If you want a sensible, comfortable and practical small car, for nearly two decades the Honda Jazz has been a brilliant choice.
But this latest fourth-generation Jazz is arguably the boldest yet – featuring a more distinctive kei car-like design, mandatory hybrid powertrains and an overhauled interior.
And for the first time you’re now able to get it as a more rugged-looking styling to this supermini – in a similar vein to the Ford Fiesta Active and Audi A1 Citycarver. While gaining no extra off-roading ability, it brings the all-important crossover looks to the Jazz, and hopefully swaying loyal Honda customers away into other brands or into the firm’s own HR-V SUV. But is it worth considering?
On the latest Jazz, there’s only one powertrain choice – a 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid system. So alongside the engine itself, it’s mated to two electric motors, and can drive for much longer on electricity than a typical ‘self-charging’ system, and it means that when driving around town, it’s a lot like being in an EV. It’s mated to a new e-CVT automatic gearbox, which is largely smooth, but certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence.
But despite the system generating a modest 96bhp and 131Nm of torque, it can reach 60mph in 9.7 seconds and hit a top speed of 107mph – granted that’s half a second slower to a national speed limit than the standard Jazz.
Ride and handling
Hybrids are never known for being particularly fun to drive, but the Jazz is undoubtedly up there as one of the most enjoyable. The performance is brisk and if you need a sudden burst of acceleration, it’s quicker than you would expect.
But the Jazz remains at its best when driven leisurely, where you can appreciate its comfortable ride – and as the ride height has been raised by 16mm next to the standard car, you sit ever so slightly higher off the ground. Thanks to slim pillars and plenty of glass, visibility is also fantastic, and arguably one of the Jazz’s best traits.
Interior and equipment
Honda has aimed to inject a bit of extra flair into the Jazz’s interior, and it’s certainly quite a different place to spend time to its predecessor. With lots of materials, a fabric dashboard and a two-spoke steering wheel, it looks different to the majority of cars in this class.
The cabin is also very roomy, with loads of rear space for adults. While the boot itself might be quite an average size, the Jazz comes equipped with Honda’s ‘magic’ seats, which flip up like cinema chairs – leaving a large and flat area to store things upright.
When it comes to equipment, the Crosstar is certainly not lacking in kit. It sits right at the top of the Jazz line-up – even above the regular EX model. Highlights include keyless entry and start, LED headlights, a reversing camera and nine-inch touchscreen, while Crosstar models bring a premium eight-speaker sound system, water repellent upholstery, silver accents and a more off-road-looking bodykit.
While if you opt for the regular Jazz, prices start from £18,995, the Crosstar model sees prices rise to £22,635, or £23,585 if you want the two-tone black roof. It means it’s £1,000 more expensive than the regular EX model, which is quite a lot of extra money to splash out for a more rugged-looking bodykit.
On the plus side, you can expect very low running costs from the Jazz, as Honda claims it’ll return 58.9mpg, with CO2 emissions of 110g/km.
If you like your supermini to wear chunkier and more rugged styling, then the addition of this Crosstar variant to the Honda Jazz range will be appreciated. It retains all the charm of the standard car – its unique interior, efficiency and impressive powertrain, but adds extra visual flair.
While the chunky looks come at a price, if you like the look of it, that extra £1,000 for the Crosstar will largely be worth every penny.Enquire on a new Honda Jazz