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  • Practicality; versatility; ride comfort; Honda reliability
  • Lack of innovative tech; Regular Jazz nearly as good; tough competition from Toyota

OUR RATING
7 / 10



Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
by
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At $22,990 the Honda Jazz Hybrid is Australia’s most affordable hybrid vehicle. But the second-generation Honda Jazz has been around since 2008, with a moderate update in 2011, so what makes this now nearly five-year old city car a candidate of a hybrid powertrain?

Honda as a global automotive company has bet a lot on hybrid technology. In fact, despite Toyota being widely recognised as the hybrid pioneers, it was Honda that had the first attempt. You can say that hybrid technology is part of Honda’s modern DNA, which is why the Jazz is the latest car in the range to get the system.

Powered by a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, the dual setup delivers 72kW of power and 167Nm of torque with a fuel economy figure of 4.5L/100km (91RON fuel). It has a CO2 emission rating of 107g/100km.

Before we get stuck in to it, let’s put those numbers into perspective. The Honda Jazz Hybrid’s direct competitor, the Toyota Prius C, costs an additional $1000, uses 3.9L/100km and emits 90g/100km. An automatic Volkswagen Polo turbodiesel, which also costs an additional $1000 over the Jazz Hybrid, uses 4.6L/100km and emits 121g/100km. Its equivalent 1.3-litre petrol-only Jazz automatic uses 6.6L/100km and emits 157g/100km

So despite being a hybrid, the actual fuel economy benefits are perhaps not as great as some would imagine, particularly given a diesel Polo is almost on par without the complications of an electric motor system.

Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review

Its main point of appeal is simple, then: it’s a Honda Jazz, arguably the most practical and useful city car on the market. It goes from being a zippy city runabout to a small van in minutes, thanks in large to its ‘magic’ seats. Except now it’s more fuel-efficient.

Those looking at a hybrid Jazz are likely to be looking at a normal Jazz and decide to go that extra step. The hybrid variant is differentiated with a chrome-blue grille and surrounds for the headlights as well as clear taillights.

On the inside there’s Honda’s Eco Assist function, which will judge the driving style in terms of fuel efficiency in real time, meaning you’ll know instantly when you’re burning more fuel than you really should. It’s nothing new, but it’s a nice addition.

Behind the wheel the Honda Jazz Hybrid is similar to most hybrids. It starts up with almost no sound and its marriage to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) means it makes a reasonable amount of noise under full throttle.

Compared to a standard 1.3-litre four-cylinder Jazz, the hybrid doesn’t feel as zippy or lively, it’s unlikely to be much faster, if at all (Honda Australia don’t have official 0-100km/h figures), but given it’s designed and engineered for maximum fuel economy, that’s not its purpose.

The hybrid system is seamless, making the change between the engine and motor or dual operation unnoticable. There’s no direct electric-only mode, but given the right circumstances (cruising), the petrol engine does tend to hand over to the motor for a short period of time.

Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review

Around the suburbs the Jazz Hybrid drives with ease and provides comfortable ride quality, even on poorly surfaced roads. It does, however, tend to lean a little in corners, but that will hardly prove an issue for most buyers.

Front seats are snug and supportive and you can easily accommodate two adults in the back. The party trick is of course the rear seats, which can fold in 18 different combinations, meaning you can almost put anything in the Jazz and it’ll still have room for a fridge. In fact, we’ve used a Jazz to move large items that simply wouldn’t fit into an SUV.

The cabin itself is beginning to date and although Honda Australia says the Jazz Hybrid is likely to appeal to tech-savvy buyers, the technology inside is hardly revolutionary. The Bluetooth system has no steering wheel controls, and it lacks the colour touchscreen interface of the Prius C.

The real downside of the hybrid Jazz is the space compromise of carrying around an electric motor and its battery. Boot space is down from 337L to 223L with the rear seats up, or 848L to 772L with the seats folded down. It also weighs an additional 68kg and comes with a space-saver spare wheel.

To put some real-world perspective on this, comparing the top-of-the-range and more powerful 1.5-litre Jazz automatic ($19,790) with a Jazz Hybrid, it will take roughly 65,000km before the better fuel economy of the Hybrid pays its way (assuming fuel is $1.50/L).

Compared with the regular 1.3-litre Jazz automatic ($16,990), it will take more than 150,000km before you’ll realise the fuel saving. There’s a bit more equipment in the hybrid than the 1.3-litre GLi, but even so buying a Jazz hybrid for fuel economy doesn’t make too much fiscal sense, but it will make Christine Milne really happy.

Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
Honda Jazz Hybrid Review

With only 1.5 percent of new vehicles sold in Australia powered by a hybrid powertrain (of which a great deal are sold to fleets), Honda Australia expects to sell just 50 Jazz Hybrids a month, roughly a quarter of Prius C sales – which also offers fixed-priced servicing for the first six services, something the Jazz hybrid lacks.

What the Honda Jazz Hybrid proves (again) is that the Jazz itself is a brilliant little car. If the need for better fuel economy or lower CO2 emissions is a must, it’s worth checking out (as is the Prius C) otherwise stick with the regular model Jazz and you’ll be just as happy.

*All Honda vehicles are covered by a 3-year/100,000km warranty, the Jazz Hybrid gets an eight-year warranty on its battery and electric motor system as well.


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HONDA JAZZ BREAKDOWN

Honda Jazz Hybrid Review
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  • Turbooo7x

    might want to get an actual picture of the interior, not a rav4 interior :P

    • Yetiman

      What Rav 4? Smoking pot in the morning is not good for your health.

      • matt

        i disagree

        • Yetiman

          :)

      • $29896495

        Because it’s cavernous and left hand drive car, when looking in the back

  • Guest

    One thing that reviews never look at, that I would be interested in, is where a hybrid would get better fuel economy than a diesel – I’d imagine in gridlock, start stop traffic. On the flip side I’d imagine the diesel is better where more cruisey or high speed work is required. The obviously if the benefit is actually worth the costs….

    Simply comparing the average isn’t all that meaningful personally. The right tool for the right job…

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Diesels are clearly not suited to start/stop traffic, where the hybrids have an advantage, however most modern diesels do have start/stop, so they can shut down in traffic to save fuel. 

      if you commute a lot in traffic, a hybrid does make sense. However, highway driving is their week point. During our test drive, our average fuel economy in the hybrid jazz was about 6.1L/100km, which really isn’t that great.

      • Al

        I’ve read Honda hybrids rarely get great economy, they’re pretty much a beefed up stop/start system right? Ive driven Hybrid Camrys for work on the freeway, they seem to still be very efficient even at these speeds, but then again Toyotas hybrids are much more sophisticated and seem genuinely economical.

      • j4c

        I wonder how many kms did u test drive the jazz hybrid? did honda let you drive from full tank until next fill up?
        just sharing my experience with honda hybrid. I used to drive 1st gen honda insight and it never get below 4.0litre consumption until I drove over 80km – 100km on  regular traffic and it got better beyond that – my average fuel cons after 650km trip was around 3.8 to 3.9litre. I was very happy with honda hybrid, however in the first short distance it returns around 6.0 to 6.5 litre/100km as well. and from my experience the average fuel consumption never accurate until we reach 100km distance where its calculation based on while the fuel cons bars (should be common any honda car now) represent real time consumption.
        I am looking to get cr-z as the replacement when it get any cheaper though :)

      • Zaccy16

        yeah your right, 6.1 is not great at all, a polo tdi or ven tsi are better picks, both have better transmissions, more torque and are better to drive also have better interiors, also as for the tsi it sonds great and is decently quick, dont get me wrong but i like the jazz as a normal model in base trim but this hybrid doesn’t make much sense

    • Hans

      I couldn’t agree more. I almost exclusively commute around town only and my fuel consumption is always 20-30% more than the stated average.  However, that said I only do 10,0000kms a year so my combined rego, CTP, comprehensive insurance and servicing actually costs more than the petrol in a year.  People are obsessed with saving money on their fuel when it usually is only 2nd or 3rd in terms of the cost of running a car.

  • Resident

    The Bluetooth looks like a locally-fitted aftermarket system…

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      It does look it, but it’s factory fitted.

      • $29896495

        It’s similar to a spot light that used to be after market op from Honda for the CRX. I suspect it’s just an option they’ve squeezed in to sweeten the pie.

    • JD

       its a flimsy and terrible system.

    • Zaccy16

      its a cheap way for honda to put that it has bluetooth on the spec sheet even though its not incorporated into the cars infotainment system

  • Andrew

    To eco conscientiousness buyers the payoff rate between upfront vehicle cost and fuel cost is
    irrelevant. Also fuel costs $1.50/L now, how much will it cost next year?

  • Noddy_of_Toyland

    Anyone who spends extra over the petrol to get this is a dingus, no question.

    • MisterZed

      I’d spend the extra just for the clear-lens tail-lights and chrome on the rear. The regular model’s tail-lights are awful.

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, base petrol much better, but saying that i would definitely rather this than a prius c but a fiesta diesel or a tdi polo or even tsi polo are much better pics for fuel efficient but good cars to drive and live with

      • Guest

        Go back to VW Land.  

  • A.

    Honda Jazz hybrid is probably the most pointless car ever. Small cars, like Jazz, already run on 5L/100km and they are sub-$15,000(for example Hyundai i20 is 5.3L/100km and it’s around $13000). Plus, VW Golf does better than Jazz without that “hybrid” gimmick(3.2L/100KM VS 4.5L/100KM)

Honda Jazz Specs

GLi : 1.3L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 5 SP AUTOMATIC - UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
HONDA
Model
JAZZ
Variant
GLi
Series
GE MY12
Year
2013
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
1.3L
Cylinders
INLINE 4
Max. Torque
127Nm @  4800rpm
Max. Power
73kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
65.8W/kg
Bore & Stroke
73x80mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
VARIABLE SINGLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
4.562
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
42
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1110
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1525mm
Length
3900mm
Width
1695mm
Ground Clearance
150mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:800  Unbrake:450
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
9.8
Front Rim Size
5.5x15
Rear Rim Size
5.5x15
Front Tyres
175/65 R15
Rear Tyres
175/65 R15
Wheel Base
2500
Front Track
1492
Rear Track
1475
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Traction Control System, Vehicle Stability Control
Driver
Power Steering, Trip Computer
Entertainment
Radio CD with 4 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
29-K-17
Country of Origin
THAILAND