Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011 – 2015) Review

Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011 – 2015) At A Glance

3/5

+Spacious and high quality interior. Easy to get in and out of. Retains 'Magic Seat' versatility. Officially capable of 62.8mpg.

-Expensive list prices. Emits 104g/km of CO2 so not free to tax. CVT box smooth but this is no sports car.

Insurance Groups are between 16–17
On average it achieves 88% of the official MPG figure

While hybrid cars were once seen as a bit of a leftfield choice by many buyers, they are becoming more popular, reflected in the increasing choice of hybrid models on the market. The combination of a petrol engine with an electric motor, improving both performance and efficiency, works especially well for larger cars. Even Porsche has got in on the act with two hybrid models - the Cayenne and Panamera.

The challenge is making the technology work on smaller cars where the margins in efficiency are so much tighter and where traditional petrol combustion engines are the norm. Step forward the Honda Jazz Hybrid. Surprisingly it's the first hybrid supermini - beating many if its rivals, none so more than Toyota - to that accolade.

The cleanest Jazz uses the same powertrain as the Honda Insight - a 1.3-litre i-VTEC engine combined with a CVT gearbox, with an electric motor sandwiched between the two to create a parallel hybrid system. And just like the Insight, the Jazz Hybrid is capable of running on the electric motor alone at low-speeds. It's ideal for city driving with a smooth and seamless gearbox - the CVT replacing the unloved i-SHIFT automated manual in the Jazz range - and will return a claimed 62.8mpg.

The only fly in the ointment is emissions - at 104g/km it doesn't qualify for free VED. But as a suburban car it's still a better choice than a diesel as there's no diesel particulate filter, plus to its quiet and relaxing to drive. Add in great flexibility with the clever Magic Seats - the best seating system around - plus a well built and easy to use cabin, and the Jazz Hybrid has plenty going for it.

However, what will put many off is the price. The Jazz Hybrid starts at a shade under £16,000 rising to £19,000 for the top version. That's a lot for a Jazz especially compared to the standard 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol models, both of which are already very economical.

Real MPG average for a Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011 – 2015)

RealMPG

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

88%

Real MPG

42–65 mpg

MPGs submitted

103

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.

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Ask Honest John

Can you suggest a small, economical car to replace our old diesel?
"We feel that we need to sell our beloved Land Rover Freelander 2 because it's a diesel. We've started to look for a car which won't cost a fortune to own and run for the next three years. There's nothing wrong with our car, it's just the scary news going about at the moment, which is pressuring us into changing. It's worth about £7500 or so. We'd like to get an EV, but they're expensive to buy and depreciate rapidly. There's just two of us and our two small dogs, so anything with rear seats that's economical to run while we're saving for an EV in a few years will work. We don't do many long journeys and don't need to commute, but I'm a keen driver and can't deal with anything sluggish."
EVs don't do long journeys unless there are adequate charging points on the way, and even then the problem can be both the queue to charge and the time it takes to charge. Instead of refilling with fuel in five minutes, you can be stuck at a service area for four hours, and on top of that have to pay excess parking charges for being there for more than two hours. Meanwhile, get a Honda Jazz and they are so practical you will probably want to keep it. You might even find a Jazz hybrid.
Answered by Honest John
What small automatic would you recommend for long and short trips?
"I'm 75 and I need a car for both short journeys around London and long journeys in France. What would you recommend: the Honda Jazz hybrid which looks reliable and easy to get into, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid (better on motorways) or a Volkswagen Polo?I think I need an automatic as I have a bad back. I'm not a great driver, but I prefer a bit of oomph. I'd also prefer a one year old car but not a necessity."
The Yaris hybrid doesn't have a lot of oomph, but is extremely reliable and extremely economical.
Answered by Honest John
What new, small hybrid should I get to replace my Toyota Yaris?
"I only do up to 2000 miles a year. A hybrid seems like a good option but I don't think I'll make it before April - am I right that then the road tax exemption ends? I want reliability and am petite so adjustments are needed to the driving position usually. I have a 2001 Toyota Yaris at the moment that has been good to me, just battery and suspension problems really in the past but I would like a tiny bit more oomph in the engine. I have wondered about the Yaris and Lexus hybrids. I was also wondering if the new MINI Countryman would be okay for me? Or would I find it too big compared to my current Yaris GLS 1.3?"
A Yaris hybrid would make sense. If you bought a second hand one that had been registered before April 2017 then it would continue to qualify for free annual tax. Bought after 1 April and annual tax will be £140 a year. There was also a Honda Jazz Mk II hybrid that is only available secondhand.
Answered by Honest John
Would an electric car cope with hilly terrain?
"We currently have a Honda Jazz CVT. My my wife, who has limited mobility, really likes it. However, we feel that with the type of motoring that we do, journeys up to about 25 miles from home, that an electric car would be a good alternative. Our area is quite hilly, which makes quite a dent in our Jazz's petrol consumption (45+mpg on relatively level roads down to 40mpg going over hills). Would an electric car cope with this? With battery rental, the impression I get is that the cost would be about the same as filling up with petrol, which somewhat defeats the object of an electric car. At the moment, we are thinking of a Nissan Leaf, but would value your views if there were an alternative. Are the used versions any good? I understand that Honda do a Hybrid CVT for the Jazz."
Yes, hills will make a significant dent in the range of electric cars. But my parents live in Hexham Northumberland which has steep hills in the town itself and all around and there are a number of Nissan Leaf and Nissan eNV200 electric vans operating in the area, so they must make sense. Better to go for one with longer range batteries though. Good choice these days. Kia Soul electric, Hyundai Ioniq electric, Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf and plenty of secondhand Mitsubishi i-Miev, Citroen C-ZERO, Peugeot iOn, Renault Fluence ZE, etc going cheap. Honda did a Mk II Jazz hybrid. Plenty of Yaris hybrids. The Toyota Auris hybrid works well. Prius extremely popular.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011 – 2015) cost?