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