Honda Jazz (2020) Review

Honda Jazz (2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
There’s a lot going for Honda’s latest hatchback - not least its incredible efficiency and enormous practicality.

+Very practical. Safe. Cheap to run. More desirable than ever before.

-Hybrid only and no manual gearbox. Not everyone will appreciate the styling. Expensive.

If you’re looking for an incredibly versatile small car that won’t cost a fortune to run, the new hybrid Honda Jazz is a brilliant option. It’s more appealing than ever before, thanks to fresh new looks and a revamped interior - not to mention the much improved media system and the latest safety technology. On the downside, it’s a little expensive, and the hybrid setup won’t appeal to everyone.

The Honda Jazz has been an Honest John favourite ever since the original model arrived in 2001, with its big-car versatility, low running costs and a reputation for reliability.

It’s a car that’s always been popular with the older generation but the latest model, launched in 2020, ought to have a broader appeal. Not only does it look trendier than ever before (you can decide for yourself whether you like its chunky looks), but it also has an almost premium interior that’s absolutely loaded with technology.

There’s loads of space inside the Jazz, helped by the so-called ‘magic’ rear seats which can flip and fold to provide more space. If you need to carry bulky loads rather than rear passengers, there isn’t a better small car on sale. That said, it’s very good at carrying passengers, too - adults will be very happy in the rear, and it’s easy to get comfortable up front.

All models get a digital instrument cluster, while most also come with an impressive nine-inch media system. This is leagues ahead of infotainment screens used in previous Hondas, with intuitive smartphone-like inputs and quick responses.

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 (or mitigate) a collision).

There’s only one engine available in the latest Jazz, and it’s a hybrid setup. That means it combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a pair of electric motors, via a single-speed gearbox. This might sound complicated but it really isn’t - you don’t need to charge it (it’s not a plug-in hybrid), while it drives just like any other automatic petrol car. Albeit one that can drive away in silence and return incredible economy.

Officially, the Jazz can return up to 62.8mpg and - although it’s a bit too new to feature in our Real MPG data - our experience suggests that’s fairly viable in the real world. It’ll be cheap to run in other aspects, too. You get a £10 yearly discount in tax because of its hybrid status, and insurance shouldn’t be any more than a Ford Fiesta.

Despite feeling like a much bigger car than it actually is, it’s a very easy car to drive. You sit a bit higher up than you would in a more conventional alternative, enjoying a good view of the road ahead thanks to the deep front windscreen. It’s also very refined - both in and out of town - while standard reversing sensors (on all but entry-level models) make it a very easy car to negotiate tight parking spaces. 

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a punchy hatchback to replace our old Corsa?
"We need to replace our 10-year-old Vauxhall Corsa. It needs to be a 5-door hatchback with a bit of zip. We do mostly local driving. Can you suggest anything, please? Best wishes. "
We'd recommend a Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo. They're two of the best small hatchbacks on sale today, available with punchy (and economical) turbocharged petrol engines. If you want something a bit different, the Honda Jazz is a versatile and reliable choice with a high seating position. The latest model is sold exclusively as a hybrid, making it cheap to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
When did last non-hybrid petrol Honda Jazz go on sale?
"When did last non-hybrid petrol Honda Jazz go on sale? "
The Jazz became hybrid-only in early 2020. There are still some non-hybrid as-new pre-registered examples with delivery miles available:
Answered by Andrew Brady
What hybrids offer a high seating position?
"Can you recommend a hybrid car with high seating?"
We'd recommend a Kia Niro or Honda Jazz. Both are very good hybrid vehicles that will be cheap to run and have high seating positions.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best first car for a tall driver?
"What’s the best first car for a tall man? He’s 6'8" and needs a lot of legroom."
Difficult one - assuming he's a young driver, anything particularly big will be expensive to insure. We'd recommend trying an insurance comparison website and searching for quotes for a wide variety of cars to see if there's anything surprisingly cheap. Try a Ford Fiesta or Honda Jazz as well as bigger cars like the Volkswagen Golf.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Honda Jazz (2020) cost?