Used car of the week: Honda Jazz

The Honda Jazz should be on your shopping list if you're looking for a used small car. It's practical, cheap to run and reliable. Here's everything you need to know.

Words ByMatthew Burrow

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This is going to be a big year for Honda. A whole host of new models will be launched including the Civic Type-R, HR-V and third-generation Honda Jazz.

Honda tells us the latest Jazz will be more spacious and refined than the outgoing car and will arrive in the UK in the summer. The outgoing model is popular with those looking for a small but practical car that should prove to be reliable. There are loads to choose from on the used market - here's what you need to look out for.

Ideal model 1.4 EX
Prices from Β£3500

Why should I buy a used Honda Jazz?

The Honda Jazz is a spacious and reliable small car with light steering, a good driving position and well laid-out dashboard. It's also remarkably practical for a small car. The rear seat bases fold up in the manner of theatre seats to allow large, long loads to slide in. The rear seats can also fold down flat. On top of that, even with the rear seats in use, the boot is surprisingly large.

Add to that Honda's reputation for reliability and the low running costs, and the Honda Jazz is definitely worth a look if you're interested in buying a small car.

Which version should I choose?

We recommend buyers go for the 1.4 models, which are powered by a 1.3-litre petrol engine that puts out 99bhp. The Jazz Hybrid is considerably more expensive and emits more than 100g/km of CO2, so doesn't qualify for free road tax.

Specification-wise, it's worth looking at one of the more premium models because there are lots of them on the used market and they come with a very generous level of equipment. EX models are our pick because they got alloy wheels, all-round electric windows, climate and cruise controls and a panoramic glass roof as standard.

We would recommend buyers stick with the manual gearbox because the automatic options use CVT ’boxes that aren't very refined.

How much should I pay?

Early high-mileage will set you back about Β£3500. For a 2012 car with 30,000 miles on the clock, you'll be looking to spend about Β£8000. Lots of models on the used market have the CVT automatic gearbox and those command a premium of about Β£800 over a similar-vintage manual car.

What problems should I look out for?

Honda has a fantastic reputation for reliability and the Jazz lives up to that. Owners have very few complaints. However there are a few things to be aware of.

Some of the dashboard plastics are hard and scratch easily. Check around the dashboard for scuff marks.

There are complaints that the floor mats aren't well made and wear out quickly. It's also worth checking under the rear floor mats for water damage, because there have been some issues with the door seals degrading and letting water into the cabin.

Honda has recalled the Jazz to fix issues with the brake pedal, the gear indicator on i-Shift automatic models and the pipes that carry the brake fluid. Check that all of these repair works have been carried out.

If you're after a used Honda Jazz check out what's available on the approved used section of our website.