The Jazz Crosstar is an e:HEV from Honda, which is a self-charging electric hybrid. Offering superb economy from its duel electric motor and efficient petrol engine it is an ideal family car. Jeremy spent a week driving it and never visited a petrol station.
I was intrigued about the Honda Jazz after reading about it and wanted to see if its plaudits are deserved? I was delighted when the opportunity arose and one was delivered to my home.
A big plus for the Jazz is the frugal fuel consumption combined with the electric power, giving on average 90 Km on a combined trip. Honda quotes a full tank will take me from my home location of Portsmouth to Edinburgh. As much as I would have loved to have travelled north, the five hundred mile trip would have taken me ten hours, according to my Sat Nav, so I will have to save that visit for when I have more time. But it is an impressive range, and I took advantage of the economy driving the car every day for a week and could not empty the tank.
When considering a family car, there are many factors to assess, fuel economy, size of your family, main use, running costs, colour and your budget available to purchase the vehicle. I threw in colour as it is one issue that can divide opinions and you want to be happy with the car for the time you have it. The other factors speak for themselves; if you have five people in your family and the vehicle will be the primary one, you will want one that can accommodate five along with bits and pieces they will require.
Internal space is so important, and the Jazz has this in spades. Magic seats provide solutions to moving loads of various shapes and sizes. At one point, I had two full cricket kit bags, the players and their refreshments for the game in the car. Yet, there was still room to spare in the Jazz. The front two seats also benefit from Anti-Fatigue properties providing plenty of support and comfort.
Driver and front passenger benefit from the wide centre armrest with storage; rear passengers have extra USB ports in the back to ensure everyone can enjoy the journey. The luggage capacity (with rear seats up) starts from 298 litres and goes up to an impressive 1205 litres (rear seats down, to the roof)
The driving position is superb, with visibility enhanced due to the panoramic windscreen and thinner but immensely strong, A-pillars further increase peripheral vision and ensure a more immersive driving feeling. The Jazz has a modern dashboard with ergonomically designed controls, soft-touch materials and clear displays. A Honda Connect touchscreen is 23cm, allowing everyone to see information clearly. The driver gets a 17.5cm display to aid them. The all-important Apps we have to have are catered for via Honda Connect, which pairs with a smartphone enabling you to mirror your smart phone’s contents.
Driving the Jazz Crosstar.
The Jazz Crosstar is a joy to drive, tackling everything I asked of it nicely. It is a family car, so I didn’t go to Silverstone and blast it around the track. Instead, I took the family out to the New Forest, children to cricket, did the shopping, and yes, I must admit took it on some B-roads to test the handling. It performed well at all tasks with handling capabilities great. The 109 ps engine output is sufficient for its classification enabling easy motorway cruising and smoothness when lumbering in city traffic.
The Jazz has three driving modes to get the best efficiency for you whilst also delivering the performance you want.
Electric Drive mode means 100% on electric power, smooth and silent. Generally, it is engaged when accelerating from a standstill or during low-speed cruising, such as flowing traffic in a town below 64KmH. In Hybrid Drive, the petrol engine and electric motor combine for optimum power and economy when putting your foot down to overtake or increase your speed as the limit changes. When you maintain higher speeds above 80KmH, the car enters Engine Drive Mode using the petrol-powered unit.
After driving the Honda Jazz Crosstar for a week in all types of situations, I can add to the favourable comments it has received from other Journalists. The Jazz offers superb value for money and minimal running costs, which is a genuine attraction when looking for a family car or second vehicle. The electric motor combines seamlessly with the ICE power unit to provide plenty of performance when required and the silence and smoothness of pure electricity when driving at under 64KmH.
Honda states that the Jazz Crosstar combines form and function, and I agree that it perfectly blends the two factors. I would seriously consider buying one it is that good.
By the way, the car I drove was a beautiful pastel blue called “Surf Blue.”
The Jazz range starts at $30000, with the SE model through to the Crosstar at $37500. The four grade options available are the base SE, then SR, EX and top of the range, the Crosstar EX.
Competition comes from Nissan Juke, VW T-Cross
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