site search by freefind
MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Honda Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport Navi

Click to view picture gallery“Freshly fettled in a snazzy third-
  generation bodyshell, Honda
s jazzy
  supermini has a lot going for it
  including über-versatile interior
  packaging, a smart cabin, and wallet-
  friendly running costs
...”


NOT SURPRISINGLY the Jazz is one Honda's best selling models and the sportier new cut to its cloth makes it a very modish dresser. Crisp styling lines and strongly sculpted panels bring out the best in its wedge-shaped profile.

Going for the Sport spec you get even sharper looks with sportier bumpers and a slim front splitter underscoring the lower grille along with a diffuser below the rear bumper, plus a tailgate spoiler. Red-accenting adds a further flourish without going OTT, as do neat sill skirts and gloss black 16-inch alloy wheels.

Swing open the driver's door and the cabin seems enormous for something that measures a compact four metres from nose to tail. But then impressive MPV levels of space and versatility in a supermini are exactly what have made the two previous generations such big sellers.

Settle behind the good-to-grip leather-skinned three-spoke multifunction steering wheel (phone, driver's computer, cruise and speed limiter, audio, and infotainment) and you'll find yourself in an airy, sporty cabin; the seats are big and effectively bolstered, offer a fist-and-a-half of headroom with the driver's height-adjustable seat set in its midway position, and there's ample room for knees and shins; a nice touch — the front headrests can be tilted forward or back using the button releases on their sides. Needless to say, an A1 driving position can be quickly set.

Swing open the driver’s
door and the cabin
seems enormous for
something that measures a compact four metres
from nose to tail.
But then impressive MPV
levels of space and
versatility in a supermini
are what have made the
two previous generations
such big sellers...”
The side windows are long and deep — benefiting vision out as well as light coming in, and the fabric upholstery is enlivened by a pinstripe pattern with red contrast stitching. Trim quality is good, with satisfying fit and finish.

The instrumentation is clearly presented with a large central speedo flanked by smaller dials for revs and driving information. Navigation is by Garmin and it's one the nicest and easiest to use we've come across in quite a while; the mapping is beautifully presented and shows the posted speed limit.

The handbrake is a traditional pill-up type, which is fine, and there are plenty of storage solutions with twin cupholders and a tray below the A/C control panel, biggish door bins that can hold a bottle, a deep box beneath the padded arm rest between the front seats, a fair-sized glovebox, and a natty dual-usage expanding cupholder on the fascia close to the righthand rim of the wheel

Sharing the same seven-inch touchscreen, set top dead centre of the fascia, is Honda's Connect infotainment system — like the SatNav, it's easily and intuitively operated, as too is the AirCon courtesy of nicely chunky rotary knobs that are foolproof to adjust on the move. Smartphone linking and Internet interaction is straightforward using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto plus you get Aha app integration, web browsing, Bluetooth handsfree, a CD player and radio with six speakers, plus two USB and one HDMI jack.

Comfort and convenience features include cruise control with a speed limiter, front and rear parking sensors, powerfolding heated door mirrors, front and rear electric windows with one-shot-op for the driver, tinted glass, and a set of 16-inch alloy wheels.

Safety is taken seriously at Honda and the Jazz comes with Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Speed Limiter, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Support, and Traffic Sign Recognition plus Honda's autonomous City Brake system, Hill Start Assist, stability control, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and auto lights, height-adjustable front seatbelts, tyre deflation warning, and a full set of airbags.

The Jazz has a nifty
trick up its sleeve —
Honda’s ‘Magic Seat’
feature...
the 60:40-split fold rear
seats do something no
other seats do:
their bases can be lifted
up vertically and locked
against their backrests,
converting the back
passenger compartment
into a very easily
accessed, self-contained
load area for taller items.
Can your car do that?”
The 'big on space' theme continues in the rear cabin where adults sit on well-contoured seats (that will take three side-by-side) and will enjoy generous legroom, loads of knee room and plenty of room to park their feet along with excellent headroom — and getting in is a breeze thanks to real-world door apertures and doors that open to 90- degrees.

The rear seatbacks also recline, adding to the comfort. Bottle-holding door bins, comfy outer armrests and generous views sideways and forward all make travelling in the back as satisfying as sitting in the front.

While two grown-ups can effortlessly chillax behind a tall driver and tall front passenger, that's not the only plus-point because the Jazz has a nifty trick up its sleeve — Honda's 'Magic Seat' feature…

The 60:40-split fold rear seats do something no other seats do: their bases can be lifted up vertically (remember cinema seats?!) and locked against their backrests, converting the back passenger compartment, in just two quick moves, into a very easily accessed self-contained load area for taller items. Can your car do that?

More conventionally, dropping the rear seats forward gives you access to a sizeable 1,314-litre cargo bay with a seamless and perfectly flat floor that would embarrass similar sized crossovers. Access, via the wide and high-lifting tailgate, is straightforward and back-friendly. With all the seats occupied the fairly deep boot takes 354 litres of shopping or luggage.

Conveniently, located beneath the boot floor are two sizeable storage bins for any overspill. What the Jazz offers above most of its rivals is an extremely versatile solution for those who need to mix and match people and cargo in a variety of combinations; in fact, not much else offers this degree of practicality.

With a Formula One heritage, Honda knows more than most about building engines. And the 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol unit slotted into the Jazz Sport's engine bay is more than fit for purpose. A high-revving four-pot, naturally aspirated (ie; non-turboed) with variable valve timing, it puts out 128bhp along with 114lb ft of torque.

It's a willing revver that's ever-ready to work its heart out; flicking your way up or down the six-speed manual 'box is a pleasant task thanks to a slick and precise change action. The poke is enough to launch the Jazz off the blocks and past the 62mph post in a brisk 8.7 seconds; when cruising rather than accelerating, the 1.5's rev-counter shows 3,500rpm at 70mph in the 'box's well-suited top gear. And it lopes along very smoothly, thank you.

With a Formula One
heritage, Honda knows
more than most about
building engines.
And the 1.5-litre i-VTEC
petrol unit slotted into
the Jazz Sport’s
engine bay is a willing
revver that’s
ever-ready to work
its heart out...”
Few cars manage to match, or even come close to, their 'official' fuel consumption figures but the Jazz is an honest drinker — despite not hanging about, a week's testing over a mix of roads, both in town and out in the sticks, saw our average mpg of 47.8 beat the official Combined Cycle figure of 47.7mpg. Impressive. No reason why 'regular' drivers shouldn't regularly see the smiley side of fifty.

For a car that's likely to carry four adults, ride quality needs to be good and the Jazz delivers — it rides well, managing to iron out the ragged blacktop that covers much of the British Isles these days without making a song and dance about it. One of our regular testers suffers from a bad back and another has a tube inserted in a tricky place; both were comfortable riding around in the Jazz, which says it all.

While the Jazz's trim level includes the word 'Sport', it makes no pretence of being a hot-hatch and sells to a totally different class of motorist. However, that doesn't mean it comes up short on the handling front; it's easy to drive, with excellent visibility for parking or placing the car on the road, feels well balanced and reassuring, and turns in keenly. Pressing on? No problem.

With its smart exterior packaging wrapped around a well thought-out and accommodating cabin, an impressive real-life fuel consumption, and multi-configurable cargo/passenger layout, the easy and pleasant to drive new Jazz should have no trouble beating its predecessors' multi-million sales. ~ MotorBar
.
Honda Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport Navi | £17,765
Maximum speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 8.7 seconds | Test Average: 47.8mpg
Power: 128bhp | Torque: 114lb ft | CO2: 133g/km

.