Is the Honda Jazz the ultimate Supermini?
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The supermini segment is currently jam-packed with choices. Almost every manufacturer has a small car for sale that claims to squeeze into tight parking spaces, save money at the pumps yet still offer the sort of interior space and comfort that's usually found in the segment above.
But very few manufacturers can offer the type of practicality, genius engineering and simple solutions that the new Honda Jazz features. Take luggage space as an example: with all the seats up, the clever Jazz provides a massive 399 litres of loading area, trumping its rival from the class above – the Ford Fiesta - by 4 litres.
The Jazz then outdoes itself by incorporating a clever engineering trick that allows the rear seats to be folded flat, offering up a staggering 883 litres of truly useable space. For reference, a bicycle will happily lay behind the front seats without the owner having to remove headrests.
Load-lugging ability is one thing but what is it like to drive? In a nutshell, solid. The 0-62mph sprint is particularly brisk for its class. The 1.4 petrol engined-Jazz nails the dash in 11.5 seconds, compared to the 11.9 seconds of the rivaling 1.4 litre Volkswagen Polo.
Steering is light yet still offers the kind of feedback you'd expect in a nippy supermini but modern safety features such as Honda's VSA stability control system provide peace of mind should road surfaces become slippery.
Like with most Honda products, there is a good choice of engines that range from a 1.2 petrol to a 1.4 hybrid model that returns an impressive 52.3mpg on the combined cycle. The Ford Fiesta– which is often considered the Jazz's closest rival – returns 51.4mpg.
Above all else, the Jazz remains one of the most practical and reliable small cars money can buy. Clever storage solutions, a classy and intuitive interior plus a range of engines that are proven to be solid as a rock make this supermini a true class leader.