Should I buy a Honda Jazz?
We like the Honda Jazz hatchback – it has a nicely engineered feel, with crisp and responsive engines, a slick manual gearchange and responsive steering. In short, buy this car and you can be sure that it won't let you down; it’ll be very easy to drive and live with.
Buying a Jazz is also just as easy as owning one, as there are only two engines to choose between: a 1.3-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre petrol. Both are offered with either a manual gearbox or a CVT; we’d take the sweet-shifting manual, unless you really don’t want to shift gears yourself.
If saving money is a top concern, the cheapest Jazz to buy in the first place is also the least costly to run. Base-spec 1.3-litre Jazz S models offer lowest running costs of the whole range, thanks to emissions of 106g/km and claimed fuel economy of up to 48.7mpg.
Company car drivers interested in the Jazz will like the sound of the entry-level car’s low BIK costs, but the higher equipment levels of higher-spec models will appeal if a lot of time will be spent behind the wheel. The good news is there’s only a small variation in BIK costs for the 1.3-litre model.
Sadly, there’s no hardcore Jazz Type R – so those looking for the quickest model should go straight for the 1.5-litre Sport with 130hp. It’s no hot hatch but it’s surprisingly nippy, and its lack of turbocharging means you have to work it quite hard to make swift progress. It’s pleasantly enjoyable to drive, though, especially when you consider the sensible image the Jazz has.
That said, we’d stick with the 1.3-litre petrol. Besides being marginally more efficient, and less expensive, the 1.3-litre Jazz is available in four different trim levels. The 1.5-litre engine, on the other hand, can only be had in range-topping Sport trim.
On the equipment front, if you’ve opted for the 1.3-litre engine, most just go straight for the high-spec EX. It’s packed with the kind of kit you’d expect to find on a larger and more expensive car, which makes the Jazz even easier to live with. If you really don’t need the kit offered by the EX, though, cheaper SE models offer a good balance of cost and equipment.
There are lots of other plus points for the Jazz. It has a roomy interior, a comparatively large boot and it’s incredibly flexible for such a small car. That’s not to say it’s devoid of flaws but, on the whole, it’s a worthy and safe choice – albeit one that lacks the finesse and charm of alternatives such as the Ford Fiesta and SEAT Ibiza.