Here are my thoughts on the Honda Jazz Si 1.4 i-VTEC Manual after my week-long test drive.
Day 1 – Honda Jazz Si First Impressions
Taking my first look around the Honda Jazz Si it looked a lot more appealing than I expected from looking at previous generations of the car. The Si model is kitted out with new front and rear bumpers and has side skirts making the car look lower to the ground.
Day 2 – First Proper Drive in the Car
Behind the wheel of the Jazz, it is one of the simplest and most welcoming cars I have ever driven. The controls are all well-tuned to be easier for city driving. The steering is nice and light, the pedals feel gentle underfoot and the gearshifts are really nice and smooth. When taking the car out for a drive one of the first features I noticed was that the Jazz comes with an economy indicator that will advise you when to change gear to drive most efficiently, which is a great little feature and left me surprised by how much more efficiently I could be driving.
You can buy the Honda Jazz in the UK with one of two engines, a 1.2 or 1.4-litre petrol engine. The Jazz Si on test was powered by the 1.4-litre engine that creates 99bhp and 127Nm of torque. The car was fitted with a manual gearbox that gets the Jazz from 0 to 60mph in 11.8 seconds and does a top speed of 113mph. The really good news is that the i-VTEC engine can return over 50mpg.
Day 3 – Evening Photoshoot
We took the car out in the evening to do a photo shoot of this modern city car around Birmingham’s central business district. The Honda Jazz works really well as a city car purely because of its small footprint. But you can still get four adults inside the car in comfort and some stuff in the boot, so although it is very small it is still very usable. Taking the car around town the pearl white paintwork makes the car look very crisp, very well designed, and I do actually quite like some of the Si sports styling features such as the rear bumper.
Day 4 – Caught in Traffic
I have been using the Honda Jazz to get to the office and back all week, 4 days in and I’d found it exceptionally easy to drive and a pleasure through the busy streets of Birmingham. But on this day I got caught in some horrific rain, which bought bad traffic with it. This meant that I was stuck in the car for around 90 minutes. Spending a lot of time in the car gave me the opportunity I needed to play with the features inside the car.
The inside of the dash is a perfectly simple design with nothing more complicated than radio and heating controls across the centre of the dash. I quite like the simplicity of the interior, and although there isn’t that much equipment to play with, the customers that buy the Jazz will be buying it for the low price point and easy operation, so it does the job perfectly in that respect.
Day 5 – Super Practical
So testing the car all week with everyday life tasks you get to try all kinds of different tests out. Throughout the week I have had the car full of people, a boot full of camera gear, and a couple of large tripods and bags, among other things, thrown in too. Although the car isn’t huge, the space that you do have is very useable and the cinema-like magic rear seats can really make the difference – when you don’t have people sitting there of course!
Day 6 – Jazzy City Centre Shoot
Myself and photographer, Ross Jukes, took an early 6am start on the Saturday to try and capture the Jazz in a vibrant and stylish city environment. We took the car to a selection of locations that we felt helped represent what the Jazz was about.
Being completely honest I never really understood the Jazz and found it difficult how this car could appeal to a young audience, but after looking back at these pictures the latest generation Jazz in Si trim might just be a strong move in the right direction for Honda. It’s not a bad looking car at all.
Day 7 – Looking Back on the Week
Looking back on my week with the Honda Jazz Si, I have certainly warmed to the car. A lot of people feel that the Jazz is commonly driven by the older generation, but the Si brings the appeal back to the younger generation who are looking for city car with a reliable badge on the front and a reasonable price.
After driving the 1.4-litre all week I doubt I would choose the 1.2-litre engine over it. The 1.4-litre i-VTEC petrol engine creates a fine line between power and economy and I don’t think altering this balance for more economy would improve the experience of the Jazz.