Jazz press reviews

Honda Jazz Hatchback full 9 point review

WhatCar?

"Performance"

4 out of 5 stars

Buyers can choose from 89bhp 1.2-litre and 99bhp 1.4-litre petrol engines. Both offer fine driveability, albeit with differing degrees of vigour. A semi-automatic gearbox is available as an option on the 1.4, but it's best avoided as shifts are slow and jerky.

Ride & Handling

2 out of 5 stars

The Jazz is let down by a very jiggly low-speed ride, and while comfort improves with speed, it still feels rather unsettled. The upside is that this tall car doesn't roll through bends as much as you might expect, and there's plenty of grip. The steering is agreeably light around town, but vague and slow-witted on the open road.

Refinement

2 out of 5 stars

If you're after the quiet life, the Jazz is best avoided. It has an extremely smooth engine and the suspension seems quiet over most surfaces, however it's difficult to be certain, as there's so much wind noise at motorway speeds you can hear little else.

Buying & Owning

4 out of 5 stars

Every model averages more than 50mpg and all of the engine/gearbox combinations emit between 125- and 130g/km of CO2, placing them in band D for road tax. However, if you want something even greener, wait for the hybrid model, which is due to arrive early in 2011. Strong second-hand values help compensate for the high list prices and servicing costs.

Quality & Reliability

4 out of 5 stars

The interior plastics are functional rather than flashy, but they feel sturdy and you shouldn't have to make any unscheduled trips to the dealer. In our 2010 JD Power customer satisfaction survey, the previous model finished top of the supermini class for the seventh year in a row. What's more, Honda has an excellent reliability record.

Safety & Security

4 out of 5 stars

The Jazz scored five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests and every model comes with six airbags and active anti-whiplash head restraints, as well as Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist system. Deadlocks, a visible VIN and a fully integrated stereo ensure that security is competitive.

Behind The Wheel

3 out of 5 stars

The driver's seat can be cranked up and down, but the windscreen pillars cut across your line of sight, and cheaper models miss out on two-way steering wheel adjustment. The dash layout is more impressive, with everything controlled using chunky buttons and knobs. Only the bland design and the poorly placed switches for the electric door mirrors let it down.

Space & Practicality

5 out of 5 stars

Retractable headrests mean you can move the Jazz's double-folding rear seats (the backrests go down or the cushions come up) one-handed. The masterpiece, though, is the boot, which has a multi-functional parcel shelf that can be stashed vertically or horizontally in four different ways to hold any load in place.

Equipment

3 out of 5 stars

The Jazz provides above-average levels of equipment, compensating for its comparatively high prices. It seems strange that the clever boot-folding system and two-way adjustable steering column aren't even options on the 1.2-litre models, though."