Buyers have the choice of two petrol engines – an 89bhp 1.2 and a 99bhp 1.3 (badged 1.4) – plus a hybrid. All offer acceptable performance given the type of driving Jazz buyers will mainly be doing. A CVT automatic gearbox is standard on the hybrid and an option on the 1.4, but it does slow things down a bit.
The Jazz’s ride is reasonably settled at town speeds, and although the payoff is a slightly bouncy feel on faster roads, the overall balance is still pretty good. The steering is easy-peasy light for parking, but vague and slow-witted on winding routes, and that undermines the driver’s confidence.
The Jazz's engines are smooth, but if you’re after the quiet life, the car is best avoided. Far too much wind noise and road noise make their way into the cabin, and this gets worse the faster you go. CVT versions (including the hybrid) make an almighty racket when you accelerate quickly.
Every model averages more than 50mpg and all of the engine/gearbox combinations emit between 104- and 129g/km of CO2. The hybrid model boasts the best economy of 62.8mpg, but is very expensive to buy. Strong second-hand values help compensate for the high list prices.
A mixed bag here. Most of the interior plastics are hard and scratchy, and they scuff easily. However, the Jazz has finished top of the supermini class in our JD Power customer satisfaction survey for the past nine years, so it should prove very reliable.
The Jazz scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests and every model comes with six airbags and active anti-whiplash head restraints, as well as Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist system. Deadlocks, a visible VIN and a fully integrated stereo ensure that security is competitive.
The driver’s seat can be cranked up and down, but the windscreen pillars cut across your line of sight. The dash layout is more impressive, with everything controlled using chunky buttons and knobs. Only the bland design and the poorly placed switches for the electric door mirrors let it down.
Retractable headrests mean you can move the Jazz's double-folding rear seats (the backrests go down or the cushions come up) one-handed. The masterpiece, though, is the boot, which has a multi-functional parcel shelf that can be stashed vertically or horizontally in four different ways to hold any load in place.
The Jazz provides decent levels of standard equipment, which compensates for comparatively high prices. The one exception is the entry-level hybrid model which, given its lofty price, we’d expect to have more standard equipment.
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