The top spec Honda Jazz costs £17.4k – yikes is it trying to be a Mini?



Some of the best jazz I’ve heard has been in a tiny pub. No fancy stage, lighting or fru-fru. Nope, just basic stuff that ticks all the musical boxes.

The problem with this top spec little car is that it tries to be something it isn’t. The best Honda Jazz models are the entry-level ones.

They are value for money and are bought by people who simply want to get from A to B without any fuss.

They certainly don’t want a lane departure warning system, a big screen sat nav with reverse parking sensors, seats that fold flat into a double bed, or a ‘start’ button on the dashboard.

Well, they might but they certainly don’t want to pay £17.5k for the pleasure.

The Jazz EX Navi is rubbished by the MINI, Fiat 500 and  DS3. Buy a cheaper version and you will feel much happier…

The latest Honda Jazz looks like a tribute act for aerodynamic jelly moulds


I woke up at 4am this morning. I was worried about what nice things I could say about the new Honda Jazz. Specifically, the £17.5k model parked outside my bedroom.

I was a fan of the original Jazz. Yep, even though the silly really doesn’t match the model, it stuffed every other small car in the sector.

For the reliable, practical and spacious movement of people, the Jazz earned a reputation as a remarkable piece of kit. It was a highly sought after car.

Then this new version arrived. What have they done to the Jazz style? The distinctive looks of the previous model have been plastered over – replaced with a tribute to aerodynamic jelly moulds.

I know all the best of Jazz features will still be there inside but Honda has seriously mucked about with the looks.

Then there’s the price. Manufacturers generally spec up cars for motoring writers but this EX Navi defeats the whole point of owning a Jazz.

I’m awake now. More tomorrow after we have been for steer…

The Mitsubishi Shogun has retro charm but could do with an updated engine


Jessica: The retro appeal of the Shogun is rather charming.

However, there’s nothing up to date about the Shogun’s fuel consumption compared to modern SUVs.

This week on trips to the gym and to view Grayson Perry’s Exhibition in Bath it was well below 30mpg. A Land Rover Discovery is 37mpg by comparison and much more comfortable and refined.

You have got to hand it to the big Mitsubishi though, it looks every inch the modern workhorse from the outside.

There is no stopping you pulling heavy horses or any other weighty cargo depending on your profession or passion, as the tow capacity exceeds that of its rivals.

So to sum up, if you are a horse-loving, retro-living person who has no cares about fuel bills, prefers the bumpy track to the open road, you will love this car.

For those with more contemporary ideas on modern motoring, shop around. There are plenty of rivals to suit your budget and fashion outlook.

The Shogun’s old school interior is channeling the 2016 fashion vibe for retro


Jessica: In some respects the retro Shogun is right on fashion trend for 2016 – mainly because it’s channeling a groovy 70s vibe.

Even the interior has an enormous automatic gear shift that puts you right back into the big buttons and knobs era.

So driving the Mitsubishi is a chance to turn back the clock. You can cruise down the highway listening to 70s disco, steering a large fuel guzzling car, relaxing your suede flares in those big comfy seats.

Just watch those flares on the running board though. It’s easy to end up with a mud stripe across the back of your trousers.  Not the best impression to carry away from your parked Shogun on the Kings Road…

The ageing looks of the Mitsubishi Shogun give it a bit of kudos in an era of off-the-shelf SUVs


You don’t have to be a petrolhead to realise that a lot of cars look pretty much the same these days. And I don’t just meet the corporate ‘branding’ either.

The worst offenders are in the SUV sector. There’s only so much you can do to a five-seater with four-wheel drive and boot space to make it style differently.

Which is probably why the ageing looks of the Shogun actually give it a bit of kudos these days. All those curves and muscle-bound wheel arch extensions – it’s a throwback to the turn of the century.

I’ve surprised myself with a growing liking for the Mitsubishi parked outside this week. It’s not an angular beast like many utility vehicles. I like it because it does stand out from the crowd and stay true to Shogun roots.

The Mitsubishi Shogun was never designed to be a lifestyle SUV…


Expect a flood of new SUVs in 2016 as manufacturers from Jaguar to Rolls-Royce launch four-wheel drive models to tap into our yearning for multi purpose vehicles.

I’m starting to wonder what the next fad will be – or have we exhausted all possible configurations for new types of car?

For those of us without a family, it’s sometimes difficult to get your head around the need for an SUV – who needs seven seats when a rasping two-seater is more than enough.

Fortunately, the Shogun was never designed to be a ‘lifestyle’ machine. It was always a serious off-road machine for people who don’t mind getting the floor carpet dirty.

I wonder if we will be able to say that about any SUV in five years time? Even the next generation Land Rover looks like it was designed for the high street rather than a farmyard…

The Shogun has become a poor man’s alternative to the Land Rover Shogun…


The Shogun has become the poor man’s alternative to a Land Rover Discovery. That’s on-road and possibly off – depending on how serious you are about trashing a £40k vehicle.

There used to be a time when the Shogun was king but it’s been left behind on-road by the likes of the BMW X5, the Volvo XC90 and many others.

Yes it has a whopping towing capacity but that’s not enough of a selling point to tempt buyers confronted by a forecourt of alternatives.

The ride is ponderous and bouncy, engine noise from the rumbling engine is intrusive and it’s thirsty too.

Console yourself with the amount of standard equipment and cabin space. Oh and that towing capacity of 3,500kgs (a Toyota Land Cruiser is 2,800kgs).

The Mitsubishi Shogun – still doing the business after all these years


Mitsubishi would cringe if I were to compare the Shogun with last week’s Range Rover. Apart from the whopping price difference, they are aimed at very different markets.

You aren’t going to use the Shogun as an urban-mobile – and say what you like, I’ve rarely seen a Range Rover towing a horsebox in the Cotswolds with serious mud on its wheels.

Our top spec SG4 Mitsubishi is capable of being a competent, semi-luxury machine and the Range Rover is brilliant in the mud. But that isn’t what people buy them for.

So, we have two 4x4s that are polar opposites. And I like it that way. The Shogun sounds and feels positively agricultural by comparison but like my friend says, it does what it says on the tin…

The Range Rover does what it says on the tin – it’s the ultimate luxury car


If there was a luxury car for all seasons I imagine the Range Rover would be near the top of the list. I know the lady who invented the advertising slogan ‘it does what it says on the tin’ and here we have a machine that will rove over any range.

Why would you want Mercedes S Class when you can sit high and mighty in a Rangey? It is the perfect executive vehicle for town and country.

I sometimes wonder if Land Rover will relent and launch a two-wheel drive version, simply because all that off-road ability is rarely put to any use. Imagine an entry-level Range Rover for about £65k!

The next test car has just arrived, a top spec Mitsubishi Shogun. I took the delivery driver to the station. It was difficult not comparing it to the Range Rover. I’m going to miss the quiet cabin, the refined engine and gentle ride comfort the most…

Why four-wheel drive won’t save you on ice – even in a Range Rover


There is a crazy ‘rush hour’ into my village every morning of the week. It’s a school run and I’m afraid to say the majority of drivers are women.

They say familiarity breeds contempt and that’s certainly the case with the narrow lanes around this Gloucestershire beauty spot.

Most of the mums drive SUVs and seem to think that being in a ‘big’ car with four-wheel drive will save them and their offspring on an icy corner.  It won’t.

The Range Rover has the most sophisticated four-wheel drive system of any 4×4. It may be a luxury limo but it has all the attributes of a thoroughbred Land Rover.

Yesterday I slid sideways at 25mph on ice. It doesn’t matter how good a driver you are, permanent all-wheel drive won’t save you. Driving slower might…