Honda Jazz

Years built: 2008 to date Prices: £7,500-£14,000 Our pick: 1.4 ES

A brilliant performer in our Used Car Awards and Driver Power surveys over the years, the Jazz is a top buy. Residuals are strong, as buyers love the bulletproof reliability, roomy cabin and sharp looks.
The clever seating layout makes it thoroughly practical, while the Honda’s luggage capacity is big enough to rival, if not better, many family hatchbacks. The ride is a little firm, and the interior design owes more to function than flair, but the car is hard to fault if you need dependable, sensible transport.
Owners clearly agree, as the Jazz finished 12th in the Top 100 of our Driver Power 2011 satisfaction survey. Most good second-generation models can be found within the dealer network, and many of these will still have some factory warranty left. There’s a choice of two petrol engines, with a hybrid joining the range more recently. The entry-level 1.2 is capable enough, but we’d go for the 1.4; although it puts out slightly more CO2 and isn’t quite as efficient, this version is a better performer.
Avoid S trim, offered only with the 1.2. It does without alloys, air-con, rear speakers and the two-way adjustable steering column. The CVT auto is useful in town, and boosts economy marginally. High-spec EX cars get masses of kit, but a 1.4 ES has all you’re likely to need.

Driver Power 2011

What you said: “Brilliant – the performance and slick gearchange make driving a real pleasure. Take into account the safety kit, excellent fuel economy and 100 per cent reliability, and it simply can’t be beaten.”

Value choice

2006 to date
With sharp styling and plenty of space, the Nissan Note is a credible alternative to a conventional family hatchback. Two petrol engines and a single diesel are on offer, the latter with 67.3mpg. Even so, the 1.4-litre petrol variant is the best all-rounder, in well equipped Acenta specification. 

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