• Tue. May 28th, 2024

North East Connected

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On Test: Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Hybrid EX 5dr eCVT

Since 2002, and over the intervening years, the Honda Jazz has won a loyal band of repeat customers here in the UK thanks to its mix of practicality, reliability and low running costs.

Because of this, the Jazz has traditionally appealed to a certain demographic, but Honda hopes to get rid of that tag and make the supermini relevant to younger customers.

Up steps the fourth-generation model, which aims to attract buyers interested in better fuel economy, up-to-date connectivity and reasonable running costs.

So, how does it fare?

In honesty, pretty well, thanks in large to its quirkier styling and new-age tech, but if you’re after a truly fun driving experience, you may want to look elsewhere.

Whilst the all-new Jazz isn’t a bad car to drive, it doesn’t quite offer the same fun factor of its rivals the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo or Peugeot 208.

That being said, the Jazz’s hybrid powertrain is impressive and if practicality is top of your priorities, you may want to consider adding it to your shortlist.

There’s little trouble in the way of engine choice for the Jazz as there’s only one – a 1.5-litre petrol mated to two electric motors and a battery pack.

Hybrid power enables you to drive on electricity for short periods and 60mpg is easily achievable if you drive carefully.

The Jazz has gained a new transmission too, with the old, noisy CVT gearbox making way for a new e-CVT – a system which Honda claims helps create an easier delivery of power and torque.

The system actually produces a decent turn of speed, the Jazz reaching 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds, with the EX model taking a little longer at 9.5 seconds, both achieving a top speed of 108mph.

Around town the engine’s lovely and quiet, but when you need to accelerate hard, there’s a bit of a din when the revs are sent soaring.

So, what’s it like inside?

The Jazz breaks the small car norm with its quirky interior, which is far more interesting than the likes of the Fiesta or Polo.

Ok, there’s a mix of materials used, but quality is good and everything’s well laid out.

Where the Jazz excels is its practicality, offering more space inside than most small cars and its rear seats fold in clever ways, too.

What’s more, it’s a very-well equipped car, with even the entry-level SE trim boasting automatic lights and wipers, climate control, adaptive cruise control, power-folding door mirrors and a whole host of safety equipment.

Range-topping EX trim – the model tested – adds quite a bit more kit, including 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, front heated seats, a leather steering wheel (also heated) and gear knob, LED front fog lights, privacy glass, blind spot monitoring, a rear-view camera and sat-nav.

Honda has also introduced the Jazz Crosstar model to sit alongside the regular five-door hatchback.

A more rugged version of the Jazz, the Crosstar features bolt-on roof rails, a unique front grille design, elevated ride height, and black plastic cladding around its wheel arches and along the lower sills.

The Jazz is an easy car to live with, mainly because it’s practical, efficient and well-specced.

Shame it’s expensive compared to other small cars.


Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Hybrid EX 5dr eCVT

Price: £22,245 OTR (model as tested, including options £22,795)

Mechanical: 109bhp, 1498cc, petrol/electric hybrid engine with auto gearbox

Max speed: 108mph

0-62mph: 9.5 seconds

Combined mpg: 61.4

Insurance group: 20

Emissions: 104g/km

BIK rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles