even noisier and is generally detrimental to the way it drives.

Honda promises it will return fuel economy of 56.6mpg. Annual tax costs £30 for the manual and £20 for the CVT. Honda hints at a turbocharged version coming in 2016 that will provide the power needed for the Jazz to keep up with VW’s TSI and Ford’s Ecoboost engines.

No Euro NCAP safety rating for the new car but the old Jazz impressed the safety inspectors and received the full five stars in it’s crash tests. We expect the new one to perform even better, because all but the entry-level model come with a range of safety systems – lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and a forward collision warning. Honda combines them under the Advanced Driver Assist optional package. Best of all is that emergency city braking is standard across the range.

The new Jazz comes with a lot of kit as standard, but the recommended trim is the SE because it has everything you need in a small city car – above the standard air-con and automatic lights it adds an infotainment system, parking sensors and alloy wheels. Sat-nav is an optional extra but it cots just £620 for the SE.

Although, the starting price of the Jazz is slightly higher than some rivals, you won’t loose so much on residual values as on a Fiesta, for example. There is also a good PCP deal from Honda if you are planning to take out finance – starting from £139 per month.

Conclusion

The new Honda Jazz is a very spacious city car that is not the fastest nor the cheapest in it’s class but offers a broad range of abilities. The rear Magic Seats are easy to use and the huge boot makes it more practical than some cars from the class above. It may not beat the Fiesta or Polo, but it is a more sensible and grown-up choice.

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