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How much? £15,995
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1339cc 16v 4cyl, 87bhp @ 5800rpm, 89lb ft @4500rpm, plus 14bhp/58lb ft electric motor
Transmission: Front-wheel drive, CVT
Performance: 12.3sec 0-62mph, 109mph, 62.8mpg, 104g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1162kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3900/1695/1525
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Handling

Rated 3 out of 53

Performance

Rated 3 out of 53

Usability

Rated 5 out of 55

Feelgood factor

Rated 3 out of 53

Readers' rating

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011) CAR review

By Ben Pulman

First Drives

03 May 2011 13:45

You usually associate hybrids with Toyota and Lexus, but not Honda – Honda makes high-revving VTEC engines, right? However, the torque-rich nature of electric motors mean they’re ideally suited to a synchronous life with a petrol engine that produces power at high revs. And with the launch of the new, facelifted Jazz, Honda has squeezed an electrified powertrain into its sensible supermini. 

It’s the company’s fourth hybrid, which means Honda offers as many electrified models as Lexus in the UK, and more than Toyota. But things are a little complicated: not content with having the £16,675 Insight as the cheapest hybrid on sale in the UK, Honda has now undercut itself and will flog you the mechanically similar Jazz Hybrid for £680 less. 

So how does the new Honda Jazz Hybrid differ from the Honda Insight?

Both utilise the same 1.3-litre petrol engine, electric motor and CVT gearbox, but thanks to a lower, slipperier shape, the Insight is marginally cleaner and greener: 64.2mpg and 101g/km plays 62.8mpg and 104g/km. Honda’s excuse for the Jazz missing out on the tax-free (and smug grin-inducing) sub-100g/km mark is that such a feat would have necessitated a bigger set of batteries. Still, you can hardly keep up with the Joneses if your prospective new car isn’t as saintly as their pious Prius

However, on paper it looks good against other Jazz models. No diesels are available, but the 1.2-litre manages 53.3gmpg and 123g/km, the 1.4 achieves 51.4mpg and 126g/km, and a CVT-equipped 1.4 is a marginally better with 52.3mpg and 125g/km. 

How does the Jazz Hybrid drive?

Despite sharing the engine and electric motor with the Insight, the experience is less raw and raucous, though the CVT ‘box still means the engine drones away at high rpms when you accelerate. And while the CR-Z coupe sports weightier steering and a low-slung driving position, a stint in the lofty Jazz with its pensioner-friendly light helm will come as a bit of a shock. 

Inside you get the same green-is-good/blue-is-bad glowing dials as the Insight, and the same display of fledgling saplings that can be lovingly grown if you’re light on the pedals, or instantly devastated if you’re a lead foot. It’s a constant reminder that how you drive can be as important as what you drive.

Of course, what you drive counts too, and if you use the Jazz for just urban driving then it theoretically makes sense: it stop/starts and isn’t a dirty, NOx-emitting diesel. But the Jazz rarely switches into EV mode, and no matter where you’re driving, you're always lugging around those weighty batteries. 

Hybrids may make sense to an anti-diesel company like Honda, but in Europe we’re taxed on CO2 not NOx, so a small diesel supermini like a Fiesta Econetic or a Polo Bluemotion will cost less to buy, less to tax, and return better fuel figures. And the extra this electrified version of the Jazz costs over and above its conventional petrol-powered cousin will take time to recoup as well, if it will actually return the improved fuel figures it promises in laboratory tests. Plus the Jazz Hybrid is imported from Japan rather than being built in Swindon, so if you're honestly eco conscious then you need to factor in the emissions that come with the extra transport. 

What else is new on the new Jazz?

The Jazz Hybrid arrives just as the range has endured a mid-life ‘lift, and thus adopts drag-reducing bumpers, low-rolling resistance rubber and (yes, really) more aerodynamic brake calipers, while blue-tinted lights differentiate this electrified version.

The easy-to-fold Magic Seats remain, and gain a reclining function, but the 70kg battery pack in the lower section of the boot means the clever double-decker load space is lost. Still, the Jazz Hybrid’s 300 litres of space is second-in-class only to the conventional Jazz.

Verdict

The new Honda Jazz Hybrid is the cheapest hybrid in the country, but if money, CO2 or going green are your concerns then there are other solutions. If you must have the cleanest Jazz then we’d recommend it, but even then there’s little wrong with a conventional petrol-powered Jazz.

>> Click 'Add your comment' below and let us know what you think about the new Honda Jazz Hybrid

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Average rating: Rated 2.5 out of 52.5 (23 votes)

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thundertigershark

thundertigershark says

RE: Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011) CAR review

i recenetly took delivery of my new jazz hybrid, a great car and an even greater service,

i went too www.yourcardeals.co.uk and they sourced me a test drive local and found me a great deal to 50 miles away, i have only had to fill her up once since i bought so things are looking good so far.

 

great car and a big thanks to www.yourcardeals.co.uk and everyone at honda.

 

 

16 April 2013 14:50

 

hypeboy

hypeboy says

RE: Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011) CAR review

hey brother, thank you very muhc for posting this informative blog. I have no idea that honda are into these Hybrid cars. you're correct it's popular on toyata and lexus but not on honda.

The comments are negative, I don't know now what is efficient or what. :(

so this is the hybrid?

http://kereta.info/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/new-honda-jazz-hybrid-honda-fit-hybrid-in-2010.jpg

honda parts

06 August 2011 06:28

 

revcounter

reward badge

revcounter says

RE: Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011) CAR review

 NOx is what kept all those European diesels out of the California Emissions Rules states in the U.S. It's a regulatory mechanism instead of a tax. Oxidized nitrogen is immediately toxic. Gasoline powered cars and trucks can have "NOx failures" in California SMOG tests, where it may be most cost effective to crush the vehicle. 

A complex web of public policy and industry lobbying in both markets yields interesting and different approaches. About 60% of Honda's business happens in America.  

 

07 May 2011 19:14

 

Moretti

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Moretti says

RE: Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011) CAR review

 Is this a whole new hybrid system or the garbage IMA system?  The IMA system never goes into electric mode except for a brief second for engine restart in stop/start mode.  It's in the name: Integrated Motor Assist—it only assists the underpowered petrol engine.  I'm unconvinced that adding stop/start to a larger engine with intelligent gearing (another traditional Honda weakness since they don't seem to know how to make an engine that produces torque at a useable rpm) wouldn't do as well, if not better than the seven squirrels with electric motor assist.

 

My sister has the Civic Hybrid and has been disappointed with the mileage.  In city driving, there is a benefit over a standard engine without stop/start (which I think is the main contributor to its advantage as accelerating the battery's extra weight certainly is not), but not on the highway, which is where they do most of their driving.  They average about 40 mpg US.  For that, you have a nearly unuseably small trunk because of the battery, weak acceleration, horrible traction (the thing can actually spin the tires even with a complete lack of balls and just forget about it in the snow—my Mazda 3 with performance tires does better), bad handling, and braking performance that brings to mind 4-drum brake American cars from the 60s.  Most of those complaints are admittedly down to those truly horrible "Eco" tires which I would not object to being outlawed, but take away the claimed 2 mpg or so that come from the tires at the expense of safety, all weather capability, and performance and their average would be 38 mpg.  My mother gets 36 making a similar commute with the same Civic with the (cheaper) regular engine (and no annoying CVT) and real tires.

 

I'm not necessarily against hybrids, but I'll have to wait for the next generation series hybrids to consider one myself.  Until then, GDI gets awfully close to the IMA (if not the Prius' far more sophisticated parallel hybrid system) without the performance penalty.

06 May 2011 00:34

 

lokinen

reward badgemoderatorstaff

lokinen says

RE: Honda Jazz Hybrid (2011) CAR review

I've been charged with the task of recommending a car for my elderly parents.My exhaustive searching concludes that repair costs of many of the cars favoured by retired people far outstrip those of a Prius out of warranty.Just searching the many review sites paints a picture of pretty solid reliability compared to horror stories of thousands spent on auto box and air con and steering system repairs of the opposition. I can happily recommend to them the Prius as a reliable and low running and maintenance cost replacement for their mega reliable Volvo estate. Also, because it's an unusual car, there is a massive online community where there is a massive amount of advice and info regarding the resolution of issues, not that there are that many......unlike pretty much all the other manufacturer specific forums....don't get me started on the DSG gearbox for instance.

 

04 May 2011 09:23

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