Honda Jazz (2001–2008)

Model History

June 2001

The first giant step forward in small car design since the original 1959 Mini. Entirely new one box model on sale in Japan from June 2001. 3,830mm (12 ft 7in) long x 1,675mm (5 ft 6in) wide (1,878mm mirror tip to mirror tip) x 1,525mm (5ft 0in) high.

By December 2001 already Japan's best selling car. Replaced the lacklustre Logo and arrived in the UK early in 2002, providing stiff competition for the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia, Citroen C3, Nissan Micra, Renault Clio, Vauxhall Corsa, Toyota Yaris and Daihatsu YRV.

Features chain-cam 1,339cc 8 valve DSI engine technology. (Dual and Sequential Ignition System comprises two spark plugs per cylinder in a compact combustion chamber where sequential ignition results in low CO2 emissions and excellent fuel economy.

1.4 (1,339cc) I-DSI petrol manual: 61kW (83PS) at 5,700rpm / 119 Nm (88 lb ft) torque at 2,800rpm.

Despite compact dimensions, the one-box cab-forward design makes it look quite big. Luggage volume is 353 litres to the parcel shelf with the rear seats up (more than the Fiesta) and a huge 1,323 litres with the seats down. Chain cam engine puts out 61kW (82bhp) at 5,700rpm and 119Nm (88 lb ft) torque at a low 2,800 rpm. Combined economy is 49.6mpg and CO2 output 134g/km. Engine is optimised for ordinary 95Ron Premium unleaded petrol. Insurance is low Group 3E.

Mounting the fuel tank in the centre of the car under the front seats and using a new H-shaped torsion beam rear axle allows for an unusually low cabin floor. The short nose also allows more interior space which is equivalent to many C sector sized cars.

The 66/33 split rear seats can each be fully folded into the floor with headrests in place, providing a completely flat loadspace 1,740mm (5ft 9in) long. And by sliding the front passenger seat fully forward, then completely reclining it, objects as long as 2,400mm (7ft 10in) will fit.

The versatile rear seat squabs can also be tipped up and locked against the seat backs creating a central luggage area ideal for a dog to be carried. Height of this area from floor to ceiling is 1,280mm (4ft 2"), enough for small children to stand up and change clothes after an afternoon on the beach.

Prices: £8,995. £10,295 and £11,295.

August 2002

CVT-7 from August 2002 at £900 extra has seven steering wheel paddle shift selectable ratios. Much liked by readers who have bought one.

Later available with a well-integrated body colour side-protection strip. Voted Auto Express 2002 Car of the Year.

Available from July 2002 in wider choice of colours including Iris Red (pink); Orchid Yellow, Clover Green, Ice Blue metallic and Nighthawk Black pearl.

March 2003

Revised 2003 models with better suspension and CD players arrived March 2003 but only with CVT-7 transmission. Revised suspension manuals delayed until May 2003.

110PS 1.5 VTEC version in Japan and Australia, and also Thailand and Malaysia from Spring 2004. Comes with CVT-7 as standard. (6th picture shows a customised Jazz 1.5 in Thailand, where the Jazz is regarded as a young people's car.)

April 2004

Upgrade from Spring 2004. All now fitted with four wheel disc brakes, ABS, handy seat folding lever and two sets of alarm remotes.

October 2004

Facelifted inside and out for 2005 (on sale 6-10-2004) with option of new 1,247cc entry engine and more colours. Revised range comprises 1.2 S, 1.4 SE and 1.4 Sport grades (replacing the current 1.4 S / SE / SE Sport line up), with the entry price point starting at £8,600.

1.2 (1,246cc) I-DSI petrol manual: 57kW (77PS) at 5,700rpm / 110 Nm (81 lb ft) torque at 2,800rm

With a 1,247 cc petrol engine serving up 78 PS, the 1.2 offers performance similar to the larger i-DSi unit: 0-60 mph in 13.4 sec and top speed 106 mph. Also fuel economy of 51.4 mpg in the EU combined test, with CO2 emissions very low for a petrol engine at 129 g/km. 1.2 model also benefits from redesigned front and rear bumpers plus metallic garnish for the fascia controls.

Bigger changes for the SE and Sport grades which feature new headlamp and rear light cluster designs, door mirror-mounted LED indicators and new style 15 in alloy wheels (previously the SE had 14 in steel rims). Inside, SE and Sport models have new textured seat fabric, self-illuminating instrument dials similar to the Accord, and a new sporty steering wheel. Also a new stereo system with steering wheel mounted remote controls, outside temperature gauge, chrome handbrake button and, on CVT models, steering wheel mounted paddles in place of buttons (left paddle used to change down, right to change up).

1.4 Sport now has its own look with sport front grille, unique alloy wheels, stylish body kit plus front foglights, automatic climate control air conditioning and digital display as well as black interior trim. Four new colours are introduced to the Jazz range for the 2005 YM, including Sirius Blue, Macha Crame (green) and Venus Orange metallics, plus Helios Yellow pearlescent. Over the years, steering and handling has been much improved. 2006 models fun to drive. SE as well as Sports now have electric folding door mirrors.

What does a Honda Jazz (2001 – 2008) cost?

List Price from £14,755
Buy new from £12,365
Contract hire from £128.47 per month