2012 Honda Jazz Si Review

* New Honda Jazz Si special edition * Sporty, cosmetic and chassis upgrades * Costs 14,550; on sale now...

05 July 2012

2012 Honda Jazz Si Review

The Honda Jazz Si is a limited-edition model, based on the 1.4 ES. It uses the same 98bhp petrol engine, but there are a number of cosmetic and mechanical tweaks to give it a more sporty character.

Sporty bumpers, sideskirts, bespoke 16-inch alloys, a flared exhaust tip, privacy glass and Si badges give the exterior a boost. Inside, there's black and silver seat trim, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with silver stitching.

There are revised suspension settings and a larger anti-roll bar to sharpen the handling, while adjustments to the Jazzs steering make it more responsive.

Whats the 2012 Honda Jazz Si like to drive?
The Jazz is great to drive around town; the steering is nicely weighted, and a tight turning circle and excellent all-round visibility make parking easy.

Honda Jazz Si has a sporty makeover and chassis tweaks

Given the Si's sporty nature, though, the steering could be a little more responsive. This is more of an issue at faster speeds, and downgrades the driving experience to merely mildly engaging, rather than fun.

Stiffened suspension does the Jazz's ride no favours. It isnt uncomfortable, but the Jazz becomes unsettled on patchy surfaces and the comparatively tall body means there's a fair amount of lean through corners.

Easy to drive around town, but handling could be sharper

Power comes from the Jazz's standard 1.3-litre engine (badged 1.4). It provides plenty of punch around town and the five-speed gearbox is smooth and precise. A sixth gear would reduce engine noise on the motorway, however, as well as improve fuel economy.

Like most Honda petrol engines, the Jazz's needs to be worked hard, but it revs smoothly. Engine and wind noise pick up considerably with speed, but road noise isn't too intrusive.

Whats the 2012 Honda Jazz Si like inside?
Although its sports seats are well bolstered for cornering, they could do with more lumbar support.

As with all versions of the Jazz, the contoured dashboard is functional, and the dials are easy to read. Most buttons are large and clearly labelled, too.

Bespoke seat and steering wheel trim brighten up the Jazz Si's cabin, but it still remains rather bland. All of the dashboard plastics are unappealingly hard, unlike those in rivals such as the VW Polo, but build quality is excellent and the Jazz has a tremendous record in our annual JD Power customer satisfaction surveys.

Silver details improve the interior; more space than in most rivals

Unlike most superminis, five adults will fit in the Jazz with reasonable comfort. There's more legroom than in most rivals, and the tall body allows for excellent headroom. Standard equipment for the Jazz Si includes Honda's 'Magic seat' layout: the rear seatbases flip up like a cinema seat to create extra loadspace.

Storage space is extremely impressive; there are 12 compartments in the front of the Jazzs cabin alone, as well as a double glovebox. The large, square boot doubles in size when the rear seats are folded down flat, while another storage compartment can be found under the boot floor.

Standard kit is on a par with the ES model's, so climate control, a cooled glovebox, USB connectivity and electric rear windows are standard. On top of this, the Si adds cruise control.

Should I buy one?
Honda plans to build 1000 examples of the Si. At 14,550 it isnt cheap, but it's well equipped and running costs will be reasonable.

The Si adds a sporty edge to the Jazz's all-round appeal, but it doesn't bring a great deal of power or extra dynamic ability.

Read the full Honda Jazz review >>

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What Car? says

Dan Alcock