Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • New styling, connected infotainment
  • Impressive forward visibility
  • Modern, stylish interior

Along with the engine this is the area where the Honda Jazz has changed the most, taking on some design cues from the Honda e and generally tidying up some annoying ergonomic problems the last car suffered. One of the first things you notice in this Jazz is the superb view out the front – visibility was always a strong point in this car and it’s stepped up a notch thanks to a redesigned dashboard and a-pillar arrangement.

The former is flat across the width of the car and there’s no visor for the 7.0-inch digital dial screen, so there’s nothing interrupting your view. It does mean some of the gauges are a little hard to read in direct sunlight, though.

However the main contributor to the enhanced view out is the shape of the a-pillars – the foremost are now half as thick as before and set wider apart, boosting the field of view from 69 to 90 degrees, making it easier to spot other vehicles approaching that would otherwise be obscured by the car’s bodywork. Even the wiper blades are hidden below the window line.

That horizontal dashboard design looks a bit like the full-width of screens you get in the electric Honda e, as does the Jazz’s new thin-rimmed two-spoke steering wheel, which looks and feels much more special than the old car’s.

The same goes for the softer touch materials used on the dashboard itself, and the metal finishes on the climate control switchgear, all of which adds up to a more expensive feel. All of the buttons and dials also respond with a positive click when you use them – this won’t suit all, but it does make the cabin a bit more intuitive to use on the move, because each action comes with an audible confirmation.

We think the most welcome change however is within the 9.0-inch infotainment screen, which is now laid out like a phone with an info bar across the top, shortcuts along the bottom and tiles for different apps and functions in the middle.

There are also physical controls for the home and back buttons, plus audio (including an actual volume knob), which makes finding your away around its various menus much easier. Honda says it now takes half the time to carry out common operations like setting up the sat-nav or pairing a phone compared to the outgoing Jazz, and there’s even a finger rest to make operating the screen easier on the move.

Even more convenient is the Honda Personal Assistant, again, first seen in the Honda e. Like most modern voice control systems this can understand conversational and contextual speech, so you don’t need to ask it to programme the sat-nav or find a parking space in a particularly set way.

Connectivity has also been given a huge boost with the inclusion of Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, plus an optional WiFi hotspot to keep passengers entertained on the move.

Finally you can also pair your car to your phone with the My Honda+ app. Use it to find its location, lock and unlock it, and even programme destinations into the navigation system.

Comfort

  • Reduced cabin noise
  • Improved seat comfort
  • Softly sprung suspension

Unsurprisingly the Jazz is at its most comfortable in town when wafting around quietly in EV mode – but measures have been taken to improve things at all speeds.

More sound insulation has been installed in the cabin and floor, plus around the doors, with the aim of reducing the wind and engine noise on the move. Those stubby door mirrors and redesigned a-pillars also contribute to a more hushed environment.

The seats have also been changed from an ‘s-spring’ design to a more supportive frame, meaning they hold you upright more solidly, but this also allows for thicker cushions to be used for more comfort. These are especially good, feeling squashy yet solid from the moment you sit down.

As mentioned in the handling section, the Jazz now uses a lot more high strength steel and this means the suspension can afford to be a bit softer without compromising the way the car corners.

On the whole the Jazz does very well to isolate you from poor road surfaces although at times it did crash over broken tarmac when driving at higher speeds.