WITH downsizing the buzz word and costs escalating Honda’s Jazz is well placed the meet the needs of an ever more demanding motoring public.
And really, you can’t argue with its credentials – it’s won eight JD Power Customer Satisfaction awards on the trot, so they must be doing something right for their buyers.
The fact that one passenger during its time in our hands described it as being as interesting as a cheese sandwich is maybe a bit harsh, but from the passenger seat all you see is a big wide expanse of dash, loads of cubby holes and not a lot else to enthuse about. An opinion, yes, but not a truly helpful one.
Behind the wheel, the emphasis is different. Because it’s there you find out how easy the Jazz is to pilot on a day-to-day basis.
The steering is light and precise, the gearbox a credit to whoever put it together, the driving position comfortable and the 1.4 i-VTEC engine under the bonnet a willing partner in the task of getting from A to B.
Its compact looks on the outside belie the amount of space inside. We have friends who have always bought a Jazz, from the time their kids were small to teens and beyond.
It is to them a perfect practical family car, offering the ability to transport five people of varying sizes or, when needs must, dropping the rear Magic Seats to utilise the decent sized load area for bigger projects.
Jazz has always had a broad appeal, bought by a wide gamut of motorists for their various needs. Apparently the average age of a Jazz buyer is 56,which was a bit of an eye opener but maybe its fresher new lines will attract younger customers who don’t need a travel rug and thermos every time they venture out.
In the back there’s a surprising amount of room for what is a relatively compact car. Your knees might encroach a bit into the backrest of the front seat if you’re tall but the amount of interior space is on the whole very good.
It’s an economical little beast, benefiting from Honda’s superb engine technology – technology that once again will be utilised in Formula One racing as Honda makes a welcome return in the back of McLaren’s cars in 2015. I bet Martin Whitmarsh can’t wait.
Jazz holds the road well on corners and has acceptable ride quality, even if it errs on the firm side. There’s good feel from the steering and going over road markings you can almost tell how many coats of paint they used.
It copes with bumps and undulations, and if there’s a grumble at all it would be in the amount of road noise that is picked up and transmitted back through the cabin.
The big wide dash area coupled with a large front screen lets a lot of light into the interior, helped by slim front A pillars. And that also gives you a great view of the road and your surroundings, because the quarter panels are also a decent size – you can actually see out of them, unlike a lot of cars these days
And there are lots of storage spaces and cubby holes. Two gloveboxes on the passenger side, big door pockets and space for oddments in the centre console to mention a few.
With downsizing the buzz word and costs escalating the Jazz is well placed the meet the needs of an ever more demanding motoring public.
FASTFACTS: Honda Jazz 1.4 i-VTEC ES Plus; £14,495; 1339cc SOHC, 98bhp, 127Nm; five speed manual gearbox; top speed 113mph, 0-62mph 11.6 seconds; CO2 129g/km; fuel – urban 42.8, extra urban 58.9, combined 51.4; will it fit the garage? 3900/2029/1525 (l/w/h).
© Wheelwrite 2013