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Luckily, it’s a characterful and chirpy little unit in typical Honda style, especially matched as tested with a five-speed manual gearbox, with a simply great shift feel, albeit an overly light clutch with vague take-up point. Most people will fork out the extra $2000 for the CVT automatic, but that’s their loss!
Of course, the 5MT does probably need a sixth cog, given the engine is sitting near 3000rpm at 100km/h, hurting the noise suppression. A byword for refinement, the Jazz is not.
Honda claims combined-cycle fuel use of 6.5L/100km, or 5.9L/100km for the CVT. We averaged low sevens, which is middling for the class. However, the Euro 5-compliant Jazz happily drinks cheap 91RON fuel compared to some rivals that require the pricey premium stuff.
Dynamically, the motor-assisted electric steering is very light, which is ideal for urban duties where resistance is not desirable. It also gives no feedback to the driver, but responds quickly enough from centre when you’re driving with a little more sass.