Honda Jazz 1.3

i-VTEC SE Navi

Honda Jazz, side static
Honda Jazz, front static
Honda Jazz, front static 2
Honda Jazz, rear static
Honda Jazz, dashboard
Honda Jazz, rear seats
Honda Jazz, boot

SOMETIMES you just want to be sensible and get the job done. The laughs can come later.

Not many laughs in the latest Jazz from Honda. But before you go looking for something a bit more emotional for your next car, please read on.

Here is one of the supreme current examples of a car simply getting the job done. And very well indeed, in this case.

Honda might bang on a bit about the looks of this slightly larger new Jazz, using words like dynamic, bold, strong and even futuristic but you sense this is all a bit of frippery where the Jazz is concerned.

To these eyes it looks a lot the previous generation Jazz with some added angles. It's never been a looker but that hasn't stopped Honda selling more than five millionof them since sales of the first version began in 2001.

So, let's drop the suggestion that here we have something to set the pulses racing and consider instead the many and varied reasons why a new Jazz might make great sense in your life.

For starters, it's simply immense inside compared to the amount of space it takes up on the road.

The new one gives more shoulder room to passengers and extra leg room in the rear, where it puts to shame a host of much bigger and dearer machinery.

And by putting the fuel tank (safely) under the front seats - a Jazz trick of old - the car offers a big boot and the chance to flip the back seats about like a magician shuffling cards.

You can flop the backrests forward to produce a big and flat load space or lock the seat base upright; ideal for stowing tall loads across the width of the car. Then, you can fold down the front passenger seat backrest to leave room for that roll of carpet you've just bought.

Start up the car and you'll hear a new 1.3-litre petrol engine that comes in every version of this latest Jazz, either with a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic for an extra £1,100. Haven't tried the latter but the DIY gears are easy enough to use and the clutch is forget-me light in town.

You'll never forget this car is powered by an engine; it's gruff at low speed and a little bit shouty higher up, and needs working to produce its best.

Grand compensation comes from a dash readout showing a deeply impressive 55mpg after a week's varied use. That's good enough to render thought of a diesel model pointless, especially in a car bought mainly for shorter distance running around.

Which is a coded way of saying the Jazz has always been popular with the greying headed driver, the more mature motorist who values sense over silly style and is warmed by the thought that Hondas hardly ever go wrong.

Slightly less warming is a ride that can turn truculent on bad surfaces, showing a firmness that must help the car feel so planted and secure if you have a rush of blood to the head and start pushing on through corners.

This latest Jazz comes in four equipment levels, priced from £13,495 to £17,705 with the test car in SE Navi trim firmly in the middle. Its highlight is a sat nav system embedded in the dashboard and big enough for older eyes to glance with ease.

FAST FACTS

Honda Jazz 1.3 i-VTEC SE Navi

Price: £15,605

Mechanical: 101bhp, 1,318cc, 4cyl diesel petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed gearbox

Max Speed: 118 mph

0-62mph: 11.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 111 g/km

Bik rating: 17%

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles

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