- More room
- Supremely comfortable ride
- Handles better on new chassis
- Cabin quality improved
- Restricted engine choice
- CVT Automatic not great
- Infotainment controls a bit slow
- Hard plastics remain
The Honda Jazz has been around since 2002 during which time it has shifted more than 300,000 of them in the UK and won 70 European awards. It is quite a big deal, and one of Honda’s most important cars. Its rivals include the Nissan Note, the Peugeot 2008 and Skoda Fabia Hatchback.
However it is now entering its third age and has its sights set on attracting a younger audience with a major restyle and competitive finance offers. It’s a bold strategy when you consider that repeat buyers account for between 35 to 40 percent of sales.
Greater focus on space, efficiency and quality
A longer wheel base means more space for passengers – with similar interior dimensions to a Mercedes-Benz S-Class despite being a metre shorter, as Honda was keen to point out.
A centrally mounted fuel tank means the Magic Seats that defined the last car’s interior remain, with an extra 80mm of loadspace from front to back in the new model. The front passenger seat can be fully reclined to fit long items in, including an eight-foot surfboard, if you so desired.
A new 1.3-litre engine offers the performance of the old 1.4 and the efficiency of the 1.2, while a range of chassis tweaks hint at an improved drive. There’s an extra gear for the manual box and improvements to the efficiency and driveability of the CVT automatic.
New technology includes a seven-inch touchscreen in the cabin and a raft of safety measures including an intelligent speed limiter that reads road signs and changes the car’s maximum speed.
Although the immediate focus is on the outside of the new Jazz, it’s the cabin where you’ll spend most of your time and there has been an uplift in both material quality and design.
A large windscreen and front quarter windows let in plenty of light and allow easy visibility for the driver. Everything inside is tilted towards the driving seat which makes it more focussed and easy to use.
A high-grade and soft-touch dash is broken up with polished chrome trim and the driving position is easily tailored thanks to more movement in the seats and steering wheel. Read on for the full Honda Jazz review.