It’s quite expensive, though. With prices starting at £18,980, Honda seems to be pitching the Jazz directly at its arch rival Toyota’s new Yaris. There are a lot of conventional and well-priced rivals in this sector, however, even if they don’t quite share the Honda’s exemplary reliability record and decent residual values. With a £4,278 deposit, the £21,385 EX tested here will cost £239 a month over three years; conventional rivals can be had for a lot less, both in deposit and monthly payments.
If you aren’t already a Jazz aficionado, there’s not a lot here to convince you to to get the latest one unless you really like the fuel savings and the engineering. As ever, Honda ploughs its own furrow; perfect for those who want to follow, but not everyone does.
2020 Honda Jazz EX
TESTED 1,498cc four-cylinder petrol engine with 0.86kWh lithium-ion battery pack and twin DC motor hybrid system with fixed-ratio step down gear; front-wheel drive
PRICE/ON SALE from £18,980 (Crosstar from £23,580), EX as tested £21,385/now
Engine: 96bhp @5,500rpm, 97lb ft @ 4,500rpm.
Motor: 107bhp @ 13,300rpm, 187lb ft
Total system output: 107bhp/187lb ft
TOP SPEED 109mph
ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 9.5sec
FUEL ECONOMY 61.4mpg (WLTP Combined), 60mpg on test
CO2 EMISSIONS WLTP 104g/km
VED £155 first year, then £150
VERDICT A really clever hybrid system doesn’t alter the fact that the Jazz hasn’t really been engineered for British roads, even if UK buyers value its legendary reliability. Finessed in almost every area, the fourth generation Jazz feels classier and more grown up but, as ever, the dynamics slightly let it down. If you already own a Jazz, this is automotive catnip, but if you don’t there’s not quite enough to convince you to take the plunge.
TELEGRAPH RATING Three stars out of five
Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Elite Nav, from £18,990
Top petrol model of this new and justifiably popular supermini (there’s also an EV version), now based on the PSA underbody. The Vauxhall, though, is marginally the better car than its sister 208. It rides on UK roads with more aplomb and looks less lairy and is classier.
Toyota Yaris, circa £18,500
Honda’s arch enemy gets its French-built rival on to the market this year with a 114bhp hybrid system under the bonnet. Based on Toyota’s new small car chassis, the ride and handling should be vastly improved; let battle commence.
Nissan Micra Tekna DIG-T 117 manual, from £19,880
In sales volumes the Micra is very far from the market-leading Ford Fiesta and VW Polo in this sector and in some trim levels it can be quite expensive, but it’s a classy supermini with decent looks, fine ride and handling, economical engines and a lovely interior.
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