Honda Jazz (2015-present)

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

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 not particularly fun to drive either. The one 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 has been 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. With official prices starting at £14,600, the cheapest Jazz is around £2,000 more than the starting price of other rivals like the Hyundai i20, Kia Rio and Toyota Yaris, and not too far off the Mini Hatchback. The Jazz will also cost a little more to fill up than its most economical rivals: fuel economy is a good 10mpg worse than many other superminis.

Price isn’t everything, though: 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.

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 

Friday, May 31, 2019 - 09:30

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, will 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 1.3 S
Performance differs very slightly across the Jazz range. No version is quick, though: this entry-level version with a manual gearbox takes 11.2 seconds to get from 0-62mph.
Honda Jazz 1.3 EX Navi
In range-topping EX Navi specification, the Jazz costs well over £16,000, which is expensive for a car in this class, regardless of how practical it may be.

Honda Jazz History 

July 2015 Third-generation Jazz supermini goes on sale in UK

Understanding Honda Jazz car names 

  • Jazz
  • Engine
    1.3
  • Trim
    EX Navi
  • Gearbox
    CVT
  • Engine
    There's just one Honda Jazz engine. It's 1.3-litres in size
  • Trim
    The amount of standard equipment fitted to the Jazz depends on its trim level. The lowliest is the S, followed by the SE, SE Navi and EX. EX Navi sits at the top of the range.
  • 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 (petrol)

Honda only offers one engine option to UK Jazz buyers: a modestly powerful 1.3-litre petrol with 101bhp. 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.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

1.3 i-VTEC

Petrol

55.4 - 61.4mpg

102hp

11.2 - 12.3sec

113 - 118mph

Honda Jazz Trims 

S, SE, SE Navi, 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 saidm, the Jazz is well equipped, even in its cheapest form. The S gets  DAB 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, internet access - through your phone - 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.

Next up is EX, which makes the Jazz pretty expensive for such a small car. For the money, you get larger 16in 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 difference between different versions of the Jazz, so you can buy a better-equipped SE and EX for only a little bit more than a Jazz S.

List price

buyacar new

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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Save

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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Save

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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Save

7%

18%

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