Su­per­mini Jazz-ed up

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

THE bat­tle for the younger generation’s mo­tor­ing pound has never been fiercer – so Honda have Jazz-ed up their su­per­mini. Al­ways pop­u­lar with older cus­tomers who ap­pre­ci­ate the ease of ac­cess, spa­cious di­men­sions and top-notch re­li­a­bil­ity, the third generation of the Jazz now boasts a new look and a long list of good­ies Honda hopes will also prove cat­nip to those who have known noth­ing but the in­ter­net.

The smart in­te­rior offers soft-touch ma­te­ri­als and a mod­ern digital feel with the seven-inch touch­screen in the cen­tre of the dash­board ac­cess­ing the Honda Con­nect in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem. The app-based in­ter­face can be op­er­ated like a smart­phone pro­vid­ing ac­cess to a host of ser­vices such as so­cial me­dia, mu­sic and more mun­dane things such as news and traf­fic in­for­ma­tion.

The flag­ship EX model I drove also has touch-sen­si­tive cli­mate con­trol which I found a bit hit and miss when it came to chang­ing the tem­per­a­ture on the move.

The Tardis-like qual­i­ties of the Jazz al­low five adults to be seated in com­fort. The ex­cel­lent ‘Magic’ seats in the rear can be folded flat or flipped up in a sin­gle move­ment, free­ing an amaz­ing amount of space for a su­per­mini with the boot of­fer­ing 354 litres of room ex­pand­ing to a cave-like 1,314 litres. There are also lots of cubby holes for your bits and bobs as well as a glove­box, door bins and cuphold­ers.

The cabin fea­tures Rex Har­ri­son lev­els of re­fine­ment with road and wind noise largely ex­cluded thanks to ex­tra sound proof­ing.

The ex­te­rior is also much more ap­peal­ing to the eye as it sports sharp creases, slinky curves and a high roofline to give a more youth­ful look – in mu­si­cal terms the Jazz is now more Bey­once than Barry Manilow. The dis­tinc­tive face sports natty head­lights and a nifty grille while a range of eye-catch­ing vi­brant colours are set to im­press.

Power is pro­vided by a 1.3-litre petrol en­gine from Honda’s Earth Dreams Tech­nol­ogy linked to a slick six-speed man­ual gear­box. A CVT au­to­matic trans­mis­sion is also avail­able but costs £1,000 more.

It isn’t the quick­est around with 0-62mph tak­ing 11.5 seconds, but it feels faster than that away from the lights and can cruise quite hap­pily at mo­tor­way speeds.

There’s no dan­ger of run­ning costs bust­ing the bank bal­ance thanks to de­cent fuel econ­omy – claimed at 55.6mpg which came in closer to 45mpg dur­ing my week with the car – and low car­bon diox­ide emis­sions en­sur­ing low road tax bills. The Jazz is not cheap to buy though so look else­where if you’re af­ter a bar­gain. A three year/90,000 mile war­ranty eases the pain of the ask­ing price.

Younger driv­ers seem to be more en­vi­ron­men­tally aware – some­thing to do with the fact they will be reap­ing the whirl­wind of global warm­ing long af­ter those re­spon­si­ble have shuf­fled off this mor­tal coil – so will ap­pre­ci­ate the ECO As­sist which al­ters the colour sur­round­ing the speedome­ter from white to green when you are driv­ing fuel ef­fi­ciently.

Honda’s su­per­mini is nim­ble in cor­ners and han­dles well thanks to in­for­ma­tive steer­ing and an im­proved sus­pen­sion that guar­an­tees a smooth ride with only the ugli­est of humps and pot­holes mak­ing their pres­ence felt.

You and yours are pro­tected by a host of airbags and a Driver As­sist Safety Pack in­clud­ing col­li­sion warn­ing, lane de­par­ture alert, speed lim­iter and traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion.

It all adds up to a qual­ity pack­age that should ap­peal what­ever age bracket you hap­pen to be in.

TEST DRIVE HONDA JAZZ 1.3 i-VTECH

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