From £10,985
The Jazz finally gets the transmission its elderly fanbase has been waiting for

Our Verdict

Honda Jazz
The Honda Jazz is an expensive small car, especially the hybrid version

The Honda Jazz is a super-practical supermini that’s a doddle to drive and own, but lacking in excitement

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7 December 2010

What is it?

Honda Jazz owners are the sort of people who like what they know – but who definitely aren’t keen on new and untried technology. It’s a lesson the company learned after dropping the option of a CVT autobox for the second-gen Jazz, despite the fact a massive 40 per cent of buyers of the original car had chosen it.

Instead there was a jerky single-clutch robomanual branded i-Shift. Two years later, and after a rebellion by the Jazz’s elderly fanbase, Honda has relented and introduced a CVT as part of a package of mid-term tweaks.

There are actually two different CVT-equipped Jazzes. The new Hybrid will use one with an automated clutch, while the standard car gets a torque converter. Despite that, the CVT still manages economy figures marginally better than those of the unloved i-Shift, thanks in part to the addition of a new, more aero-friendly bodykit. Suspension has also been softened slightly to improve compliance.

What's it like?

The CVT works well when used for the sort of gentle use most Jazz owners expect – the average buyer is 56 years old. It pulls away smoothly and deals well with gentle acceleration, the engine holding its revs as the transmission slurs its ratios to catch up.

Bigger throttle openings have the little motor screaming though – which has the curious effect of making the CVT Jazz feel slower than it actually is. And in a car like this the transmission’s even-revvier ‘Sport’ mode seems almost entirely pointless.

Should I buy one?

It will sell, though – and not just because of the pent-up demand among existing owners. At a £1000 supplement the CVT looks like good value over the manual 1.4, considering its ease of use and the fact it comes with no economy penalty.

Mike Duff

Honda Jazz 1.4 ES CVT

Price: £14,495;Top speed: 109mph; 0-62,ph: 12.8 secs; Economy: 52.3mpg; CO2: 125g/km; Kerb weight: 1140kg; Engine: 4cyls in line, 1339cc, petrol; Power: 98bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 94lb-ft at 4900rpm; Gearbox: CVT

Join the debate

Comments
21

9 December 2010

My dad has just bought a Jazz with the 'i-Shift'. Yeah, it's an oldies car, but I'm not quite sure why the other qualitites of this car get such short shrift from Autocar compared to the Fiesta etc. The interior build and quality of materials is far beyond the Fiesta. And better than any Focus, for that matter. True, the Fiesta out rides and handles it easily, but beyond a certain age i don't think you care quite so much about that nth degree of handling prowess. It's also got a bunch of funky rear-seat and boot tricks that are genuinely well thought-out. Anyway, Having driven both (and working at Ford) I'm sometimes a little surprised by how highly the Fiesta is regarded. Owning a car is not all about on-the-limit handling, the boring stuff counts too!

9 December 2010

I know what you mean here, the Jazz is a good little car and has alot of interior space 'trickery' going on. Must admit though that it's not really much fun to drive.

I can't understand why anybody would buy the fiesta - i find the dash absolutely disgusting it's all crammed together with too many buttons and made with the cheapest of cheap looking shiny trim, feels very small inside and is verrrrrry slow even with the 'better' engines.

Hated the materials used in my focus too but thought the layout was at least decent and whilst far from economical (for a diesel) the 2.0tdci had decent power.

9 December 2010

56 is the average age..... I think that's being a little optimistic!!!!

Seriously next time you drive past a Jazz just look at who's driving.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

9 December 2010

[quote TegTypeR]Seriously next time you drive past a Jazz just look at who's driving. [/quote]

My wife - 36, my work colleague - 38.

Statistics are like assholes, everyone uses them but a lot of the time they are full of sh.....

Where has all Japanese design went to?

9 December 2010

[quote Zeddy]

My wife - 36, my work colleague - 38.

Statistics are like assholes, everyone uses them but a lot of the time they are full of sh.....

[/quote]

Lol

I base this on my own observations. It's a particularly good wind up for my father who owns one ( 70 ).

You are of course right, lies, damn lies and statistics......


 

 

It's all about the twisties........

9 December 2010

Honda don't seem to be planning to bring in the Jazz RS (JDM) with 1.5 motor. Maybe they don't want to widen the appeal of the Jazz , but elsewhere it's more of a youngsters car! I certainly don't want to chop my Civic Type S in for a vehicle with such limited performance as the 1.4. Having a 2 litre motor with 158hp is more conducive to smooth progress. I might be content with a 118hp Jazz RS though - would be quite nippy, and the suspension has been played with to make it less of a pogo ride, judging from a video of the RS on track:)

Do try to keep up Honda Uk. Some of the more mature have their moments too!

9 December 2010

Right, so according to AutoCar there are two different "CVT" boxes. One has an automated clutch - so that can't be a CVT then. The other has a torque converter, erm, so that can't be a CVT either. Here's the news: a CVT box has neither a clutch (whether automated or not) or a torque converter!

So who's made the screw up here? Is this AutoCar's mistake (very possible) or are Honda trying to pull the wool by appearing to be selling CVTs to old folks who obviously want them back, and then giving them the same rubbish anyway? Can you imagine the scene at Honda's marketing dept?

"Customers say they want the CVT box back."

"They can't have it, just put a CVT badge on the bootlid and tell them to stop moaning."

"Yes boss."

9 December 2010

[quote Zeddy]Statistics are like assholes, everyone uses them but a lot of the time they are full of sh..... [/quote] Actually, I think you'll find that roughly 47.93627% of statistics are accurate.

 

 

9 December 2010

[quote Oilburner] Here's the news: a CVT box has neither a clutch (whether automated or not) or a torque converter![/quote]

Erm: I think it's you with the stick by the wrong end. Autos have to have some form of starter clutch: otherwise off into the wall you go when selecting D! It can, SFAIK, be either an automated clutch (possibly wet, multi plate) or a torque converter. Google will reveal much if not all.

9 December 2010

Info for those who are doubters on the very existence of starter clutches: http://clubjazz.org/forum/jazz-faults-problems/t94/45/

How do you think take-off from stand-still is controlled? Magic?

Starter clutches have caused some problems. The torque converter route seems better, on the face of it:)

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