Honda Jazz (2015-2019)

The Honda Jazz is a hugely spacious supermini, but it’s pricey new

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Well equipped
Spacious and versatile
Strong Honda reliability

Weaknesses 

No diesel
Expensive for a supermini
Not much fun to drive
Best finance deal

Honda Jazz Hatchback (2015-2017) 1.3 s 5dr

Finance price £137 per month

Cash price £7,299

Honda Jazz prices from £6,490   Finance from £137 per month*

The Honda Jazz is among the most practical small cars you can buy, offering a huge amount of boot and passenger space on the inside, while remaining compact on the outside. Very few cars pull off the same trick and those that do - such as the Nissan Note or Kia Venga - are cheaper but not as good as the Jazz.

The boot is 354 litres in size, which is close to much larger family cars like the VW Golf and Ford Focus, and the same as small crossovers such as the Mazda CX-3 and Vauxhall Mokka. You can increase the load space by folding down the rear seats, or by folding the seat bases like cinema chairs to leave a large area for luggage in the footwells.

With seats in place, there's as much space in the back of the Jazz as a big family saloon car, yet it's no longer than a VW Polo or Ford Fiesta. It's solidly put together and the Jazz has a great reputation for reliability, although it doesn't feel the highest quality, with the doors closing with a tinny thud and a plasticky feel inside.

The Jazz is set up to be easy and relaxing to drive, which means that there's great visibility from the driver's seat, with a wide view of the road. You can see enough of the bonnet to judge whether you should drive through a narrow gap confidently, or reverse away because the car won't fit.

If this all sounds very sensible, then it is: the Jazz has long held a reputation for being practical, functional and a bit boring, to say nothing of its firm association with elderly drivers. The design of the latest version is more adventurous in an attempt to remedy this, but it can't disguise the car's tall, boxy shape.

The Jazz isn’t particularly fun to drive either. The engine available from launch - a 1.3-litre petrol - isn't very powerful, imposing a leisurely driving style on its driver, and the steering is light. This makes the car easy to manoeuvre, but doesn't give you any sense that it’s connected to the wheels, so you feel a bit distant from the process of driving.

A 1.5-litre petrol engine was added to the range more recently and this offers a surprising amount of power, though you have to work this engine hard to take advantage of the greater muscle.

The Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2 and Peugeot 208 are more fun and cheaper, too, in cash terms. New, the Honda Jazz was more expensive to buy than the Hyundai i20, Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris. In fact, the price was not too far off the more premium Mini Hatchback. The Jazz will also cost a little more to fill up than its most economical rivals: fuel economy is around 10mpg worse than many other superminis.

The Jazz holds its value well, which cuts the cost of financing, as well as ownership, because you'll be able to sell it for a high second-hand price. It scored the full five stars in independent Euro NCAP crash testing too, but remember the test is significantly more strict today than when the Jazz was subject to it.

Consider the Honda Jazz's very strong reputation for reliability, however, and it's a particularly good car to buy used, as you shouldn't have any worries about it not lasting the test of time or breaking down.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 09:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/90,000 miles
Boot size: 
354 litres
Width: 
1,694mm
Length: 
3,995mm
Height: 
1,550mm
Tax (min to max): 
£20 to £140

Best Honda Jazz for... 

Honda Jazz 1.3 S CVT
Although every Jazz has the same engine, efficiency varies slightly depending on the gearbox and trim level. The entry-level Jazz with the CVT automatic transmission promises to return over 61mpg and cost just £20 a year in road tax.
Honda Jazz 1.3 SE Navi
Family buyers will like the extra safety kit you get with the SE over the S. It will alert you if you drift out of your lane, or are on a collision course with another car. It can also recognise traffic signs and display the speed limit n the dashboard. SE Navi includes sat-nav.
Honda Jazz 1.5 Sport
Sport models get a 130hp petrol engine which is pleasantly quick, but it's not quite hot hatch territory.
Honda Jazz 1.3 EX Navi
In range-topping EX Navi specification, the Jazz cost well over £16,000 when new, which was expensive for a car in this class, regardless of how practical it may be.

 

  • July 2015 Third-generation Jazz supermini goes on sale in UK
  • November 2015 Euro NCAP awards Honda Jazz best in class supermini award
  • August 2017 Sport model with 130hp 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine announced
  • January 2018 Refreshed model arrives

Understanding Honda Jazz car names 

  • Jazz
  • Engine
    1.3 i-VTEC
  • Trim
    EX Navi
  • Gearbox
    CVT
  • Engine
    All bar the Sport trim come with a 1.3-litre petrol engine, while Sport models come with a more powerful 1.5-litre petrol engine.
  • Trim
    The amount of standard equipment fitted to the Jazz depends on its trim level. The lowest is S, followed by SE and EX. Navi versions of the SE and EX added sat-nav, and a later addition of Sport made for an alternative to EX.
  • Gearbox
    There’s a choice of regular six-speed manual or an automatic, which is a continuously-variable transmission type - or CVT.

Honda Jazz Engines 

1.3 i-VTEC, 1.5 i-VTEC

A modestly powerful 1.3-litre petrol with 102hp is the only engine available across most of the range. Official fuel economy figures, which are measured in a laboratory, show the automatic version to be the most economical, but this may not be true in real-world driving. The automatic gearbox is a continuously variable transmission (or CVT), which means that it adjusts itself to keep the engine at the most economical speed. This works well in town, where speeds are low and acceleration often slow. But on faster roads, you really have to push the accelerator to get the car moving, creating an unpleasant engine whine and affecting fuel economy.

The manual gearbox is much smoother, which is important because you'll be changing gears regularly to get as much power out of the engine as possible: it's no sporty performer.

A 130hp 1.5-litre engine later arrived, for Sport models only. This model is also most efficient when paried with the CVT automatic gearbox, according to official figures, promising over 52mpg. This model is significantly slower to 62mph (10 seconds) than with the manual gearbox (8.7 seconds).

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

1.3 i-VTEC

Petrol

61.4mpg

102hp

11.2s

1.5 i-VTEC

Petrol

52.3mpg

130hp

8.7s

Honda Jazz Trims 

S, SE, SE Navi, Sport, EX, EX Navi

Getting the right trim level is important with the Jazz because, if you're buying new, there's not a lot of equipment that you can fit to the car individually, as an option. If you want a rear view parking camera, for example, you can only get it with the most expensive EX models.

That said, the Jazz is well equipped, even in its cheapest form. The S gets digital radio, audio and USB ports for connecting your music player, wireless Bluetooth phone connectivity, air-conditioning, cruise control, wipers and headlights that come on automatically in the rain or dark, electric windows all round, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear magic seats that fold to create more space in the footwells, automatic emergency braking, a full set of airbags and hill start assistance that can help prevent the car from rolling backwards.

Stepping up to SE is worthwhile, though, as you get alloy wheels rather than the plain steel ones on the S, as well as Honda’s ‘CONNECT’ seven-inch touchscreen system, which incorporates app integration and digital radio. The SE also has useful features for everyday motoring, such as front and rear parking sensors and power-adjustable folding heated door mirrors, as well as additional safety kit, including lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning and automatically dipping headlights. The SE Navi is exactly the same as SE, save for the addition of sat-nav.

Sport models get all of this, plus a sportier feel and look.

Next up is EX, which makes the Jazz pretty expensive for such a small car. For the money, you get larger 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, front foglights, a six-speaker stereo, a rear parking camera, height-adjustable passenger seat and keyless entry, so you can unlock the car and start it wiothout taking the key fob out of your pocket or bag. Again, there’s an EX Navi model for buyers wanting to add sat nav to the EX’s long list of kit.

Honda Jazz Reliability and warranty 

Ranked the 13th most reliable car out of 150 in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power customner satisfaction survey, the Jazz continues Honda's reputation for excellent reliability. The company’s warranty cover is a little better than average: although it lasts for three years like many other car brands’ guarantees, it has a 90,000-mile limit as opposed to the more common 60,000 miles.

Used Honda Jazz 

The Honda Jazz’s superb reliability record and the fact that it tends to be owned by people who don’t do high mileage makes it a desirable used car. This also means that it holds its value fairly well, so bargains are few and far between.

Even so, it's still a good used buy as Honda's reliability recod means that there's less chance of something going wrong. There's also less of a cost difference between different versions of the Jazz when buying used, so you can buy a better-equipped SE and EX for only a little bit more than a Jazz S. Prices for this generation of Honda Jazz start at £7,000 or £137 per month. More desirable Sport models start at £13,000.

List price

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1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Honda Jazz 1.3 S CVT

Price

£14,595

£13,372

£11,855

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7%

19%

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Best for families

Honda Jazz 1.3 SE Navi

Price

£15,605

£14,644

£12,485

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6%

20%

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Best for economy

Honda Jazz 1.3 S CVT

Price

£13,495

£12,561

£11,060

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7%

18%

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