Honda Jazz Driving Impressions

Had the chance to own a Honda Jazz for several weeks a couple months back when Honda Cars Philippines lent me a review unit.

And though I am not really good with cars, Honda asked me if I can share my thoughts and impressions about the Jazz from a perspective of a regular car-owner. This entry has been delayed for weeks now but it’s better late than never.

Fortunately, I was able to return the car the day before Typhoon Ondoy. Otherwise, it would have been floating in the floodwaters in my area.

honda jazz

At first sitting, the Honda Jazz feels and looks like a Mini Cooper. Not that I’ve tried a Mini before but, as my brother would put it, it feels like driving a toy car — easy to handle and feels very light. And I agree, the car has pretty good maneuverability. I think it’s because the steering wheel is much closer to the front-end compared to the usual sub-compact cars.


The 1.3L unit I used had no glass tint so I often feel very exposed while driving (all my cars are heavily tinted). Aside from that though, visibility of the car is pretty wide and there are very few or narrow blind spots. Sometimes, it feels like you’re in the cockpit of a spaceship. I’ve tried the Honda City 2009 before and was impressed with the wide visibility but the Jazz has far better, IMO.


The cabin feels a little cramped at the back but once you fold down the back seats, you’d realize there’s enough room to put a jetski in there. This is good when you’re hauling stuff or going on trips (this car actually went to a Batangas beach one week-end carrying tons of goods at the back).

honda jazz

After burning two and a half full tanks of gas, the digital meter in the dashboard showed me an average fuel consumption of 9.9 kilometers per liter. That’s mostly 80% city driving and 20% highway driving and, as far as I can recall, I was only doing 50-60km/h most of the time. With highway driving though, I make sure not to drive beside those big buses as the feeling of getting swept over could be overwhelming at times.

jazz cup holder • Honda Jazz Driving Impressions

The controls in the dashboard are pretty easy to locate and familiarize with, except for that cigar lighter receptacle which is a bit hidden at the bottom and hard to get to (I used that to hook up a 12-volt AC/DC converter for charging gadgets). The cup holders are on the front-side, facing the aircon grilles — so you can have your drinks cooled as well.

honda jazz stereo • Honda Jazz Driving Impressions jazz compartment • Honda Jazz Driving Impressions honda jazz gears • Honda Jazz Driving Impressions

There were a couple of things that I was a bit particular with:

  • The plastic material used in the cabin body was a little shabby — feels a bit drab and cold. I thought this is the entry-level unit so they might have had to cut down on manufacturing/material costs.
  • The brakes are a bit shallow and hard. Two other people who tried it noticed the same thing. With my first few rides were a little jerky when stepping on the brakes. I thought I’d get used to it but never did.
  • No back sensor. Despite the good cabin visibility, I thought back sensors should be standard on all models. I remember my first few non-fatal car accidents were backing against taxi cabs.

The Honda Jazz is great for city driving as I feel I can always squeeze into heavy traffic roads or park easily/comfortably into tight rows of cars at the parking lot. That, plus the fact the the 1.3L is a real gas-saver. A friend is buying one this holiday and told him to get the red one.

  1. Excellent site. A lot of useful information here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!

  2. I owned Jazz 2010 model(1.5 – A/T)

    • 13km/l (City Driving)
    • Easy to setup
    • Excellent Max Speed
    • Paddle Shift Support
    • Spacious
    • Euro 4 (Eart Friendly)
    • Excellent Interior/Exterior
    • Honda Service is Great as well
    • Toy Car or Formal look

    …Two tumbs up!

  3. I own a jazz and I must say it’s a good buy.

    I was a part time driver for a short period of my life driving SUVs, Sedans, Subcompacts (Luxury and Non-Luxury), And if you don’t mind I would like to give feedback to your comments. 😀

    1. You don’t really need a backing sensor. It’s a pretty small car and you can see a clear view of the back.
    2. You can average around 12.0 km/li on light-moderate traffic conditions, provided you have a light foot and take care to keep it below around 1800 rpm during acceleration from a stop and not more than 2000 rpm (80-95kph) during cruise.

    3. The comment about the plastic interiors are the same with european critics (e.g., topgear), Well it’s japanese, they’ve been using plastic panels for decades and I bet if they had the technology to make voltes 5 real, the interior panels would be made out of plastic :D. I don’t mind it, and I like the jazz’s plenty number of cup holders and the two cellphone holders in the front 😀

    4. The brakes, well it took me about a week to get used to them. But my family having owned a few hondas (for the past decade), I’d say that’s normal for a brand new. Especially if you’re coming from driving a car with old brake pads.

    What also appealed to me greatly is how easy you can use the back part to carry stuff, the suspension system is tough so it can support heavy loads.

  4. I just got a 1.3 ATS, was surprised by its handling, performance, cargo capacity and fuel economy. Highly recommended against the Yaris.

  5. Sir Yuga may review po kayo ng toyota na altis 2011 at vios 2011.. gusto yun matipid sa gas..thanks

  6. Nice review. You should review rides more often.

  7. I like the face style of this Honda Jazz..
    mukha kaseng kuneho yoong car..

  8. Just want to share it since most of you are car enthusiast. 🙂

  9. Guys this is an off topic. If ever you were not able to attend you can check this 3rd Philippines International Motor Show Photo Gallery.

  10. how much is it cost?

  11. I own a 2005 1.3 idsi CVT. So far, with 51k km and turning 5 years this August, I haven’t experienced any major engine breakdown. Just got my 3rd battery over the weekend – after 3 yrs and 2 months (worth it!). Some minor modifications to improve its handling and performance were a front tower strut bar, K&N Open Filters (wag na magtipid just for the sake of upgrading the filter), 17″ mags with 205/40 Eagle F1 rubbers. Didn’t lower the car since it might not match with the 2 Thule Aero Roof Bike Racks – which are regularly used and not just for porma. Honda’s interior set up was well thought of particularly the Rear ULT configuration – sulit talaga! Bike, washing machine, a set of monobloc chairs and table, garden pots and plants, garden soil, lpg tanks, etc.! It’s like a mini pick-up. Suspension though is a bit weak for Philippine roads but with some minor tweaks and acceptance of this issue as a given, then I guess you will learn to enjoy the car just the same. A highly-recommended car!

  12. I just bought a 1.5 Honda Jazz grabe super sulit and very fuel efficient talaga Matic na yan ah and I consume about 10km/ltr. Worth the penny super ganda and porma!

  13. Nice review yuga! I will forward this review to My friend who already sold her 2005 Honda Jazz 1.3 with CVT and is looking for a replacement. She prefers to upgrade to either a new Honda Jazz 1.5 or a new Ford Focus 1.8 hatchback.

  14. wait for PRIUS boom boom pow

  15. mganda tlga ang jazz at city kso di gaano katipid sa gas kung overall ill go for Vios

  16. @yuga: nice review on the jazz sir. sana kami din maka test drive. hehe

    @beeps: hope your sister bought a jazz already. 🙂 btw, they have a new color for the 1.5 and bagay sa sister mo. it’s called helios yellow. wow, and wala na blue sa lineup. but yellow’s nice though. bright color 🙂

  17. @diego

    it’s called the Fit in the US and in Japan.. it’s called the Jazz in most Asian countries.. same car. Lots of global cars are called different names in different countries.

    anyway.. the Jazz is something totally different from the Hyundai I10.. and the main reason for this is.. well everything actually… they’re not in the same “weight class”

    even the base model Jazz has a bigger engine, bigger cargo space, roomier interior and it’s a much bigger car in all dimensions than the I10.. it’s also much more expensive to buy and maintain a honda..

    If you’re going to compare models, you should really be comparing the Hyundai I10 with the Kia Picanto or the new Chinese car models (sorry i forget their names) They’re the same size, more or less the same weight, have more or less the same engine displacement and capabilities.

    The Jazz should be compared to the Chevy Aveo hatchback and similarly bigger hatches. (Toyota Yaris). The Jazz is essentially a City without the butt. (Or the City is just a Jazz with a booty)

    haba ng post ko.. but to help you out.. if money is no object and you need the space.. its the Jazz you want.. you’ll be amazed at what you can stick inside it.. I transport balikbayan boxes and 29 inch CRT TVs in mine..

    If you want cheaper overall cost, and are okay with not having much storage then go for the I10. It’s also slightly more fuel efficient in the city. Highway driving is another matter altogether.

    my apologies for the long post.

  18. it’s very nice..i used to call it “Honda Fit”.because i think in USA it is called like that..What do you fit or hyundai i10?

  19. Im really sold at this car. Im getting him 1st quarter next year for sure. I don’t mind the rumoured 10k increase. He’s just a dream car for a newbie like me. Thanks for the review.

  20. mY sister is buying this Car 1st quarter of next year, I will definitely give it a spin. I hope Honda is not yet releasing a newer model. So we wont feel the pity(“Sayang inintay na lang sana naten yung mas bago”) hehe….

  21. i love that car,, small but spacious,,

    love the interior package of the car

  22. Well, in fairness.. he did admit to not being a car guy.. so he’s not one to even look at the engine-bay, i bet, much less take a pic of it..

    Just FYI for yuga, the feeling of lightness you get from the steering wheel is something that all Jazz owners will be familiar with (and is actually compared to driving a race game on the PlayStation) and it’s not cuz the front wheels are closer to the front.. its mainly because the Jazz uses an electronic power steering (EPS) unit as opposed to the old hydraulic or hybrid units. End result, it feels like a PlayStation steering wheel..

    As a Jazz owner, coming from hot-hatches, it felt weird and disconcerting at first, but you get used to it and it makes the car very, very maneuverable.

    I used to get very jealous of the new Jazz models.. but after the first blush sinks in, I think my Jazz VTEC looks better than the new units from more angles.. wish i had the new steering wheel with the paddle shifters though.. =)

  23. How about the hyundai Getz CRDI? I have the Jazz older version and it seems there are no modifications rather than a VTEC IDSI combined. From the Old jazz version we have 1.3 iDSI and 1.5 Vtec.

    Nice review. but you haven’t post a pic on the engine bay.

  24. I still love the first Jazz. This Jazz has questionable interior finish, poor mileage, uncomfortable ride.

    The only thing that I like about this Jazz is the paddle shift (F1 ftw!!).

  25. @lava bien – You are right! Size is relative. I allowed my 15yo nephew parked the Jazz and he suggested the back sensor.

  26. The back sensor for me is only for the protection of the kids when driving bigger units, but with jazz IMO you don’t really need it, just have to be a better non-lazy driver. Skills, bro, skills.

  27. bili ka na ng jazz master yuga. tapos sali ka na din sa Honda Club of the Philippines para mas marami ka matutunan tungkol sa Jazz and other Honda cars.

  28. Reply Avatar of Andre Marcelo-Tanner
    Andre Marcelo-Tanner October 29, 2009 at 8:06 am

    impressive, next up, car blog!

  29. sayang, sinoli mo agad. di pa natin najoyride nina spides.

  30. this is a great review in a regular’s car /driver’s perspective… not like the one that you read on magazines… 🙂

    Did toyota offered you to review the new Prius? 🙂 I sure love to read a review on that one.. since it’s one hell of a tech car.. 🙂

  31. this is a great review in a regular’s car /driver’s perspective… not like the one that you read on magazines… 🙂

    did toyota offer you to review the new Prius? 🙂 I sure love to read a review on that one.. since it’s one hell of a tech car.. 🙂

  32. around how much is that car?


  33. nice. bibili na rin ako dahil sa review mo. ;P

  34. *just saw the picture of the shaft… it’s automatic. 🙂

  35. some people say your can setup the backseats to a small bed. is it true? did you drive an automatic or manual? how did it feel driving on rough roads?

  36. I love how you refer to it as a review unit. Hahaha!

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