Honda Jazz 1.3

i-VTEC EX Navi CVT

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

THE Honda Jazz is intended to have the widest appeal.

Reintroduced to Britain last year and retaining the name, it is actually a larger car both inside and out with a new platform underneath and the latest technology as standard or options.

The famous "Magic Seat" system is there and offers unrivalled room and configurations in this class, turning it into a real mini-mpv capable of taking a 2.48 metre load if needed.

While rivals are still struggling to add mobile technology to their cars, the Honda Jazz Connect system comes pre-fitted with many features and more can be downloaded from the makers' app-centre on SE or EX models.

While offering the very latest communications and music systems for younger buyers, the truth is the Honda Jazz is rarely considered by them, and instead it finds favour with older buyers.

That is possibly due to the easy entry and low seating position, and in the case of the CVT we tested, a simple transmission allied with a willing and economical petrol engine.

The powertrain is sedentary rather than speedy, but it does offer the potential of good fuel economy.

This simplicity allied with the good turning circle and brakes inspire confidence which is reinforced by the cornering and handling, although it does tend to run wide on bends taken at speed.

The Honda Jazz soaks up bumps well even if a few get through to shake the chassis, but you can hear how hard it works to smooth out the ridges and potholes.

Wind up the engine through the transmission and it does make a noise although it's smooth. The gearbox also whines away underneath.

The precision of the major controls is matched by the stalks and buttons on the column, spokes and facia. A few are hidden low down on the right of the fascia but most are in sight and easy to locate.

A big touchscreen has pinch and push technology to speedily operate features and the display is both large and clear.

Heating and ventilation is straightforward and works well throughout the car backed up by powered windows.

Oddments room is reasonable throughout and the boot space rises from 354 to 1,314 litres depending on seat configuration.

Access is very easy and the cloth seats well shaped to support all but the tallest users when leg and head support are on the short side.

Visibility is good with a low waistline and bonnet line, the shape means you can see the rear corners for easy parking in tight spaces and at night the lights are adequate and the wipers do a good job over the screens front or back.

The Honda Jazz is a truly excellent package of practical features and technology, but its dynamic performance lets it down in contrast to the economy, and the refinement does not extend to it being a quiet car over anything but the smoothest roads.

FAST FACTS

Honda Jazz 1.3 i-VTEC EX Navi CVT

Price: £18,205

Mechanical: 102bhp, 1,318cc,4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 113 mph

0-62mph: 12.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 43

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 114g/km

Bik rating: 19%

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles

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