Mini people mover. Now for less. The only chink in the Jazz's armour is the price. Does a secondhand Jazz make it any better? Lets find out
Having started its journey in India more than a decade ago on the back of some very successful sedans, Honda launched its first ever small car, the Honda Jazz, in India in the middle of 2009 Its main competi-tion was with the likes of the Skoda Fabia and Hyundai's i20.
Although a small car it does look like a mini MPV, thanks to the large window area and a short bonnet. The styling is quite pleasing and the various bulges and taut lines make for a decent looking car.
Base variant will offer you the same practicality levels as the top-end variant but comes with a lot less kit. So don't expect airbags, ABS, electric ORVMs, alloy wheels, etc. Prices though aren't much less than the Select.
Powered by a 1.2-litre four cylinder i-VTEC engine producing 90bhp it is a downsized variant of the engine on the City. The car retains its fuel efficient character and is capable of returning 13kmpl in the city and 17kmpl on highways. The engine though feels underpowered, despite its healthy power rating, since it is tuned more for fuel efficiency.
It has a stiff suspension and as such the ride quality is nothing to write home about. Indeed it tends to crash over jagged potholes. It isn’t a great handler either. The steering too lacks feedback. On the plus side though the steering is light to operate, which makes it a boon in city traffic.
The visibility out of the cabin is great thanks to the large glass area and the high seating. The seats themselves are big and feature good bolstering. At the back there is a lot of space all round with good headroom as well as shoulder room.
The Jazz features a huge boot (366 litres), which can be used very fl exibly given that the Jazz's passenger seats can be folded in a variety of ways.
The Hyundai i20 is the one to consider if you don’t fancy the Jazz. It is almost as spacious and is also available as a diesel. Finding one though may not be all that easy. It comes with better equipment levels, including a variant with six airbags, and is commanding virtually the same price as the Jazz. Quality levels are good and the car is effi cient be it the petrol 1.2 Kappa or the 1.4-litre diesel. Hyundai service network is widespread and maintenance costs and prices of spares are comparatively low.
Buy a used Jazz if you want the space and comforts of a sedan but the efficiency and size of a hatchback. Its prices are a little high compared to other used small cars, but in light of its advantages vis-a-vis sedans, they do seem fair. It should prove reliable and fuel effi cient. There aren’t many high mileage models out there. It also comes with decent amount of kit. Good value for money, overall.