Honda Jazz Hatchback review
Honda’s clever hatchback mixes supermini proportions with MPV-style practicality.
Styling/Image Honda enjoys tremendous customer loyalty and the evolutionary looks of the latest Jazz will do nothing to upset to existing owners. However, it has lost some of the original car’s cheeky appeal and its inoffensive styling is bland compared to some of the competition. A smidgeon of the flair that makes the Civic so distinctive wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Interior/Practicality The first Jazz set new standards for practicality and versatility – and the current model follows the same mantra. Its spacious interior features rear seats that can tumble forwards or lift up depending on the size and shape of load you need to carry. There’s easily room for five adults inside while the dashboard is modern, attractive and feels solidly put together. To get more useable cabin space you’ll need a family estate or compact MPV.
Engine/Performance Just two engines are available in the Jazz and there’s no diesel option. The 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol powerplants are both suited to the practical supermini but even the larger unit can become tiresome at high cruising speeds, as you have to work the engine hard to get the best out of it. Fuel consumption of 52.3mpg does make the 1.4-litre model an economical choice.
Driving experience Both engine options provide decent performance but the Jazz pays for its versatile dimensions on the road, where agility suffers. We’ve few complaints about the tidy handling, but there is more body roll in corners than you experience in rival models, and it doesn’t have the same sharpness as its predecessor. Honda has also failed fix the biggest complaint of the old car, because the Jazz still has firm suspension. It copes will with large potholes and humps but smaller bumps and ruts unsettle the Honda.
Ownership Costs Competitive prices combine with strong residual values to make the Jazz a seriously appealing package. With its high equipment levels and good fuel economy the little Honda is a sensible choice for family buyers. The brand’s dealer network is also one of the best around, so the ownership experience shouldn’t disappoint.
Safety/Environment With a choice of two economical petrol engines and an ultra-practical body the Jazz is a green supermini choice. Its 1.2 and 1.4-litre engines produce CO2 emissions of 125 and 128g/km respectively. And fuel economy is equally impressive. When it comes to safety, ESP is fitted to 1.4-litre models as standard. It’s not available on smaller-engined variants, but all cars come with six airbags.
Our Choice: 1.4 ES manual