Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
My wife's 1994 Escort is now well past it's sell by date (especially the lack of brakes - scary!) and with a young child and another on the way we thought it's best to buy a newer car for her. We don't want to spend more than 9K if I can help it and we didn't want a large people mover thingy like a scenic nor a little town car like a yaris. The A140 and the Jazz seemed to fit the in-between bill perfectly.

We test drove both yesterday and here are our thoughts and preferences:
1. External Looks - preferred the A140 as it's very different to everything else and has an appearance of class.
2. Internal Looks - preferred the Jazz (albeit a bland colour). The dash layout was clear and all the buttons appeared to be in more convenient places than the A140.
3. Ride position - preferred the A140 as it was slightly higher which gave a sense of security.
4. Practicality - preferred the Jazz by a mile. The seat config is superb ie no need to remove and store the seats in that spare room we all have!!
5. Overall - preferred the Jazz but if the price and ownership costs were right we would still be happy with the A140.

That being the case I wanted to compare costs of purchase and ownership. We must have aircon and RCL so we would need to look at the Jazz SE and A140 Elegance models. With a budget of 9K I think I should be able to get a 6 month old Jazz from a dealer or possibly private but there doesn't seem to be many about at the moment or I could get an 18 month old A140 at auction with average miles but again I would need to be patient to get the right colour and condition and it's slightly more hassle.

Assuming I could get either as above what car is most likely to lose more money over the next 5 years? Also can anyone tell me the true servicing costs of these cars as I just can't believe what the dealers told me as they came out with so much bull...!! The Merc salesman was so bad that he has almost put me off the car entirely!!!

Finally I have always been put off buying new due to depreciation but for 3 years peace of mind then I may reconsider at the right price. Has anyone been able to get the Jazz SE for near 9K as the dealer said he couldn't and wouldn't give a peeny off the book price of £10.5k ouch!!

Sorry for the long post...
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Altea Ego
I have heard reports that the build quality was very poor in A class mercs and do not exhibit traditional MB reliability. I tested one and thought the ride was appaling. The quality of the trim and dashboard materials was distinctly low rent. Many reports of MB dealers handling A class owners as second class citizens. I Would not buy one for my wife.

Jazz? never driven one but apart from the hard ride owners seem to ooze satisfaction from every pore.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
I read those too but the problems appear to be on older models. All reviews I've read for 2001+ models have all been good. I hear and agree with what you're saying about the dealers - very arrogant and full of it!

I drive a 3 series BMW and neither car is as good but that's like comparing apples with pears. Whereas for my wife a skateboard would be a better ride than her Escort. I found the ride in the Jazz surprisingly good for a small car but we were able to have a really good drive in it. Whereas in the Merc we had about 5 mins round the block with the salesman bleeting in my ear which made me switch off somewhat - having said that there wasn't anything handling wise that I thought was poor for that size car. Maybe with a longer test drive I would have felt differently about it...
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - blank
A Class is horrible to drive IMO, rolls too much, bad ride and an awful blindspot on the drivers side. Potential reliability and build quality issues would combine with the driving experience to put me off completely.
Never driven a Jazz, but the interior is just fantastic. You know it will not let you down and you seem to like the dealer.

Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Dude - {P}
IMO there is no contest here, having spoken to several people who have owned A Class Mercs, they seem to spend a fair amount of time at the main dealers with one fault or another, where the cost of repairs is absolutely horrendous. Buy a Jazz and enjoy a superbly engineered vehicle that is utterly reliable.!!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Ivor E Tower
Buy the Honda, but do consider getting a Scenic - I was looking at getting an A-class when they were first due to be launched and was intending to compare it to the Scenic. Then we had the elk test roll-over fiasco so I ended up getting the Scenic. Thank goodness I didn't wait for the A-class to be launched; it may have a prestige badge but that's about all it offered over the Renault. Don't forget that the "original" scenic is not that long a car - only about 13ft6in. The new one just launched has grown substantially.
If you really don't want to consider it (and mine has been fault-free for 5 years although subject to I-ve-lost-count number of recalls) then go for the Honda - I recently traded in my 18-year old Civic (bought new in 1985) and this remained almost fault-free throughout its life (and I hope it's still going strong with its new owner). When things do go wrong, parts cost an arm and a leg, but then they hardly ever did. From memory, one brake calliper, one antiroll bar link, one CV joint, one reverse light switch, 1 rubber door protective moulding.
Not bad for 18 years and 120,000 miles - also consumables like tyres, 2 batteries etc.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Altea Ego
Second that on the scenic. It really is a small car but big inside. Nicolle (Mrs RF) loved riding in it, and driving it and young Jaques (now 14) loved it. Mine was utterly reliable for 4 years from new, and now the Scenic 2 is out, there are very good value, fully loaded, late model scenic 1's about for not much money.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Vagelis

IMO, there can be no comparison here between the Merc and the Honda (even their names don't match well in the same phrase!). I mean on one hand you have a small-budget 'status symbol', and on the other a practical will-almost-never-fail-you city runner. How can you compare these two? I mean at the price of a second hand A class, you can get a NEW Jazz!

I would suggest that you buy the Jazz. Haven't driven it, but people say it's got a really sweet engine, really sweet interior, and handles well (I mean, what else do you want from a Honda - maybe a v-tec, but that's another story).

BTW, on the A-Class: I would never, ever get a car that relies on electronics to handle safely. Always rely on well designed, solid, mechanical solutions.

Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - El Hacko
anyone know if the Jazz comes with auto box option?
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Altea Ego
CVT option on the SE and SE sport.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - El Hacko
and (David HM?) does anyone discount 'em, pse?
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Aprilia
As the owner of a Merc (not an A-Class) and long-time Mercedes fan I would have to warn you that dealers expect you to hand over your credit card at service time and not argue about the bill. There is not much to choose between them and BMW dealers - most customers are company car owners, so they don't expect arguments.

Honda dealer is more likely to see price-concious private motorists.

Have you considered Nissan Almera Tino? Which? Car Buying Guide 'Best Buy' - good crash safety score, reliable, and Nissan parts and service more reasonable price than Honda.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
I have a BMW 3 series and in 3 years and 32K miles it's only required one major and one minor service including new brakes all round and it's cost me £600 total which is £200 a year which I consider to be good value for that car. The dealer service was good too. In fact on the first minor service they quoted me £135 but after the work they only charged me £119 and the car was valeted inside and out aswell - not bad eh!!

It seems from the replies the Jazz is the one to go for then! I'm surprised by the bad reception the Merc has received but each to his own I suppose. I didn't think it was that bad but to be honest I only drove it for 5 mins so with time I may have felt differently.

Anyone seen any good deals on an SE? I saw a 2002 SE Sport with 13K advertised privately for £8750 - I thought that was a little over priced - any other views on that?

Thanks you all for the comments.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - 007
The following link may help When I was in the market for a new Jazz I found dozens on offer either used or pre-registered within 50 miles from home.

Why *must* you have air-con? We all managed very nicely for decades without it. We endured the August heatwave without it and lived to tell the tale! IIRC there is a difference of £1200 between 'S type' and SE. With 'S type' you might well get a pre-reg at start of month as we did and save several £100s off list price.This would be well within your budget.

Better to go for vehicle built after March 2003 so as to get the improved suspension.

I know someone who has air-con and auto and is down to less than 40mpg. We are averaging 55.48 to date.


Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
We must have aircon because we have a small child and another on the way. In the summer she became quite distressed on a couple of occasions when only in the car for 20 mins. On longer journeys she was geeting out of the car with wet hair and back which is no good for a baby. Whereas when she travelled in my car which has aircon we never had a problem just a happy baby.

My wife only does between 2-3K a year so a small drop in fuel economy compared to the comfort of aircon there's simply no debate.

I've looked at Autotrader and there are no Jazz's within 100 miles being sold privately and but there are about 30 SE being sold by dealers but the prices are starting at £9K for a 2002 model whereas I've been quoted £9780 for a new one but I've got to draw the line at £9K I'm afraid!!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Aprilia
"have a BMW 3 series and in 3 years and 32K miles it's only required one major and one minor service including new brakes all round and it's cost me £600 total which is £200 a year which I consider to be good value for that car. The dealer service was good too. In fact on the first minor service they quoted me £135 but after the work they only charged me £119 and the car was valeted inside and out aswell - not bad eh!!"

Basic BMW servicing is fine - there is not a lot to get wrong, they just change fluids and filters. Its when there is an unforeseen failure that things go badly wrong and costs go through the roof - I know from bitter experience! The same applies to MB dealers - although my personal experience of local MB and BMW dealers is the the MB dealer is better.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
I've just read some magazine reviews on the A140 and the Jazz and am very surprised, and confused, that they all reckon that the Jazz cost more in servicing over 3 years than the A140. I accept that if something major did go wrong then it's likely that the A140 would cost more to put right but the basic service costs are surprising if indeed true? Basically these reviews seem to contradict the sentiments of this thread.

The main point of my post was to find out the costs of ownership over say 5 years for the A140 and the Jazz and all that I have read online, on this site and in magazines the answer, IMHO, is inconclusive. A friend who has A140 swears by it but some reviews slate it but then that could be said about a lot of cars. Unfortunately I don't know anyone who has a Jazz so can only rely on what I read.

As for driving the cars neither me or my wife were blown away by them but both will suffice our needs. So cost is the bottom line...
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - 007
Tony...Points taken!

Have you considered the Toyota Yaris? We loved everything about it ... except for limited boot space. It might well be adequate for your wife's needs, especially with rear seat moved forward to give 150mm extra floor space in boot. It just was not sufficient for us when we go away self-catering!

Pricewise you would be well within budget with all the spec you want if purchasing from one of the well known supermarkets.

We were amazed at the performance of the 1000cc engine.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
We like the look, rock solid residuals, reliability, cost to run blah blah blah but it's just too small for our needs. If you have anything more than a Mars bar to put in the boot then you've had it!!! With a small child and another on the way we need something slightly bigger but don't need anything the size of a galaxy (literally for some of the MPV's nowadays!!)
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - mab23
Do not buy an A Class. Do not buy an A Class. DO NOT BUY AN A CLASS!

Have I made myself clear??!

We bought a T/99 reg A170 CDI this time last year for 8k. In the 6 months we had it, the following happened:

a) PAS pump went within 24 hours of leaving garage
b) gearbox failed completely at 70mph on the M180
c) airbag failure
d) suspension failure
e) sqeeeeek squeeeek squeeeeek squueeeeeeeeEEEEEEK! all the time

The forum has lots of other disgruntled A class owners with suspension, steering rack, etc etc problems. The A Class is a cheap Merc and is built cheap, yes you will have a nice badge on the driveway, but it will also spend a lot of time at the dealers getting fixed.

Although all the above work was fixed under warranty, the car costed us 1250 quid in depreciation in the 6 months we had it.

In the end we got fed up with the car being off the road for 2 weeks every 2 months and traded it in for a Honda Jazz SE.

We found a brand new, 03 pre-reg car 2 months old at Ryland Honda in Stockport (this was in June), for 9k. It was in the colour we wanted and it was the SE spec. The only difference was I suspect it was the pre-suspension-revision model as it had a tape player not a CD player as fitted to newer cars.

Our local Honda dealer wouldn't budge off the list price, and the trade-in value wasn't fantastic...

The Jazz is solid, reliable, doesn't squeak like an A class, and is far more parsimonious with the petrol. Some people think the ride is hard but after the A class it's like a magic carpet.

If you wait a couple of months you might find some 53 reg pre-reg Jazz deals out there. You won't find any second-hand bargains, they're too popular.

Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
I hear you loud and clear!!! I simply cannot ignore, indeed I would be foolish too, these comments any more. The Jazz wins and to be honest my wife is giving me the look of 'I told you so - why don't you listen to me'! Her decision of the Jazz, although I hadn't made one, was based purely on a nice colour you know!!!

Nice to know that you got a an SE fo £9K - we're in no rush as our second child isn't due for another 4 months so I'll take my time until I get the right deal.

I've seen a private sale locally for a 2002 02 reg SE sport with 10K for £8750ono - If I offered £8.5 does that sound a good deal to anyone, as I like the added extras, or would I be better off waiting for a new SE for £9K? Depreciation on a new car concerns me...!!!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - mab23

Tony, I wouldn't buy a 1 year old car with 10k for 500 quid less than I could get a new one. OK the Sport model has alloys, which is nice.

If you don't mind a shocking pink ("Iris Red") Jazz I see the site has two Jazz SEs with delivery miles at the Honda dealer in Chester for 9k. However I think the pink ones would be quite difficult to resell, also you might question your manliness driving a pink car.... :)

Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Canon Fodder

A quick note of caution - to add the the many others - about the A class: watch out for ex-easyrentacar ones.

When Stelios started his cheap-and-cheerful hire car outfit he used exclusivly A-class, many of which must now be lurking in the dark corners of auction houses waiting for greeenhorn buyers.....

Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - PhilW
Am I barking up the wrong tree? Your specs sound as if a Berlingo/Partner/ would suit. I know they don't have the cachet of an M.B or the reliability reputation of Hondas but you could get a new one for your money and a nearly new HDi with all sorts of goodies (a/c, Cd, modutop etc) Then you would have your warranty, good sized boot also, economy of a common rail diesel, thos isothingy child seat mounts etc. Worth considering or not your cup of tea?
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Snakey
I'm glad I read this! I'm considering (or was!) an A class or a Mazda 323 but I've changed my mind after reading the list of problems on here and also the car by car breakdown.

Are A Classes really so poorly built? I've only had one as a hire car for several days which isnt enough to get a good feel of the car.

If only I'd known about this website before I bought my Omega!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - DavidHM
I've driven both; the Jazz only around the block though, the Merc as a day for a rental. I know it's not enough to know what life would be like with either but it's a start...

I really can't imagine why anyone would consider the A Class; I really hated it - gutless, hard riding (maybe the Jazz is as bad but I didn't notice it in ten minutes instead of ten hours), uncomfortable seats, a subjectively poor quality interior, and handling as vague as a Transit's.

The interior in the Jazz is more attractive, I'd say there's more space, and the engine seems to rev more freely. Of course this comes with a great big caveat that it takes a while to dislike the A Class so intensely, and the Jazz could go the same way.

As for discounts; not aware of anyone more than a few hundred quid off, which means that a new Jazz SE is going to be slightly the wrong side of £10k. Try but there's nothing that impressive to be had.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
Errrmmm in a big word YES!! The mother-in-law suggested the Berlingo as her 3000 year old friend has just bought one and they have nice doors! Out of respect of course I checked them out and concluded that if you have a blue rinse or are called Pat and work for the Royal Mail they're fine otherwise Urrrrghhh! The one positive I would say about it though is that if you were unfortunate to have a serious accident at least you would save money on a coffin as you'll already be sitting in it!!!!!

...Oooh I do hope you haven't got one!!! Gulp!!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - No Do$h
...Oooh I do hope you haven't got one!!! Gulp!!

>Chuckle mode engaged<

I like it. Oh, I like it.

No Dosh, aka
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - PhilW
I'm so upset I don't think I'll be able to face my hairdresser tomorrow! On the other hand, a quick refresh of the blue rinse might cheer me up!
And I can always console myself with the fact that at least I didn't choose an A140!!
I'm going to set Jeremy Clarkson on you!
Postman Pat (and the cat says he finds the back doors very convenient as well!)
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - PhilW
What makes the insult even worse it that it comes from someone who chose to buy a 1994 Ford pink fluffy dice Escort - now I really feel depressed!!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
To suggest such a thing - my genuine get out clause here is that the mother-in-law, yes the same one who swears by the Berloodyboxlingo, gave it to my wife when she got a new car. Come to think of it we accepted it...D'oh!!!! Shoot me now it's less painfull....
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - runboy
From what I've read in road test etc, the Merc A-Class built at the bottom of Mercs build quality phase. Mercs were fantastically built, then the A-class took this trait downwards, and only now are Merc starting to pick up again. Mayby they got complacent?.

How about an Audi A2?. Similar size to what your looking for, claimed good quality (test it for yourself), modern design and materials used (alu spaceframe). Nice engines (1.4 petrol, 1.6 petrol and now two diesels giving 75 or 90 bhp-and they fly with low mpg).Give it a look at least.

Failing that the Jazz gets a good write-up, but make sure you get the latest model with the revised suspension-the earlier model got a lot of stick for it's poor ride.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Garethj
Just a quick point, but have you checked that the child's pram / buggy will fit in the boot? I was suprised to find how big the boot of an old Escort really is for our boy's pram which would not fit in the boot of a Passat saloon.

The other idea is to buy a smaller pram of course and not choose a £10k car on the basis of a £200 pram.....

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - PhilW
I bet it would fit in the back of a Berloodylingo..........
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Garethj
Probably yes, without even having to fold it / put the hood down / take the child out etc
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
..and have room to sort the mail and feed the black cat!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - Garethj
Have you seen the new VW Caddy Combi?

I think painting the press car red was a bad idea!
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - TonyP
We test drove an 03 model and thought the ride was okay so can only assume this is the revised version.

Had a look at the A2 and concluded it wasn't for us based on the internal space - not too dissimilar to the A-Class. We've decided the Jazz wins on practicality and running costs and I have to say that the look is growing on me by the day. Not that I disliked it but just that I thought it was a bit girly looking at first!!!

Now to get a good deal on one in a sensible colour...
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - eMBe {P}
TonyP: I have only skimmed through the posts above so may have missed a post that confirms/suggests that you read the HJ car-by-car breakdown on the left.

I note that your wife does just 2-3k miles per year.
That means her main costs per mile are likely to be depreciation at 20 to 30% per year of current value of a car (= £2000 @ 20% for a £10k car).
Then the fixed costs (Insurance, tax, MOT which are likely to total at least about £10 per week = £500 per year).
Your petrol cost for 3k miles, assuming 30mpg( = 100 gallons @ say £4 gallon, = £400 per year).
Your servicing costs for 3k annual mileage will be negligible in comparision to these costs.

Finally, remember HJ's advice - see news item on the right
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - DavidHM
I'm not saying that these cars are in any way better than the Jazz - in fact, I have no hands on experience of either - but if your budget doesn't stretch to one, you might like to consider the Vauxhall Meriva (from £9k discounted) or Ford Fusion (£8k) - although maybe with the same specification as the Jazz SE they're not actually any cheaper.
Merc A140 or Honda Jazz? - 007
Tony...You really started something with this thread!

Have a look at the following link and you will find a name and location which may lead you to the sort of deal which you are looking for.

Let us know how you get is always nice to know if the suggestions lead to a successful outcome.


Value my car