Very spacious for its size, reliable and well built Jazz is a sensible supermini buy, even if driving experience lacks sparkle
- 1Verdict – currently reading
- 2How much will it cost?
- 3How practical is it?
- 4What’s it like to drive?
- 5What should you look out for?
- 6What do owners think?
3.0 out of 5
- Loads of interior space
- Low running costs
- Excellent reliability
- Costs more than rivals to buy
- Limited engine range
- Not much fun to drive
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- Best Honda Jazz for new drivers: 1.3 SE
- Best Honda Jazz for fun: 1.5 Sport
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- 1Verdict – currently readingVery spacious for its size, reliable and well built Jazz is a sensible supermini buy, even if driving experience lacks sparkle
- 2How much will it cost?It costs more to buy than rivals, but you get a lot for you cash and residuals are strong
- 3How practical is it?With spacious and cleverly packaged interior, the Jazz is one of the most practical small cars you can buy
- 4What’s it like to drive?Keen drivers won’t find many thrills here, but the Honda is easy to drive and comfortable. The engine choice is very limited
- 5What should you look out for?Top notch quality means that the Honda is very unlikely to let you down, but there are some things to keep an eye out for
- 6What do owners think?Overall Honda owners are very satisfied with both their cars and the service from dealers
The Honda Jazz is a car that has traditionally been bought by the older generation, people who are attracted by its easy-to-access cabin and Honda’s reputation for reliability. But this third incarnation should appeal to the younger end of the market courtesy of its fresh styling and a long list of standard equipment.
The Honda Jazz drives in a civilised manner, provided you avoid the CVT automatic gearbox. It has a more stylish dashboard design than before, yet still features the brilliant and intuitive cabin layout, including the Magic Seats in the back, making it one of the most spacious and ingenious cars in its class.
It’s not very fast and it’s not particularly cheap, but the Jazz offers something different from class leaders such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, especially if you’re after a versatile supermini for your money.
Which one should I buy?
The Jazz Mk3 reached UK showrooms in September 2015. It had a 1.3-litre petrol engine and three trim levels, each of which could be specified with a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic – the latter at a price premium. The Jazz brought a raft of new driver-assistance technologies plus a new infotainment system with internet-browsing capabilities.
Car group tests
In February 2018 a facelifted version hit the road. Alongside updates to the exterior styling there was now a new 1.5-litre engine option, although this was available only in Sport form; the model line-up otherwise continued as before. The Sport was based on the SE, but added a rear spoiler and side skirts, LED headlights, gloss-black alloys, pinstripe fabric for the seats plus a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearknob. Honda didn’t sell an awful lot of Jazz Sport models, so they’re rarer on the second-hand market.
Whereas Honda offered a hybrid version of the Jazz Mk2, the Mk3 simply got 1.3 or 1.5-litre petrol engines. Even the bigger unit isn’t especially muscular, and because it came only in Sport form, we’d opt for one of the high-spec 1.3 EX editions in either manual or CVT form instead.
The Jazz S has 15-inch steel wheels, a DAB radio, a multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth, electrically adjustable door mirrors, auto emergency braking, automatic headlights and wipers, air-con, cruise control, powered windows front and rear, remote central locking and stop-start.
Move up to the SE and you’ll get 15-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors, plus electrically heated and retractable door mirrors. The EX adds 16-inch rims, privacy glass, rear parking camera, climate control and keyless go.
What are the alternatives?
Although the Jazz is Honda’s supermini contender, its sheer versatility means it’s really more of a micro-MPV. As a result, its closest rival is arguably the Vauxhall Meriva, which is well equipped and has added practicality with its rear-hinged back doors. The Ford B-MAX is another rival, and its sliding back doors also offer extra usability; if you don’t need this, the Fiesta is a brilliant alternative because it’s so readily available, well equipped and great to drive.
The SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo are all related to each other, and each is very desirable. Meanwhile, the Peugeot 208, Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa are all good value, plentiful and practical, but they’re just not as usable or as versatile as the Jazz. The Kia Rio is worth mentioning for its seven-year warranty and reliability, as well.
Honda Jazz vs Skoda Fabia vs Nissan Note
A tough welcoming committee was arranged for the Jazz for its first test in October 2015. The Jazz’s impressive space, quality and safety kit were enough to beat the underwhelming Note, but both had to give best to the sharp-handling, stylish and great-value Fabia. Read the full test…
Honda Jazz vs Suzuki Baleno vs Nissan Note
There was a sense of deja vu for the Honda in June 2016, when it again finished in the runner’s up spot ahead of the Nissan. This time, it was the Suzuki that beat the Jazz to the top spot, thanks to its low price, generous kit count and large dollop of driver appeal. Read the full test…
In this review
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