Reliable quality – it’s a Honda

Honda Jazz Crosstar.

Honda Jazz Crosstar.

It’s rare that I drive a car and subsequently struggle to form any kind of strong opinion for the write-up. Honda’s Jazz Crosstar has succeeded though. Essentially the Crosstar is an SUV style package added to a standard Jazz.

Priced at €26,288 (£23,385) it comes with increased ride height, black sill and wheel arch cladding, 16” alloys, a different front grille and water resistant upholstery. Based on the standard EX the Crosstar is essentially all about dressing.

Power comes via a 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid engine with twin electric motors and a CVT transmission to drive the front wheels. It’s a smooth and refined affair until you press on with any serious acceleration, when it becomes somewhat frenetic while it gathers momentum. A quite common CVT trait found in other similarly geared cars apart from Hondas.

The Crosstar rides well, successfully ironing out the worst excesses of the multi-patched roads common in my part of the world. From a pure driving point of view though it’s a rather anodyne affair and will most likely be bought by those who need transport rather than something to set the driving senses aflutter. That’s no bad thing either because being a Honda it’ll be uber reliable, there’s plenty of space for such a small car and it’s a comfortable place to be for your daily commute.

There is, again unsurprisingly being Honda, a quality feel with a nice interior mix of fabric and other trim materials. Lots of space for your in-car detritus and my test model had a rather cool interior look compared to most superminis of the same price and ilk. Externally my test model came in a shade of paint called Surf Blue that many people commented upon in favourable terms. I wasn’t quite so taken not least because of the extra €1,067 (£950) cost.

The standard equipment in the Crosstar is very good with such goodies as keyless entry and start, parking sensors, satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, powered mirrors, auto lights and wipers and rear parking camera. The infotainment system is very comprehensive and the sound quality is better than in some premium cars I have sampled.

The Jazz Crosstar certainly has appeal if you want a commuter car with the look of something more, but from a purely practical and common sense approach the standard EX model seems a better bet and €1,444 (£1,285) cheaper too.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Honda Jazz Crosstar

Engine: 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid

Gears: e-CVT automatic

Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 9.9 seconds/Maximum Speed 172 kmh (107 mph)

Economy: 4.8l/100km (58.9 mpg) Combined WLTP

Emissions: 110 g/km Combined WLTP

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.