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This was the first car I have ever bought from new. I have always had second hand before and so this I felt was truly 'mine'.
I researched and researched online for a couple of years before I plumped for the Jazz. As a mum of 2 I wanted a car that was safe. It always came in the top 2-3 so it really put my mind at rest. It feels safe - spacious and solid but not bulky.
My priority criteria (safety) met, my next was cost effectiveness. I sometimes travel a few hundred miles to work and I am confident in knowing I do not have to fill up every five minutes. It is also pretty good on short journeys too.
The next thing to consider was the boot. I am a community artist and I need lots of room. I am totally delighted with the way the back seats fold down you get a fully flat area. This is brilliant for me as I can get a 1m2 mosaic base in the back with no problem.
There is a handy little space under the boot, with a lift up panel which is fabulous for hiding stuff - or losing stuff, like my summer coat for a few months which I forgot was there!
Style - well, the other stuff is more important to me but I would be lying if I said I didn't like the look of the car. The Jazz looks great - it's a family car with personality.
Oh - and the other thing is that it is classed as a super mini (I really do not know why but I'm pleased it is!) so the road tax is cheaper!
Having had a Honda Jazz in the family since 2005 there was only one option when it came to getting a new car. The upgraded version is still the same great quality offered by Honda and a dare say it will run well for many years as our old Jazz did, reliability has never been a problem for Honda. It is now a bit sleeker looking brining it up to date and making it very much cooler. All of the dials and gadgets are where they should be, easy to reach and not overly complicated, it also has a very good stereo and cd player.
One of the selling points of the Jazz is its large interior space in a small car, I have used it to move house and often put my mountain bike in the back with its wheels still on, a feat that can not be accomplished by many other similar sized cars. This is thanks to the clever way its seat fold away into the rear foot well leaving a flat open space.
I am very pleased with the Honda Jazz and this newer version has only improved on an already successful design. It is still as economic as ever and the engine produces ample amounts of power, it also has a very good saftey rating. The only problem I have now is the dog getting the boot all dirty and having to clean it afterwards.
Having been a Big Car driver for many years, I decided a year ago this week to become more environmentally friendly.
Looking for something a little less staid than the Saab, Merc and Rover 75 that had been my previous three cars, the five door Honda Jazz caught my attention by jumping up and down excitedly on the forecourt whenever I drove by. I had to have it because it made me feel so happy. I even like the brand name. It's high safety spec, (special mention given to Honda's award for pedestrian safety) and solid security features galvanised me into the decision. This is a little car, tiny in fact, on the outside. I'm almost five feet tall and I can reach across the roof to wash it! It has curved lines with a little snub nose and the girls and I think that from the front it looks like a little cat.
Get inside though, and there is ample room for four, or five if the fifth is quite small. A high roof lends a feeling of space, while rear passengers enjoy decent leg room due to a dropped floor in the back. All three rear seats have three point safety belts. It has a 1.4 litre engine, with five manual gears (yes, plus reverse!). There's plenty of acceleration right through the gears to the legal seventy miles an hour limit, and I don't have to drop a gear to overtake on the motorway, as I frequently did with the Rover. Let's face it though, it's not a Boyracer's dream - you ain't going anywhere at the tonne!
The model I have is the 1.4l Sport, (we call her Hannah), which means there are alloys, heated mirrors, sunroof and A/C, different spec seat trims and a cd player. She's also very dark metallic blue, which was one of three colours on offer at the time, however now the colour range has been added to quite extensively, which makes me sick because I would have loved a more groovy colour. The driving experience is good, the dash controls logically set out, gears well defined and the pedals nicely responsive. The power steering is sometimes a little overkeen, I find, but like every car's little idiosynchrasies, you get attuned to it. Road visibility is superb with no blind spots, and the wide angle side mirrors are very effective. It took me a while to get used to the narrow chassis and I certainly don't take corners as quickly as I used to. The ride can feel a little bumpy at times, which for me is all part of the fun of the car, except when driving for three or four hours at a time, when my bum can get a bit jiggled to death.
For the passenger, I am assured by the girls that Hannah is great. They're comfortable despite what look like small seats. There are plenty of cupholders and door pockets for their junk. The cd is well used and the six speaker system meets the requirements of my teenager. The boot space is covered by a pull screen rather than a solid parcel shelf, so they can get into any extra junk they may need on the journey easily. As I said, I've had this car for a year now and can recommend it unreservedly. With mixed road driving I usually achieve 45mpg or thereabouts, so running costs are kept low. Insurance will hold no nasty surprises either - fully comp before no claims discount with Directline for a 40yr old female, with one named driver (my secret) cost less than 700 pounds. The reservoir for washer fluid is big enough that I don't have to fill it every five minutes - a personal bugbear. Servicing is required every 12,000 miles.
When I picked the car up, the salesman showed me the washer fluid reservoir and pointed out the engine at the same time, then told me to forget about the engine as I wouldn't need to look at it again. You know, I believe him? The Honda engine is so reliable it's almost boring. But let me tell you my favourite thing about Hannah Honda. She has Magic Seats! They are really called that. The rear seats can fold up and lock so that loads can sit on the rear floorpan. You can fold a single seat up, say for a big plant, or the double seat up for a small chest of drawers, or all three to get in Ruth's bike from Santa at Christmas! If needed, the seats can fold down as in other small people movers to provide a flat load space, but I find the magic seats so much more quick and easy I've seldom used that function. Ordinary boot space is also deceptively generous, easily taking my weekly shop, or our holiday suitcase with other bags on top. As I've said before, I've loaded her up so heavily at times that I thought her tyres might pop and she's never yet complained.
The Honda Jazz starts at around £9000 - visit www.honda.co.uk for more details.
New Honda Jazz 1.2.
The first generation Honda Jazz was a huge success for Honda, combining a small car with large car practicality. It was also fun to drive.
So has Honda made any improvements to what was a fantastic little car.
The new Jazz looks like an MPV from a distance, but up close it's surprising how small it is. You especially notice it when it's parked next to modern family sized cars.
I think the new Jazz is slightly better looking than the old one with more curves at the front. Actually, view it from the side and squint a bit, and it starts to look a little like a Merc A/B class.
The interior has been brought up to date, with nice chunky sporty feeling steering wheel which fitted perfectly in my hands. The instruments are easy to read and are attractively back lit. The Jazz also gets Honda's multi information display in the centre of the speedo. This shows information like MPG, average MPG, average speed etc.
It starts to go wrong a bit when you start to look around the interior. The centre consol feels very cheap and flimsy, with big chunky switches for heating and ventilation controls which also feel rather cheap.
Although cheap looking, everything is very well put together.
The model I tested is the base 1.2 model, which came with air con, but only had front electric windows. The rears are manual.
The other thing I noticed is the huge expanse of dashboard. Does it need to be there? Or could they increase space inside the car by taking a lot of it away and pushing the front seats and controls forward?
In the back, rear passengers do have a good amount of space and the boot is a very practical size for this class. The seats also fold flat like in the first gen' Jazz to give van like carrying capabilities.
On the road.
The first few minutes behind the wheel were not that great for the Jazz. I found that when I fully depressed the clutch pedal, my foot also pressed against the foot rest which was not very comfortable and a little annoying, and I only have size 8 feet. Also I couldn't get a very good driving position. I adjusted the seat so my legs and feet were perfect, and reclined the seat to a nice relaxed driving position, and lowered the seat to it's lowest position as I like to feel in the car rather than on top of it.
I now found that the steering wheel was slightly too far away and the gear stick was far to far away! When in 1st, 3rd and 5th gears I had to lean forward to reach it! I'm 5'10 so it's not like I'm an abnormal size. The steering wheel only adjusts for rack so I could pull it closer to me. So I tried moving the seat forward so I could reach the wheel and gear stick comfortably, but now my knees where up my nose! So I went back to the original position and just had to lean forward to change gear.
Also another annoying thing was that the massive ventilation control is located right above the gear stick and comes out of the centre consol quite a way, which ment that I kept banging my knuckles on it every time I changed into 3rd gear and moved my hand back to the steering wheel.
So after this start to my experience in the Jazz I was very disappointed.
Once on the move in town traffic though, the Jazz starts to show what it's good at.
Visibility is very good all round and it's very easy to park, it's very quite at town speeds and easy to drive. The brakes are good and responsive and the gear change is smooth and precise. The steering however is a little too light in the first 45 deg of turn and then it weights up quite a lot the more you turn it, then goes really light again as you move the wheel back towards the centre. This wasn't really a problem in town, but out on faster B roads it felt very artificial and strange, and wasn't good going through a bend with weighted steering and easing the wheel back as the road starts to straighten for the steering wheel to then go all light and floppy in your hand! First time it happened I though the steering had broke mid bend, and for that split second my heart jumped into my mouth! I never really got used to this peculiar steering feel and it's probably down to the fact that the Jazz is fitted with electronic power steering which has a rather basic program.
However going round bends the Jazz feels quite firmly planted on the road and is not upset by bumps while cornering either.
The 1.2 litre engine has to be worked hard to get any kind of performance from it, but once you get used to using the gears, using all the revs available and have confidence in it's handling, it's actually quite good fun over fast twisting roads. It's just a shame that the steering is such a let down.
Probably the most surprising part of the test was that at the end, having just done town driving and fast B road driving, I'd averaged 54mpg over nearly 50 miles. This is nearly 1mpg more than the official claimed combined mpg from Honda, and I achieved it without any constant speed motorway driving. The Jazz also has change up/down indicators to help you drive more economically, but I had just ignored these during the test and still got 54mpg. I do have a rather economical driving style which I developed while I owned powerful sports cars for a few years that would do no more than 20mpg! And having driven quite a few Honda's now, I find it quite easy to achieve or better Honda's claimed mpg figures which is hard to do in other makes of car.
To sum up the new Jazz, I have to say I was a little disappointed with it.
It's fantastically practical, the engine is strong when worked hard, it handles well, and is quite well equipped, costs less than the equivalent new Ford Fiesta, but it has a few annoying niggles that on their own aren't too bad, but all together make the Jazz quite frustrating. The previous Jazz was much better to drive as I could get a near perfect driving position and the steering was better.
Honda are trying to shake off its OAP image with it's new generation of cars, just look at the civic and the edgy looking new accord. The new Jazz does look more funky than the old one but you get the impression that it must have been designed around an old lady who likes to sit bolt upright with the seat as high as it will go and sat so far forward her nose is touching the windscreen!
If you want to appeal to younger people then design the car around younger people.