New Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris vs Volkswagen Polo: verdict

As hybrids, the new Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris should be frugal, but are they as well rounded as a conventional small car such as the Volkswagen Polo? Let’s find out...

Honda Jazz 2021 front

Our verdict

If the Jazz had racked up the most stars solely by virtue of its exceptional practicality, it wouldn’t have won this test; we know that rear seat space and clever seating flexibility aren’t priorities for the majority of small car buyers.

But it’s a jolly nice bonus to have, and the fact is the new Jazz outscores its rivals here even if you take practicality out of the equation completely, thanks to its great driving position, strong performance, slow depreciation and the amount of luxury and safety kit you get as standard.

It’s a closer-run thing between the Yaris and Polo. The former has some real and important strengths, not least its excellent fuel economy and the likelihood of bulletproof reliability. However, it can’t match the Polo for interior quality, infotainment or ride comfort, plus it’s the noisiest car here and the least practical, so it’s edged into third place.

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1st – Honda Jazz

Honda Jazz 2021 rear

For Lots of standard luxury and safety kit; great driving position; seriously practical; strong performance; slowest depreciation
Against Highest monthly PCP costs; not much fun to drive
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Read our full Honda Jazz review >>

Find Honda Jazz deals >>

2nd – Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo 2021 rear

For Classiest interior; quietest cruiser; great to drive; big discounts; roomy
Against You’ll want to add options; least efficient
Recommended options Climate control (£420), Light & Sight Pack (£205), rear-view camera (£260)

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our full Volkswagen Polo review >>

Find Volkswagen Polo deals >>

3rd – Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris 2021 rear

For Exceptional fuel economy; Toyota’s reliability record; lots of safety kit; decent handling
Against Firm ride; cramped rear seats; small boot; noisiest at speed
Recommended options None

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our full Toyota Yaris review >>

Find Toyota Yaris deals >>

Specifications: Honda Jazz

Honda Jazz 2021 boot badge

Engine 4cyl, 1498cc, petrol, plus two electric motors
Peak power 96bhp (petrol), 79bhp (electric)
Peak torque 97lb ft (petrol), 187lb ft (electric)
Gearbox CVT automatic
0-60mph 8.6sec
30-70mph 8.6sec
Top speed 108mph
30-0mph 9.0m
70-0mph 47.9m
Noise @ 30mph 60.2dB
Noise @ 70mph 66.5dB
Official economy 62.8mpg
Test economy 56.0mpg
CO2 emissions 102g/km

Specifications: Toyota Jazz

Toyota Yaris 2021 boot badge

Engine 3cyl, 1490cc, petrol, plus two electric motors
Peak power 114bhp (petrol), 79bhp (electric)
Peak torque 89lb ft (petrol), 104lb ft (electric)
Gearbox CVT automatic
0-60mph 9.0sec
30-70mph 8.8sec
Top speed 108mph
30-0mph 8.5m
70-0mph 45.3m
Noise @ 30mph 60.5dB
Noise @ 70mph 67.7dB
Official economy 68.9mpg
Test economy 59.9mpg
CO2 emissions 92g/km

Specifications: Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo 2021 boot badge

Engine 3cyl, 999cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 94bhp at 5000-5500rpm
Peak torque 129lb ft at 2000-3500rpm
Gearbox 5-spd manual
0-60mph 9.5sec
30-70mph 9.9sec
Top speed 116mph
30-0mph 8.6m
70-0mph 47.7m
Noise @ 30mph 59.8dB
Noise @ 70mph 65.8dB
Official economy 53.3mpg
Test economy 51.8mpg
CO2 emissions 120g/km

Weather conditions Slightly damp

Cars pictured

Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Hybrid EX with Platinum White pearl paint (£550)

Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid Design with Tokyo Red pearlescent paint (£880)

Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 95 Match with Energetic Orange metallic paint (£575)