It’s windy and the Honda Jazz is light – squeaky bottom time…


I’m not exactly looking forward to my drive to London this morning. It’s windy, the Jazz is light and with relatively high sides, well it could be squeaky bottom time.

Quite often it’s the cars you look forward to most that prove the most disappointing.

Now, I knew the little Honda wasn’t going to be a pocket rocket but this EX Navi automatic is expensive, underpowered and jolly noisy when pushed hard.

Models further down the range will no doubt be snapped up by their zillions. But truly, you’d be quite bonkers to buy this £17.5k model.

It may have the most equipment in the Jazz range but it’s definitely not the best version.

Space represents no frontier for the new Honda Jazz


My old English teacher used to say that if you don’t have anything good to say about something, don’t say anything at all.

So, I’ve spent the morning pouring over the Jazz, making a (short) list of features that give me pleasure on a wet February day.

As explained, this EX Navi version has lots of gizmos as standard. But most people won’t buy this top spec car. So ignoring those luxuries, the best feature of the Jazz is the huge amount of interior space.

By placing the fuel tank forward and underneath the cabin, the back seats can be placed further back, freeing up tons of rear leg room.

There a surprisingly large boot too, masses of headroom, plus doorbins and a useful centre console for nicnacs.

Space then, is where the Jazz scores. So, just spend £13,500 on the entry level model and suddenly it makes great sense…

There’s very little to like about the CVT gearbox in the Honda Jazz


There’s very little to like about the CVT automatic transmission in the Honda Jazz.

It’s fine if you are pootling around town but anywhere other than that and the gearbox is woefully inadequate. Buy the cheaper manual and save some money.

Worst of all, any attempt to wind up the engine revs results in a noisy, none-jazz like whine. Yes, the CVT won’t be music to your ears.

In a bid to squeeze some performance from the drivetrain I’ve been driving in Sport mode. The revs pick up slightly but the results are just the same.

And quite what Honda was thinking by fitting a pair of steering wheel-mounted flappy paddles for the gearbox is beyond me. They are quite pointless and rather silly.

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…