If you’ve read our review of the 2010 Nissan Micra 1.5 dCi n-tec 3dr then you would have learned that we have experienced a few issues with it concerning MPG, starting, high clutch amongst a few other things hence why it is currently in the garage where we had obtained it from and hopefully the gremlins that have plagued it will be eliminated.
In the meantime, we have been given a brand new Honda Jazz to drive about in and we thought that it would be worth writing a review about it while we have it so you can hopefully experience through our eyes what we thought about it and if it is a car worth placing on your list when looking for your next new supermini.
It goes without saying that the Honda Jazz has a fantastic reputation for reliability when it comes to ownership and with that in mind you can see why the Honda Jazz has always been a firm favourite with the type of people who wants a car that spends most of its time on the road and not in the garage needing repair. This very fact may explain why it is a firm favourite with the more senior group of drivers in the UK who just want to turn the key and go.
The 2019 Honda Jazz Styling
Over the years the Honda Jazz hasn’t really set the world alight with its styling. While it hasn’t been an ugly duckling it doesn’t really appeal to the more youthful sector of the market where say the VW Polo or Ford Fiesta would, which a lot of cars in this sector are compared to. With the Mk3 Honda Jazz, Honda is hoping to remedy this.
Walking up to the new Honda Jazz you do notice that in terms of looks it is a lot more modern and in keeping with the current line up of new Honda’s like its bigger brother, the Honda Civic. The lines are a little more aggressive at the front and running down the side of the car, while the bodywork is a bit more chunkier than the older Mk2 Jazz while still keeping its overall silhouette that you instantly recognise as the Jazz.
It’s not as outlandish as say the new Honda Civic, as we would imagine that it would still need to appeal to its current market, but we do feel that its refreshed look with its more assertive stance is aimed a little further afield, attracting a younger family orientated crowd who are after a bit more practicality with their next new car.
The Honda Jazz is classed as a supermini, so the comparison is with the likes of what we have mentioned earlier the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta. So when you look at the outside of the car, especially the red version we are writing about here, it’s hard to believe that it’s not really classed more like a mini MPV which is what we believe that it’s more akin to.
The New Honda Jazz Interior Practicality ‘Now that’s Magic!!’
When purchasing a new car you can be faced with a myriad of trim levels and options but with Honda, they have slimmed it all down to four main trim levels to choose from and they are S, SE, EX and Sport which give you differing levels of specification, technology and luxury. The one we have here is the ‘S’ spec which is the entry-level trim on offer today in 2019.
Now with some manufacturers, mainly the German ones, this can mean that having the entry-level trim gives you the basics like a steering wheel to direct the car, seats to sit on, windows to look through, doors to open, wheels and an engine to help the car move and that’s your lot but with Honda the standard specification you get with the new Jazz is fairly impressive. The standard spec before you choose a trim level will include things like cruise control, front and rear electric windows, height adjustable driver’s seat, body coloured bumpers and steering mounted audio remote to name a few plus the standard safety features are impressive including the likes of traction control, ABS and Isofix Child seat anchor points which are very much worth having.
What’s the Honda Jazz’s interior like?
Stepping into the new Honda Jazz didn’t give us the wow factor that we were expecting from a £13,000 plus 2019 car, which says a lot as the cars we drive tend to be around the ten-year-old mark, Micra, Fiesta and Golf to name a few. Saying that though we were impressed with how well screwed together the Honda Jazz feels and you can tell that more when you drive it as there were no loose rattling trim bits and it felt very solid on the inside.
The dash is made up of scratchy plastics which seem quite hard to the touch but we do feel that using these materials are with durability in mind as opposed to that luxury feel. Not really a problem for us as we are only having it for a few days but if you were looking to own the car for the long term then you may need to spend a little time with it to see if it is something you would like.
Design wise it doesn’t excite as it is quite sober and monochromatic in its approach, there are no swoopy lines or flourishes of colour to make it stand out but we would imagine that the audience that this car is aiming at aren’t after gimmicky levels of trim. Saying that though it is easily laid out and you become familiar with it very quickly. The buttons and dials have a nice solid feel to them and the instrument panel is very easy to read and understand.
Interestingly as well as the gear change indicator, it does have a nice blue light either side of the speedometer indicating blue if you are driving a bit more spirited than usual and green if you are driving with economy in mind, which was a nice touch.
The other nice touch on the dash was where they had placed a cup holder for the driver to use, which is to the right of the steering wheel, making it very easy for the driver to place a drinks bottle or take-out hot drink.
The media centre built into the dash did seem like something from the early naughties, we would love nothing more to see it become a little more up to date to something more agreeable to the eye and less like the mobile phone graphics from the early 2000s. But that’s just a small niggle as in fairness it is ok to operate and as it is not a touch screen the buttons are easier to use when you are driving, in comparison to hunting through menus to try and find the radio station you are after.
The one thing we did note and that was with the DAB, during our use of the car we could never receive any DAB stations on the media centre which was a shame as it always seemed to be hunting around for them but again we only had the car for a few days so I am sure that undertaking a full DAB radio scan would probably remedy this.
What’s the Honda Jazz’s seating, storage and practicality like?
Moving on to seating, the seats were supportive and comfortable and with the height adjustment coupled with the adaptation of the steering wheel allowed us to find our ideal driving position.
In the back, the seating was just as comfortable as the front and we feel that it would have no problem accommodating three adults at a pinch for a short journey. Talking about the rear, the legroom was fantastic and allowed you to spread out a little more than something like the Ford Fiesta would allow and it still made us wonder why it is called a supermini as the space in the back was nothing short of great. Even the headroom was good, which is very much down to its quite boxy design.
Now, where this car scores massively is not so much with its storage but with its unbelievable amount of practicality. You are well catered for cup holders, with two in the middle console and one to the right of the steering wheel plus there are extra spaces where you can hold drinks bottles in either door bin of the rear passenger doors and towards the rear of the centre console. The door bins at the front are of a usable size and at the back, as we have said can accommodate either drinks or a small amount of nick nacks that you may wish to place in there. The glove box is not as big as you would have hoped and is mainly taken up by the instruction and service manuals.
Its how the Honda Jazz adapts the seating arrangement is where it shines in terms of practicality. It employs what Honda proudly boasts as its Magic Seating system. Basically, if you imagine how cinema seats used to work where you had to fold them downwards to be able to sit on them then if you can imagine that operation in reverse then that is how the seating system works in the new Honda Jazz. Where this system scores well is that once you have all the back seats up like cinema seats then you can easily get tallish items like fairly large TVs or tall garden plants in the rear passenger footwell and still have the boot for other items.
The seats also fold completely flat when folded forward allowing for a very large carrying space in the back. The boot as a whole is very adequate for a car if its size and class and as the opening is quite square in its shape it was a very useable space.
Driving the 2019 Honda Jazz
When you are used to driving around in cars that have 70,000 miles plus on the clock anything brand new tends to feel super smooth and easy to drive and the Honda Jazz is no exception.
The steering is light and responsive, making it very easy to park and get in an out of tight spaces, plus its handling is superb. Though we wouldn’t want to be chucking it around corners anytime soon it did feel competent and above all solid. It also ironed out the majority of lumps and bumps in the road making it a very easy car to enjoy on a long drive. Operating the light clutch was a joy to behold and effortless in day to day town driving.
All round visibility in the Honda Jazz is just superb and doesn’t really suffer from any real blind spots that can befall some of the other rivals in its class.
Performance wise, the Jazz isn’t designed to win any races and you can feel that instantly when you accelerate away from the off. It has no real excitement about it and coupled with the short ratio 6 gears you tend to give the engine a few more revs than usual to get it really going. We thought that this style of driving might significantly lower the real word MPG but it wasn’t too bad staying in the high 40s.
We can understand the lack of excitement, as this car is primarily designed to get you easily from A to B with little or no hassle, but we felt that if it had that little bit of extra sparkle when it came to a bit of extra power we are sure that it would become a lot more attractive to younger drivers who are after a bit more practicality in their life. There is a version of the Jazz with the slightly bigger 1.5 VTEC petrol engine that comes with the Sport Edition which may cater to an audience that prefers a bit of spice with their cars performance but as we only have the 1.3 VTEC, for now, we can only go on what we are experiencing.
Our Verdict on the Honda Jazz
We have to say that we liked driving the Honda Jazz S 1.3 VTEC. Though we felt that its performance was a little lacking to start with we soon got used to its power delivery and adapted to its driving style. It does what it aims to do very well, becoming an ideal car to get you around the doors and in and out of town plus its practicality was unreal. We can see it working well as much for a family who is after no-frills motoring as well as suiting an older generation of drivers who want their car to spend most of the time on the road as opposed to a garage.
Overall, the Mk3 Honda Jazz is a very good car and one we would definitely consider if we were in the market for a practical, dependable supermini. The only stumbling block would be that for £14,600, which this car starts from, you could get yourself a lot more driving experience with the class-leading Ford Fiesta but you need to ask yourself would it be as dependable and as practical as the Honda Jazz, mmm tough decision.
To view more about the all-new Honda Jazz visit the official website by CLICKING HERE.