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Honda Jazz 1.3 EX Navi Test Drive Review

Date: 29 October 2015   |   Author:

Category: Supermini
Key rival: Nissan Note
P11D: £16,270
On sale: September 2015

The Jazz has made a name for itself by offering more space for passengers and luggage than similarly sized rivals, and the new version is no different.

What is new, though, is much sharper styling inside and out and improved comfort and roadholding. Only a 1.3-litre petrol engine is available - a hybrid may arrive by 2020, according to Honda UK's MD - with the option of a CVT automatic gearbox, which slashes up to 10g/km from the Jazz's CO2 emissions.

All models are well equipped, with even entry-level S trim including aircon, cruise control, auto headlights and windscreen wipers, a digital radio and upward-folding rear seats - with just alloy wheels absent.

Unlike most rivals, the Jazz's 1.3-litre motor does without a turbocharger, meaning you have to work the engine hard to make quick progress. Do so and the Jazz feels nippy enough, but most competitors offer lots more punch at low engine speeds. Refinement levels are good for a car this size, but the motor is loud when revved hard.

The steering, gearchange and pedals are well weighted, making the Jazz very easy to drive and much more capable around corners than its predecessor. Comfort levels are very strong, with smooth suspension and spacious, supportive seats for those in both rows. The interior design, meanwhile, feels solid but not as plush as some rivals.

The biggest issue, however, is whole-life costs. Despite stronger residuals than most rivals, high fuel costs mean the EX model costs 38.3p per mile compared with 32.3ppm for an equivalent Mini, 36.5ppm for faster and cheaper-to-tax Skoda Fabia and VW Polo models, and 36.9ppm for a similar Ford Fiesta.

While the Jazz is much better than before, offers reams of interior space and is stuffed with kit, it seems pricey, with more desirable models available for less.

Honda Jazz 1.3 EX Navi

Model price range £13,495-£17,425
Residual value 36.1%
Depreciation £10,395
Fuel £5397
Service, maintenance and repair £1622
Vehicle Excise Duty £60
National Insurance £1415
Cost per mile 39.1p
Fuel consumption 55.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 120g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month £52/£103
Warranty 3yrs/90,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 354/884 litres
Engine size/power 1318cc/102hp

Verdict


High costs make it less appealing than more stylish, upmarket and fun-to-drive rivals
7/10
  • The new Jazz offers extra interior space along with much-improved handling
  • Whole-life costs lag behind a number of more stylish and upmarket rivals

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