Drive Test: Honda Jazz Comfort Auto | Drive Magazine

27 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Drive Test: Honda Jazz Comfort Auto | Drive Magazine

Honda Jazz

Drive Test: Honda Jazz Comfort Auto

Be Jazz led

It may be named after the famous musical style, but let me assure you, the Honda Jazz is no Soul Brother. In fact, it has no soul whatsoever. None.

There’s just absolutely nothing to excite. Yes in some of these shots there are styling elements which look a little edgy, and in the opening image it even has these hints of baby-Transformer about it, but on the whole it looks like a dozen cars you drove past but never really saw on your way into work this morning. An absolutely zero-impact design.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the interior, where the Honda engineers continue to commit themselves to a dashboard setup which is undeniably crazy. There are an insane amount of stowage spaces absolutely everywhere and it all looks very trendy and modern, but that also means it’s full of these sharp jutting-out edges to catch your soft flesh at every opportunity.

The instruments themselves continue the trend. Modern, sharp, cluttered. A bit too challenging for me, especially considering Honda has a great example of how a “futuristic” feeling cockpit can actually work quite well in the svelte Accord.

But shrunk to this dimension it just feels like some kind of 21 st -century incarnation of an Iron Maiden. With plastic spikes and thin tinny doors.

And finally, in this case, there’s the driveline. The 1.3-litre petrol develops 72kW which looks fine for a 1050kg car, but as is typical of a VTEC unit there’s no torque whatsoever. Like 120Nm.

Like a motorbike.

And then it’s further hobbled by the hateful CVT gearbox, which turns the throttle pedal into nothing more than a volume control. Up to 15% throttle there’s nothing at all, from there all the way to 85% the revs settle to an anodyne 2800rpm and you go nowhere particularly fast, push the gas all the way down and the revs jump to 5600rpm, the noise becomes both intrusive and embarrassing, and you still don’t particularly get much of a wiggle on.

The biggest joke of the lot is that the ‘box actually has an S mode, which turns on the paddle-shifters mounted behind the wheel. But the shifts are still so slow you may as well leave your gear choices to the Emperor of Japan himself, with messages passing between him and your car at the pace of old paper-based postal services. What a complete waste.

So it’s not spacious, it’s not very comfortable, it’s not fast or quick or brisk or so much as perky. It’s just plain slow. And with an extremely annoying gearbox.

It’s not even particularly cheap.

The Jazz did remind me though that this is what the majority of the buyers of todays cars appear to want. Something small, sort of stylish, that needs no coordination whatsoever to drive, and is very efficient. No, you’ll never achieve the circa 5.5l/100km claimed on the windscreen, but that’s just because you’re likely to drive everywhere with your right foot welded to the floorpan for no real reason other than to cause the car the same kind of emotional pain driving around in it is causing you.

If you can still feel such things of course, and your nervous system hasn’t already been vibrated into numbness by the constantly and unchangingly screaming VTEC engine or pinched by the seat that feels suitable only for the old-style Barbies with inhumanly pinched waists but only half their ludicrous lengths.

Honda Jazz

It’s the second car this week to suffer tragically from a pathetic gearbox choice. But the Jazz doesn’t have much else going for it either. Despite the great sales.

-Russell Bennett

Liked: Light on juice.

Disliked: CVT. Junk.

Practically non-existent engine.

The Jazz. Really.

Engine: 1339cc four-cylinder petrol

Honda Jazz
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