Reactions to the Honda Jazz have been decidedly mixed so far.
One of my daughters called it “embarrassing” and the other asked that I don’t drive her to school in it just in case anyone in her class should see it. Whether their reactions are a comment on the colour of the car or the car itself, or a combination of the two, I haven’t asked. Certainly, people in the street find my Attract Yellow car amusing, and I’ve discovered it tones in quite nicely with parking tickets.
Back at Autocar headquarters, I haven’t noticed the keys flying off my desk with quite the same alacrity as when I ran a Lexus long-term test car, or a Jaguar, or even a Nissan Qashqai. Alas, the Jazz is often unfairly derided as a car for old people, and only my pride prevents me from wondering why, when the young people in the office decided who was going to run the Jazz, it came my way. I prefer to think it was to do with my need for an economical runabout.
Such prejudice is a pity because, curious colour aside, I rather like the Jazz. Indeed, one advantage of that colour must be visibility, which can only add to the Jazz’s already excellent safety credentials; it was awarded five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings and set a benchmark in the supermini class. All Jazz models now come with an active city braking system that operates below 20mph. Our SE Navi adds forward collision and lane departure warnings, too.
There’s certainly no shortage of interior space, either, and its practicality is proving a boon. Dropping the Magic Seats is the work of seconds and the boot space with them down is so voluminous that it could probably house another supermini within it.
Best of all, though, I’m seeing diesel-busting figures of more than 50mpg on longer journeys on the digital dashboard readout and more than 40mpg for my six-mile urban commute, a personal best. Proof that, as with all good Hondas, there’s more to this car than meets the eye. Just don’t be put off by the colour.