- Spacious interior
- Class-leading boot space
- Class-leading safety
- Not the most fun to drive
- Interior quality not the most refined
- More expensive to insure than some rivals
Reliable, spacious supermini
The Honda Jazz might not be one of the best-selling superminis in the UK today, but it is one of the most sensible options. First introduced in 2002, and now in its third generation, the Jazz remains one of the most reliable cars on the market. It might not have the driving flair of a Ford Fiesta, nor does it possess the badge prestige of a Volkswagen Polo, but few cars in the supermini class can match the Jazz for practicality.
The latest update in 2013 featured a complete redesign, with more attractive aesthetics, an even more spacious cabin, and a more rewarding driving experience.
Spacious, well-built, and generously equipped
The Honda Jazz is a car that’s built to last, but it’s not exactly flashy. The cabin of the Jazz is spacious, but lacks the finesse of some rivals. Nevertheless, there’s a class-leading boot, and generous standard equipment.
When you step into the Jazz you may be surprised by just how contemporary the dashboard design is. Most people don’t associate Honda as being at the forefront of design, but it’s actually quite an attractive construction. Controls are also well laid out and easy to use, so any driver can get into a Jazz and start driving immediately. Unfortunately, the quality of materials used is a little disappointing, as soft-touch materials are used sparingly, in favour of more robust hard plastics. It’s not as classy as a Volkswagen Polo, but it all feels built to last.
One area in which the Jazz trumps its rivals convincingly is in its storage capacity. The boot capacity of the Jazz is 354 litres, which is more than enough space for most family buyers. It’s also a good shape, and there’s plenty of seating flexibility to make the boot even bigger for when you need it. Compare it side by side with the Ford Fiesta (290 litres), the Vauxhall Corsa (285 litres), and even the Volkswagen Polo (280 litres), and it’s clear that the Jazz is the most practical car in the supermini class.
Equipment levels in the Jazz are also generous, no matter which trim you choose to go for. The best value in the range is to be had with the SE trim, which comes with air-con, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, electric mirrors, alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, and an excellent touchscreen infotainment system that includes a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity. There are few cars in the class with such an exhaustive list of goodies.
Overall, the inside of the Jazz is a pretty impressive package. The quality of materials might not be the best, but the cabin is built to last, and it’s also the most spacious car in its class. Add in the generous equipment across the range, and you’ll soon realise that the Jazz represents excellent value for money.
Not the most fun, or refined
The Honda Jazz is not a car that is designed with the primary function of being fun to drive. It’s nowhere near as engaging as a Ford Fiesta, but most drivers won’t be too disappointed. There’s plenty of grip in the corners, and body roll is contained reasonably well. Unfortunately however there’s very little feedback from the steering, so it doesn’t inspire much confidence on twisty country roads.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement is also not one of the Jazz’s strongest points. It copes with the majority of British roads pretty well, but particularly rough surfaces, potholes, and speed bumps, all filter through into the cabin. It’s not uncomfortable, but it’s not as impressive as a VW Polo. The Jazz isn’t the best motorway cruiser either, as at high speed there’s quite a bit of engine, road and wind noise.
Gearbox options in the Jazz come in two forms. The standard throughout the range is a 6-speed manual that performs pretty well, and features a short, sharp throw. Unfortunately, the gearing is quite short, so you’ll find yourself changing gear a lot around town. The optional CVT automatic is probably one to avoid, unless you really don’t enjoy changing gear, as it revs the engine hard, making the Jazz even less refined.
Only one petrol engine available
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Jazz, you’ve only got the one option. Diesel lovers are going to be disappointed, as the only engine is a petrol unit. It’s reasonably efficient however, and relatively green.
Petrolheads are more than likely not going to consider the Honda Jazz, as the 1.3 litre i-VTEC engine produces just 104bhp, and 91 lb ft of torque. It’s not the slowest in the class, and it actually feels quite nippy around town, but it can sometimes struggle when you’re trying to overtake at higher speeds. Nevertheless, the 0-62mph time of 11.2 seconds is respectable for the class.
Eco-friendly buyers may also be disappointed with the engine on offer in the Jazz. With so many competitors producing cars with sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, it’s disappointing to see that the Jazz produces 106g/km. It’s still pretty impressive for a petrol unit however, and it’ll only cost you £30 each year for road tax. It’s also a pretty decent option for money savers, as the Jazz can achieve up to 56.6mpg. For a petrol engine that’s impressive, but a VW Polo diesel is far cheaper to run day-to-day.
Class-leading NCAP results, impressive standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Honda Jazz easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 93% in adult safety, 85% in child safety, and 73% in pedestrian safety, the Jazz received the ‘best in class’ award from NCAP. This is in part due to the generous standard safety kit on offer in the Jazz. Even entry-level models come with a city braking system, traction control, and electronic stability control. There is no car in the supermini class that is safer than the Honda Jazz.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Honda Jazz may be more expensive to buy than some rivals, but it still offers good value for money. CO2 emissions and fuel consumption aren’t the best in class, but they’re still reasonably impressive There’s only one engine in the range, so it really doesn’t matter which Jazz you go for, as you’re not going to be stung with an expensive road tax bill, or pricey visits to the service station.
Insurance costs in the Jazz are pretty standard for the class, no matter which spec you choose to go for. Every Jazz sits neatly into group 13, which is far from being the lowest grouped supermini on the market, but it’s still far from excessive.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Jazz, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Honda Jazz is the sensible person’s supermini. It’s spacious, reliable, and solid. It might not be the most fun to drive, or the cheapest to insure, but one thing is for certain, when you buy a Honda Jazz, you’re buying a car that’s going to last a generation.
Buying a used Honda Jazz online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Honda Jazz for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Jazz. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Honda Jazz online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Honda? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Honda Jazz, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Jazz, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Honda to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.