Showing posts with label car. Show all posts
Showing posts with label car. Show all posts

Monday, December 22, 2008

Honda Jazz :best small car in Australia

DCOTY 2008: Best small car under $20,000 - The verdict -

Best small car under $20,000: Mazda2 Neo 5-door, Toyota Yaris YRS 5-door, Honda Jazz GLi (left to right)
A clever new Honda Jazz and an upgraded version of the best-selling Toyota Yaris weren't enough to knock the classy Mazda2 off its perch in the light car class.
Sales of the smallest and cheapest cars money can buy remain steady at a time when the rest of the new vehicle market is in decline.

When you consider the variety of models available, and how far they’ve come in terms of safety, roominess and equipment, it’s easy to see why.

We selected three finalists from 22 available makes and models to find the best small car below $20,000: last year’s champion the Mazda2, the previous year’s champion the Toyota Yaris, and the recently released second-generation Honda Jazz.

We arrived at this trio following exhaustive back-to-back comparison tests of these and other contenders during the year, and they are the pick of the crop.

But we did make a couple of tweaks to the models we selected to give each brand a chance to put its best foot forward.

When Drive tested the 1.5-litre Jazz in a recent comparison, it didn’t fare all that well because it was penalised by its price, as well as a few other points. And by the time automatic transmission is added (the most popular choice in this class) the little Jazz eclipses our $20,000 price barrier.

So we chose the 1.3 automatic version of the Jazz. That put it at a power disadvantage compared with the other two vehicles assembled, which have 1.5-litre engines. But remember this is not a comparison test: each car is compared to the criteria.

The judges praised the Jazz for its cabin roominess and clever seating layout. The Jazz has by far the roomiest back seat and cargo area and, with the back seats folded flat, there is a massive cargo space. Honda also deserves high praise for managing to do all this and still find room for a full-size spare tyre under the cargo floor.

From where the driver sits, the Jazz has a good perception of quality in terms of the dashboard layout and the precision of the dials and other instruments. The steering wheel is the sportiest in the class, even if it’s not the sportiest to drive.

But this Thailand-made Jazz (the other contenders are made in Japan) started to lose some of its shine with things like the hard and cheap-looking plastics on the door trims. As one judge pointed out, Honda in effect drew attention to this shortcoming by trying to patch it up with a strip of material along the elbow pad.

But it was really the driving experience that let the Jazz down. None of these vehicles are supposed to be race cars, but even by class standards the Jazz has considerable room for improvement.