1.3L EX i-VTEC
The Honda Jazz looks like an MPV with its vast amount of interior space, but it’s actually a hatchback.
The styling is slightly sporty with an interior that feels upmarket. Its design translates into one of the biggest interiors in its class, especially for back seat passengers. That’s definitely one of the main benefits of buying a Jazz over a regular hatchback like a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa.
It also has Honda’s versatile Magic rear seats which can be adjusted in a wide variety of ways. These seats provide better space for passengers or increased room for luggage or other items, depending on your needs.
The interior has definitely moved more upmarket in the latest generation, although there are some rather hard plastics in places. That said, the hard plastics are great for keeping clean if you have young children. Aluminium trim breaks things up and all the controls are well placed making them easy to use.
There’s a nice touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a wide range of controls on the steering wheel. This includes everything from your Bluetooth phone to the trip computer, which tells you how many miles you’ve driven on a specific journey.
Passenger space is great in the Jazz, particularly for rear seat passengers who can adjust their own legroom. The rear seats can be folded in multiple ways to accommodate different luggage requirements. They can even be used to hold a bicycle behind the front seats.
Boot space is 354 litres, but if you fold down the middle and front passenger seats, you can fit an item in that’s approx 2 ½ metres such as a wardrobe, which is impressive for a car this size.
The Jazz provides a comfortable everyday drive matched to a modern interior with a high level of standard equipment. It’s always been most at home driving around the city.
The two petrol engines, a 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre, deliver reasonable pace. The 1.3 is perfectly adequate if you spend most of your time in urban areas or villages. Both provide a good town drive, but the 1.5 is only available in the Sport model which has a slightly firmer ride that won’t suit everyone.
Manual gearboxes are the best option for easy and responsive gear changes. But if you’re looking for everyday town driving, then the CVT (Honda’s continuously variable transmission automatic gearbox) version is a great choice and is a little better on fuel.
As the Jazz is a popular car, they do hold their value better than rivals such as the Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa. However, for your money, it has a higher level of equipment than some rivals. The Magic Seats can also be worth the extra cost if you have a regular need for them.
Running costs are excellent with even the 1.5 Sport returning up to 52 mpg. Insurance and road tax costs are low and Honda’s exemplary build quality means you shouldn’t get any unexpected service or repair costs.
Reliability is great with Honda continuing to be well above average in independent reliability surveys. The Jazz has no major issues to report.
Safety is very good and the Jazz has a five-star Euro NCAP rating. Even standard models have intelligent systems such as City Brake Active, which is a system that helps to slow the car to avoid an accident.
Higher specification versions have items including lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition which helps you stay in lane and warns you of changes in the speed limit or hazards ahead.
Best for economy - 1.3 CVT
Best for family - 1.3 SE
Best for fun - 1.5 Sport
It’s worth looking at a minimum of SE specification as it has a full suite of parking sensors. As the SE was so popular there are likely to be more used models available. Higher trim choices include sat nav, but if you find a car without this you can always use Bluetooth to connect to a navigation app.
Opt for the 1.3-litre engined car unless you want the firmer ride and slightly increased power of the 1.5 Sport. It’s a more exciting ride, as well as being a versatile little town car.