JAZZ mae­stro

The lit­tle Honda has a sur­pris­ing amount of space, writes Gra­ham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

SMALL cars de­mand a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to achieve a level of com­fort and ev­ery­day prac­ti­cal­ity for their own­ers.

Honda’s Jazz is a case in point. By any def­i­ni­tion it’s a small car, but at the same time its rather up­right, wagon-like shape gives it a roomi­ness that be­lies its mod­est di­men­sions.

Model watch

THE Jazz ar­rived in lo­cal show­rooms in 2002 and was up­dated in 2004 and 2006 with ex­tra equip­ment that kept it fresh.

De­spite its up­right and boxy shape, the Jazz had a cheeky ap­peal with its steeply slop­ing front, bright eyes and cor­po­rate Honda grille.

Wide-open­ing doors and a high roofline made get­ting in and out of the Jazz a breeze, some­thing that ap­pealed to older buy­ers who strug­gled get­ting into other lower mod­els.

In­side, pas­sen­gers sat in rather up­right, but sup­port­ive seat­ing that com­bined with the tall body to make a roomy and com­fort­able cabin.

An­other ad­van­tage of the up­right style was the vis­i­bil­ity, which was good all round.

With the rear seats folded to form the flat floor, there was quite good space for what­ever might need to be trans­ported in the Jazz.

Honda of­fered the Jazz in three mod­els, the 1.3-litre GLi en­try level, and the 1.5-litre VTi and VTi-S.

The GLi was avail­able with only the 1.3-litre en­gine, but buy­ers could choose be­tween a five-speed man­ual gear­box and a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion (CVT), which was an auto of sorts.

When work­ing at its peaks, the 1.3-litre four was putting out 61kW and 119Nm. It was a smooth driver around town, but was found out when asked to climb hills or ac­cel­er­ate quickly.

For bet­ter per­for­mance there was the VTi and VTi-S with the 1.5-litre en­gine that put out 81kW and 143Nm. The larger en­gine han­dled the cut and thrust of city traf­fic much bet­ter and was more at home on the high­way.

VTi and VTi-S buy­ers could choose be­tween a five-speed man­ual and a CVT trans­mis­sion that could be over­rid­den and driven as a sev­en­speed man­ual.

At first the GLi was fairly ba­sic and didn’t come stan­dard with air un­til 2006. By then it boasted cen­tral lock­ing, a trip com­puter, power steer­ing, mir­rors and win­dows and four-speaker CD sound. The VTi came with air and re­mote cen­tral lock­ing. The range­top­ping VTi-S also had al­loy wheels, a body kit, fog lamps, leather steer­ing wheel and rear spoiler.

On the lot

PAY $ 5500-$ 13,000 for a GLi, $8400-$14,000 for a VTi or $9300$17,500 for a VTi-S.

Up­right cit­i­zen: the well-built Honda Jazz is highly re­garded for its per­for­mance and econ­omy.

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