JAZZY answer for fuel efficiency
To be green, you don’t have to buy a hybrid or a diesel. A smaller petrol-engine car will do the trick for most folks, reports GRAHAM SMITH
HYBRIDS are still expensive, diesel fuel likewise but small cars such as Honda’s Jazz are economical, affordable and effective. Why carry all that sheet metal and cast iron when you don’t have to?
Besides, small cars are easy to drive, easy to park and easy on the pocket. There’s plenty of choice and prices vary wildly from brand to brand.
The Jazz, as Hondas used to be, is one of the premium models in its class, but that didn’t hold back its sales.
The second-generation GE arrived in 2008, building on its predecessor’s popularity.
There was a new slightly bigger body, although it looked much like the old one that had proved popular, particularly with women buyers who were taken with the styling.
The same two engines carried over, with some revisions. The 1.3-litre entry-level engine in the GLi was given four valves per cylinder, which made it rev easier and more smoothly. Its output also went up substantially.
The VTi and VTi-S were both powered by the 1.5-litre engine and its output was also boosted by a healthy amount. Gone was the quirky constantly variable transmission that had been somewhat troublesome, replaced by a regular five-speed auto. There was also a five-speed manual.
The Jazz, with its relatively tall body, is a practical little car with good interior room, flexible seating and clear visibility. It steers well, handles with assurance, is comfortable and easy to park.
IN THE SHOP
Hondas generally have a good reputation for being reliable, although parts and servicing can be more expensive than some other brands.
Independent service agents specialising in Hondas are a good alternative to dealers if you want to save a few dollars.
It’s important, however, that the Jazz is wellserviced and has the recommended oil changes. Fresh oil and clean filters keep modern engines alive longer, so check the service record of any potential purchase.
The switch from the CVT to a regular auto is good news; the former suffered a number of problems that caused headaches, none of which will bother buyers of the GE auto.
IN A CRASH
ANCAP judged the Jazz a four-star performer – it would probably have got an extra star had Honda made electronic stability control available.
The Jazz did have ABS across the board and traction control on the VTi and VTi-S.
Dual airbags were standard on the base GLi, while the VTi and VTi-S added head and side airbags for greater protection.
AT THE PUMP
Hybrids and diesels have enjoyed popularity in the
HONDA JAZZ 2008-10
PRICE NEW: $17,990 to $23,920 ENGINE: 1.3-litre four-cyl petrol, 73kW/127Nm; 1.5-litre four-cyl petrol, 88kW/145Nm TRANSMISSION: Five-speed auto, five-speed manual BODY: Five door, five-seat hatch VARIANTS: GLi, VTi, VTi-S SAFETY: Four-star ANCAP EXPECT TO PAY: $12,000-$14,000 for the GLi, $15,000-$17,500 for the VTi, $13,000-$16,500 for the VTi-S PROS: Economical engine, roomy cabin, good visibility, flexible seating, easy to park CONS: No stability control, no side or head airbags on base model past few years, but both come at a hefty cost that most people refuse to pay.
Small petrol-engine cars, such as the Jazz, are a viable alternative, especially when they return the Jazz’s fuel consumption figures, 5.8 litres/100km for the 1.3, and 6.4 litres for the 1.5.
Practical, roomy, economical … it’s hard to beat.