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

 

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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…

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

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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…

Would you rather have pointless cruise or sat nav in your Honda Civic?

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Well, there it is then – an object lesson in why you should always read the manual. Switching off the ECON button transformed the Civic Sport. Well, made it moderately better!

I still don’t understand why any car with cruise control (pointless in the UK), alloy foot pedals (really?) and privacy glass (bling) doesn’t have sat nav.

That is even more annoying with the Civic Sport because it has a large, 7-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard.

Overall then, the Civic Sport is a decent hatchback that is styled differently to most of the competition. It’s economical (with that button pushed in!), roomy and comfortable but NOT sporty. Nope, you’ll have to save up for the Type R to tick that box.

Finally, I discover the Honda Civic has an ECON button that cuts out any performance!

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Lordy! After four days in the saddle with the Honda Civic Sport I’ve just realised the ECON button is on.

Obviously the delivery man was on an economy drive because I had no idea. It’s hidden behind the steering wheel and there’s no indication that it is active, once it’s been activated.

This might explain why the Sport is so flat-footed. The system reduces the throttle response and limits the time the air conditioning runs for.

So, without ECON on, the Civic does feel like a lukewarm hatch! No wonder I couldn’t get any satisfaction from the 1.8 petrol engine for the last few days…

Want a sporty Civic? Just wait for the new Type R…

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The Honda Civic Type R is imminent – it’s due here any moment but don’t go thinking this Sport we have on test is anything but a lukewarm, if not cold, alternative.

If you you like your hatchback’s hot then stick your money in the bank and wait for the 2.0 turbo version. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the last generation model was in the UK.

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and I’ve just driven back from London across the Cotswolds on a surprisingly quiet road – just right for a ‘sports’ car. Just not the Civic Sport!

Aesthetically, this new model does look the part but that’s the end of it. This Civic simply doesn’t have the performance, handling or sharpness to be credited as a sporty car…

The Civic Sport is just a lamb dressed up in wolf’s clothing

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I can understand why you might buy the Civic. It isn’t shaped like your average hatchback, this new Sport model we have on test looks moderately cool and, therefore, it marks you out as slightly different.

But I still have a problem with any car labelled ‘Sport’ having no sporting edge whatsoever. It’s as vague on the steering as the standard car and has absolutely no extra poke.

There is a hint of hothatch ‘Type-R’ about it – especially with the sleek body kit that looks great. Sadly, it’s a lamb dressed up as a wolf. Thus to me is as criminal as creating a chunky SUV with only two-wheel drive.

What’s the point?!

If your manly ego needs an extra shot of performance then you’re only kidding yourself buying a Civic Sport. Within a minute of sitting in the cabin, you’ll know you have been rumbled.

Much better buying a lesser model and speccing it up with the money you save. Makes a lot more sense…

The Honda Civic no longer looks like a dumpy vacuum cleaner

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I suppose I should cough up from the start. I wasn’t a big fan of the latest generation Civic when it first appeared and I’m still not sure now.

The squat front end and bulky backside isn’t a good look for man or car. It looks more like a vacuum cleaner that a practical hatchback.

But in recent years the Civic has been revised. It’s a bit more conservative now and for once, I think that’s done the trick. A styling overhaul earlier this year has really given the car a sense of purpose.

TheSport model may not be the best driving car in its class but the Civic is still a decent all-rounder. Besides, if you want power, go for the Type-R version.

After a just a few miles on my favourite potholed road I can tell you the Civic rides well and in 1.8 guise has decent acceleration too. A lukewarm hot hatch that doesn’t break the bank…