Honda Jazz (2001–2008)

What's good

100% breakdown free in 2003 Which survey. Exemplary fewest breakdowns, problems and faults making it a 'Best Buy' in 2003 Which survey.

Top individual model in 2004 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey.

99% of Jazz up to 2 years old breakdown free over previous 12 months in 2004 Which? survey.

Which? Best Buy 2004. Which? used best buy £5,000 - £10,000 2004.

Came top in 2005 JD Power/What Car Survey of 23,000 cars reg Sep 2002 to Aug 2003 with satisfaction score of 88.1%. 

4 Star NCAP occupant safety rating and 3 Stars for pedestrian safety.

3rd in 2007 UK J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Survey with 86.4% score. 

TUV 2008 Report for cars 2 - 3 year old. After analysing seven million main inspections from 194 different models for over 160 criteria including lights, brakes, chassis, exhaust and oil-loss Coming in fifth, the Honda Jazz (2.3 percent).

10th least likely car built 1997-2009 to suffer expensive problems according to Warranty Direct December 2012 Reliability Index, with an index of 21.

Rated by Warranty Direct as the 10th Most Reliable Car of the past 15 years based on Warranty Direct claims statistics.

What to watch out for

Servicing is expensive because of the need to re-shim solid lifters and because the engine has 8 special spark plugs.

Fairly poor parking brake works on rear discs and as the cars get older often will not hold without a hard tug. Best left in 1st or reverse gear when parked.

Honda recommends change of CVT fluid every 25,000 in "severe driving conditions" which includes regular driving less than 5 miles from cold otherwise CVT trouble can result. There is a new, improved CVT fluid for the box, which requires the old fluid to be flushed out first. Cost should be no more than £150, though there have been stories of quotes of £400.

High cost of servicing. Valve/cam clearances cannot be checked without removing the inlet manifold, adding £80 to the cost of a service. 2nd annual service can cost £430 including a new set of front pads.

Batch of faulty EGR valves eventually caused jerky running on early Jazz models. Replaced FOC. EGR valves can also block if cars are used a lot in traffic or for short runs from cold and this leads to jerky running.

Make sure the a/c works as compressors have been known to fail.

Can have a manual transmission selector problem. Some cars have needed new manual gearboxes. Manual transmission bearing failures on 3 to 5 year old Jazz well known in 2007 and extremely common by late 2009. Dealers quote £1,400 for a full rebuild. Seems that Honda will repair some (not all) post 2003 cars FOC or provide some goodwill if pressed, but not cars built before 2003 as they say these cars did not have the problem. Even the new 2008 Jazz has a problem. If the transmission becomes noisy Honda is asking owners to leave it to 6,000 miles, then changes the transmission oil.

On early Jazz a clicking noise heard when turning left in 2nd gear may be due to the reverse shift holder ball bearing being contaminated and partially seized, causing the reverse idler gear to not return to neutral. Shifting into 2nd gear causes the reverse idler gear to touch the countershaft reverse gear. This problem has been known by Honda since 2002, and resulted a stronger reverse shift holder being fitted to later models. Repairs to early Jazz may be quoted at around £730.

Two complaints within a few days of each other of rear doors letting in water, possibly through waterproof membranes cracked by frost.

In 2006 one reader suffered front damper and steering rack failure on an early 02 Jazz costing £1,600 to fix. Honda paid half.

Owners of grey import Jazz/Fit CVT-7s built between 5 June and 23 October 2003: the CVT belt may break, resulting in transmission failure. This problem was the subject of three separate recallsin the Far East, New Zealand and Australia. If the problem has been fixed in Japan there will be yellow paint on the left bonnet hinge bolt.

Several complaints of prematurely failed rear wheel bearings on Jazz over 4 years old.

Where fitted with rear disc brakes, complaints of parking brakes not holding the car on temporary stops in traffic.

'Piston slap' reported on Jazz 1.4 I-DSIs from 2005 at around 3 years old.

New electric window switch panel £196 + £63 to fit.

Dodgy rear door seals common resulting in wet carpets in rear footwell and consequent misting of windows.

20-7-2011: New clutch and clutch hydraulics required on 3 year old at 30k miles.

1-8-2012: Wheel bearings can fail after about 8 years.

28-12-2012: Report of 6 year old Jazz needing a complete new set of locks after they all became sticky and eventually failed. Cost £576.

13-1-2013: Nice story: 2004 Jazz CVT suffered transmission judder cured by change of Automatic Transmission Fluid under warranty at 3 years old. In January 2013 suffered same problem and, remarkably, Honda footed the bill for a second change of ATF, which cured it.

22-6-2013: Report of ABS failure on 60k mile 2004 Jazz 1.4.

13-6-2014: Airbag SRS failure reported on 7 year old Jazz. Quoted £600 by Honda dealer to fix. Apparently a growing issue and big recall looming in the USA: Honda SRS Airbag US Recall.

14-8-2014: Hot re-starting problem reported with 2008 Jazz 1.4 I-DSI. Somtimes starts if key is removed and a 2nd start attempted. Immobiliser fault suspected, falining battery in remote key, or separation of a contact due to heat.

24-3-2015: Report that airconditioning of 160k kilometre 7 year old Honda Jazz used in Italy freezes up and gets blocked with ice after 2-3 hours and 120kilometres.

2-7-2015: Transmission bearings of 2005 Jazz 1.4iDSI failed at 40k miles.

21-11-2015: The Honda Jazz 1.4iDSI engine has 8 spark plugs and 8 ignition coils so replacing them all is an £800 job at a Honda dealer.

8-8-2016: Electromagnetic clutch failure reported on 2008 Jazz 1.4iDTEC CVT-7. Quoted £945 to replace by Honda dealer.

12-1-2018: Report of failure of weld/seal between roof section and side panels of a 35k miles 2006 Honda Jazz leading to water draining into the spare wheel well. Quoted £180 to to check and seal the rear of the roofbar gutter C pillar roof joint. Then check for cracks where the hatchback is hinged onto the car roof.

4-5-2018: Report of steering rack failing on 2008 Honda Jazz 1.2 Mk 1. Estimated cost of replacing with aftermarket parts £600 + labour; with a Honda rack £800 + labour. But car only worth about £1,500.

14-5-2018: CVT transmission of 2006 Honda Jazz eventually starting to fail with occasionally hesitant changes. Replacement of the CVT fluid did not cure it.

18-6-2018: Another report of 1st gen 2006/56 Jazz suffering the same leak as 12-1-2018. Honda dealer charged £120 to "find water leaking through the roof seals, cleaned out original sealant, resealed and repainted."

7-2-2019: Another solution to water ingress to the rear of Mk 1 Jazz: "From the rear of the vehicle peel back a few inches of the roof rail rubber and open the rear hatch fully. You might see a very thin crack in the end of both roof rail gullies. Working under cover and using a hair dryer completely dry this area and smear a waterproof silicone over the cracks and allow to dry and replace rubber. Rain water had been running from these cracks down both sides of the rear hatch door frame face and into the spare tyre well.

14-4-2019: Further description of the rear waterleak and the solution: "Water collecting in the spare wheel well, and couldn’t find the source. Then a Google search suggested failed mastic in the spot welded seams that join the roof panel to the side panels, just inboard of the tops of the doors. These seams are covered by black plastic strips. The strips easily prise out, and cracks appear in the mastic between the metal edges. Fill these with new mastic, the paint over the new mastic. No more leaks.

30-4-2019: Manual transmission bearing noise reported in recently purchased 2005 Honda Jazz at 88,000 miles.


In response to complaints of steamed up windows on pre-2005 model Jazz, Honda sent this note to owners: "With the weather now changing and becoming damp and cold, you may experience fogged up windows. All you need to do is make sure your Air Directional Control is set to the windscreen and the side vents are open. Ensure that the heating control button is adjusted into the red zone (warm) and the Air Recirculation button is off. Switch on the Air Conditioning with the ventilation fan on and your vehicle will then demist in a short space of time. Be aware that air conditioning only affects fuel consumption marginally while this constant use will keep the air conditioning in good working condition too." TSB unknown date if customer complains of jerky running on 2 - 3 year old Jazz, replace EGR valve. Late 2008/early2009 parking brake ratchet recall.

03-12-2009: Apparent warranty extension for manual transmissions of 7 yrs or 100,000 mls on model codes GD1, GD5, GE2 and GE3, years 2003 to 2008 The service bulletin No is SJ-04-008-03 Issue date 03 12 09.

2-2-2010: Honda Jazz build dates 11-7-2001 to 31-7-2008. Honda is to contact 171,372 owners of the Jazz (2002-2008) year model in the UK, to arrange an examination of the master power window switch, as part of a safety recall. The master window switch in the driver's door can malfunction when exposed to large amounts of liquid ingress, for example if the window is left open frequently or for long periods during heavy rain. Water and other fluids can cause the window switch's circuit board to malfunction and prevent opening or closing of the window. In rare cases, the circuit board can overheat causing melting or smoke or, potentially, fire. There have been no reported cases of a switch malfunction causing fire to a Jazz in the UK.

16-12-2010: Japan's Honda Motor said it would recall about 1.35 million Fit and Jazz subcompact cars, including 621,000 overseas, to repair a headlight defect. A fault in the electric wiring between the handle switch and the headlights can cause the low beam to fail to light up, the company said. No accident has been reported as a result of the defect, a Honda spokeswoman said, but the automaker had reported 130 cases of the defect to the Japanese transport ministry. The Fit and Jazz cars were built at Honda's Suzuka factory in Japan between November 2001 and October 2007. About 385,000 units were shipped to Europe, and the model has also been exported to the United States, Asia, the Middle East.

17-4-2013: Where fitted, passenger airbags may fail to deploy because prepellant wafers may have been improperly assembled. Affected cars to be recalled and airbag propellant modules replaced. Built dates 11-7-2000 to 18-8-2003. (Part of worldwide recall of Takata airbags.)

18-09-2019: R/2019/243: Possible air bag inflator rupture. Passenger air bag may not deploy correctly. Fix: The inflator inside the passenger’s airbag module is to be replaced. Build dates: 17-11-2000 to 16-12-2014.

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