2009 Honda Jazz EX 1.4 from UK and Ireland
A nice, cleverly packaged car that prefers to be driven gently
+ One of the most economical cars we've had. But:
- Disappointing fuel economy. Expected over 40mpg for short frequent local journeys (1 - 5 miles).
- It lies about its economy. It reports an average of 38-40mpg. In reality, I work it out as 35-36mpg.
- Small fuel tank means frequent fill-ups.
+ Generally OK.
- Short bonnet that slopes away from you can be hard to judge.
- Mirrors are too big, and are spaced away from the car for some reason. So it is harder to squeeze through my driveway gates than some larger cars.
- The outer edge of the driver's mirror is presumably designed to give some sort of wide-angle view. But it's just a horribly distorted and confusing image near the edge.
+ When pushed hard above 4500rpm, there is reasonable power available.
+ Impressively quiet and refined at lower engine speeds.
- Noisy at higher engine speeds.
- Not much low-down torque for accelerating up hills.
- You have to work it hard to avoid getting in people's way, which hurts economy.
+ Driving gently in auto mode is smooth and relaxing.
+ You can tell it to change gear by throttle movements.
- Sometimes it holds on to lower gears for ages after hard acceleration.
- Feels like it applies the brakes while changing gear! (Judging by how quickly brake dust accumulates on the front wheels, I sometimes wonder if that really is what it's doing!)
- The main problems are in fast moving / busy conditions:
- Gear changes are too slow, especially 1st to 2nd.
- When approaching a roundabout slowly, it sometimes takes 5 seconds to decide on a gear. That sometimes puts you in danger.
- To pull away quickly on busy roads & delay the first gear change, you have to floor it. But that usually gives some wheel spin, so the front tyres might not last long.
- Can be jerky if you accelerate hard.
- Aggressive kick down - if you floor it in 2nd, it can kick down into 1st.
- Sudden engine braking at low speeds can be annoying when stopping gently. I don't look forward to that with snow or ice.
- The paddles move with the steering wheel, so you can't find them on a bend. Yes, I know you should only change when driving straight, but if you set off on a long sweeping bend, or a roundabout with traffic lights on it, you have to change up!
- In my opinion, the gear lever's manual + and - positions are the wrong way around. I think changing up should be like 1st-2nd in a typical manual car - towards the back of the car.
- Need to look at dash to see what gear you're in can be distracting.
Ride and Handling:
+ Feels firm and well controlled
- Ride can be uncomfortably firm sometimes (16" wheels don't help)
Other Controls etc:
+ Cruise control can be useful.
- The button that locks the electric windows should only lock the rear. And it should not affect the driver's window controls at all.
- With children in the car, it can take a while to close all the windows when they keep opening them!
- There is no button to open just the boot - you have to unlock the whole car.
- The tailgate opens towards you, so you have to be extra careful, especially with children around. In other cars, it opens mainly upwards, which tends to be safer & easier if you're holding something.
- Boot is sometimes not quite big enough for a big weekly shop.
- Seat belt reminder is annoying, I wish I could turn it off. I start the engine before doing anything else in cold weather. I don't need a beeper nagging me to put on my seat belt.
- Clock and radio not available when ignition off (even for limited time).
- Steering wheel can obscure the view of some status lights etc (maybe I'm too tall).
+ Doors open wide, which is good for access.
+ Rear seats fold completely flat - very useful!
+ Lots of cup holders
+ Two glove compartments
+ No spare wheel means more storage space
+ CD/Radio also plays music from USB FLASH drive
- The unusual tyre size for the EX with 16" wheels means there is fairly limited choice of tyre brands.
- No spare wheel - hope I don't get a puncture
- Nowhere to hide one or two coins (for shopping trolleys etc.)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 27th November, 2011
Good review, I agree with most of it.
I noticed you mentioned the petrol tank is too small, therefore requires more often fill ups. We have a problem with our petrol tank indicator, it hides extra 8 litres; basically every time I get to the point where I risk being left on the road with an empty tank, I fill up and get only a max of 34 litres in, and 42-34 = 8 litres. So have a look if you have similar problem with it.
Honda worked on my Jazz, have been told it's fixed, but the problem is still there. I am not so fussy about it, next service I'll ask them to look into it again, they are great in every way so far, although costly.
This is Australian Jazz 1.5 Sports manual 2010 model, built in Thailand, in case if you need to trace and compare models.