Honda Jazz hatchback (2008-2011)
"No other supermini can match the Honda Jazz's blend of brilliant practicality, first-class build quality and reliability, but it's expensive."
- Masses of space and practicality
- Excellent driving position and easy access
- Solid build quality and reliability
- Limited engine choices
- High purchase price
- Over-firm ride and wind noise
The Honda Jazz has a loyal customer base in the UK, thanks to its huge versatility, space and reliability. The clever, quick-folding rear seats and cabin space allow the Jazz to compete with small MPV models like the Nissan Note. It's not cheap though, and there’s no diesel option, with choice limited to 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines. Entry-level S trim is poorly specified, although the ES models are reasonably equipped.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Servicing the Jazz is more expensive than for other mainstream brands, although Honda is currently offering some models with free servicing for the first three years of ownership. Either of the petrol engines returns good economy, with over 50mpg possible, and they won’t cost you much in Road Tax, thanks to relatively low emissions.
Engines, drive & performance
The Honda Jazz has an upright driving position that gives a great view of the road ahead. All of the controls are only a short reach from the steering wheel, so it’s simple to drive, but the suspension isn’t particularly well suited to poor road surfaces - knocks and bumps are transmitted through to the Jazz’s interior. Neither of the petrol engines feels very powerful, especially if you're carrying a few people and luggage. An automatic transmission is offered with the 1.4-litre engine.
Interior & comfort
The firm suspension does reduce the comfort of the Honda Jazz around town, where potholes and badly finished road repairs send bumps through to the cabin and its occupants. The situation improves with speed, but so does wind noise, which can become tiring on a long motorway drive.
Practicality & boot space
Practicality is where the Honda Jazz really impresses. The rear seats fold completely flat at the touch of a button, or if you want to carry something across the back seats, the seat bases flip up cinema-style to create more space. Add to that a boot big enough to rival small family hatchbacks , and the Honda Jazz proves a very practical car indeed.
Reliability & safety
The Jazz consistently scores highly in ownership surveys, as it seems to be impervious to mechanical problems. Its near-100 percent reliability score in the Driver Power survey underlines this, as does its overall 11th placing in the Top 100. The Jazz fares better than virtually all of its supermini rivals in the JD Power survey.
Price, value for money & options
The Honda Jazz certainly isn't the cheapest supermini available, and rivals are better equipped. There’s some compensation in that the Jazz holds its value well, offsetting the high initial purchase price when you come to sell it.