Honda Jazz Review 2022

Honda Jazz 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. Find out more in our Honda Jazz review.

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 the latest Honda Jazz 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 Honda 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 Honda Jazz 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 with the Honda Jazz, 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 Honda 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 the Honda Jazz drives just like any other automatic petrol car. Albeit one that can drive away in silence and return incredible economy.

Officially, the Honda 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, the Honda Jazz is 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. 

Looking for a second opinon? Why not read heycar's Honda Jazz review.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a dog-friendly small hatchback?
"I currently have a Suzuki Swift. But as my car and dogs are getting older I need to replace it. What hatchback of a similar size would you recommend? It must have a low loading lip for my dogs to jump in and out. "
We'd recommend a Honda Jazz. It's a really versatile small car with a low loading lip that makes it ideal for transporting dogs. The latest model is a hybrid that'll be very cheap to run. Alternatively, take a look at a Skoda Fabia Estate. The latest model isn't available as an estate but you can get a good deal on a late example of the previous model. It's a compact estate car (not much bigger than your Swift) with easy access.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a small car with robust suspension?
"I prefer a stiffer suspension to improve handling but in my part of the world there are many pot holes and speed bumps which over the years has led to expensive repairs. Given that I am not going up market for an active suspension and only need a small car, 1.2 or 1.4 litre, what would you recommend as having the most robust suspension? "
A Volkswagen Polo strikes a pretty good balance in the suspension department, especially if you find one with relatively small alloy wheels (and chunky tyres). Also consider a Honda Jazz or the very soft Citroen C3.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a small car that will fit a wheelchair?
"I’m looking for a car smaller than my Jaguar XE but I’m finding that the boot on most models is just too small to fit a folded wheelchair in. I need a depth of about 85cm. Can you recommend a car with a sliding rear seat, which also has heated seats? I’m quite happy to lose rear seat space."
Take a look at the Honda Jazz. It's a very versatile little car with 'Magic Seats' that flip and fold to provide more boot space when required. Its low boot lip will make it easier for loading a wheelchair, too. You'll need a high-spec EX model for heated front seats. Alternatively, if you'd prefer a small SUV, a Volkswagen T-Cross could be a good option with a sliding rear bench.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What is a CVT car like for winter driving?
"My nephew has had a succession of Honda Jazz cars, all manual gearboxes. The present hybrid model is only available with the CVT gearbox. He id due to change his car but is concerned about winter driving on snow and ice (he lives in Scotland). How does CVT fare under wintry conditions? "
I would think a CVT would be very good on slippery roads as it dials in the engine's torque very gently and accelerates smoothly (as there are no physical gear changes). Combined with some decent winter tyres, the Jazz should be very well behaved on snow and ice.
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Honda Jazz cost?