Think B-segment hatches and the Honda Jazz 2019 will immediately come to mind as the most popular choice.
And why not? Honda is already known for their class leading practicality and the cars are always packed to the brim with safety features and equipment.
The latest generation Honda Jazz came to Malaysia in 2014. A facelift came along in 2017 sporting a new grille, new rear bumper, and the addition of a 6.8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit.
But the biggest change in the facelift cycle was the addition of the Hybrid variant that slots above the V variant and has the power of a 1.8-litre engine with 137 PS to shove.
We've already tested out the Honda Jazz Hybrid's sister car, the Honda City Hybrid and discovered that we love the performance of the car, but the Honda Jazz we are reviewing here is the regular petrol 1.5V variant.
Honda Jazz 2019 Exterior
Overall, the Honda Jazz 2019 is an eye-pleasing car. Available accessories that Honda Malaysia has to offer further adds on to the Jazz’s appeal.
But on our test unit, built quality appears lacking as panel gaps between the bonnet and headlamp were rather inconsistent.
The gaps measured at 3 mm at the narrowest and the widest at 6.5 mm. The paint job is consistently in the 100s of um, with the highest measuring at 127 um on the roof for better protection.
You get halogen lamps for headlights even on the top spec V variant you see here, while the tail lights get LED fitments.
Honda Jazz 2019 Interior
Of course the winning part of the Honda Jazz 2019 is definitely the interior practicality. With a total of 18 cubby spaces of all sizes, you will be hard pressed to fill them all up.
Honda’s popular Ultra Seats is of course available. And with a wide loading boot opening (measures at 104cm), the Honda Jazz 2019 can literally swallow your heavy folding ladder and still have room for passengers (Long Mode).
The Jazz's Ultra Seat also offers the option of a Tall Mode, so if you're looking to transport tall plants or bookshelves, you can just flip the seats up and stand the item on the floor.
The mix of fabric and leather upholstered seats are cushy enough for a long drive though the rear seats can get uncomfortable at high cruising speeds.
Surprisingly, Honda has removed all the USB ports in the facelift model, leaving only one on the infotainment system. This port merely trickles power and you won’t be able to charge your phone if you’re using your navigation.
But Honda did provide the car with a 12V /180W power outlet, so you will have to purchase an in-car charger for your charging purposes.
The biggest complain is the 6.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the Honda Jazz 2019. The pre-facelift model had a rather well developed infotainment but the one in the current Honda Jazz 2019 feels like a downgrade.
Image quality and user interface are equally bad, and the touchscreen seem to have moments when it decided it has had enough and chose to begrudgingly answer only certain orders if it has been on for a little too long.
Honda Jazz 2019 Driving Performance and Handling
The Honda Jazz 2019's 1.5-litre 4 cylinder SOHC i-VTEC is themost powerful in its class with 120 PS and 145 Nm, but on the move its 0-100 km/h (11.8 seconds) was found to be slower than the Mazda 2's 10.9 seconds.
Honda’s CVT is the smoothest you can get, and in the Honda Jazz 2019, it didn’t disappoint. So the car is an easy option to drive within the confines of a city traffic jam.
Body control is reasonably good and turn-in is sharp, but it's still not comparable to the Mazda 2.
Honda Jazz 2019 Ride Comfort
This might surprise you but all things considered, the Honda Jazz 2019 is not the most comfortable car to ride in.
Given the suspensions are tuned to give you a comfortable enough ride, it is not enough to make up for the high NVH levels.
At 60 km/h, the Honda Jazz’s NVH readings averaged out at 69 decibels, the number crept up to 70 decibels at 90 km/h and tops off at 71 decibels at cruising speeds of 110 km/h.
The interior is not quiet at all compared to the Mazda 2's reading at 65 decibels at 110 km/h. This puts the Honda Jazz's reading at similar levels with the Perodua Myvi.
Of course, legroom is still aplenty but this is still a small hatchback, 6-footers will still find it tight behind.
Honda Jazz 2019 Fuel economy
According to Honda’s official numbers, the Honda Jazz’s Earth Dreams Technology scores at 5.8-litre/100 km.
But in real world terms, our test returned 6.7-litre/100 km. This number was achieved despite our aggressive push to test out the car for its 0-100 km/h and 0-100-0 km/h.
So all in all, the number is in line with Honda’s promise of good fuel economy in all their cars.
Honda Jazz 2019 Conclusion
There is no denying that the Honda Jazz 2019 is the practical choice in the B-segment hatch group. Massive 363-litre boot space, stretchable leg room, Ultra seat configurations and a smooth CVT are just the numerous pros of the Jazz.
The Honda Jazz 2019 might be the perfect car for the city but at RM 83,633, the exterior built quality has left us wanting and the poor infotainment system disappointing.
Six airbags, Vehicle Stability Control and Emergency Stop Signal are all features that put the Honda Jazz 2019 ahead of its closest rival back when the facelift was launched but now that the Toyota Yaris has arrived on the market with 7-airbags and even blind spot monitor, the Honda Jazz 2019 is beginning to look dated.
Even when compared with the Mazda 2 High (RM 94,670), the Honda Jazz 2019 seem to lose out in terms of in-car entertainment, what with the 2 being the only car in its class utilising a head-up display, while the GVC makes it more comfortable in the corners.
Nevertheless, the Jazz is still the people’s choice for a foreign compact hatch and is only 1 of 2 hatches that would still give the feature-packed Perodua Myvi a run for its money.
We’ll still settle for this stylish facelift over the new generation bulbous Jazz that was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019 though.