Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Hybrid only like the hatchback
  • Slightly slower accelerating
  • Runs as a silent EV in town

The same hybrid system is used here as in the Jazz hatchback - a 1.5-litre petrol engine, two electric motors and a lithium ion battery to produce 109hp and 253Nm of torque.

We’ve explained the various ins and outs in greater depth in our Jazz review, but it’s worth pointing out the larger Crosstar takes half a second longer (9.9 seconds) to accelerate from 0-62mph.

Still, it retains the ability to cruise around town in all-electric mode, with the petrol engine firing up sporadically to recharge the battery or provide extra power on faster roads.

Then when you’re on the motorway it takes over propulsion entirely, with an additional boost from the electric motor.

We really rate this system – it combines the best of an electric car with the best of a petrol car, kind of like the way a plug-in hybrid feels but without the need to plug it in.

If you want this in a larger SUV then the Honda CR-V uses a similar system, albeit one bolstered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine.

Handling

  • Taller than hatchback model
  • Shares variable ratio steering
  • Still handles confidently

The Honda Jazz Crosstar features a 30mm boost in ride height over the hatchback, and as such raises the centre of gravity, which can have a number of effects on the way a car handles.

Happily the hatchback is already a tidy handler so the Crosstar feels agile and confident on the road. We didn’t notice a massive increase in bodyroll like you might expect to find.

As with the smaller car this variant features a variable ratio steering rack, a more robust chassis and new suspension.

2020 Honda Jazz Crosstar driving

We’ve explained all of this in our hatchback review but in short the combined effect of these is a relaxed steering feel, and better ability to iron out rough roads without compromising the handling.

As with the hatch we think the Crosstar is a fine car to drive, not quite as good as a Ford Fiesta Active but grippy and eager enough.

That’s partly down to the clever Agile Handling Assist system, which improves safety and cornering response by applying the brakes to the wheel closest to corner.

This helps keep the car neat and tidy without needing a more intrusive intervention from the traction control system.