Honda Jazz
(2013 - 2020)

  • Incredible practicality for such a small car
  • Great driving dynamics
  • Typical excellent Honda build quality and reliability
  • Great value for money
  • CVT transmission not exactly inspiring
  • Touch screen style interior controls lack tactility
  • Can be thirstier than the competition
  • Styling a little conservative for some
Overview

Few nameplates embrace the cheap and cheerful mantra as wholeheartedly, and evenly, as the diminutive Honda Jazz. Cute, smartly packaged, thrifty, it taps the spirit of the groundbreaking City cult car and Honda’s early car-making ethos, servicing grocery getting needs in Australia most recently in its third-generation hatchback guise.

As a showroom prospect, Jazz is now done and dusted, Honda Australia unable to make a solid enough business case to reboot the all-new gen-four Jazz – or Fit as it’s offered in other markets – at the model’s traditional sub-$20k sweet spot as Aussie buyer preferences scale upmarket and expectations of pricey standard-fit tech bloom.

Making its global debut in 2013, the third generation didn’t supplant its forebear from showroom until mid 2014 wearing MY15 designation. In its cheapest form, the five-speed manual, hub-capped VTi version lobbed at just $14,990 list, though the five-door only range was offered in a variety of trim levels and the lion’s share of owners optioning for CVT transmission to back Jazz’s single engine offering, a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder plying 88kW and 145Nm.

Cheap to buy, cheap to run but the big drawcard is the smallest Honda’s packaging. Its still-fresh, angular styling carves out a remarkable amount of utilitarian space, both in terms of cabin roominess for occupants and bootspace which, at 354 litres expandable to a whopping 1314L with its clever, folding Magic Seat arrangement. Jazz makes for a very tidy surrogate minivan.

Available in three grades – VTi, mid-spec VTi-S and flagship VTi-L – plus various ‘special edition’ extrapolations, gen-three Jazz saw a global facelift in 2017 plus numerous periodic updates to areas such as infotainment, which integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring quite late, in 2020. Steel wheels were also phased out midlife.

The Jazz was rated five stars ANCAP right around its 2014 debut, though its safety credentials don’t smell quite so rosy in 2021. The cheapy Jazz never benefited from active safety assistance such autonomous emergency braking, which does blackmark its ‘my first car’ potential for safety conscious shoppers.

Honda discontinued the manual option late in the lifecycle in 2020. The fittingly named Final Edition swan song, as part of the farewell MY21 range, bundled alloy wheels, a CVT auto, cruise control, a reversing camera, 7.0-inch infotainment and phone mirroring…for a tenner under $20k.

After three generations and an 18-year providence in Australia, it’s sad to see that Jazz has taken its final bow, where the handbrake on new sales slowed to almost half of that in gen-three’s first year of release.

Enticing, though, is the prospect of what will be a growing number of relatively fresh and contemporary options on the used market, light on size and lean on fiscal outlay.”

Honda discontinued the manual option late in the lifecycle in 2020. The fittingly named Final Edition swan song, as part of the farewell MY21 range, bundled alloy wheels, a CVT auto, cruise control, a reversing camera, 7.0-inch infotainment and phone mirroring…for a tenner under $20k.

After three generations and an 18-year providence in Australia, it’s sad to see that Jazz has taken its final bow, where the handbrake on new sales slowed to almost half of that in gen-three’s first year of release.

Enticing, though, is the prospect of what will be a growing number of relatively fresh and contemporary options on the used market, light on size and lean on fiscal outlay.

Ads goes here
What goes wrong

The Jazz/Fit are a prime example of Honda’s excellent reputation for build quality and reliability and therefore, while certain abused examples may show faults and issues, regularly serviced and cared for examples from this generation seem to suffer form very few, if any, common mechanical problems.

Model range, pricing and features

VTi

  • Price when new: $14,990 - $18,690
  • Price used: $8,000 - $23,990

The VTi is the entry level model of the Honda Jazz range, and is offered with the sole 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with a choice of a 5-speed manual transmission or CVT.

We reckon the VTi is the best pick of the range and bang for your buck, unless you manage to score a Limited Edition model at a similar price, the VTi is a cheap entry point and you get your value for money with a good range of features that come standard, including a 7-inch colour touchscreen display with a reversing camera.

Standard features:

  • Air Conditioning
  • 15-inch steel wheels
  • Dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
  • Hill Start Assist (HSA)
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Whiplash mitigating front seats
  • 5-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2014)
  • Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • Central locking with boot release
  • Cruise control
  • LED projector beam headlights
  • Multi-angle reversing camera
  • Electric windows – front and rear (with driver’s auto up/down)
  • Electric mirrors
  • Multi-information system with trip computer and seatbelt status
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • 7-inch colour touchscreen
  • 4-speaker audio system with AM/FM radio and CD player
  • Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity
  • 2x USB ports
  • 1x HDMI port
  • Siri Eyes Free + mode
  • 1x 12V outlet
  • Magic Seats

Limited Edition

  • Price when new: $18,290 - $19,990
  • Price used: $13,000 - $15,600

The Limited Edition “LE” was introduced as a MY15, MY17 and MY21 model fitted with “customer-focused” and “style” focused upgrades.

The MY21 model was a “final edition” model prior to the Jazz being axed from sale in Australia, and features mostly a black styling pack offered in the MY20 50 Years’ Edition.

MY16 edition offered:

  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear spoiler
  • Metallic door sills
  • Sports pedals
  • Exclusive badges.
  • Extended warranty
  • Roadside Assist+

MY17 edition offered:

  • 15-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Roof-mounted rear spoiler
  • Front fog lights
  • Sports black grille.

MY21 edition offered:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Matching black mirror caps

50 Years Edition

  • Price when new: $19,990
  • Price used: $15,900 - $24,000

50 Years models were special editions offered on the Jazz, Civic, HR-V and CR-V and are “commemorative models” to celebrate Honda’s 50 years in Australia. The special edition as described by Honda “are equipped with a host of style and convenience features, typically only available on upper-level grades

50 Years Edition adds:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels in jet black finish
  • Crossover-style wheel arch cladding
  • Side skirts with piano black highlights
  • Piano black mirror caps

VTi-S

  • Price when new: $19,790 - $20,990
  • Price used: $11,500 - 23,900

The VTi-S is the mid-range model, offering a number of comfort and convenience features over the VTi.

VTi-S adds:

  • Climate control
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Chrome rear licence plate garnish
  • Electrically retractable door mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Side skirt set
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Security alarm
  • Six speaker audio system
  • Front armrest console
  • 1x 12V outlet in centre console
  • Black premium fabric seat trim
  • Built-in satellite navigation (MY18 update)
  • Tailgate spoiler (MY18 update)

Sport+

  • Price when new: $20,590
  • Price used: $17,900 - $22,200

Based on the mid-range VTi-S, the Sport+ was a limited edition model with a claimed $1600 of extra kit.

Sport+ adds:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Sport badge on the boot
  • Gloss black highlights
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Factory satellite navigation

VTi-L

  • Price when new: $22,490 - $24,990
  • Price used: $12,900 - $24,500

The VTi-L is the top of the range model for the Honda Jazz, and features more convenience and luxury orientated features.

VTi-L adds:

  • Rear parking sensors
  • Smart entry and push button start
  • Tailgate spoiler
  • Electric windows with driver and front passenger auto up/down.
  • Rear seat centre fold-down armrest
  • Black leather-appointed seat trim
  • Heated front seats
  • Bi-LED headlights (MY18 update)
  • Daytime running lights (MY18 update)
Should you buy it?

While the Jazz/Fit isn’t perfect with its CVT whine, lack of tactile buttons for simple controls in the interior and the fact it arguably lacks the charm and charisma of some of its rivals, the Jazz/Fit does exhibit Hondas excellent reputation for reliability, they’re proving to hold their value and with no direct replacement on the horizon, should continue to stay consistent with pricing.

Plus, no other small car offers this level of practicality while still being fun and nimble to drive everyday.

Should you buy one? Yes, 100%. Overall, as a daily, metro area form of transport that provides near small van-like levels of practicality, even after a few years and thousands of kilometers, it’s still brilliant.

Just be warned, if you do buy a Jazz/Fit, anytime a friend decides to move house, they’ll be calling you (and your Jazz/Fit) first.

 

Tech specs

Body style:

5-door hatchback

Engine & outputs:

1.5-litre four cylinder petrol engine (all models)

Power:

88kW

Torque:

145Nm

Transmissions:

5-speed manual, front-wheel-drive (VTi)
CVT transmission, front wheel drive (VTi, Limited Edition, VTi-S, Sport+ & VTi-L)

Fuel use:

5.8L – 6.2L/100km (combined and depending on variant)

Dimension:

Height: 1524mm
Length: 3996mm
Width: 1694mm
Kerb weight: 1048kg – 1130kg (depending on transmission/model)

Disclaimer

Information correct as of October 1, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.