Honda Jazz EX

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

THE Honda Jazz has always been popular with more mature drivers since its arrival way back in 2001 thanks to its amazing versatility, low running costs and reputation for reliability.

A new model launched earlier this year should still be a hit with the older generation but it will also appeal to a younger audience thanks to fresh new looks, a much more modern interior, a lot of new tech and its hybrid power train.

There is also a much improved media system, the latest safety technology and even lower running costs.

As well as its smart new looks it also offers a premium cabin with loads of space inside helped by its ‘magic' rear seats which can flip and fold to provide more space.Four adults can travel in comfort and when it comes to carrying loads no other supermini can match its 1,205 litres of luggage space.

All models get a digital instrument cluster, while most also come with an impressive nine-inch media system. There's also loads of driver-assist technology, powered by a wide-view front camera which monitors the road ahead and, Honda claims, is more advanced than similar systems used by other manufacturers. It can spot pedestrians on the road at night, for example, and can apply the brakes to prevent a collision.

The hybrid setup combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a pair of electric motors, via a single-speed gearbox.It drives like any other petrol car and returns fantastic economy - officially 62.8mpg.

It is very easy to drive and thanks to its huge deep front windscreen and slightly high driving position the visibility is excellent.It is good in towns and on motorways and feels refined at all times. In most models standard reversing sensors also make it easy to park.

Prices for the Jazz start from around £19,000 but you do get quite a lot for your cash - even the SE entry-level model comes with adaptive cruise control, LED headlights and DAB radio.

Most buyers will opt for the mid-spec SR which gets 15-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors (front and rear) and various interior features, including part-leather upholstery and a nine-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. Prices for this model start in the region of £20,000.

The top level EX I sampled is a bit more expensive, starting closer to £21,500 but it includes heated seats, navigation and a rear-view camera.

The Jazz handles well and provides a comfortable ride.It may not be as much fun as a Fiesta on a twisty road but it is still agile and smooth.

The hybrid only 1.5-litre petrol engine combines with two electric motors and a compact lithium-ion battery pack to produce 109ps and always feels willing.The automatic gearbox makes it great for town driving and it reaches 62mph in 9.4 seconds.

The petrol engine charges the hybrid system and if you keep it in the standard Hybrid drive mode it will go between petrol and electric power. At higher speeds it will run under petrol power only and charge the batteries, while around town it'll use the electric motor as much as possible.

The clever system will turn the engine off before you come to a complete halt in stop-start traffic and can also set off entirely under electric power if you don't accelerate too hard.

The Jazz has the latest semi-autonomous safety features to help keep you safe on the road. This includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System which automatically applies the brakes to prevent a crash or reduce the impact, as well as a Road Departure Mitigation System to keep you between the lines. It's also available with automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control and an intelligent speed limiter.

FAST FACTS

Honda Jazz EX

Price: £21,500

Mechanical: 108bhp, 1,500cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus two electric motors driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph: 9.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 62.8

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 110g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles

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