Road Test by Mark Slack: Honda Jazz – a clever choice that sets you apart from the usual crowd

Road Test by Mark Slack: Honda Jazz - a clever choice that sets you apart from the usual crowd

2020 Honda Jazz. Image - Honda

Honda’s diminutive Jazz has been in showrooms for 20 years and despite its compact look is actually of similar dimensions to rivals such as Ford’s Fiesta, Vauxhall’s Corsa, VW’s Polo and Citroen’s C3.

In its latest guise the first thing that strikes you once inside the Jazz is the light and airy feel and excellent all-round visibility. This is in no small part due to the almost panoramic windscreen with large quarter lights and slim windscreen pillars. In comparison to its rivals the Jazz feels very spacious.

That interior space is excellent for both height and legroom and although the boot is compromised due the hybrid batteries it’s quite adequate for the weekly shop. The rear seat also slides to assist with those slightly larger loads.

Power comes from a 1.5-litre petrol/electric hybrid unit that allows the car to pick the optimum circumstances to bring in electric power. An e-CVT automatic transmission is one of the better units although there is still the vocal interference from the engine under hard acceleration until the CVT transmission catches up. All these units operate in the same way and the trick is wherever possible to feather the throttle. Hard acceleration apart the Jazz is a smooth and refined drive with impressive economy and low emissions.

The range starts at €24,909/£20,860 with base level equipment providing all the essentials such as automatic lights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, powered heated and folding door mirrors, Bluetooth and air conditioning. My test model was the SR trim that is second up of the five trim levels on offer in the range.

Priced at €26,715/£22,375 the SR adds front and rear parking sensors, wireless CarPlay and upgraded infotainment and touchscreens. Typically, being a Honda, the build quality is faultless and the fabric seats with soft touch materials on the facia and door panels makes a plain but comfortable place to be for your travels. The combination of comfortable seats and generous interior space make the Jazz eminently capable of more than just urban commuting.

If the Jazz has a problem, then it’s price. Look at rivals from Ford, Vauxhall and especially Citroen and you can see why in straightened economic times people may drive towards lesser models. Even VW’s Polo comes in cheaper than the Jazz. Move past the price though and you know that the Jazz will keep you reliably mobile for many years and is a clever choice that sets you apart from the crowd.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Honda Jazz SR

Engine: 1.5-litre, petrol/electric self-charging hybrid

Gears: e-CVT automatic

Price: €26,715 (£22,375)

Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 9.4 seconds/Maximum Speed 174 kmh (108 mph)

Economy: 3.2l/100km (72.4 mpg) Combined driving WLTP

Emissions: 87 g/km WLTP

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

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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.