You join us in Frankfort with the new Honda Jazz now to say that this is an important car for Honda is something of an understatement around 300,000 of these things have been sold in the UK since it was first released back in 2002 and today it still makes up around 40% of Honda’s entire sales.
Honda is very clear about the fact that the new Jazz builds on the strengths of the old car rather than tearing up the rulebook and starting again and that theme of evolution rather than revolution is evident over the whole car the proportions are very much the same so you still get that high-sided rather boxy look but you will notice a new front end reminiscent of the latest civics these sharp creases down the flanks and a more compact rear end inside you get the same high driving position and clear visibility.
That jazz buyers absolutely love and from mid spec SE trim upwards you get this touchscreen infotainment system it’s not the most intuitive system of its type but if you can work it out you’ll get access to the Internet and all sorts of other online apps where the previous jazz really made its name though was on practicality and the latest version is more practical than ever the wheelbase is grown giving even more rear legroom and with a low flat transmission tunnel.
It’s even pretty comfortable for a fifth passenger the magic seats as honda calls them flip up to allow you to carry tall loads and when you drop the back seat which is by the way a doddle you get a virtually flat load floor even with all the seats in place the boot is still pretty darn big at 354 litres there’s just one engine available and naturally aspirated 1.3 liter petrol.
With about a hundred brake horsepower significantly it’s cleaner than the old 1.2 but faster than the old 1.4 it’s still not particularly fast though and because all the power sit at the top of the rev range it’s neither as flexible nor as eager as the turbocharged engines you’ll find in a lot of rivals and because you have to work the engine that much hard to get about the place it’s also a bit noisy
What you will like is the snappy gearshift and the slick pedals but you might not be such a fan of the steering it’s pretty heavy at low speeds and at higher speeds there’s an initial period of deadness around the straight-ahead and then all of a sudden the car dives into the turn all at once and it’s pretty unsettling it’s not the most agile car you’ll ever drive.
With plenty of body lean to be felt in the bends but then again it was never meant to be what’s far more important in a car like.
The Jazz is ride comfort it’s doing a pretty good job here but the roads of Frankfurt are super super smooth we’d like to see how it deals with a section of battered British blacktop before we nail our colours to the mast about how comfortable it is overall the new jazz is more practical than ever really well equipped and really competitive on price starting around thirteen and a half grand perhaps most importantly to the people who are going to buy it though the Jazz has been on or near the top of a lot of reliability surveys for a number of years and if the latest car can replicate that kind of performance then Honda will undoubtedly be onto a winner