“It began as an entire car with a bit of flame, but ended up as molten metal”
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The Top Gear car review:Honda Jazz
What is it like on the road?
There’s only one engine – a 1.3-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-pot, delivering 100bhp and 90lb ft. It’s no rev-tastic VTEC, and isn’t overly enthusiastic about being wound up to high revs (where all the power is made, annoyingly, north of 5000rpm), but it’s mercifully quiet around town. The six-speed manual boasts a typically laudable Honda shift; the CVT remains a droning, power-sapping pain at anything above urban shuffling. Surprising quick steering and a 1066kg kerbweight make the Jazz far more agile than you’d expect– it’s quick to dive into corners even though outright grip isn’t that high.
Don’t mistake any of this for genuine entertainment – the Jazz hasn’t sold its workmanlike soul to the gods of handling. It’s just usefully nimble, not that many owners will ever notice. On that note, the ride could do with being a touch less sharp over niggling bumps, given a warm hatch wannabe this ain’t.