A fresh insight into Honda’s jazzed-up hybrid launch
THE major change for the 2011 Jazz is the installation of the hybrid 1339cc-litre petrol and electric power pack and CVT gearbox from the (current) Insight – already previewed on these pages. Priced from £15,995, it is the cheapest hybrid in Britain.
It is made in Japan but Swindon makes the other Jazz models. The suspension has been reset for a more cosseting ride and leather is a rare option in this sector – an attraction for the person coming out of a more luxurious larger car.
The continuously variable transmission replaces the two-pedal robotised i-shift manual gearbox which owners (and the press) gave the thumbs-down. The revisions improve economy and tailpipe emissions.
Prices for the non-hybrid models (all five-doors) start at £11,295 for the 1198cc Jazz 1.2 S. The 1.4 Jazz (actually 1339cc) opens at £13,495 for the ES, or with CVT gears £14,495. At present, I am unconvinced that the Hybrid is worth its price premium.
For engineering reasons, it misses the 100g/km CO2 rating by just 4g, meaning compromised its seating and luggage versatility.
Honda’s Mondeo, the Accord, has settled into a minor part on our roads. Sales are a few thousand a year saloons – mostly diesel and sold for company use, and half as many estates – bought mostly by owner-drivers.
There have been subliminal visual changes (check the slightly narrower smile from the grill and the new lights) and, once again, attention to ride quality and soundproofing as Honda chases the refinement targets set by its European rivals.
A reduction in diesel C02 figures improves write-down allowances for company buyers. This is another Honda with very high satisfaction ratings. The 2.2-litre diesel emits 138g/km and 147g/km CO2, depending on tune.
Prices for the 2011 Accord begin at £21,695.
NEW LOOK: Honda’s hybrid-engined Jazz
SUBTLE CHANGE: Honda’s Accord estate.