Car Review: Honda - Jazz  Series 08 (4 stars)

The Honda Jazz appeals with its innovative interior, but is otherwise average

The first generation Honda Jazz changed the rule book for interior space in the supermini class - it was spacious and practical, with an innovative layout that allowed seats to be folded flat in a variety of combinations to suit your load. It catered for an urban driver with a different set of priorities to those which other manufacturers were building for.

Now, though, Honda has the difficult job of following up on its acclaimed model with the second generation car. Visually it's similar, but the styling has been sharpened up a little to try and appeal to a younger customer. The innovative interior arrangements remain, and in fact they've been improved - you can now drop the seats with one hand.

A wider track and a bit more in the wheelbase have made the Jazz an even more spacious proposition - which is really its USP. It lacks the outright charisma and driving lure of a Ford Fiesta, but that can't hold a candle to the interior space and versatility on offer here.

The Jazz is an easy car to own - driving it around town is no problem with its light steering, and it has a more grown-up feel on the motorway too. Ownership costs are minimal and you get decent standard kit, but you do have to pay a bit extra at the beginning.

It's a shame that Honda has not seen fit to offer a diesel engine in the Jazz range, because we think that sort of engine would really mate well with the car. The small petrol engines here are a bit wheezy and need to be worked hard, making them noisy. The 1.4-litre petrol is the best shot, but it is still only just adequate for the Jazz's needs.

The environment up in the front of the cabin is merely average in the class. There's nothing particularly fancy on display, but at no point does the interior particularly disgrace itself. It's clearly stuck in a no-man's land between previous fussy, old-fashioned interiors and the more upmarket but outlandish interiors we've seen in some recent cars.

The Jazz is the practically option, and it stands or falls on whether that's what you want from your supermini. We think it has half a foot out of the class, and one eye on the likes of the Renault Modus. As a (mini) mini MPV it starts to look like great value.

Honda Jazz Series 08 StatisticsCar Reviews

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