Honda Jazz Crosstar

Hybrid

Honda Jazz Crosstar, front
Honda Jazz Crosstar, front
Honda Jazz Crosstar, front
Honda Jazz Crosstar, side
Honda Jazz Crosstar, rear
Honda Jazz Crosstar, rear seats
Honda Jazz Crosstar, interior
Honda Jazz Crosstar, rear
Honda Jazz Crosstar, boot

CALL them crossovers, high-riders or SUVs - whatever label you stick on them they're everywhere.

Whether it's the ease of entry or the good visibility they afford the driver, their appeal appears boundless.

One of the latest models to adopt the style is new Honda Jazz derivative, the Crossstar which is 29mm taller with slightly bigger wheels than the sibling Jazz.

It's also slightly wider and a little longer. The extra height allows passengers to sit more upright benefitting leg space although luggage room as marginally less.

In the march toward total electrification, the all new Jazz models are all hybrid. And what an engine the 1.5-litre petrol hybrid is.

Willing and silky smooth there's nothing reluctant about this petrol-electric engine, unlike so many hybrids that feel like you are wringing the last few ounces of stamina out of them.

In fact the proportionally huge amount of torque gives the little car seriously energetic acceleration.

Coupled to single gear transmission, it's unbelievably easy and light to drive. So much so that a careful eye on the speedo is needed to avoid police attention.

It's quiet too, with a distant hum from the engine and little wind noise. Slim windscreen pillars and the large glass area add to the somewhat futuristic experience.

Twin electric motors together with the 1,498cc engine push out 107bhp which is sufficient to send the Honda to 62mph in less than 10 seconds, faster than most rivals. Top speed is a fairly modest 107mph. The automatic gearbox adds to the ease of driving and complements the car's character.

The ride standard is among the best in class with suspension that damps out the bumps yet keeps body roll in check. In fact, it corners in a way that defies its mumsy appearance.

It's a practical family motor with a plastic boot liner, waterproof and spongeable seating, loads of cup holders and pockets and flat surfaces for resting stuff when parked to picnic. Remember, the majority of Jazz owners are...shall we say reasonably mature and maybe retired.

The cabin, a complete redraw, is well laid out and uncluttered with a decent entertainment system operated from a touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Plenty of soft-touch plastic surfaces help add to the ambience.

The facia is bookended by cupholders with a couple more in the centre console. I liked the fact the passenger has two glove boxes, each big enough for more than a pair of sunglasses.

Air con is operated by three dials and the audio system has a physical knob rather than being incorporated in the touchscreen. Full marks, Mr Honda.

With CO2 pegged at 110g/km, the Crosstar's economy is one of its strengths. On a leisurely outing I averaged 62mpg which is pretty good.

More impressive still was the 57mpg it returned during a hard-charging 80-mile trip to the coast.

FAST FACTS

Honda Jazz Crosstar Hybrid

Price: £22,635

Mechanical:107bhp, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol hybrid engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 110g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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