You can forget about taking it on the motorway if you’re planning a relaxing drive, and you can also forget about driving it in a smooth way around town, as the throttle simply acts as an on-off switch to the din, particularly when there’s some clutch involved. Some delicacy is needed with the use of your feet to try to keep things hush.
Shame, because all that racket detracts from the fact that it’s actually got a fair bit of grunt when you get the revs up. If your earplugs are in, it’s an amusing thing to propel out of a roundabout if you’ve carried a bit of speed into it. And it turns in to a corner keenly enough, if never with involvement. The manual gearbox is also a slick thing.
But Jazzes aren’t driven that way and nor are they bought for that reason. They’re bought for all that space – which is where the Jazz’s impression of a car from the class above comes in. It’s a spacious, airy interior in which to sit, with lots of leg room for rear passengers and boot space to eclipse a Seat Ibiza or Volkswagen Polo. The flexible folding magic seats, of course, make an appearance here.
A rather dear price also carries over: £17,765 for this range-topping version. You get plenty of kit, but not all of it is what you’d immediately gravitate to; we’d take climate control over parking sensors in a small, boxy car with good visibility, for instance.
Should I buy one?
Before its recent replacement, you’d buy a Fiesta for the way it drove and could overlook the fact that its cabin wasn’t up there with rivals. But Ford has sorted that. You’d buy the old Seat Ibiza for value and being a decent all-rounder. Seat’s improved everything in the Ibiza’s replacement to make it a class leader, with its sister car the Volkswagen Polo repeating the trick.
The Jazz? You’d buy it for the space before and you’d buy it for the space now – but nothing else has improved with it. Indeed, the magic seat system now feels more like an excuse than a reason for buying. "Yeah, but you get the cool seats…" Well, you did a few years ago, too, and rivals have simply moved the game on in every other area since.
Honda Jazz 1.5 i-VTEC Sport Navi Manual
Where Surrey Price £17,765 On sale Now Engine 4cyls, 1498cc, petrol Power 128bhp at 6600rpm Torque 114lb ft at 4600rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1116kg Top speed 118mph 0-62mph 8.7sec Fuel economy 47.9mpg CO2, tax band 133g/km, 25% Rivals Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo