Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

First report: Welcome

Honda Jazz Crosstar long-term - header

The golden age of Jazz was the 1920s, which coincidentally is when most buyers of the Honda Jazz were born. It’s rare that any one car becomes so irrevocably linked with an age demographic, but this is one of them – the Honda Jazz is a car for old people. The average age of a Jazz buyer in 2015 was 61 – seven years older than the national average car buyer, who is 54.

And those old people have always loved its three main features – incredible practicality, unwavering reliability and – harder to quantify – superb ease-of-use.

God knows Honda’s tried its very best to make its smallest car appeal to the yoof of today. Over its four generations, the design has become progressively sharper and funkier. It’s gained touchscreens and LEDs aplenty, and comes in all sorts of bright colours. The new model is even a hybrid.

And so the latest generation, the cleverest and funkiest yet, is the one Honda hopes will help it appeal to younger buyers – without alienating those older motorists who’ve been so loyal over the years. I, a 26-year-old millennial with a smartphone permanently glued to my hand, will be running one for the next six months to find out if it’s been successful in doing so.

Honda Jazz Crosstar long-term - interior

The Jazz’s job is likely to be made very difficult by Honda’s introduction of the e – it’s first fully-electric supermini, and one that’s had a hugely positive reaction to its style and tech from younger buyers.

Which Jazz do we have here?

You may have noticed that the new, fourth-generation (there was technically a Jazz in the 1980s, but we’ll refer to the model line that began in 2001 for clarity) Jazz comes with two very different faces depending on which version you go for.

The basic Jazz gets an interestingly featureless front fascia, which in the right colour gives it more than a whiff of Apple design about it. However, we’ve gone for the ‘lifestyle’ variant instead – the Jazz Crosstar.

> Honda Jazz hatchback review

With a slightly raised ride height, more conventional front grille and black plastic cladding on the wheelarches to protect against rogue supermarket trolley bashes, this is the range-topper of the Jazz line-up.

As a result, it’s loaded with kit – LED headlights, a 7-inch digital dashboard and 9-inch infotainment screen, climate control, adaptive cruise control and a suite of safety equipment.

Unique to the Crosstar is an upgraded stereo and water-resistant fabric on the seats.

Honda Jazz Crosstar long-term - header, above

Honda doesn’t offer many optional extras, and as a result our car has none except for two-tone pearlescent white paint with a contrast black roof and a reversing camera.

What’s under the bonnet?

Regardless of your trim level, all Jazzes have the same engine – a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol paired up to a battery and electric motor to form a hybrid system.

I’ve just stepped out of six months in a Lexus UX (you can read my reports on that car here) which is also a hybrid, but Honda’s system works differently. I’ll go more in-depth in a later report, but essentially around town the engine operates solely as a generator, leaving the electric motor to drive the wheels by itself.

Then at higher speeds, a single-speed gearbox engages, and the engine links directly with the wheels. It’s a solution that promises impressive efficiency – a promised WLTP mpg figure of 58.8mpg and just 110g/km of CO2.

Unlike some earlier Honda hybrids, this system drives just like an electric car under most conditions – you’ve an automatic gearbox and two pedals, with the focus being on low running costs and isolation from the world around you.

First impressions?

I rather like it. I may be single and childless, but practicality of this sort still excites me, and I’m in love with the Jazz’s ‘Magic’ rear seats, which can either fold totally flat into the floor or lift their bases up to leave a tall, unobstructed load area behind the front seats.

It leaves a genuinely cavernous load area that’s already been well put to use with numerous eBay and Facebook marketplace purchases, both by me and by our very own Richard ‘Selectric’ Kilpatrick, who’s put over a thousand miles on the clock already purchasing old typewriters (and more sensible furniture) from across the country.

Honda Jazz Crosstar long-term - boot, loaded

Those long trips highlight the Jazz’s easy nature and comfort, too. Again, I’ll focus more on this in coming weeks, but this is a smooth, relaxing car to spend time in.

It’s proven cheap to run, as well, with the first couple of thousand miles bringing an average fuel economy of nearly 57mpg. I’ve managed to eke that up to 60mpg on some journeys, and will be attempting to beat that as the months go on.

As I write this, we’re heading directly into Lockdown, Episode 2, so the Jazz will be pressed into service for numerous grocery runs and perhaps the occasional visit to a shielding grandparent. I'm sure it will excel, but I'm glad I got in some decent miles.

Mileage: 3,167 miles
This month's economy: 56.7mpg