Spoke to a mate of mine's mum about her Honda Jazz a few months ago, the previous-shape model, and she loves it. Showed me around it, she did. Loves the way you can see out of it easily, loves the versatility of the rear seats, loves the dash and the controls – and she’d blasted up to that spot in Northern Ireland at 80mph, and she loves the way it goes and revs too. I’m not sure how old she is, but ‘old’ is a relative term. She’s not old in her head.
Anyway, the biggest criticism she had of the car was that the seat wouldn’t raise high enough. She had to sit on cushions. You may think this is completely irrelevant, but it’s not, because it’s one example of how this new Honda Jazz is better than the old one. And it’s great to see. The seat raises up high, and easily – using a ratchet handle, rather than the fairly useless double wheels of before. And what you need to do is extend that one improvement across the whole car, because there’s plenty more to talk about.
It steers much better than the old car, with a weightier and far more precise feel. It rides much better, too, especially over high-frequency ripples. It’s quite a bit quieter, and there’s even more space than before. And this smaller-engined version is almost as good as the 1.4 we’ve already tried. Free-revving and sweet in a way it seems only Honda can manage, despite the best efforts of BMW and everyone else. My friend’s mum should buy one, that’s the story.