Honda have been producing automobiles for longer than I care to research and over the years they have provided some of the most reliable and technologically advanced cars that the world has seen, driving innovation as well as performance with their Type R range of cars.
Honda recently launched the latest Civic Type R model and I do hope that I will be able to bring you a review of that at some point as it is the pinnacle of the performance models however for now we are more than happy to bring you the latest Honda Jazz.
The Jazz would fall into competition with the likes of the Skoda Fabia and Peugeot 2008 and indeed has progressed to attract a much younger audience over the outgoing Jazz. Outside is a lot smoother, stylish and modern compared to the old model.
With its 16” multi spoke alloy wheels, full colour coding and rear privacy glass this EX Navi model is sure to get some looks on the high street and with its incredibly bold “Attract Yellow” colour option is most certainly sure to attract plenty of attention, and for all the right reasons.
On walking close to the Honda Jazz I was greeted to comfort keyless opening and on lifting the tailgate was surprised at just how generous the loading space is at the rear for a relatively small car. Offering 354L increasing to 1314L with the rear seats folded flat it was far from slender.
Inside the cabin was very roomy for a car in this category and the seats were very comfortable, with good bolster support and soft padding meaning long journeys could be absorbed with great ease. Rear seating is aided with ISOFIX child seat anchoring system points and the rear leg room was generous.
On a long journey my wife found the passenger leg room uncomfortable however due to not being able to stretch her legs right out due to the position of the bulkhead and under dash board area. Whilst in the topic of the dash board, it was well finished and everything was aimed at driver convenience.
On a whole the cabin was well built and solid throughout and benefited from a leather steering wheel and gear knob whilst the climate control settings were all touch sensitive which was different from the norm and easy to use and reach from the driver’s seat.
Honda have really upped the game when it comes to infotainment however and the highlight of this car was the 7” android based tablet for want of a word that is built into the dash just perfectly. This model was also equipped with Garmin sat nav and rear view camera which integrated through the screen faultlessly.
As per most new cars the Honda Jazz offers DAB Radio, BlueTooth with streaming, Auxillery input as well as USB. There was, in front of the gear stick however another input which took me by surprise and that was one of an HDMI input.
Sadly during my time with the Honda Jazz I never got the time to play about with this input to see what all the system was capable of, though on a quick look online just now whilst typing it appears that one can plug ones smart phone into the car via this HDMI slot and emulate the screen of said smart phone on the main screen of the car, smart or what, eh…
In the past models the Honda Jazz would most commonly have been a 1400cc engine however this new models brings about some change in that department with efficiency in mind without a loss of performance. The change is in the form of a 1300cc i-VTEC engine producing 101bhp with 91 lb/ft that will reach 60mph in 11.1 seconds.
This engine was perfect around town especially when matched with the six speed gearbox which I can only assume was close ratio as the car wasn’t long in getting through the gears even at low speed which is great for economy.
Over a two week period that I had the Honda Jazz the average consumption over several hundred miles was around the 52mpg mark which for a little petrol engine is quite phenomenal to be fair and indeed was more frugal than some modern diesels that I have reviewed by a long way. Honda offers a CVT automatic gearbox option also.
On the road the Honda Jazz was ok, it was smooth enough, handled well and was effortless to drive with no major drama’s however being what it is, a small family car that is suited best for the city, it was a forgettable experience but pleasurable all the same.
The driving is made slightly safer with front assist warning system and also a lane departure warning system which alerted via audio visual of any situations that may have put the Jazz and its occupants in danger.
I feel after a good mixed drive in the Jazz that it is still (as per the old models) well suited to the likes of a retired couple with grand children on board, however with this latest version it is genuinely, I feel, perfect for the young couple and small family home.
The reason of the latter statement is due to the sheer good looks and high level of tech on board combined with a boot perfect for buggy and shopping as well as rear cabin space offering more than adequate space for children and even adults with relative comfort.
This test model was priced at just shy of £17k OTR including the options added and with annual road tax of a mere £30 it is most certainly more than affordable for many households with or without the option of affordable finance or hire purchase.
Words & Photos: Graham Curry