Tested for Parkers.co.uk – check out the full review of the Honda Jazz by heading to the link below:
The Jazz is Honda’s entry in to the supermini market. It’s taller than a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa and gives Jazz drivers a great view, plus – a high roofline and flexible seating adds to the feeling of a small MPV.
This Jazz has certainly found its own customer base and this third-generation model follows the same formula as its predecessors. It majors on ease of use and versatility, which are at the top of its priority list. Here we test the flagship EX Navi model mated with the automatic gearbox.
What do we get with EX Navi then?
This top-of-the-range model comes fully-stocked, with the Navi part of the name simply relating to the Garmin sat-nav fitted over the standard EX model.
Attract Yellow pearlescent paint is the only optional extra fitted to our test car, otherwise standard equipment includes:
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Keyless entry and keyless ignition
- Rear-view camera
- Climate control
- Rear privacy glass
- All-round electric windows
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Automatic lights and windscreen wipers
- Bluetooth, USB connectivity and Aux-in port
- Cruise control
- Magic Seat system – flexible rear sear arrangement allowing seats to be indiviudally folded flat or positioned upright
- Driver Assist Safety Pack including: lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning
Costing £18,205 overall including optional paint, we reckon the price is on the high side especially since this still doesn’t include heated seats.
The touchscreen is distracting to use thanks to the small buttons and dark background theme, while the image generated by the rear-view camera is too dark.
We didn’t find the Garmin sat-nav to be the most user-friendly system either. It got lost within a town centre and we find it hard to recommend spending the £700 premium over the standard non-Navi model.
Same practical and spacious cabin as lower-spec models
With high levels of build quality, space, practicality and ease of use, it’s evident what makes the Jazz so appealing. Honda has responded to the needs of the previous-generation Jazz too, as EX models now comes with a height-adjustable passenger seat for easy entry and exit.
The low, easy-to-access boot floor remains, but that also results in a large boot door itself – almost like a van – which may literally take owners by surprise on the chin upon opening. Shorter owners will find it a stretch closing the tailgate.
Lethargic engine hampered by automatic gearbox
Available on all trim levels, the CVT automatic gearbox mated with the 1.3-litre VTEC petrol engine should cater for a range of customer budgets, however we’d find it hard to recommend it over the manual gearbox.
There’s a distinct lack of urgency from both the engine and gearbox. Driving in a rushed manner increases engine and transmission noise without feeling like you’re going quickly. The gearbox changes gear smoothly but it feels lazy and laborious even when you use the shift paddles.
If we had the choice, we’d stick with the manual version. The engine response is no different, but at least you can quickly select the right gear yourself to extract the best from the engine.
More fun to drive than expected
Despite its mini MPV styling, the Honda Jazz feels composed when introduced a twisty road. Steering is responsive enough (more than the accelerator at least), and bodyroll is kept in check; feeling safe and secure.
It isn’t a threat to the Ford Fiesta’s dynamic excellence – being sensible to drive rather than particularly exciting – but it’s much better than you might expect.
Refinement is good. The cabin is hushed at motorway speeds, with only wind noise fluttering around the windscreen. There’s little road noise, and the engine and gearbox quieten down if you let them work at a gentler pace.
How much does it cost?
At the time of writing, EX and EX Navi models were being offered by Honda for the same monthly outlay as an SE model. Cost is £179, over a 24 month period thanks to zero percent APR. Stick with SE models and you’ll pay £179 a month but for a 36 month contract and 5.9 percent APR.
Choosing this 24 month PCP deal would be the only incentive in choosing this top-spec EX model, otherwise if you are buying outright with cash, we’d opt for the SE model for the best balance of price and equipment.
Should I buy one?
Comfortable with its own identity and with a dedicated fanbase, the Honda Jazz is a demonstration of continuous improvement rather than constant redesign.
The small Honda continues to be a good choice for those looking for a spacious and practical car that’s easy to pilot, but this version of the Jazz is expensive and further hampered by a dim-witted automatic gearbox.
If you have the choice, the manual gearbox makes for a more complete Jazz, and unless you are offered an attractive PCP deal, we’d stick with the SE.
To check out the full review on the Honda Jazz, head to the link below:
Source: Honda Jazz review | Parkers