Review

Honda Jazz hatchback

Price  £11,695 - £20,245

Honda Jazz hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Very practical
  • Superb build quality
  • Great reliability record
Cons
  • No diesel engine
  • Uncompetitive economy figures
  • Not much fun to drive

At a glance

The greenest
1.3 IMA HE 5dr £17,150
The cheapest
1.2 i-VTEC S 5dr £11,695
The fastest
1.4 i-VTEC ES 5dr £14,300
Top of the range
1.3 IMA HX-T 5dr £20,245

"Even though the ageing Honda Jazz supermini is soon to be replaced, it’s still one of the most spacious and practical small cars on the market."

The Honda Jazz is one of the most practical cars in the supermini class. It's been on sale since 2008, but it's still a strong rival to newer cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Nissan Note. The highly flexible interior even makes the Jazz a decent alternative to supermini-MPVs such as the Ford B-MAX and Vauxhall Meriva.

But the Jazz has fallen behind some key competitors in terms of fuel economy: Honda doesn’t offer a diesel, and the 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines are only available with five-speed manual or CVT automatic gearboxes, neither of which are ideally suited to minimising fuel consumption.

Buyers chasing low bills have the option of the hi-tech Honda Jazz Hybrid, although it's not as efficient as the rival Toyota Yaris Hybrid. It combines a 1.3-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to claim 62.8mpg fuel economy, but the Toyota beats that with 80.7mpg.

The reality is that drivers are unlikely to get close to those figures in the real world, so you’ll have to cover a lot of miles to recoup the extra cost of buying a Jazz Hybrid in the first place.

In light of that, we’d recommend the 1.4-litre petrol engine. What this car lacks in performance, it makes up for in space, and that's what Jazz buyers demand.

The Jazz has only ever been available as a five-door, so you only have to choose the engine size and specification that suits your needs. The smaller 1.2-litre engine is available in S and SE trim, but it can feel a bit underpowered, so you’re better off with a more generously equipped ES Plus, Si and EX models, which are all powered by the 1.4-litre engine. Honda offers a Technology Pack – comprising sat nav and a Bluetooth phone connection – for around £1,000 extra.

Our top pick is the ES Plus trim, which provides most of the useful features you’ll want, such as a USB port, folding door mirrors and a false floor in the boot that creates two-level storage. What you don’t get is Bluetooth or sat nav – they’re expensive options, so we’d recommend buying an aftermarket system.

Whichever model you go for, you get a decent amount of safety equipment. Six airbags are standard, and stability control is included on every Jazz bar the entry-level S. This helped the car achieve a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.

Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best small car by watching our video below.

 

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.7 / 5

The Honda Jazz Hybrid is most efficient model, but it’s expensive, and there’s no diesel option to help reduce range emissions and boost economy

Engines, drive & performance

2.6 / 5

The Honda Jazz is safe and secure, but the engines need to be revved to make progress, and it’s not the most comfortable supermini

Interior & comfort

3.2 / 5

A logical layout makes up for a lack of style, but the Honda Jazz doesn’t have some of the latest in-car technology

Practicality & boot space

3.8 / 5

Boxy shape means the Honda Jazz is surprisingly roomy for its size, and there are some clever storage solutions throughout

Reliability & safety

4.4 / 5

The Honda Jazz has proved to be a reliable supermini, with owners praising their cars for fuss-free running

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 3 reviews
3.0 / 5
"If you put space and versatility ahead of styling and driving pleasure, the Honda Jazz is in a different league to its supermini rivals. From the outside, its neat lines and boxy profile owe more to a small MPV than a compact hatchback, but the rewards are obvious on the inside."
4.5 / 5
"There are two petrol engines on offer (but no diesel) which are peppy around town plus offer decent performance on the motorway - plus the Jazz is comfortable and easy to drive. But the Honda's biggest strength is it's interior which is hugely practical and impressively spacious, making it one of the most family-friendly small cars around."
3.0 / 5
"The Jazz's engines are smooth, but if you’re after the quiet life, the car is best avoided. Far too much wind noise and road noise make their way into the cabin, and this gets worse the faster you go. CVT versions (including the hybrid) make an almighty racket when you accelerate quickly."

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What owners say

4.4401179941003
4.4 /5 based on 339 reviews
71%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
25 Sep 2014
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