Honda Jazz long-term test review: generation which is the best?

More by accident than design, we Pearsons seem to have a thing for the Honda Jazz.

My father started, years ago, when he bought a 2003 model. He liked it, kept it and eventually replaced by the second generation of the version, the transition from the old car to my wife. So, if you see a note of bias to creep into these reports, you now know why.

In the inevitable comparison to the three, Coach yellow third-gen car is better in most departments: ride, steering, handling, economy and safety. However, although our first-gen car is upgraded in all departments, the second-gen model actually feels more refined and more solidly built than our last iteration.

The better refinement could come from my father out of the car to a CVT version, which corresponds to a fast stepoff reasonably good motorway refinement, even if the transmission of the noise revving the engine can make the task of getting up to speed quickly a little coarse. Honda says the third generation of the car is 12% lighter than second-gen, and I wonder if she shed a few sound-deadening to achieve this weight loss. On motorways, this is very disappointing, with too much singing engine note and an annoying dollop of road noise.

The perception of the quality of our car is also a bit of a letdown. When the second-gen car feels like a solid, oldschool Honda inside and outside, our car feels a little lighter. Gone is that satisfying thunk when you close a door or close the trunk, for example.

I can’t honestly say that our new car feels bigger on the inside, either, despite Honda’s claims that it is. Add in the fact that, to my eyes, the second-gen model looks better inside and outside, and what emerges is that, if you have a thing for Jazz, in the ideal, it could be a second-generation example with the direction, shock absorbers, and the safety kit of last model.

Window issues

The power windows on my Jazz are terribly slow. The passenger-side window, which can be opened from the driver’s side, takes an absolute age to lower itself; I timed it at 5.5 sec from top to bottom, and I have often given up or fallen asleep. It is even worse to close, taking more than six seconds. This is not a one-touch button, either, which compounds the crime.


Price £15,605 Price as tested £16,105 Economy of 44.6 mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 12.10.16

Read more:

First report

The perception of the Public