For sure, the suspension is more supple and the wider track and wheelbase improves stability but on faster bends, the dynamics didn't seem quite right.
Taking into account the new VAT changes, prices start at £9,780 for the 1.2-litre S and £10,759 for the SE, which is expected to be the better seller of the two. On the 1.4 models, that honour is more likely to go to the ES grade, priced at £11,248, while the EX with its extra goodies such as cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, comes in at £12,521 OTR. Honda's 6-speed, i-SHIFT, automatic and sequential transmission adds £783 and is an alternative to the standard 5-speed manual 'box.
Both of the engines are new and although they are the same sizes as before, the two-valve i-DSI technology has been replaced by 4-valve, i-VTEC petrol engines with Drive-by-wire throttles. In truth, the capacity of the 1.2 is fractionally smaller than before but it produces more power and torque; 90PS at 6,000rpm and 114Nm at 4,900rpm. These improvements allow a top speed of 110mph and a 0-62mph time of 12.5 seconds. That said, motorway overtakes calls for a couple of down-changes as it begins to run out of breath. The 1.4 on the other hand, outputs 100PS at 6,000rpm and 127Nm at 4,800rpm and is probably a better option for distance work.
Naturally, the fuel consumption has also improved and figures for the test car are posted as: 43.5-, 62.8- and 53.3mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined cycles, respectively. Customers of the manual 1.4, can aim for, 42.8-, 58.9- and 51.4mpg, for the same respective cycles, with CO2 emissions of around 130g/km compared to the 125g/km of the smaller- engined car.
Apparently, the outgoing Honda Jazz was criticised for its harsh ride and the handling characteristics and this where some of the main improvements have been made. These take the form of better suspension and body stiffness, which are supposed to make for better stability in a straight line. The power steering was also looked at and improved but I cannot say it's for the better.
For sure, the suspension is more supple and the wider track and wheelbase improves stability but on faster bends, the dynamics didn't seem quite right. Moreover, the steering has an 'over-centre' feel to it with a strong castor action, which means you have to keep an eye on it or it will wander off line, and that can be tiring.
The practicalities have improved and the Honda Jazz is a very flexible car but sorry, Mr. Honda, I preferred the old one.22 December 2008
Honda Jazz Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Honda Jazz|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.5 seconds|
|Top Speed||110 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||62.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 Years / 90,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 22/12/08)||£10,759|