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

18 September 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. Read more

2 September 2019

Another report of VSA light coming on this time in a 2015 (2008-2015 model) Jazz 1.4iVTEC CVT-7 3 days after purchase. "VSA light is coming on intermittently, the car sometimes refuses to allow gear... Read more

31 August 2019

Another report of theft of catalytic converter from 2008 Honda Jazz. The thieves use electric hacksaws to cut them off. There are devices to protect cat converters from this type of theft: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281977526814... 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 £14,600
Buy new from £11,557
Contract hire from £123.61 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

1090

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

What's the best car for a bad back?

We have a budget of £2500 max and require a car with a raised seat, automatic and a 1.2 to 1.6-litre engine. Can you recommend anything? I have had back surgery and require a soft suspension vehicle that is comfortable for long journeys.
A Honda Jazz might work. It's not as high as an SUV but access is easier than a conventional hatchback like a Fiesta. It's also available with a reliable CVT automatic gearbox. I'd also look at the bigger Honda CR-V - it's very comfortable and great for long journeys, but comes with a 2.0-litre petrol engine.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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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 17%
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  • 1 star 17%

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