Honda Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport Navi Manual review.
For – high quality, good performance/handling, looks terrific, well equipped.
Against – Fiddly Sat-Nav, no Climate Control, gruff sounding engine, expensive.
Competition – Ford Fiesta/Focus, Mazda2/3, BMW Mini, VW Polo/Golf, Audi A1, Citroen C3, Skoda Fabia, Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20/30, Nissan Micra, Renault Clio, Alfa Romeo Mito, Peugeot 208, Toyota Auris
I’ve owned various Honda Jazz models over the years and there’s an older one on my drive now. This new version is the first that not only looks like it might go a bit, but actually does.
The quality of the finish was superb, inside and out. The metallic light blue paint job magnificent, and handling and ride top notch. I didn’t like the fiddly Sat-Nav, and the lack of Climate Control in a vehicle costing over £18,000 was a negative. Under acceleration, the engine sounds a bit gruff.
But overall, and despite the price, the Jazz retains my five out of five small car top rating. Yes it’s a bit pricey, but the quality shines through.
Inside, the gear stick looks the business and works a treat, snicking through the six-speeds efficiently and accurately. On the fast, tight bends close to my home on the A24, the steering was light, accurate and reassuring. On the highway, the Jazz bombed along at regular speeds with ease, and the engine was torqey enough to allow decent acceleration without changing down all the time. Fuel consumption is a claimed 47.9 mpg, and as someone used to porkies stretching to 40% on this subject by carmakers, I was amazed to get almost 46 mpg. You won’t read that anywhere else. There aren’t many motoring journalists who actually test fuel consumption the only foolproof way – I fill it up myself.
This was an impressive figure, but most of the miles were cruising at legal highway speeds and ambling along at 60 mph on country roads, so I really didn’t test its city performance.
The Jazz was always the leader of the pack in luggage capacity, and the new one retains all the old one’s versatility. You can flatten the floor quickly and easily. The magic rear cinema seats still have full aspidistra mode.
The extra poke comes from a new 1.5 litre engine, available in addition to the 102 hp 1.3 litre version. There are automatic CVT versions available too, which you leave to sort out the right gearing to be in, or you can use the manual override, which gives you a computer generated seven-step automatic. The CVT version gets average fuel economy of 52.3. And I believe that! But the acceleration is substantially impaired with 10.0 seconds to 60 mph compared with the manual’s 8.7 seconds. That 8.7 feels a bit overstated too.
There’s a 7 inch touchscreen; very modern. There all the latest modern aids to safety and every Jazz comes with CityBrake Active to help avoid low speed accidents.
The new Jazz range starts from £14,115 for the base S grade with the 1.3 litre engine. The new Jazz 1.5 litre Sport tops the range at £17,155. Specifications are generous across the range, with base-grade S models fitted as standard with convenience features such as air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter and dusk sensing auto lights. The mid-grade SE model, priced from £15,615, adds front and rear parking sensors, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors and 15” alloy wheels. The top-grade EX model gets smart entry and start, automatic climate control and reversing camera.
Styling is enhanced with 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lamps, while LED headlights are now standard on the EX. The Jazz Sport with the 1.5 litre engine is based on the SE grade and features a bit of bling around the bumpers, front fog lamps, side sill skirts, a tailgate spoiler and gloss-black 16” alloy wheels. The interior features a unique pinstripe pattern on the upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob.
The version I drove, the Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport Navi Manual, starts at £17,765 and the metallic paint job took it to £18,265.
What to buy?
This is a difficult choice on the surface, because the Jazz is expensive so competes against cars in what normally would be a more expensive sector. I’ve put it in the same category as VW Polo and Mazda2, when it might just as well be put up against the Golf or Mazda3. Over the years, I’ve found servicing to be expensive too, although Honda offers deals of up to 5 years to make this more affordable. But my experience of the rock solid reliability, and amazing versatility (unloading my mountain bike with wheels on from inside my Jazz, always raises eyebrows) means that it still retains my 5 star rating. In this age of the personal lease too, prices have ceased to be the be all and end all. It’s the monthly lease rate that counts.
|Honda Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport Navi Manual|
|Engine:||1.5 litre, 4-cylinder petrol|
|Power:||130 hp @ 6,600 revs|
|Torque:||155 Nm @ 4,600|
|Acceleration:||0-62 mph-100 km/h – 8.7 seconds|
|Top Speed:||118 mph-190 km/h|
|Fuel Consumption:||claimed combined 47.9 mpg-5.9 l/km
WintonsWorld test 45.9 6.2
|Emissions class:||Euro 6|
|Boot capacity:||354/1,314 litres|
|Competition:||Ford Fiesta/Focus, Mazda2/3, BMW Mini, VW Polo/Golf, Audi A1, Citroen C3, Skoda Fabia, Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20/30, Nissan Micra, Renault Clio, Alfa Romeo Mito, Peugeot 208, Toyota Auris|
|Would I buy one?||I already have|
|For:||high quality, good performance/handling, looks terrific, well equipped|
|Against:||Fiddly Sat-Nav, no Climate Control, gruff sounding engine, expensive|