What's the used Honda Jazz hatchback like?
It's no secret that the Honda Jazz has always been a favourite in the UK of those who are more mature in years, due to its ease of use, impressive practicality and proven reliability. Indeed in 2015, the average age of a Jazz owner was given as 61 years old.
However, this current Jazz is evidently trying to stretch its appeal to a younger audience, thanks to its use of some on-trend technology and its more modern styling – and we'd argue it has the chops to accomplish that. It's definitely a leap up from the third-generation 2015-2020 Honda Jazz it replaced.
For starters, less money spent at the pumps and less CO2 pumped into the air are positives for everyone, right? It's fair to say nearly all car buyers of whatever age would agree with that and, as such, the latest Jazz is a fuel-sipping petrol-electric hybrid. This system is comprised of a 1.5-litre engine and two electric motors that are powered by a compact battery.
This is your sole engine option, though fortunately that's not a deal-breaker. It can deploy satisfying performance by class standards, evident by a 0-60mph time of 8.6sec (in our tests). The Jazz is quicker than one of its closest rivals, the current Volkswagen Polo in 1.0 TSI 95 guise.
From zero choice to a selection of five, you have these trim levels to choose from: SE, SR, EX, EX Style and Crosstar EX. Even on the entry-level SE, equipment levels are fairly generous and you get automatic lights and wipers, LED headlights, climate control, power-folding door mirrors, electric windows front and rear, and adaptive cruise control. SR adds front and rear parking sensors, 15in alloy wheels and Honda’s Connect 9.0in touchscreen infotainment system.
EX comes with 16in alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, front heated seats and a leather steering wheel, while EX Style gets a contrasting black roof, mirror caps, side body mouldings and a rear spoiler. It also has a rear-view camera and blind-spot monitoring.
Crosstar EX is somewhat of an outlier here. It's essentially a more rugged version of the standard Jazz and features bolt-on roof rails, two-tone paint, a unique front grille design, elevated ride height and black plastic cladding around its wheel arches.
As a regular hybrid, there’s no need to plug the Jazz in and charge up, but that also means you can’t go very far on electric power alone. In its default Hybrid mode, it generally covers more electric miles in urban environments (especially if you drive with a light right foot), while it uses a combination of both petrol and electric power on faster roads. It switches between the two sources with tranquil ease, providing a quiet, refined and smooth driving experience most of the time.
We say 'most of the time' because there is one situation where its cool, calm and collected demeanour slips, and that's when you put your foot down. Under hard acceleration, the engine's revs are sent soaring to the stratosphere (due to its CVT automatic gearbox) and are held there until you back off. Sometimes it sounds as though you're stuck in first gear, especially because the Jazz’s petrol engine is a bit coarse at high revs. It's relatively loud and can be unpleasant on the ears.
The Jazz isn't too much fun in bends, either, although it’s safe and predictable, and perfectly pleasant to steer around at moderate speeds. It doesn't give you a huge amount of grip and, with a body that's unusually tall for a small car, the Jazz leans more than many rivals through corners – but never in an alarming way.
But the best news can be found inside the Jazz. In fact, the entire interior is its pièce de résistance. Not only is there plenty of adjustment in the somewhat lofty (for a small car) driving position, as well as plenty of soft-touch materials on the dashboard, but it's also unfathomably practical and spacious. There are a plethora of accommodating cubbies dotted around and six-footers will have no trouble getting comfortable in the light, airy front.
This class-leading interior space extends to the rear. Two tall adults can sit in the outer seats with their heads well away from the roof and their knees clear of the seats in front. In fact, there’s enough leg room on offer for occupants to sprawl out. Shoulder room is tighter for three adults sitting side by side, but still perfectly acceptable.
One of the Jazz's best tricks is that the rear seat bases can be flipped up like old-school cinema seats to create a tall load space all the way across the car – ideal for carrying things like bicycles.
On the other hand, the Jazz's boot isn't the largest in the class – the Renault Clio trumps it – but it's certainly on the capacious side. The load bay is a usefully square shape, helping you to make the most of the space, and there’s enough room for a large pushchair or five carry-on suitcases below the parcel shelf. Plus, folding down the rear seats turns the Jazz into what is effectively a mini van.
What used Honda Jazz hatchback will I get for my budget?
For a 2020 or 2021 SE car – a respectable one with around 40,000 miles on its clock – expect to pay around £15,500 at the moment. With new ones going for around £25,000, its used prices represent a good saving.
If you'd like a 2022 Jazz or an SR car, you'll currently need upwards of £17,000, while 2023 models demand upwards of £24,000.
Check the value of a used Honda Jazz with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Honda Jazz hatchback?
According to the official WLTP fuel test figures, the Jazz averages 62.8mpg, which is an excellent result. The Crosstar version averages 58.9mpg.
Annual road tax costs will be low, because any car registered after April 2017 pays the flat rate of £170 a year for hybrids, and £180 for petrol and diesel cars.
The Jazz sits in insurance group 13, which is very reasonable.
Servicing costs are very reasonable, too, no doubt contributing to the high regard in which Honda dealers are held. There are a number of useful servicing plans available too, to help spread costs, including the Honda Service Plan, which can also extend the car's warranty up to five years from new.
Which used Honda Jazz hatchback should I buy?
The Jazz is a very well-equipped car in any trim. Even in entry-level SE spec, it comes with automatic lights and wipers, climate control, adaptive cruise control, power-folding door mirrors and a whole host of safety equipment. One omission is alloy wheels; you get wheel trims instead.
For 15in alloys, you need to upgrade to SR spec, which is our favourite and the one we'd seek out. Why? Well, the reasonable hike in price brings not only the front and rear parking sensors and a better infotainment system but also part-leather seats and smarter interior trim.
Our favourite Honda Jazz: Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Hybrid SR
What alternatives should I consider to a used Honda Jazz hatchback?
The Jazz, through its generations, has always sat in a class more or less on its own, bridging the gap between a small car and a mini-MPV, while also competing with some of the more modern small SUVs.
However, it still has competition and it comes from the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia and Citroën C3 Aircross. Of these rivals, the Fiesta is the most fun to drive, with a good driving position and spirited handling. On the minus side, it’s not as big inside as the Jazz and its boot is much smaller.
The Fabia has plenty of space, handles well and has an excellent infotainment set-up. However, its ride is unsettled, and its interior could be of better quality. It's not as flexible or as spacious in its interior as the Jazz, though.
The C3 Aircross is a more modern small SUV take on the old Citroën C3 Picasso MPV, but is better to drive than the old car and comes with funky styling and a flexible interior. It's not as economical as the latest Jazz, though. Nor is it as reliable or practical.
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