You’ll also be impressed by the feeling of spaciousness in the Jazz; that’s one big windscreen, and the redesigned A-pillars really do help improve your field of vision. Your back and bum don’t have any cause for complaint on the comfier seat, either, even after a couple of hours on the road. So far, so added value.
The same can’t be said of the way the Jazz rides. It can be quite crashy at low speeds, as opposed to the more impressive body control it exhibits at higher speeds. Given the amount of around-town pottering that most Jazz drivers are likely to do, that’s a shame.
While ‘engaging’ is a word used by Honda to describe the improvements to the dynamics, ‘predictable’ is a better one – which is what most Jazz owners would want to hear anyway.
Unusually for a car of its size and type, the Jazz adopts variable-ratio steering, and its weighting and feel are among the car’s more pleasing dynamic traits for anyone looking for a bit of sparkle and verve.
Honda’s new e:HEV powertrain is a mixed bag. We’re pleased to see the back of the old Jazz’s CVT and its drone under acceleration, yet aurally you’d be hard pressed to tell much difference in this new fixed-gear ’box. Never press beyond about 40% of the accelerator pedal’s travel and you’ll be left in peace, but do so and it becomes rather noisy rather quickly.
Still, the noise is at least backed up by the Jazz being a surprisingly brisk car, both off the line and for ‘in-gear’ acceleration, where the torque of the motors combines with the engine for a decent turn of pace.
Real-world economy is also pleasing, as is the Jazz’s overall feeling of nippiness around town.
Kudos to Honda, too, for packaging the more complex hybrid powertrain without robbing the Jazz of any of its famed interior space and flexibility. Back are the Magic Seats, which can be quickly folded flat to create a large, flat loadbay or have their bases lifted up to create a considerable load area in place of the rear seats. And there are plenty of other useful storage areas in the car, including under the boot floor and not one but two gloveboxes. It’s features like this that really define the Jazz.