Honda Jazz Driving Impressions

Had the chance to own a Honda Jazz for several weeks a couple months back when Honda Cars Philippines lent me a review unit.

And though I am not really good with cars, Honda asked me if I can share my thoughts and impressions about the Jazz from a perspective of a regular car-owner. This entry has been delayed for weeks now but it’s better late than never.

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.

honda jazz

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).

honda jazz

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.

37 Comments on this Post

  1. demi abarquez

    I own a 2005 1.3 idsi CVT. So far, with 51k km and turning 5 years this August, I haven’t experienced any major engine breakdown. Just got my 3rd battery over the weekend – after 3 yrs and 2 months (worth it!). Some minor modifications to improve its handling and performance were a front tower strut bar, K&N Open Filters (wag na magtipid just for the sake of upgrading the filter), 17″ mags with 205/40 Eagle F1 rubbers. Didn’t lower the car since it might not match with the 2 Thule Aero Roof Bike Racks – which are regularly used and not just for porma. Honda’s interior set up was well thought of particularly the Rear ULT configuration – sulit talaga! Bike, washing machine, a set of monobloc chairs and table, garden pots and plants, garden soil, lpg tanks, etc.! It’s like a mini pick-up. Suspension though is a bit weak for Philippine roads but with some minor tweaks and acceptance of this issue as a given, then I guess you will learn to enjoy the car just the same. A highly-recommended car!

  2. diplomat

    how much is it cost?

  3. Guys this is an off topic. If ever you were not able to attend you can check this 3rd Philippines International Motor Show Photo Gallery.

  4. Just want to share it since most of you are car enthusiast. :-)

  5. I like the face style of this Honda Jazz..
    mukha kaseng kuneho yoong car..

  6. Nice review. You should review rides more often.

  7. Sir Yuga may review po kayo ng toyota na altis 2011 at vios 2011.. gusto yun matipid sa gas..thanks

  8. I just got a 1.3 ATS, was surprised by its handling, performance, cargo capacity and fuel economy. Highly recommended against the Yaris.

  9. I own a jazz and I must say it’s a good buy.

    I was a part time driver for a short period of my life driving SUVs, Sedans, Subcompacts (Luxury and Non-Luxury), And if you don’t mind I would like to give feedback to your comments. :D

    1. You don’t really need a backing sensor. It’s a pretty small car and you can see a clear view of the back.

    2. You can average around 12.0 km/li on light-moderate traffic conditions, provided you have a light foot and take care to keep it below around 1800 rpm during acceleration from a stop and not more than 2000 rpm (80-95kph) during cruise.

    3. The comment about the plastic interiors are the same with european critics (e.g., topgear), Well it’s japanese, they’ve been using plastic panels for decades and I bet if they had the technology to make voltes 5 real, the interior panels would be made out of plastic :D. I don’t mind it, and I like the jazz’s plenty number of cup holders and the two cellphone holders in the front :D

    4. The brakes, well it took me about a week to get used to them. But my family having owned a few hondas (for the past decade), I’d say that’s normal for a brand new. Especially if you’re coming from driving a car with old brake pads.

    What also appealed to me greatly is how easy you can use the back part to carry stuff, the suspension system is tough so it can support heavy loads.

  10. Honda Jazz Fan

    I owned Jazz 2010 model(1.5 – A/T)

    – 13km/l (City Driving)
    – Easy to setup
    – Excellent Max Speed
    – Paddle Shift Support
    – Spacious
    – Euro 4 (Eart Friendly)
    – Excellent Interior/Exterior
    – Honda Service is Great as well
    – Toy Car or Formal look

    …Two tumbs up!

  11. Excellent site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!


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