2014 Honda Jazz | new car review
Simple interior layout
Limited engine options
The Honda Jazz is your typical compact hatchback: narrow, high-sided, small-bonneted, and nimble. It appears to have been styled like an MPV, with its dimensions reduced to hatchback size. The bonnet and windshield are one long curve which does make you wonder how they were able to fit and engine and gearbox under there. There are modest creases in the body panels that give an element of depth to it, but certainly for the money you’re paying you could do a lot worse. The Jazz is a decent looking car without being exciting.
There is quite a weird feeling when you sit inside the Jazz. Being an “economical compact supermini” you would expect the interior to be styled like the inside of a pencil case. But no, there are indeed some fun features. The dash is book-ended by cup holders that sit conveniently high up. The control knobs sit on top of each other, banana like, over near the drivers’ side and the radio is on a shaved façade that subtly faces the driver. The seats are moulded ergonomically so that you are supported in the all the right places and that makes all the difference. Space in the back is ample and will easily sit two adults. A third might be pushing it, however.
The Jazz is packed with all the standard features you would expect; even the basic EX model is not short on bits and pieces. Electric mirrors and windows, speed sensitive volume control, keyless entry, and an air cooled glove box all come as standard. What will intrigue the observer the most, however, are the “Magic Box” and “Magic Seats”. Yes, that is how Honda describes the cunning hidden storage space. The boot space will surprise you, too. Be assured it puts its rivals to shame.
What’s on offer?
There are three versions of the Jazz available in the UAE; the EX, LX, and EX-L. In all honesty there is very little difference between the models, with the wheel size standing out as the main variation. All the cars come equipped with a 1.5 litre i-VTEC straight-4 engine that churns out a respectable 118hp, as well as a 5-speed automatic gearbox. The mid-range LX model starts at AED 56,000 and the top of the line EX-L – which comes with a panoramic roof – will set you back a reasonable AED 63,000.
I quite like the Jazz. It is simple engineering done well. There are one or two things of note, like the electric window switches. They are quite dated, and also found on a lot of cars produced by Honda’s arch-nemesis: Toyota. But beyond that it is hard to fault. You are paying a reasonable price for a trendy city run-around that is not short on quirky features. Although the styling pendulum swings more towards “modest” than “exciting” it is still quite fun and you will love the comfort that the seats provide. The only thing that will frustrate you is trying to find the magic box…