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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Honda Jazz is spacious and reliable, with efficient engines and good resale values

Against There's too much wind noise, it's unsettled at low speeds and the steering is vague

Verdict The Honda Jazz is big on space and practicality, but rowdy to live with

Go for… 1.4 SE

Avoid… 1.4EX iSHIFT

Honda Jazz Hatchback
  • 1. The ride is firm and the Jazz jiggles over potholes and bumps, but the steering is quick and light
  • 2. Wind noise is an issue
  • 3. There is a CVT automatic version of the 1.4-litre, called the iShift, but it's best avoided
  • 4. SE trim is the one to go for
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Honda Jazz Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Honda Jazz appears to defy the laws of physics by packing space and practicality into an outwardly compact supermini.

Around town the ride is firm and the Jazz jiggles over potholes and bumps, but the steering is quick and light.

Despite being tall for a supermini, the Jazz is stable through fast bends with lots of grip and little body lean. Unfortunately, the steering is a little vague at higher speeds.

One of the Jazz's biggest failings is wind noise, although road and engine noise are kept in check. The driving position will suit most sizes and the dashboard and controls are logically positioned.

Passengers in the front have decent room, but the Jazz's party piece is in the back. There's good leg- and headroom, but the whole rear bench folds up to allow large, long loads (such as bikes) to slide in. The rear seats can also fold forward to create a completely level loadspace. Even with the rear seats in use the boot is surprisingly big, while the hatch makes it easy to load larger items.

Trade view

The iSHIFT gearbox is deeply frustrating. Avoid.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The 89bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine might be fine for urban traffic, but it soon runs out of puff on the motorway. The 99bhp 1.4-litre is still not fast, but copes better at speed. There's no diesel option, but the petrols are fairly economical.

There is a CVT automatic version of the 1.4-litre, called the iShift, but it's best avoided.

The 1.2 models come in either S or SE Trim. S trim is sparsely equipped, with steel wheels, electric front windows, side and curtain airbags, and ISOFIX child seat mounting points, while SE adds alloys and air-con. The 1.4 models come in either ES or EX trim. Both have alloys, rear electric windows, plus traction and stability controls. EX adds climate control, cruise control and a panoramic glass roof.

In 2009, the T editions of each trim were introduced. This adds a sat-nav system, Bluetooth and MP3 player connectivity.

Trade view

The S model is just too basic, while the EX is at the other end of the scale with lots of extras.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Jazz ownership should prove reasonably economical. It will hold its value well, so while you'll have to pay more to begin with, you'll lose less in the long run compared with rivals.

The 1.2-litre manages an average of 52.3mpg, but the 1.4-litre isn't far behind at 52.3mpg. CO2 emissions are also good, and the even the worst polluter emits only 130g/km of CO2.

Servicing a Jazz isn't that expensive, and Honda dealers have a great reputation for customer care and quality. The Jazz is also very reliable, so you shouldn't have to pay out much on repairs.

Insurance is expensive, though, especially when compared with rivals. The 1.2-litre is in group 13, while the 1.4-litre is in group 16.

Trade view

The iSHIFT gearbox is deeply frustrating. Avoid.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

It's a mark of the Jazz's durability that there are few negative comments from owners.

Make sure the car has a complete service history, and that the work was carried out on time.

A vehicle history check will show if there's any outstanding finance, and if the car's been written of in an accident and then put back on the road.

Trade view

The S model is just too basic, while the EX is at the other end of the scale with lots of extras.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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