Per­fect for the fam­ily school and park run

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO MOTORING - Val van der Walt

Honda in SA used to sell truck­loads full of Jazz’s 10 years ago. Peo­ple bought them be­cause it was prob­a­bly the most prac­ti­cal hatch money could buy.

More vol­ume in the rear and seats that fold not only down, but into the floor, made the Jazz the per­fect com­pact fam­ily run­about.

Two gen­er­a­tions later and the car is still that – per­fect for the young fam­ily – but sales are down.

What hap­pened?

The cross­over hap­pened!


Honda re­cently, in an at­tempt I guess to at­tract buy­ers’ at­ten­tion again, jazzed up the Jazz.

On the out­side they fit­ted the Jazz ‘Sport’ with the sort of trim­mings one would ex­pect to see on a sports car - black 16inch al­loys shod with low pro­file rub­ber, an aero­dy­nam­i­cally shaped low front bumper, side-skirts and a three-strake rear dif­fuser.

It all makes the Jazz Sport look more than just sporty, but rather like it be­longs on a track.

Had Honda en­gi­neers lifted the bon­net as well, it could have been the Jazz Type-R. But it isn’t!

Pow­er­ing the Jazz Sport is the same en­gine found in other de­riv­a­tives; a 1.5-litre which de­vel­ops 97kW and 155Nm.

It does have V-TEC tech­nol­ogy, but that it makes a car go faster is a myth.

The Jazz Sport also only comes with a CVT box, so don’t ex­pect any mir­a­cles there ei­ther.

So what is the Jazz Sport about if it won’t make the twins vomit on the teacher’s shoes af­ter they’ve been dropped off at school?


The Honda Jazz is still the most prac­ti­cal hatch on the mar­ket, now even more so with the lat­est gen­er­a­tion.

It has a lot of space in the rear and stor­age op­tions all through the cabin.

In the Jazz Sport you get ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing, all the trim­mings and tech, but at the same pace.

It’s the flag­ship of the range and climb in­side and you are met by a fine in­te­rior with soft this-and-that, stitched leather in strate­gic places and sport ped­als.

That’s af­ter you opened the door mak­ing use of the key­less en­try.

In the dash is a seven-inch touch­screen and next to it a stop/start but­ton.

A six-speaker sound sys­tem, au­to­matic air-con­di­tioner, cruise con­trol, rear park sen­sors and re­verse cam­era rounds off the sporty pack­age.

And let’s not for­get those ‘Magic Seats’ (as Honda calls them) in the rear, which fold into the floor to open up a mas­sive 889-litres of load­ing space…

1R 7\SH 5

I drove the Jazz Sport, cour­tesy of Tan­gaw­izi Honda, and while it’s not all fire and brim­stone as the look sug­gests, I found it to be a lot more nim­ble around town than a cross­over.

On the open road it’s also more sta­ble be­cause it doesn’t pre­tend to be an of­froader like most crossovers do.

The nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.5 makes for smooth ac­cel­er­a­tion and a steady pace, and with some pa­tience I even came to ac­cept the CVT gear­box’s odd be­hav­iour.

CVTs, while not do­ing much for driv­ing plea­sure, do bring the fuel bill down, and in the Jazz’s case, Honda claims 5.6-litres to 100km.

That is quite impressive for a non-turbo 1.5.

Whilst do­ing my rounds in the Jazz Sport I ap­pre­ci­ated the sus­pen­sion’s smooth­ness and sta­bil­ity, as well as the Hill Start As­sist func­tion.

Other safety fea­tures which makes the Jazz Sport a good fam­ily car are disc brakes all-round with ABS and EBD and front, side and cur­tain airbags.


Crossovers have con­quered the mar­ket for a rea­son. SA buy­ers like the off-road-ish look and they do have more space than a nor­mal hatch.

They also han­dle pot­holes slightly bet­ter. But the Jazz is not nor­mal and can match most com­pact crossovers when it comes to rear legroom and boot space.

So if you’re more of a quasi race car driver than a quasi off-roader, with a young fam­ily, the Jazz Sport will be a good choice.

You get a well-built car with a lot of lux­ury fea­tures for R312 900, and that price in­cludes a five-year/200 000km war­ranty plus a four-year/60 000km ser­vice plan.

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