Used Honda Jazz review: 2002-2005
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It was about the efficient use of interior space. It had ample room for five adults with the seats in their normal positions, but the seats could be flipped or folded flat to allow a wide range of objects to be carried. It was a big car in a small package.
The performance was sporty with a choice of 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre single overhead camshaft four-cylinder engines. The smaller engine put out 61kW at 5700 revs and 119Nm at 2800 revs and returned 5.6L/100km. The larger VTEC engine boasted 81kW at 6000 revs and 143Nm at 4800 revs for more zip and returned 6.0L/100km.
Both engines came with the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic, the CVT trans hooked up to the larger engine offered a seven-speed sequential shift function.
The suspension was a combination of MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear with stabiliser bars at both ends, while the brakes were a blend of disc front and drum rear with anti-skid protection, and the steering was electric-power assisted. Honda offered the Jazz in three models; the GLi, VTi and VTi-S. The GLi opened the range and came nicely equipped with cloth trim, power windows and mirrors, central locking, tilt-adjustable steering column, a full array of instruments, and a CD player.
The VTi came with all of that plus air-conditioning, and sports cloth trim, while the sporty VTi-S came with front and rear spoilers, front fog lamps and alloy wheels.
IN THE SHOP
The Jazz is a city car and often driven by people living in inner-city areas, which exposes them to more of the bump and grind of gridlock than cars living in the outer suburban areas. They can often be left parked in the street, under trees and light poles, and subject to the things that fall out of the sky.
So look for body bumps and scrapes, and stains on the paint work. Look for a car that has been well-maintained on a regular basis, and not just cleaned up for sale.
Cars left exposed to the elements need more washing, waxing and polishing than those parked under cover.
Look at the wheels for evidence of being scraped on or bumped into kerbs. If you find damaged rims, have the suspension inspected for damage. It is relatively easy to damage a drive line or steering joint by accidentally hitting a kerb. Listen for odd clicking noises when turning that might indicate a damaged joint.
Check for a service record indicating regular oil changes, and lift the oil-filler cap and take a look for sludge as a result of missed oil services. On average a Jazz should have done around 60,000km if it was a 2002 model, less if a later delivery.
All models boasted airbags for the driver and front passenger for reasonable protection in a crash from the front, while anti-skid brakes help you to get out of trouble when confronted with a crash situation.
The chassis dynamics aren't brilliant, and steering is accurate without being responsive, but the chassis is quite well balanced, but with a slight bias towards understeer.
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