The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
If you like a lofty driving position, then the Jazz has you covered. You sit nice and high, with the impression that you’re driving a mini-MPV rather than a small hatchback. There’s a good range of adjustment to the steering wheel and the driver’s seat includes seat height adjustment.
The steering wheel, seat and pedals line up nicely, so you’re not sitting skewed at an angle, and the seat is well padded and comfortable, with a good amount of side support. Some tall drivers may find the seat base a little short, though, and the non-adjustable front centre armrest is located a little too far back to lean on naturally. There's no lumbar support adjustment, either.
Unlike other Hondas, such as the Civic and CR-V, all of the dashboard buttons in the Jazz are positioned thoughtfully, and we love the large physical knobs that make it so simple to adjust the climate control. And, while the digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel might look a little confusing at first, you get used to it, and the plethora of information it shows (including your navigation, drive mode and trip computer) is jolly useful.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
If you’re a nervous parker, the Jazz may well be the car for you, because Honda has designed it to have excellent visibility. Looking forwards, you’re met with an almost panoramic view of the road ahead, thanks to the tall windscreen and ultra-thin front pillars. These, in combination with the car's deep front side windows, give a far superior view at roundabouts and T-junctions than you would in a Peugeot 208 or Vauxhall Corsa.
The Jazz's deep rear screen makes it simple to judge how much room is behind, although the thick rear pillars do hinder your view of the rear corners, which is true of most of its rivals. But front and rear parking sensors come as standard from mid-spec SR trim, to help you squeeze into tricky spots, while range-topping EX and Crosstar EX trims get a rear-view camera.
All models also get bright LED headlights as standard, along with a high beam assist system that automatically switches between high and low beams as needed.
Sat nav and infotainment
Entry-level SE models have a basic 5.0in colour screen that you control via conventional buttons and two rotary dials. Bluetooth, a DAB radio, USB sockets, a four-speaker stereo and steering wheel-mounted audio controls are all included.
Spending a little extra on SR trim, which we recommend you do, brings a larger, more advanced 9.0in touchscreen system that comes equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, allowing you to run selected apps from your phone through the screen. It's relatively responsive and the menus are intuitive enough, plus you get physical shortcut buttons that make swapping between menus easy to do on the move. However, we do wish the screen was a little sharper, to match the Seat Ibiza’s and Volkswagen Polo’s. SR trim also comes with an extra USB port
If you want sat-nav, you’ll need to step up to range-topping EX trim, but we wouldn’t bother. Both Waze and Google Maps, run from your smartphone, are significantly better than Honda’s in-built Garmin system. Crosstar EX gets an upgraded, eight-speaker stereo with a subwoofer.
Interior quality is mostly impressive, particularly the centre section of the dashboard, which is trimmed with soft-touch materials and is a step up from the sea of hard plastics you get in a Seat Ibiza or Skoda Fabia. All the buttons also feel impressively plush and well damped.
However, once you start to poke around you’ll find that the plastics farther down the interior are a little scratchy and brittle-feeling, as they are in most small cars. EX models get a leather-covered steering wheel and gear lever, both of which give the interior a welcome lift, and we also like the idea of the water repellent fabric upholstery used in the Crosstar EX – it could come in handy if you spill your coffee.
Overall, the Jazz is on a par with the Ford Fiesta for interior quality, but a Peugeot 208 feels more upmarket.
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