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Honda gives Jazz a styling tweak but doesn't alter what is one of the more conservative superminis

What is it?

Despite all the recent sales troubles for Honda, and its vastly reduced number of models on offer in the UK, it’s good to see it hasn't abandoned the Honda-ness of its cars. The feeling that no matter what, this thing will run reliably for aeons.

It’s no different in this lightly fettled Honda Jazz. It’s a new trim level, with the EX Style (as opposed to plain EX, the only other trim on offer these days) offering a few external additions but not fundamentally changing the Jazz formula. Incidentally, you can’t get the Style upgrade in the bumpered Crosstar version.

For £25,940, you get a black pack kit, with that colour running across the wing mirrors, body-side mouldings, rear spoiler and roof. It also features black/silver alloys, measuring 185/55 R16.

It’s hardly the most radical set of additions, nor has it endowed the car with much more street cred, while the price pushes it ahead of its main rival, the Toyota Yaris. An Excel trim in that car costs £23,790.

Still, with diddier wheels as standard, the Honda emits just 84g/km compared with the Toyota’s 98g/km, so you save yourself a couple of percentage points on the BIK.

The Jazz interior remains the same, with full connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and a nine-inch touchscreen. Mercifully, there’s a physical volume button and climate control switches, but a lot of functions are also controlled from the steering wheel.

The Jazz’s party trick - the clever folding, flipping rear seats - still features, but the boot isn’t vast. There’s enough room for Granny’s shopping, or the Bichon Frise on the way back from the groomer’s, but not much else.

A dual-motor hybrid set-up remains, made up of an electric drive motor and an integrated starter-generator. This yields 107bhp and 187lb ft, giving a 0-62mph time of 9.5sec, marginally ahead of the Yaris.

What's it like?

Weirdly, for a supermini designed to take on the urban sprawl, the engine is most coarse around town with quite a gravelly grumble. Sitting at traffic lights, and with the engine running (not as infrequent as you’d hope), it’s not as whisper-quiet as it should be. But once up to speed, 40mph-plus, it’s better and it settles into the background a bit more.

Electric-only running is possible up to about 25mph and at just about the sort of acceleration that you don’t feel like you’re holding people up. From there, the ICE kicks in, although it does disconnect again on a trailing throttle at 30mph.

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The chassis and steering is better. It’s no Ford Fiesta rival, but the steering has a pleasing amount of heft to it - this isn’t one of those over-assisted set-ups.

Plus, the ride is really mature. That feels like an odd way to describe suspension, but the controlled damping is rarely flustered and the Jazz is perfectly comfortable on most journeys. It’s a small car, but doesn’t bounce around like some.

Should I buy one?

An EX Style trim tweakery hasn’t fundamentally changed the Jazz - even black trim hasn’t endowed it with huge amounts of attitude.

But neither has it changed what is fundamentally one of the more practical superminis. It’s a pragmatic and predictable offering.

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Comments
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Soren Lorenson 19 May 2022

I had one of the petrol engine autos as a courtesy car recently. It was painfully slow but after a day with it I couldn't help but rather like the way it was made and operated.

si73 19 May 2022
Seems too expensive to me, but then so too do most of its competitors, I can sort of accept this price point for the top of the range high performance supermini hot hatches, but this shares it's engine with the rest of the range, unlike in the past where the hybrid Jazz was the top of the range model, above the lesser 1.2 and 1.4 petrols, now it has nothing special to differentiate it. In fairness Honda's have always been close to premium in their pricing strategy but I think the value is in the lesser spec models, which are amply specified by the looks of things.
Styling wise I am less convinced by the latest Jazz, it's gone a bit gawky, shame they couldn't have utilised some of the e's styling and design to give the Jazz a more modern yet slightly retro appeal.
Stunning colour though, looks great in the metal.
And so what actually 19 May 2022

oh you must have driven one then?

xxxx 19 May 2022
And so what actually wrote:

oh you must have driven one then?

May have done but would have forgotten about it before I'd locked the doors.