Honda Jazz (2015 – 2020) Review

Honda Jazz (2015 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
A brilliantly practical and versatile small hatchback, the Honda Jazz has few drawbacks other than its disappointing infotainment set-up.

+Unrivalled practicality and versatility. Plenty of room for four adults to travel in comfort. Surprisingly fun to drive, especially 1.5 i-VTEC Sport.

-Only two engine choices: both naturally-aspirated petrol. Irritating infotainment system with no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

On average it achieves 91% of the official MPG figure

If you’ve ever wondered how to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, look no further than the Honda Jazz. It’s always been a masterclass in making the most of every inch of interior space while keeping the outer dimensions of a small hatchback, and the model launched in 2015 was a superb step on in the Honda Jazz’s development. Although not quite as good to drive as a Mazda 2 or the massive-selling Ford Fiesta, nor quite as classy as an Audi A1 Sportback, the Honda Jazz still manages to be an extremely sound bet for used buyers. Read on for our full Honda Jazz review.

The Honda Jazz is something of an unsung hero among small hatches. Unfairly derided for its sensible image and traditionally more ‘mature’ owner – the average buyer age is over 60 – the Honda Jazz has never quite had the appeal of the likes of the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta.

But maybe the Honda Jazz that arrived in 2015 – complete with a Sport model – will change your mind.

This Honda Jazz takes all the strengths of its predecessor – namely clever packaging, an incredibly practical interior and Tardis-like amounts of space – and builds on them to create one of the best used small hatches on sale.

It does, of course, retain Honda’s ingenious ‘magic seats’ that fold and flip in various configurations to allow you to carry surprisingly large items – like plants, upright vacuum cleaners and bikes.

Yet there’s even more interior space, a larger boot and plenty of clever little touches to make everyday life easier. In fact, it has the room and versatility to shame much larger cars.

It also has the feel of a much bigger car on the motorway, too, with high comfort levels and a relaxed nature. This Honda Jazz was much better in corners, with lots of grip and nicely weighted steering.

There were big improvements to the interior quality and finish, too, while the Honda Jazz is also one of the most refined small cars around with little road noise and a superbly forgiving ride.

Most Honda Jazz models of this era are powered by a 1.3-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, which does lack low down response, as it’s not turbocharged. However, it has more than enough power for the car and is very quiet. It also works very well with both the standard six-speed manual or the optional CVT automatic.

After 2018, Honda Jazz buyers could opt for a 1.5-litre petrol engine in Sport trim. A clear attempt to attract younger customers, the Sport featured a red stripe on the front, sporty side skirts and a rear spoiler. Gloss black 16-inch alloys were standard, while orange stitching added a touch of raciness to the interior.

Like the 1.3, the 1.5 is a naturally aspirated engine. This means it needs to be worked hard compared to turbocharged rivals, but enthusiastic drivers might enjoy building the revs. Indeed, the Honda Jazz Sport is a surprisingly fun car to drive, as long as you’re not expecting instant thrills.

The Honda Jazz is also well equipped. Add in its big car feel, a high-quality finish and, of course, its unrivalled interior space and practicality – helped by those clever ‘magic seats’ – and this makes the Honda Jazz easy to recommend.

Ask Honest John

Is the stop start system in my Honda Jazz more trouble than it is worth?

"I have some doubts about the benefit of this facility. Every time I come to a stop with foot held on the brake the engine stops and release the brake and the engine fires up. This means that the battery has to start the engine many more times than with the facility disabled. As I understand it, continually stopping and starting the car degrades the battery thus shortening its useful life. My 2 year old battery was recently checked by the A A and it was found to be in only "fair" condition, pretty poor for a battery of that age. Also every time a car is restarted there is a spike in petrol usage--this facility seems to cause more problems that it solves, I now disable it before I drive. I would appreciate your comments and advice "
Stop start systems offer a particular benefit in urban traffic, allowing the engine to automatically switch off to reduce fuel consumption to zero while the car is stationary. The saving on fuel in urban traffic is reported to be anywhere from 8% to 15% depending on the traffic density. On the downside, a vehicle with stop start does use the battery more frequently which can result in a shorter battery life. We would not expect any spike in fuel consumption upon restart to be greater than the amount of fuel saved while the engine is switched off. Ultimately it is a matter of personal choice whether to disable the system or otherwise in terms of balancing reduced fuel consumption and environmental impact versus component longevity.
Answered by David Ross

I've owned my Honda Jazz for five days but the TPMS warning keeps coming on

"The tyre pressure warning light has come on three times and been reset. I’ve only had the car five days. What is going on? Pressures checked by engineers and they are all ok. It also does not have a jack. The pages for resetting the warning light in the manual are well worn! I am suspicious."
The problems you are experiencing and the fact that the pages are worn in the owner's manual suggests this is an issue that has been present for some time. If the tyre pressures are correct but the system is indicating low pressure, it would suggest that there is a fault within the system, potentially the pressure sensors giving a false reading. If the car was purchased from a dealer you are within your rights to ask them to rectify the issue. If this is unsuccessful you may wish to seek advice from an independent Honda specialist who may be able to offer further advice. Not all vehicles are fitted are fitted with a jack, as many cars are fitted with an emergency tyre inflator instead. We would suggest checking the boot space to determine if this has been supplied. If you have a spare wheel however, your vehicle should come supplied with a jack.
Answered by David Ross

What's a suitable car for a retired couple?

"We are in our mid 60s and retired but active and we are looking to reduce our motoring costs. We currently drive a 14 year old Nissan Qashqai 2.0 litre petrol, automatic. My wife likes the higher driving position but we would like a reasonable small 4/5 door hatchback for us to pootle around and make several annual motorway journeys to our scattered family. We have a budget of about £4000 - £7000. Can you recommend anything?"
A Honda Jazz sounds ideal - it's a versatile little car with a higher seating position than a regular small hatchback. It should be a very reliable and cheap-to-run choice. Look for one with the CVT automatic gearbox rather than the i-Shift automated manual gearbox sold between 2008 and 2011.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is there an automatic city car without an automated manual?

"I would like to change my wife's 2015 Hyundai I10 premium for a similar sized used automatic. I note that many small used automatics use automated manual gearboxes. I have read various of your reviews in the past where you have not recommended this type of transmission."
The vast majority of city cars are unfortunately fitted with automated manual gearboxes, which do not offer the same smoothness or responsiveness as CVTs or dual-clutch manuals. If you wish to avoid an automated manual it will require moving up a class to a small hatchback such as the Toyota Yaris, Hyundai i20, Skoda Fabia or Honda Jazz.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Honda Jazz (2015 – 2020) cost?