What's the used Honda Jazz hatchback like?
If you’re after all the benefits of a good small car, namely easy of use and low running costs, but you need to combine that with the space and practicality of something like a mini-MPV, you should take a look at the Honda Jazz.
This is the third-generation model, and it follows on the tradition of both of its earlier versions by successfully bridging the gap between one class and the other. What this means in real terms is it’s shorter than a Ford Fiesta, but its boot and interior space are larger than a Ford Focus’s. Inside, it’s incredibly spacious in both the front and back, It’s more practical than those rivals, too, with rear seats that can be tilted, slid forward or back, folded down flat or even have their bases folded upwards to accommodate taller items. On top of that, the boot is larger than that found in most family hatchbacks, with very usable space.
After all that flexibility, it comes as quite a shock to discover that there is only one engine option: a rather wheezy 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol unit that only seems to offer any get up and go at the top end of its rev range. The standard gearbox is a reasonably slick six-speed manual, but there’s also the option of a CVT automatic gearbox, which works smoothly and effectively most of the time but can make the engine bellow and become unrefined under hard acceleration and heavy load.
There are five trim levels, starting with entry-level S, which gets air-con, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, automatic lights and wipers and electric mirrors. However, we’d go for next-up SE, which adds 15in alloy wheels, parking sensors and the Honda Connect infotainment system. It’s also worth looking for SE Navi trim, which, as the name suggests, adds sat-nav, while EX and top-spec EX Navi up the goodie count even higher.
It’s fair to say that this Jazz succeeds in the same areas that the previous iterations did, with its spaciousness, practicality and low running costs, not to mention its top-notch build quality, winning it lots of friends, but it’s let down a little by its firm ride and poor refinement and by being slightly uninspiring to drive.