Honda Jazz Review 2020

Just like people, cars have strengths in some fields more than others, but that’s not enough to set them apart from the crowd.

The Jazz’s strengths revolve around being spacious, cavernous interior, and five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. All this makes it a reliable small car.

Honda Jazz front view

The Honda Jazz is a safe and sensible choice. In 2018 the company launched a version with sports seats, sport trim level, extra acceleration, and a body kit to justify its name. The equipment levels are boasted across the range.

That said, the one thing that sets it aside is its cavernous interior. But is that enough to go past all its small car list rivals?

Well, let’s find out.

Specifications

Honda Jazz
Number of engines 2
Number of rims 9
Available fuel types Hybrid, petrol
Available door options 5
MPG Range across all versions 46.3-62.8
Warranty 3 years / 90000 miles

Pros

  • Sturdy interior 
  • Very spacious
  • Multiple standard equipment

Cons

  • Unrefined engine
  • Uninspiring to drive 

Performance and drive 

How does driving Honda Jazz feel like? And is it quiet?

Honda Jazz side view

Engine, 0-60mph, and gearbox

The new 1.3 liters may be faster on paper than its previous 1.4 counterparts, but it’s still low compared to its competitors. It’s best at its rev range, but it has no rush getting there. As a result, acceleration is kind of a miss, so you’ll be forced to change your gear to solve this issue. 

If you’d like more nerve, a 1.5-liter engine’s extra 30bhp may be tempting. Note that this is an old school aspirated engine. This means you’ll have to wring its neck for the engine to feel brisk; it typically feels alive when it’s over 3000rmp. 

Honda Jazz Infotainment

Some people find chasing the redline very impressive. So if you want easily assessed thrust alternatives such as Volkswagen Polo or TSI-engine Seat Ibiza will serve you better.

If possible, it’s best to avoid the CVT automatic gearbox. It allows the Jazz engine to rev extremely high, exposing its poor refinement. It also affects the car’s speed when accelerating.

Handling 

Even though Honda Jazz isn’t fun to drive like Ford Fiesta, it’s still safe and predictable.

The steering wheel is light, so it’s perfect for town errands, but no assurances in navigating fast corners. That said, it’s reasonably accurate, so you won’t need to make any constant inputs.

Despite the stiff springing, its tall body means it leans more than Polo, Ibiza, and Fiesta, although it never feels alarming.

Noise and Vibration 

The Honda Jazz’s engines are perfectly smooth even at high revs, and its gearshift is sharp and precise. Its pedal weight is well judged to give the driver confidence.

Yet, the 1.3 liters engine has poor flexibility meaning you have to rev it hard when you want to brisk acceleration. This causes a boomy engine noise. As the speed continues to build up, it’s joined by increased road and wind noise too.

The 1.5 liter Jazz is a little more flexible, so it doesn’t require too much revving, but you’ll still hear some noise at its full performance. While some users might find the engine’s note appealing, it drones at motorway speeds.

Interior 

The Honda Jazz interior layout, fit, and finish.

Honda Jazz Interior

Driving position and dashboard 

All Honda Jazz versions come with a generous range steering wheel as well as an adjustable seat, which means getting the right driving position is extremely easy.

The only drawback is that the driver’s seat isn’t very supportive because it’s poorly padded on its sides and lower backs.

On the brighter side, its pedals line up well, so the driver is comfortable during long-distance trips.

The front center armrest is standard, but short-legged users will find that it may not extend forward enough for their elbow.

Visibility, cameras and parking sensors

The front and rear parking are somewhat standard from SE trim upwards. However, irrespective of trim level, Honda Jazz is easy to thread along busy roads and park in narrow storey bays. This is all thanks to its tall and wind windscreen and slim front pillars that don’t obscure your vision.

The deep front side windows provide a good view of T-junctions and roundabouts.

The other good news is in line with its over-the-shoulder visibility. The side windows and rear screen are uniformly deep, and the rear pillars are slim and upright. The rear windscreen demister is very quick and effective.

Infotainment

In terms of infotainment, entry-level S models are the most basic in the Jazz range. However, they’ve got a color screen controlled by two rotary dials, and shortcut buttons. Other features include Aux and USB connections, Bluetooth, DAB road, four speakers, and a multi-function steering wheel.

Spending a little more on SE trim (which you should) brings a larger, advanced 7.0in touchscreen system with an extra USB connection and a CD player. The system allows integration with your smartphone and supports more apps on the screen but not Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 

Although this is an improvement, the 7.0 in the system it’s still far behind compared to its competitors. The graphics are a little outdated and fuzzy, and it’s not particularly responsive, plus the menus can be confusing.

The Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo are still leading in the infotainment category, and even Ford Fiesta trumps Honda Jazz in this sector.

Honda Jazz Review 2020 1

Quality

The look and feel of Honda Jazz chimes with the car’s practical nature. That doesn’t mean its interior looks low-rent. It comes with lots of piano-black plastics and silver accents, but the latter isn’t so convincing.

But once you start operating the switchgear and door handles, you’ll realize the plastics are for longevity and not necessarily for luxury. There are some dense, soft-touch surfaces while the plastics farther down are scratchy with a brittle feeling. EX and sport models have their steering wheel and gear lever, which gives the interior a welcome lift.

Passenger and boot space

How Honda Jazz manages people and clutter.

Front space 

Even adults taller than six fit comfortably in the front of the Jazz. The shoulder room is generous, and it also has a huge amount of headspace. Anyone with long legs can stretch out easily. 

Both front doors have pockets that can fit middle-sized water bottles, and two cup holders in front of the gear lever and a third cup holder on the right of the steering wheel. 

The final cubby is positioned underneath the armrest of the two front seats. It can easily hold a wallet, set of keys, and a mobile phone.

Honda Jazz front space

Rear space

Honda Jazz’s classic interior space extends to its rear. Two tall adults can comfortably sit in the outer rear without brushing the front seats or touching the ceiling. 

Three adults will also fit comfortably without squeezing, plus the middle passenger has an added advantage of a flat floor. 

Both front seat backs have pockets to store documents while every outer rear has a generous armrest. 

Both rear doors come with a small but essential pocket for storing a small water bottle.

Honda Jazz - essential pocket for storing a small water bottle

Seat folding and flexibility

All Honda Jazz models have impressive flexible seats. The front passenger seat comes with a wide range of fore, aft, and rake adjustment. The height adjustment is only on the range-topping EX trim. The seatback can be laid flat to allow large items to be pushed on its dashboard.

The rear seats are more flexible. They can be pushed forward completely, and their back can be tilt adjusted in a 60/40 ratio. Similarly, the bases can be folded upwards such that they lie against the seat backs so that all tall items up to the ceiling height can be positioned widthways across the car. 

Boot space

The car’s boot space is nearly the size of most small cars, and it’s very well thought through. But to be honest, there’s a small lip to lift bags over, but it’s manageable because the boot is close to the ground.

The sides are typically flush with the car’s body so you can make the most of the available space. There’s enough space, two large spaces, a large pushchair, and other items. 

Folding the rear seats flat creates a more de-cluttered load area. There is an extra space below the boot where you can place small items you want out of sight.

Honda Jazz rear

Cost and Verdict  

Everyday expenses, plus how safe and reliable it is.

Cost, insurance, C02 and MPG

Although Jazz may seem a little pricey, it comes with several standard pieces of equipment. In many cases, since the small cars are mainly bought in finance, the difference in monthly cost should be very slight. The Jazz enjoys residual values, while it’s servicing and insurance costs are competitive. 

Yet, if you’re a company car driver, you might want to consider Jazz’s rivals because its engines aren’t attractive in terms of CO2 emissions. Additionally, since the engines are naturally aspirated and not turbocharged, they require a heavy right foot to make the process easy, which hurts its fuel economy.

Equipment, extras, and opinions

Entry-level S versions don’t have alloy wheels, but they come with Bluetooth, DAB radio, wipers, electric mirrors, automatic lights air-con, and cruise control. It’s, however, advisable to upgrade to SE trim. At a fair price, you get the Connect infotainment system, 15in alloy wheels, alarm as well as parking sensors front and rear.

Honda Jazz Audio

Sat-nav is optional in all Jazz models besides S models, while EX models have luxuries such as keyless entry and start and temperature control.

It’s best to stick with SE based on SE, Sport trim that comes with black 16in wheels, 1.5-liter engine, sportier touches, and LED headlights.

Reliability 

In the list of small cars, Honda Jazz tops the category while Honda as a brand comes sixth out of 32 small car manufacturers.

All Honda cars come with a three-year warranty and a five-year exhaust warranty. Chassis corrosion is warranted for ten years and structural corrosion for 12 years. Despite all the offers, Kia remains the warrant leader in the industry with a seven-year warranty.

Honda offers up to three years of mechanical cover. However, if you’re financing a Jazz on a three year PCP deal and you replace it after the term, only the subsequent owner will benefit.

Safety and security

Honda Jazz has great safety equipment measures such as automatic emergency braking. EX and SE models have better features such as lane departure warning, intelligent speed limiter, traffic sign recognition, and forward-collision warning.

Thanks to these features, the Jazz was given five stars by Euro NCAP in all its crash tests. Thatcham Research that tests car security awarded Jazz an excellent score for its resistance to being driven away but awarded it just a fair rating for keeping thugs away,

Customer review

Many users are generally pleased with the design and the performance of the Honda Jazz. Many people praised the reliability and interior space, saying the car was great for commuting long distances.

One thing that some Jazz users complained about was the parking sensors. They pointed out that as a result of their high sensitivity, they keep indicating something is approaching only to find out there was nothing.

Final Thoughts 

If you’re looking for a small high-performance car, Honda Jazz should be high on your list. Although it has a few drawbacks, such as noise vibration, when you want a brisk acceleration, it has multiple pros. It has a huge boot space, great rear space as well as high flexibility, just to mention a few.

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