We needed another handy little city car for the Sydney office, and plenty of makes and models were bandied around. But this, the 2016 Honda Jazz VTi-S, is the model we chose as our latest live-in lover.
The little five-door hatch hasn't been updated for a while, and in the face of stiff competition from the Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent and Suzuki Swift it may well have fallen off the radar of potential buyers. It’s still selling well – more than 4500 units were shifted in the first six months of this year – but sales are down more than 10 per cent year-to-date.
That’s despite pretty attractive pricing and equipment being offered on the Jazz range. You can get into the base model for less than $17,000 for the manual, and the auto adds about $2500.
But that base model is a bit drab – it has plastic wheel covers. Ewww. That certainly wouldn’t have cut the mustard, so to speak, on a car the colour of ours.
Instead, we went for the mid-range VTi-S version, which has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder mated exclusively to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic. And it has snazzy alloys and a body kit, and if you love the colour, we chose Attract Yellow, as it’s known, because it’s just so damn eye-catching.
No matter which model in the Jazz range you buy, you get a touchscreen media system that operates the car’s Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, radio and audio settings, and also acts as a display for the standard-fit rear-view camera. We’ll do an infotainment review in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that.
Actually, so you’re in the loop, we plan to review individual aspects of this car over the period of the loan. The idea being that we can get right down in the nitty gritty of the important parts, you know: the stuff you find out about when you spend a lot of time with a new car.
The bits we plan to cover off include that aforementioned infotainment review, a practicality test (Honda is known for being a pragmatists’ choice because it has smart storage and clever seating), an urban drive loop test, a road trip test and a comparison against a competitor.
So, stay tuned for all that. But after the first couple of weeks of our tenure, the little zippy hatchback has been praised for its peppy engine, brilliant interior space and that striking colour.
Here’s what you need to know about our Jazz before we dive any deeper:
Price: from $19,790 plus on-road costs
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
Power: 88kW at 6600rpm
Torque: 145Nm at 4600rpm
Transmission: CVT automatic with paddleshifters, front-wheel drive
Claimed fuel use: 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres
Weight: 1120 kilograms (tare mass)
Boot space: 354 litres
Country of origin: Thailand