Honda Jazz review - Interior, design and technology
Sharper exterior, classy interior and vibrant colours all make the Jazz more appealing to younger buyers
There’s no doubt this latest Honda Jazz is more stylish than the old one. The high roofline and curvier shape are clear to see, but the sporty grille and headlamps that run the width of the car give it a sharper look from the front. Whether or not it can attract younger buyers remains to be seen, but it’s certainly more youthful than the two previous generations.
An example is the colour palette Honda offers on the car. Where so many manufacturers these days think dull and monochrome are the premium shades, Honda has gone for bright and vibrant on the Jazz.
There are nine colours: two free-of-charge solids (Milano Red or Sunset Orange); three pearlescent finishes (Attract Yellow, Crystal Black and White Orchid); and three metallic hues (Alabaster Silver, Tinted Silver, Brilliant Sporty Blue and Skyride Blue). Stepping up to either of the pearlescent or metallic colours costs about £500, but the red, orange, yellow and blue are all eye-catching shades.
The gloss-black plastic and chrome insert on the nose contrast nicely with the £500 Attract Yellow Pearl paintwork, while the lower grille and foglights (which are optional on lower spec cars) also add to this third-generation model’s appearance. The sides boast a heavily sculpted area lower down on the doors and a subtle crease that runs from the front wings through the door handles and back into the rear light units. It also makes a feature of the rear wheelarch.
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Just like the front grille, the Jazz’s blacked-out glass on the bootlid shrinks the car’s bulk from the back. The tailgate itself is a simple, solid piece of metal with few design cues, as the styling interest comes more from the kink in the tail-light clusters and the angular bumper, which features fake vents at either side.
The interior is fresh, too. Honda has always had a tendency to incorporate futuristic design in its interiors, and the Jazz is no different. The facia is simple, with all but the S model getting a large seven-inch touchscreen that controls the main infotainment functions. Go for the EX and you’ll also get touch-sensitive climate control. However, in contrast to the systems in some rivals, the glossy screen can be hard to operate in bright sunlight.
Material quality is acceptable, even on mid-spec models, while there’s also a good range of adjustment for the driving position and plenty of room inside, and the extra headroom is noticeable.
All cars come with the brilliant Magic Seats in the rear, which allow owners to fold flat the back seats in one swift movement, revealing a totally flat floor for carrying bulky items. Up front there’s plenty of support, and all the controls are within easy reach of the driver.
Honda also offers five packages on the Jazz, which either subtly alter the styling or increase its practicality. These are the Sport Pack (a discreet lower body kit and rear boot spoiler), Design Pack (silver trim on the front grille, door mirrors and tailgate), Premium Pack (body-coloured side trims, mudguards, different sill plates and elegance carpet mats), Illumination Pack (blue ambient footwell lighting and illuminated door sills) and Cargo Pack (a boot divider and under-shelf storage box). These range in price from as high as £1,300 for the Sport Pack to £250 for the Cargo Pack.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
If you want sat-nav, you need to pay around £600 to upgrade the SE or EX models to the SE Navi or EX Navi grades, respectively. The Garmin sat-nav system integrates neatly into the Honda Connect touchscreen, where it’s easy to get on with and provides nice, clear mapping.
Base S models get a single-slot CD player with a DAB radio, Bluetooth, aux-in socket and USB slot, as well as a four-speaker stereo and steering-wheel mounted controls. SE and EX variants, which automatically get the Honda Connect touchscreen, build on this with an extra pair of speakers, plus they have two USB ports.
The solitary audio option is the Honda 3D Sound (£395), which adds a compact digital signal processing (DSP) unit to the existing in-car entertainment, to improve the sound system. No upgrades that have better speakers and amplifiers are offered.
In this review
- 1Honda Jazz reviewThe Honda Jazz has served as a versatile supermini for many years, and the latest car is the most practical and well equipped ever
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Jazz has two engines to choose from, both Honda i-VTEC petrol units that need revving hard
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThere are no diesels or hybrids, but the petrol Jazz is a frugal machine
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingSharper exterior, classy interior and vibrant colours all make the Jazz more appealing to younger buyers
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Jazz is one of the best superminis in terms of space and the ingenuity of its interior packaging
- 6Reliability and SafetyA top Euro NCAP rating and Honda’s reputation for reliability mean the Jazz is an easy car to live with