Honda Jazz EX Style 1.5 Hybrid
Specifications: Honda Jazz EX Style 1.5 Hybrid e-CVT
- Run by: Andy Brady since October 2022
- Price when new: £26,410 (£26,610 including options)
- Engine: 1.5-litre hybrid
- Power: 107PS
- Torque: 253Nm
- Claimed economy: 61.4mpg
- CO2 emissions: 105g/km
- Insurance group: 18
Report 1: Is the best hatchback you can buy?
We've always liked the Honda Jazz - but how will it stack up over a longer period?
Date: 31 October 2022 | Current mileage: 7828 miles | Claimed economy: 61.4mpg | Actual economy: 54.7mpg
The Honda Jazz has almost become a bit of an HonestJohn.co.uk cliché. We're not ashamed of how often we recommend Honda's versatile hatch - we love everything about it: its clever packaging, excellent reliability record and low running costs to name a few selling points.
We've been recommending the Honda Jazz for several generations now, but the latest model ups the game even further. It retains the infamous 'magic seats' while also adding hybrid power as standard and way more style than it's ever had.
I was actually talking to my colleague, Lawrence, about what might replace the ultra-practical Volkswagen Caddy I've been running for the last six months when the Honda Jazz came up in discussion.
"You can pick up an early one for less than £2000," I said. "It'll be reliable, there are loads about and most have been pampered by their elderly owners."
I quite liked the idea of spending winter with an old banger with zero street cred. Especially one I could chuck my mountain bike in the back of. But, just as I started searching the classifieds for a (well) used Honda Jazz, an email landed in our inbox. Would we like a few months with the latest Jazz?
And that's how I've become the custodian on RE71 OYZ. In typical HonestJohn.co.uk long-term fashion, we'll be reporting on life with the Honda Jazz, including its running costs, reliability and all those little quirks you only notice a few months into ownership.
I'll provide a bit more information about 'my' Jazz in the next update but, in the meantime, I'd be delighted to hear any ownership stories from happy (or otherwise) Honda Jazz drivers. You can contact me via the Ask HJ feature.
Report 2: The story of a Covid car launch
How did we review cars during Covid lockdown times? We look back at the launch of the 2020 Honda Jazz...
Date: 14 November 2022 | Current mileage: 8875 miles | Claimed economy: 61.4mpg | Actual economy: 57.2mpg
The Covid pandemic continues to have repercussions around the world. The car industry has been hit particularly hard, with the ongoing microchip shortage triggering seismic waves in the world of new cars and having a knock-on effect on used car prices.
I thought I'd take this opportunity to get a bit nostalgic about the heady times of summer 2020. While we were clapping for carers and other people were having a seriously challenging time, little old me was stuck inside spending all day writing about cars.
Woe betide me, I know, and I don't for one minute think I had it tough. But when the invitation from Honda came in to leave my spare room to drive the new (at the time) Jazz at their UK head office in Bracknell, I didn't need to be asked twice. It's genuinely one of the most exciting car launches I've ever been on.
The launch was held the brand's press garage, with a virtual press conference provided on an iPad and lunch in a paper bag. We did get the luxury of sitting at a table for lunch, socially distanced from my industry colleagues of course.
I remember how bizarre it was to drive the car wearing a mask and disposable gloves, while the roads were freakishly quiet. It wasn't the normal launch experience, but it allowed us to get an early review up on both HonestJohn.co.uk and our sister site heycar.
Fast forward two years and we'll be running a Honda Jazz Hybrid for a few months to see if my impressions in (relatively normal) everyday life are the same as they were back in mid-2020. And, a few weeks in, it certainly seems as good as I remember - with impressive efficiency and an interior that's leagues ahead of the old Jazz.
Report 3: Which Honda Jazz should I buy?
Which Honda Jazz model represents the best value for money? Clue: neither of the two we've tried...
Date: 28 November 2022 | Current mileage: 9100 miles | Claimed economy: 61.4mpg | Actual economy: 52.3mpg
Congrats, you've narrowed down your new car buying decision to one of the best little hatchbacks you can buy: the Honda Jazz. But it's not quite time to put your feet up and congratulate yourself on a job well done just yet. First, you have to decide which trim level you should buy.
As part of our time with the Honda Jazz, we've actually spent time with two different models. The first was a mid-range Honda Jazz EX, which we spent a few weeks with before swapping it for our Honda Jazz EX Style. But you don't even have to look quite so high up the Jazz hierarchy to get a very well-equipped car.
The entry-level Honda Jazz SE is hardly basic for a £20,000 motor. You get things like heated seats, automatic climate control, DAB radio and a host of driver-assistance tech. For a small price premium, though, we'd recommend upgrading to the Jazz SR for such desirable features as 15-inch alloy wheels, leather-covered dash panels, part-leather seats, front/rear parking sensors and a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Beyond the SR trim level, it gets more difficult to justify spending more money on a Honda Jazz. The Jazz EX comes with some nice-to-have (but not essential) features like a heated leather steering wheel, rear-view camera and rear privacy glass - as well as in-built Garmin navigation, although we prefer to use Google Maps via Android Auto. The Honda Jazz EX looks a bit more stylish (with two-tone 16-inch alloys, embossed side mouldings, a black rear spoiler and black door mirrors) but otherwise brings little else to the party.
If you like your hatchback to look a bit more rugged, look at the Honda Jazz Crosstar EX. With rufty-tufty looks and a slight increase in ground clearance, the Jazz Crosstar takes the versatile hatch into borderline SUV territory. Chuck in roof rails and water-repellent seats and it could be the perfect car for weekend adventures.
Report 4: How practical is the Honda Jazz?
The Honda Jazz is one of the most practical small cars you can buy. But what exactly do its magic seats do?
Date: 12 December 2022 | Current mileage: 9750 miles | Claimed economy: 61.4mpg | Actual economy: 54.6mpg
The Honda Jazz has developed an almost cult following since it arrived in 2001. Buyers love how reliable and cheap to run the Jazz is, while it's also one of the most practical small cars on sale.
It's that practicality that we've been enjoying with our Jazz long-termer. Like the original 2001 Honda Jazz, the latest hybrid model comes with 'magic seats' in the rear. This is essentially a rear bench that can flip and fold to accommodate whatever it is you need to carry.
Not only does it drop entirely flat, you can also fold them up like cinema seats - leaving plenty of room for transporting tall upright items in the back. This could be ideal for a trip to the garden centre and we reckon you might even be able to squeeze a push bike through the wide-opening rear doors.
With the seats in use, it's surprising how capable the Jazz is at transporting passengers. We've had four adults in our Jazz, all in awe at how spacious it is. There's even room for a third person in the back - without a huge annoying lump in the floor eating into space for your feet. Try doing that in a Ford Fiesta.
Alright, so the Fiesta might be more engaging to throw around a series of twisty bends. But cars like these spend a lot of their lives in town, and we reckon its great visibility combined with light steering and gearchange-free CVT hybrid transmission makes for smooth, easy progress.
Report 5: How reliable is the Honda Jazz?
The latest HonestJohn.co.uk Satisfaction Index is live... and there's something missing.
Date: 26 December 2022 | Current mileage: 10,073 miles | Claimed economy: 61.4mpg | Actual economy: 53.9mpg
Honda is a brand that's known for its dependability, and we hear from a lot of happy Honda Jazz owners who love their car because they know it won't leave them stranded at the roadside. It's with that in mind, that I was somewhat surprised to see the latest Honda Jazz failing to make the top 10 cars for reliability in our recent Satisfaction Index.
There's no great story to this: the hybrid Jazz isn't ruining Honda's reliability record. It's simply because we didn't get enough responses to our survey from owners to warrant the Honda Jazz's inclusion on this occasion.
But that doesn't mean it's an unreliable car. You might be unsurprised to hear that our relatively new Jazz hasn't put a foot wrong during our custodianship, but you'd be shocked how many modern press vehicles do.
Other evidence suggests that the latest Honda Jazz is a very reliable car. We haven't had a single issue reported (if we do, we list it in the good/bad section of our review), while Honda as a brand performed exceedingly well in the 2022 Satisfaction Index. We named Honda the sixth most reliable car manufacturer according to our research, ahead of brands like Ford, Volkswagen and even premium carmakers such as BMW and Mercedes.
We did hear from enough owners of the previous-generation Honda Jazz to warrant its inclusion in the Satisfaction Index - and, quelle surprise, that ranked very highly in terms of reliability. Asked to score their car out of 10 for reliability, respondents awarded the 2014 Honda Jazz an average score of 9.82.
Report 6: It's goodbye to the Honda Jazz
Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? After three months, our Honda Jazz is off to pastures new.
Date: 9 January 2023 | Current mileage: 10,327 miles | Claimed economy: 61.4mpg | Actual economy: 54.5mpg
All good things must come to an end, and our short spell with the Honda Jazz is now over.
I've had tougher goodbyes. It's not that I didn't like the Honda Jazz, but it didn't exactly get under my skin the same way our old Volkswagen Caddy did.
I suspect that's partly because the Honda Jazz is so good at what it does, you soon begin to take it for granted. What it lacks in excitement, it makes up for with its low running costs and incredible versatility.
And at least the latest Honda Jazz has a bit more personality than the model that came before it. It does actually look kinda modern and fresh, while the interior is airy and feels pretty high quality for the price.
When the Honda Jazz arrived back in October, we asked whether the latest model justified its position as one of our most recommended new cars. And three months has done little to make us reconsider that. I'm a little more enthused about what's set to replace it, though...