Honda Jazz Hybrid
Third time a charm for Honda hybrid?
Practicality has always been a Jazz strong, not least because it’s larger than the class average. The Hybrid is no different, with five wide-opening doors for easy access and a cavernous load area - 883 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
Compact yet packs in five doors
Stuffing a NiMH battery in the rear has compromised the cubbyhole in the boot floor, though - in the standard Jazz it will swallow 64 litres, in the Hybrid it is replaced by a three litre slot. There's no spare tyre - just a can of 'get you home' filler spray. Move forward to the passenger cabin and you will see that Honda has gone berserk with interior pockets and cubbyholes - I’ve seldom driven a car with so many places to put a mobile phone.
Irritatingly, the Insight’s eco-rating display that awards you digital shrubbery for efficient driving has been carried over to the Jazz Hybrid. Far more useful and less patronising is the Eco Assist illuminated speedometer, which changes from green through blue to red depending on how wastefully you drive.
Equipment levels are reasonable rather than aspirational, so if you want the handy USB connector, 15in alloys and cruise control you will need to go for the HS rather then basic HE model. Leather upholstery is limited to the top-of-the-range HX.
No matter which model you go for, it won’t be cheap. Prices start from £15,995 which is not far south of the entry-level Insight’s £16,675 - which also sits in a lower insurance category - and £1500 more than the 1.4 litre CVT model.
Like Toyota’s Auris Hybrid, Honda’s third petrol/electric model is both a conservative and expensive affair but it’s efficient for a large super-mini with a petrol engine, extremely practical and very easy to drive around town. So if you can get past the price tag it’s a sound choice. ®
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