Honda Jazz Si

23 Jul, 2012 5:15pm Luke Madden

Honda has released the sporty Jazz Si and we get behind the wheel on UK roads

Verdict

3
Honda will only be building 1000 Jazz Si models and that’s probably a fair representation of the appeal it will have. It seems to have a slightly confused personality, with a half-hearted attempt at sportiness thrown in with the Jazz’s usual practical, sensible traits that are good enough to win this supermini fans on their own.

The Honda Jazz is good at plenty of things; it’s efficient, practical and reliable but it’s never been particularly sporty. The latest special edition Jazz, called the Si, is aiming to add some driving fun in to the package but does it work?

The Si is definitely one Honda Jazz that will stand out from the rest. The bumpers are more edgy, there’s a set of aggressive side skirts, tinted rear windows and 16-inch alloy wheels. 

It’s actually quite a convincing transformation but Honda could have done more to the cabin. Additions inside are limited to a set of black and silver sports seats and a leather steering wheel.

The 1.4-litre engine underneath the bonnet remains unchanged too. That means power stands at 98bhp and the 0-62mph time is an identical 11.8 seconds. It’s not exactly sporty performance and you need to use all of the rev range to get it moving quickly, but around town it proves to be quick enough.

The main changes underneath the skin include revised suspension settings, a new set of dampers and a larger anti-roll bar. There have been some changes to the power steering too. Together the changes add a sporty edge to the way the Jazz drives, but not much more than that. It feels a little more agile and a touch more responsive but it’s nowhere near a match for even a standard Ford Fiesta.

The changes to the suspension have affected the way the Jazz rides too, and while it’s not too much different from the standard car there is a firmness over rough roads that hasn’t been part of the Jazz’s character in the past

But then the Jazz still has its impressive practicality as a trump card. For a supermini there’s a huge amount of space in the rear and the clever boot has 300 litres of space.

At £14,550, the Si is £800 more than an ES model equipped with the same engine but for us the tweaks don’t seem worth all the extra cash. If you’re buying a Jazz then driving thrills probably aren’t top of your list of priorities anyway.

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Wish Honda would stop messing about and give the customers the choice of a larger and more powerful engine say 1.5, 120bhp like they do in other parts of the world eg Australia.

Agree Peter. Something of the spirit of the MINI Cooper would appeal to many. Imagine the shame if someone asked if the engine of the Si was more pokey than the shopping trolley versions!

Key specs

  • Price: £14,550
  • Engine: 1.4-litre 4cyl petrol
  • Power: 98bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 11.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 113mph
  • Economy/CO2: 53.3mpg/126g/km
  • Equipment: Leather steering wheel, 16-inch alloys, cruise contro, electric windows
  • On sale: Now
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