Retirement pads rejoice! Honda has a new Jazz so the old folk’s favorite is back. And lets get this out of the way: they are not going to find the new Jazz as much fun to drive as the new Fiesta. It doesn’t feel as chuckable, as alive or as light-foot as the BlueOval’s baby.But it is refined and easy to drive. The Honda’s steering is direct and the electric assistance never feels clumsy. Its quite at motorway speeds, and the five-speed gearbox is slick, precise and obviously from the company that produces the Civic Type-R.Matched to Honda’s latest 1.4 liter i-VTEC engine (doing away with the costly-to-service twin-spark unit ), its fun to punt around town and race away from the lights. Pity that the new automated manual i-SHIFT- surely the favorite for stop/ start urban driving- is so jerky. It’s not as bad as the old CVT, but it will still bob your head on upshifts.But i-SHIFT is eco-friendly, lifting the 1.4’s 54.3mpg and 123g/km to 55.4 mpg and 120g/km, meaning it matches the 1.2 Jazz. And whether you go for the manual or automated manual, you will find it’s cleaner and more economical than even the greenest light weight Mazda 2. That’s without tiny turbocharged engines or diesel power, though we will see a petrol-electric Jazz early next decade.What the average 63 year old Jazz owner really cares about is space, practicality and versatility. So the new Jazz is 55mm longer, with most of that stretch between the wheels. It’s also wider (by 20mm) yet it looks lower, though it isn’t. If only it looked newer.
Inside it does not appear that different form the old Jazz either, but that’s no bad thing. Ford’s new Fiesta has a mobile phone inspired dash, but I have my grand parents try to text…It’s all clever but simple stuff from the new Jazz that will appeal to OAPs. But because Honda has not given the Jazz any of the Civic’s radical looks, and openly admits it isn’t chasing younger customers, it is a shame that those still working for a living won’t gove this little car a second glance.