Honda Jazz hatchback

£11,695 - £20,245

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.