Had the chance to own a Honda Jazz for several weeks a couple months back when Honda Cars Philippines lent me a review unit.
Fortunately, I was able to return the car the day before Typhoon Ondoy. Otherwise, it would have been floating in the floodwaters in my area.
At first sitting, the Honda Jazz feels and looks like a Mini Cooper. Not that I’ve tried a Mini before but, as my brother would put it, it feels like driving a toy car — easy to handle and feels very light. And I agree, the car has pretty good maneuverability. I think it’s because the steering wheel is much closer to the front-end compared to the usual sub-compact cars.
The 1.3L unit I used had no glass tint so I often feel very exposed while driving (all my cars are heavily tinted). Aside from that though, visibility of the car is pretty wide and there are very few or narrow blind spots. Sometimes, it feels like you’re in the cockpit of a spaceship. I’ve tried the Honda City 2009 before and was impressed with the wide visibility but the Jazz has far better, IMO.
The cabin feels a little cramped at the back but once you fold down the back seats, you’d realize there’s enough room to put a jetski in there. This is good when you’re hauling stuff or going on trips (this car actually went to a Batangas beach one week-end carrying tons of goods at the back).
After burning two and a half full tanks of gas, the digital meter in the dashboard showed me an average fuel consumption of 9.9 kilometers per liter. That’s mostly 80% city driving and 20% highway driving and, as far as I can recall, I was only doing 50-60km/h most of the time. With highway driving though, I make sure not to drive beside those big buses as the feeling of getting swept over could be overwhelming at times.
The controls in the dashboard are pretty easy to locate and familiarize with, except for that cigar lighter receptacle which is a bit hidden at the bottom and hard to get to (I used that to hook up a 12-volt AC/DC converter for charging gadgets). The cup holders are on the front-side, facing the aircon grilles — so you can have your drinks cooled as well.
There were a couple of things that I was a bit particular with:
- The plastic material used in the cabin body was a little shabby — feels a bit drab and cold. I thought this is the entry-level unit so they might have had to cut down on manufacturing/material costs.
- The brakes are a bit shallow and hard. Two other people who tried it noticed the same thing. With my first few rides were a little jerky when stepping on the brakes. I thought I’d get used to it but never did.
- No back sensor. Despite the good cabin visibility, I thought back sensors should be standard on all models. I remember my first few non-fatal car accidents were backing against taxi cabs.
The Honda Jazz is great for city driving as I feel I can always squeeze into heavy traffic roads or park easily/comfortably into tight rows of cars at the parking lot. That, plus the fact the the 1.3L is a real gas-saver. A friend is buying one this holiday and told him to get the red one.