2003 Honda Jazz 1.3 L CVT from Australia and New Zealand
What it lacks in power, it makes up for in style (and space)
I suspect some loose screws behind the dash -- makes slight, but distinct rattling sounds when the car goes over rough-roads (and there are lots of these in Sydney).
Car also developed a *very* low, rhythmic rumble at speeds exceeding 105km/h. The 1.3L has to be pushed very hard to reach anything over 110km/h, but the rumble was apparent at over 100km/h.
Lights illuminating the gearbox blinked off when the car when over a road hump a tad faster than it should have (my fault). Tapping on the LEDs brings the light back (loose connection I guess).
One of the most economical production cars in the Western world that can carry 5 people in-style - and there is a lot of style in this little car. I used to own a Mazda-6, and this little thing still preserves some of my dignity ;).
Fuel savings are *the* most apparent thing with this 1.3L. Just remember to try and keep the A/C off most of the time (and yes - rolling down your power-windows will result in the 1.3L engine revving). Driven sensibly, fuel costs can be kept as low as 50% of a 6-cylinder.
I've had a BA Falcon before, and I have to say that this little car holds 5 people a little more comfortably. Feels like a People Mover - just a lot smaller. No super-massive driveshaft cutting the car in half.
It's definitely a wonderful "first car" for a young professional, or even a young family. Girls may like this more beacuse of the Jazz's very modern styling (as opposed to any "classic car" look a male might prefer).
The back seats can be completely removed, and it can carry a fair bit of luggage.
The "CVT" (1-speed-transmission) does need some pushing, so don't ever use this to race anything (except bicycles) on the road -- but it does the job, and keeps your wallet relatively happy.
A really good car to own in Sydney, if you want to keep costs low, but want to still drive in style.
Ideal for drivers who don't drag hard at the lights.
One point worth noticing is the *very* distinct understeer. It's accepted that understeer is safer than oversteer (meaning that you have to turn the wheel "more" to get the car pointed in any direction), and the Jazz requires quite a bit of handwork at mid to high speeds.
Test drive this car before buying (duh) and see if the understeer is acceptable. If you can live with that, and the 1.3L power, you have yourself a *huge* cost-saver.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th September, 2005