$14,990 – $22,990
Good: Excellent levels of interior space & economical to run – a very good city car. Eerily quiet cabin in the Hybrid model.
Not so Good: Engine performance is only satisfactory considering the price of the car.
Design and Engineering
Good : Arriving Down Under in September 2008 and receiving a facelift in April 2011 the second generation Honda Jazz improves on the original design of the first generation model in a number of ways. The front quarter windows are now significantly larger, front and rear visibility has increased thanks to slimmer pillars and a longer wheelbase creates even more interior space and also makes it easier to park.
The facelift Jazz receives LED tail lights, sporty mesh-style grille and two new colours – Fresh Lime and Polished Metal.
While the VTi and VTi-S share new sporty front and rear bumpers, side skirts, fog lights and a gunmetal grey grille, the VTi-S adds a tailgate spoiler and new 16-inch alloys.
Honda introduced its super fuel efficient Jazz Hybrid in February 2013, the hybrid model’s distinguishing features include chrome blue headlight surrounds, clear rear LED tail lights, chrome blue front grille, a chrome tailgate garnish and special hybrid badging.
Not so good : A design that provides class-leading interior space and visibility ensures that it can’t be the sexiest or sleekest Supermini however; the facelift does give the Jazz a sharper look.
Interior and Styling
Good : The facelift Jazz also receives a number of changes on the inside – first up is a new look satin finish centre dash, a new multi-function display unit and Bluetooth and USB connectivity now come standard across the model range.
Offering both tilt and reach steering wheel adjustment, we found this impressive for a SUPERMINI; comfortable front seats; modern styling with 10 drink holders and a dual glovebox design. The ‘magic’ rear seats can slide ‘forward and down’ into the floor leaving a huge cargo capacity allowing the Jazz to swallow a mountain bike quite easily, it could even be used when moving house (more than one trip may be required, though).
Inside, the Honda Jazz Hybrid features a few tweaks that set it apart from the rest of the range. Sitting behind the steering wheel is a set of tachometers that are unique to the Hybrid, unlike other models the Hybrid’s tachometers glow different colours depending on how you drive the car, there’s also a ‘Charge & Assist’ bar the tells drivers when the electric motor is assisting the petrol engine.
Not so good : There are cheap & hard plastic mouldings around the interior, however, at this price you can’t really complain too much.
Good : The Honda Jazz comes with the choice of three engines a 1.3-litre naturally aspirated petrol, a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.3 litre engine coupled with Honda’s electric motor IMA system.
The 1.3-litre i-VTEC engine produces 73kW of power and 127Nm of torque when matched to a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic (optional).
Sitting under the bonnet of the Honda Jazz Hybrid is a 1.3 litre i-VTEC engine mated to a IMA system and Variable Cylinder Management. This combination delivers 72kW of power and 167Nm of torque from as low as 1,000-1,700pm. For better fuel economy the Jazz Hybrid is matched to a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) with Grade logic Control.
Last but not least the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine produces 88kW of power and 145Nm of torque when matched to a 5-speed automatic as standard.
Both manual and automatic transmissions are smooth shifters; the 1.3-litre engine offers excellent fuel economy for a petrol engine.
The Honda Jazz Hybrid has great low down torque that helps when taking off at the lights or tackling a steep hill with a car load of people.
Not so good : Entry level 1.3-litre lacks the get-up-and-go of larger 1.5-litre engines, especially with a few people on board; not quite as sporty when compared to its competitors.
Ride and Handling
Good : The Honda Jazz has an excellent turning circle which is very helpful when parking. It is also very good driving down city lanes as the Jazz is very nimble. The steering is far better than the first gen model, the wider track and improved front suspension has increased cornering and overall stability.
Surprisingly enough, the Honda Jazz Hybrid appears to be unphased by the added weight of the electric motor and handles much the same as its unassisted brothers.
Not so good : Still not quite as good in terms of steering feel and the engagement as some of the class-leading cars; handling still suffers over rough roads with the car becoming a tad too bouncy (better suited to an urban environment).
Buying and Owning
Good : High-level features such as keyless entry, power windows all ’round, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Safety features include front, side and curtain airbags, seatbelt reminders, ABS with Brake Assist and Vehicle Stability Assist all come standard. So expect good resale when it finally comes to sell or trade-in.
Most importantly all Honda Jazz models receive a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating.
Not so good : The Honda Jazz isn’t the best looking SUPERMINI on the market and the interior looks a little on cheap side but it does have a lot to offer.