Review: Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015)

Rating:

Neatly styled. Increased room and better performance than original Jazz. better to drive. Very versatile. CVT-7 returned in February 2011 replacing i-SHIFT. More reliable than first generation Jazz.

Six-speed i-SHIFT automated manual disliked and did not bring Jazz under 120g/km CO2. Gearbox bearing problems on manual. 120PS 1.5 iVTEC engine and 5-speed torque converter auto n/a in UK. Cat converter thefts reported.

Recently Added To This Review

15 November 2019

Report of problem with the door locks of a 2011 Honda Jazz purchased from a Honda dealer as 'Approved Used' in 2016. Locks on every door and the hatchback failed at some point. Three locks were repaired... Read more

13 November 2019

Report from reader whose catalytig converter was stolen from her Honda Jazz. She took it to an independent garage who replaced the cat converter with an aftermarket part for £500. 2 weeks later... Read more

9 October 2019

Further report of cat converter being stolen from a Honda Jazz 1.4iVTEC with collateral damage to surrounding components. Read more

Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015): At A Glance

I don't have to persuade people into buying a Jazz. They love it anyway, for all of the sensible reasons I'd have used in my sales pitch.

So it's not an emotional decision based on looks alone, as it might be for a Fiat 500 or a MINI. It's the whole package: a car that's going to do everything you want, never let you down, and not cost a lot to run.

The 2008 Jazz takes everything people loved about the old Jazz. Then takes it all a couple of steps forwards.

You get an even more versatile interior. Better performance. Improved economy. And they've also made it handle and ride better, the two less than brilliant aspects of the old car that buyers tolerated because the rest of the car was so good.

Honda Jazz 2009 Preview Test

Honda Jazz 2009 Full Road Test

Honda Jazz 2011 and Hybrid Road Test

Honda Jazz 1.5 5-speed auto 2012 Road Test

What does a Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015) cost?

List Price from £14,755
Buy new from £11,998
Contract hire from £119.98 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3900 mm
Width 1695–2029 mm
Height 1525–1655 mm
Wheelbase 2500 mm

Full specifications

You can go up another grade to EX trim, which brings 16-inch alloy wheels that sharpen up the handling a bit at a small price in ride comfort, and a panoramic sunroof the blind of which takes up about 2" of rear headroom. But, in spite of these and the other extras listed below I wouldn't pay the £1,300 extra for this model. I'd settle for an ES I-SHIFT at that really quite reasonable £12,290.

All new Jazz are sweet and easy to drive with light steering, now a lot more positive than the old car due to a change in castor angle. Front visibility is very good due to large quarter windows in front of the front doors. Rear views are excellent in huge almost outsize door mirrors. The dash is nicely planned with lots of places to put things and sensible big rotary knobs for the heating and air-conditioning.

No mobile phone Bluetooth, though, so you'll have to buy an aftermarket Parrot or similar. Satnav is either an expensive in-dash option, or a more sensible docking station on top of the instrument panel. On the EX version, there is an i-pod socket.

Cupholders abound. Throughout the cabin there are no less than ten. There are storage places all over, including in the base of the left side rear seat. The ‘Double Trunk' boot floor, in ES spec up, does all sorts of interesting things, incorporating a net for bottles and a bi-folding floor that can be configured in four different ways to separate different types of shopping.

Total luggage space, seats up, is 366 litres, which is bigger than some MPVs. There is no spare wheel, just a tyre-fix kit for minor punctures, though some kind of spare may be made optional. On base versions without the double trunk there is even a fixing for a spare.

Inside, it has the same ‘magic' seat system, but it works better, folding down in one go without having to move the front seats, and retaining the upward folding squabs that release enough space in the centre of the car for a wheelchair.

Child seats that fit a Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015) like to drive?

Prices start at £9,990 for the basic 1.2S, now with a chirpy 90PS VTEC engine rather than an 83PS DSI and coming in under 120g/km CO2, which means £30 tax next year. You pay an extra £1,000 for the same deal with a/c and alloys. But the 1.2 isn't quite gutsy enough on the motorway, so better to pay an extra £500 and an extra £60 tax a year and go for the 100PS 1.4ES that comes with a lot of extra goodies.

Next up, the model that's been worrying owners of Jazz CVTs, the 1.4ES I-Shift automated manual at £12,290. Happily, there's no real need to worry. Though the shift's electronics do prevent harsh upchanges causing torque reactions that could damage the transmission, this is subdued, and gentle drivers will not even notice. It's not push and go as the old CVT was, but it doesn't cause the lurching progress some of these systems can and it is very CO2 efficient, coming in at 120g/km and qualifying for £30 tax next year.

Outside, as you can see, the new Jazz is a really pretty car, instantly making the old model look dated and box-like. Ride and handling aren't quite as much fun as the new Fiesta, Mazda 2 and SEAT Ibiza, but are easily the equal of the rest of the class. The steering takes just a little bit too much turning for pressing on, but that's not something you'd buy a Jazz for anyway.

The new Jazz goes on sale in the UK in October. Prices aren't as stiff as I thought they were going to be, compared to cars like the new Fiesta. And, since it's unlikely to be discounted, used values should hold up very well. A lot of former Jazz owners are going to be very happy indeed with it. As, I suspect, will be a lot of former owners of other small cars that simply don't do as much as a Jazz can.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2i 52–54 mpg 12.5–12.7 s 120–125 g/km
1.4 i-Shift 51–52 mpg 13.5–13.9 s 125–128 g/km
1.4i 50–51 mpg 11.5–11.9 s 126–130 g/km
1.4i CVT 51–52 mpg 12.7–13.1 s 125–128 g/km

Real MPG average for a Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

91%

Real MPG

33–59 mpg

MPGs submitted

1098

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Best car for 150 mile commute?

I currently drive a Fiat Panda but am changing jobs so my new daily commute will be 150 miles. What is the most economical and safe commuter car for me? My budget is up to £5000
You'll need at least £7000 even for a 2012 Toyota Yaris hybrid because everyone wants them. I'd go for a Honda Jazz 1.4 CVT-7 from 2011 (NOT the i-shift), but you might need a bit more than £5000.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Compact size, Easy to park, Quiet cabin and Small hatchback.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 33%
  • 4 star 17%
  • 3 star 33%
  • 2 star
  • 1 star 17%

See all owners' reviews