Car tests are like affairs with women. You can fall in love, you can enjoy yourself, but you will never really know what life together would be like. The two weeks I spent with the test piece don't seem like much, but that extra week was just enough to allow me to forgive the little things and discover the wonders. I have not met Jazz for the first time, I have already tested the top Crosstar , so I already know its qualities. I was all the more looking forward to discovering something new.
LITTLE BIG MPV
The alpha and omega of musical Honda is space . The design evokes a small practical MPV, while previous generations played more on a sporty note. The sedentary look may seem boring to some, but to me it evokes the intelligence and tenacity of its new owners. There is strength in simplicity. Those who are not at peace with themselves, who need to prove something to themselves, always head to a German car show anyway. The dark metallic of the tested piece only underlines the delicate beauty, while at the same time it looks luxurious.
It's surprising how different personalities can emerge from two almost identical cars. I found the coated Crosstar a bit more playful in terms of appearance. One thing is certain – the design of the new Honda will age very slowly!
YING AND YANG IN ZEN CALM
The interior is not dominated by the dashboard like in other cars, God forbid the giant infotainment screen. The dominant feature is the enormous and practical drink holders. There is one on each side of the dash, each deep and nice to hand, brilliant! The theme of the interior is space again. In particular, there is a lot more space than I would have expected for such a small car. Deep dashboard, with thin A-pillars, exemplary view with abundant glazing. The impression of space is further enhanced by the bright upholstery. It almost seems like the Jazz is bigger on the inside than on the outside.
The pleasant atmosphere of calm will make you forget about the troubles of everyday life, especially the hustle and bustle. You will suddenly find that there is no rush, even if you are about to miss a plane. In Jazz, even a lover of death metal stops rushing. The quality is excellent. Starting with the smoothing of plastics, through optimally hard seat covers, to the exquisite infotainment display. Everything is beautifully coordinated. By the way, the infotainment pleasantly surprised me with its "just as Zen" simplicity, without unnecessary things, and the quality of the music reproduction is also at an above-standard level.
The last absolutely great gadget that I must not forget are the iconic Magic Seats . They already came with the first generation of the car. I'm surprised more manufacturers haven't adopted them. The rear seats are thus not only foldable and divided, but also the seat cushions can be raised. You can thus safely transport things of non-standard dimensions. For example, I took a TV or the back door of a Fiat 127 , leaving plenty of space in the trunk for hipster sodas and organic eggs. In an emergency, Magic seats can also be folded into a "bed arrangement", but it is more suitable for couples trying to conceive than for full-fledged sleeping.
EARTH'S DREAM UNDER THE HOOD
In the latest incarnation of this musical genre, you can no longer buy a pure petrol version, certainly not with a manual gearbox. We'll talk about why this is a bit of a shame later, for now let's focus on the drive unit. The second test week was especially important for absorbing the grievances with the manual and getting used to the CVT gearbox. This is the one with variable transmission, so it has no steps.
The hybrid system, which Honda calls the Earth ̶F̶a̶r̶t̶ Dream , primarily consists of a gasoline four-cylinder with a capacity of 98 hp and an electric motor that adds another 11. The total 109 hp is twisted at a maximum value of 253 Nm. The system then works as a "classic hybrid" – i.e. similar to the Toyota Prius. The battery has a capacity of 0.78 kWh, which translated into the real world is 3 km of purely electric driving and it really works. A brisk reaction to stepping on the gas pedal will allow you to shoot quickly from the traffic lights, if you then just tickle the pedal for a while, the gasoline engine will be added only when the batteries run out of juice.
I quite enjoy playing this "game" when the clutch pedal is gone. Collect as much energy as possible through recuperation and then try to drive "clean" as much as possible. I sometimes find myself subconsciously doing this in my 1985 Oldsmobile. With decent torque, the little hybrid felt like more of a powerhouse to me than the numbers would suggest. Jazz feels best in the urban agglomeration, but it won't get lost outside it either.
The road from the city is a fairy tale about linearity. Linear. Such is the gradation of small power, if you are not racing inclined. Everything is gradual, gentle, even wobbly. Driving at normal speeds is very easy, and also economical. That's probably how most owners will drive. On the highway, 140 km/h is still comfortable, the engine is already roaring at more revs. Consumption during the test was 4.7 L/100km in the city, 4.9 outside the city and I got 5.4 on the highway.
STILL A TRUE HONDA IN SPIRIT
But what happens when we want to go fast or sharp?
All generations of Honda Jazz are famous for their fun and playful chassis. Although our latest model has gained a little weight, the Honda genes cannot be denied in it. Ditch the CVT and treat the Jazz like a Civic Type-R. The steering is direct and sensitive, the suspension slightly harder. The engine is a torquey VTEC, the revs are just what it wants. Dial, recover, dial again, and so on. You would be looking for peak performance in vain, but you can enjoy unprecedented agility.
I remind you again, forget about the CVT, don't worry about the engine humming at all, show it who's boss, dial it to six thousand revolutions and keep it there (that means don't step on the floor completely), things will happen. It's not a racing "vodvar " like in Formula One, but it's a completely different feeling than, for example, the Prius, which seems dead, dull and suffocated at all times. By the standards of hybrids, small cars at all, it's a really good experience, the chassis can handle a lot, even if there is a lot of understeer. All in all, the ride performance and features live up to Honda's Japanese tradition and I would see this as a big competitive advantage against other city cruisers.
Usually nobody buys a Honda for two years. No way, we want to be with her as long as possible and we trust her to last. The new Jazz is a little more expensive by the standards of small cars, but it definitely has a lot to offer, and it will last you at least another 20 years, and if less, it holds its price well as a used car. Sorry, I'm calling it expensive. For the base price of NOK 499,900, you get metal wheels, but LED headlights, heated seats, or adaptive cruise control are part of even the lowest equipment! If I wanted a similarly powerful, only slightly smaller car with an automatic from an unnamed domestic manufacturer, it would cost at least 430k with almost no equipment… It's worth thinking about, thinking about the future. We Czechs are not very good at thinking, thinking, calculating at all…
For your money, you get a quality large and small MPV, a cure for stress and, last but not least, decent entertainment. In the end, I didn't even miss the manual… PS: There is an event going on right now, in which you can get a discount of 15-30 thousand CZK on the new Jazz! (Price list here )
Basic price: NOK 484,900 (Comfort, special price)
Basic price of the tested version: 539,900 (Executive, promotional price)