The Honda Jazz is one of the brand’s longest-lived models and remains one of its best kept secrets over 42 years.
Improved for 2024, the Jazz range begins with the Elegance and Advance hatchbacks at £26,395 or £27,550 with the Crosstar Advance topping them at £28,550 before roadtax is added.
The slightly taller Crosstar Advance gets the same bodywork upgrades, front, back and sills as its stablemates although in distinctive black trim, but has more ground clearance and comes with roof rails to fit racking or a box as well as water repellent upholstery to cope with active lifestyle users or even a sedate dog walker.
Equipment has been improved over the previous model and the interior refreshed to give it a more modern look but there are more significant changes to getting more power out of the petrol-electric powertrain and there’s retuned suspension to sharpen handling as well as refined power steering for urban use.
For those who may need to tow, there is a new accessory which allows it to pull 500kg braked as well, ideal with the car’s small boot for a family.
The mechanical changes have given the Crosstar better acceleration and mid-range overtaking ability while still returning excellent economy and low emissions. It can still be a bit noisy when pressed to perform but it’s not a particularly unpleasant note.
Automatic transmission has been tweaked and is simply a select and go system, very smooth and fairly quiet without a jerky move from rest, which is important when parking in tight spaces.
Underfoot, the brakes are light but strong in action and the handbrake inspires with its holding ability on slopes.
The reworked steering will also be liked by townies and it’s not so light as to be vague at speed on open roads either.
Secondary controls worked well and were convenient to use around the wheel, column or console while the new infotainment screen was not big but fairly clear nevertheless.
Heating and ventilation was effective and easy to use and the car has heated seats for greater comfort, really big wipers and strong washers. Headlights were good for dark lanes.
There is a darker themed interior but the surface materials and upholstery have been upgraded and it does look smarter than before.
Dashboard cupholders now get the black treatment and the interior retains a lot of small places for storage, so vital in a family car.
The nominal bootspace was suitable really only for shopping bags or a small case or two but you have more room when the floor is lifted or the seatbacks are dropped.
Access to the load area is good from the back or rear doors and occupants can easily slip in or out.
Seats were of a good shape and offered a lot of support with an adequate adjustment room unless you were over 6ft.. Shoulder width remains tight in the rear.
Visibility was excellent with thin roof pillars, low waistline, those good lights and wipers and you have sensors and a camera to assist.
Apart from the engine under load or a bad surface beneath the tyres, the Honda Jazz Crosstar was fairly quiet with minimal wind wuffle or other mechanical noises apparent.
It’s a safe set of wheels which will perform many roles very well and economically, and now it has some added refinements to the handling, performance and kerbside appeal.
This compact MPV is not as cheap as some rivals, but it simply beats many with these improvements for 2024.
- Model: Honda Jazz Crosstar Advance Sport
- Price: £28,695
- Mechanical: 121bhp 4cyl 1.5 petrol hybrid CVT
- Max Speed: 108mph
- 0-62mph: 9.7 secs.
- Combined MPG: 63
- Insurance Group: 22
- C02 emissions: 109gkm
- Bik rating: 26%, £175FY, £170SR
- Warranty: 3yrs/ 90,000 miles
- Size: L4.11m, W1.97m, H1.56m
- Bootspace: 304 – 1205 litres
- Kerbweight: 1322kg
For: Excellent city car with good ability for longer trips, economical, comfortable, agile, neatly refreshed
Against: Small engine works hard and lets you know about it, small boot for more than shopping bags.