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Honda Jazz Review

8 / 10
14 December 2023
Honda Jazz Crosstar driving

The Honda Jazz is a seriously impressive small car. It squeezes so much space into its 4.1-metre footprint, and only comes with an economical hybrid engine.

It’s not the best choice for keen drivers, but it’s near-enough unbeatable if you want a relaxing round-town runabout that’ll use next-to-no fuel.

What we like:
  • Very economical
  • Palatial rear seat space
  • Easy to drive
What we don't like:
  • Styling won't suit everyone
  • A little more expensive than most superminis
  • Disconnected steering feel

Should I buy a Honda Jazz?

Pensioners are wise – they’ve managed to keep Werther’s Originals and the Honda Jazz for themselves. The Jazz should be more popular, because it’s so clever and brilliantly efficient.

Honda’s design team has gone its own way. The Jazz’s styling is friendly and warm rather than sporty and aggressive, and it’s unashamedly eco-focused. Honda has 25 years of hybrid experience and the result is that the Jazz is seriously good on fuel around town – our test car’s long-term readout said it was returning 67mpg.

Add in an easy-to-use cabin and lots of rear-seat space, and the Jazz is well worth a place on your shortlist if you can overlook its octogenarian appeal.

Interior and technology

There would be uproar in the bingo halls if Honda had mounted a big Tesla-style touchscreen on the dashboard. The fairly modest screen is really easy to navigate, with big button tiles and a high-contrast white-on-black colour scheme. There are proper dials for the air con, plus well-marked buttons and USB sockets. The compact digital instrument cluster is a bit busy and info-heavy to be read quickly at a glance, mind.

Regardless of whether you pick the Crosstar with its wipe-clean upholstery or not, the Jazz’s interior feels great. The comfortable cloth seats with soft grey fabric are like lounge furniture, while the slim dashboard doesn’t intrude on interior space. Thanks to big windows and excellent front visibility, the Jazz feels really airy and light up front.


Doctor Who would approve of the Jazz. It may be small on the outside but, inside, there’s a genuinely surprising amount of room for people and cubbies to hide sonic screwdrivers in. Rear-seat passengers get limousine-like amounts of legroom and excellent headroom, so even tall adults will have no problem getting into the back of a Jazz.

We’ve got to mention the Magic Seats, too. You won’t be able to make a white rabbit appear from a cupholder, but you can flip up the seat bases like you can in a cinema. Once they’re latched you’ve got a huge amount of space that’s ideal for tall items like pot plants or folded tables.

The Jazz’s 300-litre boot is about the same as you get in a Toyota Yaris or Renault Clio E-Tech. On the whole, it’s a really useable shape, thanks to a square boot opening and almost no load lip. You can also fold the rear seats down to turn the Jazz into a mini moving van.

Engines and performance

This is Honda’s second crack at a Jazz hybrid, and it’s a top effort. In fact, the Jazz is now only available as a hybrid, with a 1.5-litre petrol engine coupled to a perky electric motor and a clever single-gear setup. It offers acceleration that’s more than decent enough for day-to-day use, but its main purpose is efficiency. That’ll come as music to your ears if you need something more economical. Around town, the electric motor can do most of the legwork, saving huge amounts of fuel versus a normal petrol car.

Driving and comfort

Drive the Jazz like the Civic Type R hot hatch and it won’t play ball. The Jazz is pretty uninvolving and doesn’t like being hurried into a fast corner. Stick to a more relaxed pace and the Jazz shines – especially around town. Here, it’s comfortable, quiet and wonderfully easy to drive, and that’s the appeal of the Jazz. It doesn’t require any thought or compromise to drive – it’s simple and effortless.

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