The Honda Jazz’s a roomy small family car that’s easy to drive, but a little dull-looking
The Honda Jazz is a small family car with loads of space for passengers and luggage.
Its styling won’t exactly set the world alight but inside you’ll find a few slick silver and glossy black trims that do their best to liven up the Jazz’s fairly dull cabin. It doesn’t look as smart as the SEAT Ibiza’s understated interior but it’s far more sensibly laid-out than the confusing cabin you get in a Nissan Note.
Fancy livening up the Jazz a little? Pick a Dynamic model – introduced as part of the Jazz’s mid-life refresh in 2017. It comes with red pin-striping on its sportier bumpers and some leather-trimmed interior trim.
You also get a smart-looking seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system in all but entry-level S models. Unfortunately, it’s slightly confusing to use and satellite navigation is a £610 option. There’s no option to fit Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink smartphone mirroring, either, so if you want satellite navigation you’re stuck with Honda’s fiddly system.
Thankfully, the interior design is a lot more clever. Regardless of which model you pick, there’s enough space in the back for two adults to get comfy and more than enough space for three kids to stretch out. The rear seat bases can even flip up and lock in place so you can carry tall items – such as a flatscreen TV – behind the front seats. There’s plenty of head and legroom in the front too, but only EX models come with front-seat height adjustment as standard.
It isn’t just passengers the Jazz can carry with ease – its boot is extremely roomy for a small car and the rear seats fold in a two-way (60:40) split as standard so you can carry rear-seat passengers and long luggage simultaneously. With all the back seats folded down the boot’s big enough to carry a bike with its wheels attached.
The Honda Jazz has a bit of an unfair image – it’s really easy to drive and its clever upwards-folding, ‘magic’ rear seats help you carry the tallest of garden-centre purchases
If you regularly fill your car’s boot to the brim, you’ll want to pick the more powerful 1.5-litre petrol engine. It returns similar fuel economy to the cheaper 1.3-litre model but is noticeably nippier and has no trouble keeping up with fast-moving motorway traffic. Diesel-powered alternatives such as a SEAT Ibiza will be cheaper to run if you do lots of miles, however.
Stick to pottering around town and the Jazz is reasonably quiet but does bounce a little over large potholes. The snickety manual gearbox is nice to use, though, which is as good a reason as any to avoid the optional CVT automatic gearbox. It’s noisy, dim-witted and, at £1,000 – expensive.
Euro NCAP awarded the Jazz a five-star safety rating in 2015. The tests have been made stricter since, but the Jazz is still an impressively safe family car that’s well worth considering if practicality and durability are what you’re looking for in a small car.