With the first-generation model already proving a firm favourite in the local market, the second-generation version of the Honda Jazz added a new 1,3-litre engine to supplement the 1,5-litre. Although the styling did change subtly, the original design concept was thankfully retained (with the fuel tank centrally mounted underfloor to free up more luggage room). Space under the rear seats can be used for storage, or the seats can be dropped into the floor, allowing a massive 1 200 dm3 of utility volume. Apart from a five-speed manual, the CVT that was unsuitable for towing was dropped with this update from the 1,5 in favour of a conventional five-speed auto transmission.
The 1,3-litre develops 73 kW/127 N.m and the 1,5 a healthier 88 kW/145 N.m. Both engines feature chain-driven camshafts and are extremely reliable. In fact, we didn’t receive a single engine-related complaint.
TRANSMISSION AND STEERING
Listen out for noisy suspension that could mean worn gearbox bearings. As a precaution, change the gearbox oil. The electrical power steering can be a bit too light and vague. The owner of a manual 1,5 reported a slight clutch judder when the car is cold, but not when hot.
A few cracked windscreens occurred without visible signs of impact damage. This could be related to cold-temperature stress.
SUSPENSION, BRAKES AND WHEELS
Excessive front-tyre wear worried many owners. Rear shock absorbers tend to wear prematurely, so have them tested regularly.
The window-switch overheating problem that led to a tragic death in South Africa in 2009 led to a recall in 2010. Make sure that your vehicle has been upgraded. One owner had a 1,5 auto that, at 35 000 km, refused to start. The dealer sorted out the (unnamed) electrical problem quickly with a promise that it would not occur again.
Prices asked by dealers seem to vary greatly. We spotted a range from R95 000 to R145 000 for 2009 models. This means that, if you spend some time shopping around, you may save quite a bit of dosh. We would steer clear of CVT models with high mileages in favour of conventional autos or manual versions.
Also look at:
Kia Rio, Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Toyota Yaris, Daihatsu Sirion, Hyundai i20, Fiat Punto, Mazda2, Citroën C3, Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio