REVIEW: Honda Jazz @ Fit 1.5 iDSI/VTEC

In this review, the spotlight is on Honda Jazz. Honda Jazz is a World car (Ie. On sale in all corners of the world). It’s called HONDA FIT in Japan and America. FINALLY, I have a car to “test” and I can come up with my OWN REVIEW for a mere 15 minutes only though…

In addition, I’d also like to invite another 2 Honda jazz/Fit owners in Malaysia to write about the experience of Owning Honda Jazz.



REFERENCES:

1) http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/cars/honda-jazz-1-4/reviews/ (England Owner’s review)

2) www.whatcar.co.uk (for some car Specifications)
3) http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/reviews.aspx?year=2007&make=Honda&model=Fit&trimid=-1 (USA Owner’s review)
8) http://www.carsurvey.org/review_74011.html
9) Thanks to Dr. Melchi S.J. Phuah for letting me assess his car.

MY REVIEW: (only 15 minutes with the car)

My Church friend, Dr Melchi S.J Phuah allowed me to check out his car. It’s 6 mts old Jazz 1.5VTEC 7 speed CVT instead of IDSI. It is a Facelift model. His car’s fitted with 15’ rims, bodykit, Leather seats (see picture) and V-Kool (RM2400 and RM2050 extra respectively).

INTERIOR:

The main advantage of the Jazz though, is its interior room. The 1st thing I did was to check out the split rear “ULTRA-seats”. This is made possible by having fuel tank under the front seats instead of under rear seats in “Typical cars”.
There’s plenty of room for four people and the boot is a very good size. It really is a “MINIVAN”.

Folding the seats down reveals a van-like flat floor and folding them up enables you to put a lot of stuff in the middle of the car. It takes seconds, and makes for a very versatile small family car. See picture below. It can carry 2 seater sofa when seats fold down. The rear legroom’s spacious, it’s as good as a Proton Wira. The Jazz had quite poor all round visibility with thick A pillar @ front and big “square shaped” rear headrests which causes blind spots (especially seeing bikes, cyclists).

The Aircond switches is 3 non-digital knob-turn type, fairly easily reach from both driver and passenger seats (see photo above). The In Car Entertainment’s cool for a Standard unit. It’s 2-DIN KENWOOD CD-player with USB Port (on the bottom right) and Media controls. See photo below. Oh! It has 4 speakers.

The driving position is quite good with adjustable steering and upright seating (as the fuel tank is located under the front seats) with quite high roofline (MPV Style). The front driver seat also has lumbar adjustable. Cushion is on the hard side, with optional leather. According to the owner (Dr Phuah), the interior build quality is good let down by squeaking sound at back seats at times – especially with passangers (like something loose). He also added that the soundproofing is quite poor but that can be fixed by installing DYNAMAT Soundproofing @ KKLAU (will tell him).

EXTERIOR: The Jazz’s a 2 BOX styling, mini MPV style. Design’s quite good looking (see Picture below) and as a Honda means Virtually Endless Modification options if you have the money. The rear hatch opens high and loading/unloading’s quite easy. The car dimensions can be found in “Specifications” at the end of this review.

RIDE and Handling: The car is quite powerful, there’s a word for this. Ah! Nippy. It goes from 0-100km/h in around 10 seconds (VTEC). Can be considered the most powerful Acceleration in its class. The feeling of effortless power is the result of clever seamless CVT gearing, however, and the Jazz quickly becomes harsher if you need swift uphill pull or uphill overtaking power — the engine then sounds a bit coarse and a bit hesitate to move.

The Jazz’s also very quiet at idle, you’ll hardly notice that the engine’s on. The car is also doodle to park and steering type is “ELECTRIC POWER STEERING” ie. speed sensitive version.

The suspension is quite hard at uneven surfaces. Is it due to its low profile rims/tyres (15’, 55 series)? Handling is quite good for a Mini MPV, but a bit of bodyroll still there at high speed cornering. Oh! There’s slight wind noise above 120km/h. The brakes were EXCELLENT thanks to ABS+EBD and 4 disc brakes as a VTEC model (rear drums for IDSI model). My friend did LAST Minute breaking, 60km/h to REST around 100 feet…

OWNING IT: The car is very reliable (as agreed by ALL 6 owner reviews in various part of the world). FUEL CONSUMPTION is super. Fuel tank – 42 litres can go 800km, highway, 380km urban and 500km averaged. This is VTEC model. IDSI model’s EVEN more economical around 50 to 80kms more. According to Dr. Phuah, the owner, from Petaling Jaya to JB (around 380km) = slightly above half tank only. As a Comparison, my Ford Telstar consumed 1 FULL TANK. In Malaysia, a new Jazz IDSI costs RM94,000 and JAZZ VTEC costs around 103,000, Imported from Thailand. It came with 3 yrs warranty and 2 years free maintenance (don’t know whether still on now). AS This is a USED car review blog, will cover how much can you buy when used at the end of this blog.

USA Average Owner’s RATINGS:
MSN Auto (USA) Owner’s Reviews
——————————————————————————–
9.2 Overall Rating
9.2 Styling
8.9 Performance
9.0 Interior
9.5 Quality
9.2 Recommendation

OWNER REVIEW 1: Honda Jazz 1.4IDSI 5 speed Manual
Jazz up your Motoring
by sandrabarber Rating: (5 of 5 possible stars)

Advantages spacious and flexible, superb fuel economy, comfortable and stylish
Disadvantages none for me

The time was right for a new car. And I wanted brand new, in the hope that I would be guaranteed a few years trouble-free motoring (and hopefully no sudden expenses) with a good warranty and some peace of mind.

In my new car, I wanted the following criteria:

Light and easy to drive
Comfortable seating and leg room in the back
Fuel economy
A good sounding stereo
Affordable insurance
Quiet and reasonably powerful engine
Safety
Good looks
Flexibility (i.e. can take large packages/suitcases etc when necessary)
A make with a strong reputation for reliability
Extra gizmos
Under (preferably considerably under) £10,000

A lot to ask? Yes, but then along came the Honda Jazz?

Criteria 1: Light and easy to drive

My Honda Jazz drives like a dream. It’s classed as a ‘supermini MPV’, meaning that I get to sit quite high up which gives me a great view of the road, adding to ease of driving. The power-steering is light as a feather and I swear could be done one-fingered. All controls are easy to reach and easy to use. Visibility is very good, especially through the enormous front windscreen. Brakes are very effective without being jolting, the clutch is sensitive without sudden shocks, suspension is superb, cornering is a doddle, and overall the ride is smooth with a soft and comfortable bounce over those pesky road-ramps.
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 2: Comfortable seating and leg room in the back

As mentioned, the front seats are high, giving driver and passenger and excellent view. The seats are also comfortable under the bum, and easy to adjust. The back seats are, I’m told, equally pleasant. I’m also told that back seat passengers have ample room for their pins as long as the front seats aren’t pushed right back. Oh yes, and it’s 5 door, so back seat sitters don’t have to contort themselves to get in and out.
Rating: 10/10

Criteria 3: Fuel economy

My Jazz has a 1.4 engine that delivers the economy of many 1 litre cars. I’ve had it a month now and I’m regularly getting a wonderful 50 to the gallon approx. My Escort (previous car) with the same size engine gave about 33 on a good day.
Rating: 10/10

Criteria 4: A good sounding stereo

My Jazz S, which is the basic model, comes with a built-in Radio/Cassette. The two higher spec models come with CD, although a 6 CD can be put in my boot and easily fixed. I planned to get the 6 CD changer but the sound of my radio/cassette is so crystal clear and rich that I’m not going to bother.
Rating: 8/10 (because the radio/cassette is excellent)

Criteria 5: Affordable insurance
My Jazz is in insurance group 3E which is superb.

Criteria 6: Quiet and reasonably powerful engine. The Jazz is very quiet indeed when sitting in traffic. In fact, it’s easy to think that you’ve stalled. Noise levels do obviously rise the faster you go, but on the motorway it’s still a hell of a lot more silent than my old Escort and you can easily have a conversation at normal voice level. Power-wise, again it gives much more than my same-engine-size Escort. I would often have to floor the accelerator in the Escort to get uphill or overtake on the motorway, but the Jazz requires none of that. Acceleration is fast and responsive.

For those who are interested, it does 0-60 in 11.9 seconds (for comparison, 1.4 Clio does it in 13 seconds, and 1.4 Peugeot 205 in 15.2 seconds)
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 7: Safety

The Jazz S has some impressive safety features, including a proper seat belt for the back seat passenger who sits in the middle, side-impact bars and driver and side airbags. It achieved a 4 star in EURO NCAP crash test.
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 8: Good looks
The best word to describe the Honda Jazz is CUTE. Despite being an MPV it’s not too tall (front seats are high because the petrol tank sits underneath them) and it has a gorgeous snub nose.
It comes in a variety of colours, mostly metallic. Mine is ‘clover green’, a very dark metallic green. I think it looks wonderful in bright red, pearlescent white and a gorgeous metallic ice blue.
Rating: 9/10

Criteria 9: Flexibility

Here is where the Jazz is absolutely unbeatable. It is remarkably roomy inside and incredibly interchangeable. The back seats fold down completely flat for that flat-pack furniture, or the seat part of them folds up flat, giving you a lovely tall space for plants etc. (see picture above). Add to this the fact that the boot is a good size and quite deep, and you’ve got even more space to play around with. You’ve got the car that is everything – a comfy long-distance ride and a flexible transporter for large and small items.
Rating: 10/10

Criteria 10: A make with a strong reputation for reliability
Since buying my Honda, many people have said to me, ‘Oh, you’ll run a Honda for years and years.’ Time will tell how true this is, but those remarks demonstrate Honda’s reputation for building quality, reliable motors.
9/10
Criteria 11: Extra gizmos
Buying the basic model means that you don’t expect a lot of these, but what you have got is nice. Heated mirrors come as standard, as does a height adjustable steering column, and the cup holders are actually the right shape and size. Electric front windows and central locking are also standard on the basic model, as are immobiliser and locking fuel cap.
Rating: 8/10

Criteria 12: Under (preferably way under) £10,000
The Honda Jazz S is £9000 if you want it in red, or £9249 in all other colours.
However, I managed to get hold of one that had been pre-registered 3 weeks earlier and had 3 delivery miles on the clock. The only drawback for me was the colour, but that paled into insignificance when I found I could have it for £7699.
8/10 normally, 10/10 in this instance

Services are at 12 month or 10000 mile intervals. 3 years warranty.
5 doors, petrol, 1399 cc, 5 speed gearbox, CO2 134 g/km, vent disc front brakes, drum rear brakes. Official fuel consumption figures: urban 40.9 mpg, extra urban 57.6 mpg, combined 49.6 mpg.

Overall:
I’m absolutely in love with my Jazz. I’ve taken it on short journeys, long journeys, smooth roads, rough roads, straight roads, winding roads, slow trips and fast-lane motorway dashes. It has delighted me on every occasion and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants a comfy, flexible, fun, quality car that’s always economical, quiet around town and speedy on the motorway.

OWNER’s REVIEW 2 from USA:
“Fantastic Commuting Car!”
2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5 7-Spd AT
By: An MSN Autos Consumer
Owned: Less than 1 year
Review ID: 504380

10.0 Overall Rating
10 Styling
10 Performance
10 Interior
10 Quality
10 Recommendation

Pros:
Great acceleration, braking, and handling, very intuitive interior layout, tons of space, and great mileage. Easy to handle in heavy-duty urban traffic and a cinch to park in tight spaces.
Cons:
Minor things that most people have already mentioned: lack of a center armrest and doors don’t lock automatically; nothing important.
Overall Review:
Love it! It’s easy and inexpensive to drive and maintain and wonderful for city driving and parking. It’s also got a great personality and the Honda dealer/service people I have dealt with thus far have been so friendly and polite! I went from driving a gas-guzzling Corvette (I love it with all my heart but not with my wallet) to an 07 Fit and I love the Fit’s practicality.

SPECIFICATIONS: Honda Jazz @ Honda Fit 1.5 IDSI CVT (1.5 VTEC in Bracket)

Engine: Petrol, Code: L15A 4 Cyl in line, SOHC 1-dsi, Twin spark plugs 1497cc 8 valve (L15A 4 cyl in line, SOHC VTEC 1497cc 16 valve Normal Spark plugs), PGM-Fuel injection with Compression ratio: 10.5:1 (10.1:1), Bore x stroke: 73×89.4mm.

Max power: 65kw [88hp] @5500rpm (81kw[110hp]@6000rpm)
Max torque: 131Nm@2700rpm (143Nm@4800rpm)

BRAKES: Front ventilated discs, rear drums ABS+EBD [Electronic brake force distribution]. (Front ventilated discs, rear solid discs, ABS+EBD)

DIMENSIONS: Length: 3830mm, Width: 1675mm, Height: 1525mm, Wheelbase: 2450mm, Tracks: ff/rr: 1460/1445mm. Ground clearance 150mm. Kerb weight: 1050kg (1080kg).

FUEL TANK CAPACITY & Fuel consumption: 42 litres. Extra urban: 12km/litre, 20km/litre (Highway). Average: 15km/litre. (VTEC: 10.8km/L, 19km/L, 12km/L)

STEERING: Electronically Assisted power steering (VTEC Same)
. Lock to lock turns: 3.53

SUSPENSION:
Front: Independent McPherson struts, springs & dampers, stabiliser bar. (VTEC same)
Rear: Torsion beam axle, springs and dampers (VTEC Same)

TRANSMISSION: Front wheel drive. Electronically controlled CVT (Continuously variable transmission). RATIOS: -NA-

TYRES/RIMS: 175/65R14 (185/55R15)/5.5JJx14” alloy

PERFORMANCE:
Top speed: 180km/h (190km/h VTEC)
Acceleration 0-100km/h: Below 12 secs IDSI. (9.8 secs VTEC, tested)

PRICE:
NEW: RM94,000 1.5 IDSI, 103,000 1.5 VTEC.
USED:
2003 1.4IDSI CVT: 66,000,
2004: 1.5 IDSI 72,000, (FIT 1.5 VTEC: 70,000)
2005: 1.5 IDSI 78,000, VTEC: 83,000
2006 1.5 IDSI: 86,000, VTEC: 90,000

(Honda Fit resale value is about RM2,000 +/- than above, depending on Equipments and type of AP).

AS YOU CAN SEE, the Resale value depreciated about 13% in the 1st year, then subsequent years depreciate about 9%. THREE years retained value is about 72%, which is THE BEST RESALE VALUE VOLUME SELLING CAR IN MALAYSIA (tied with Toyota VIOS). Actually is 2nd BEST OVERALL but MINI is Not a volume seller (ie. Sell few units only) so not really counted (Another similar Example of NON volume seller is Porsche).

Buy one, NEW or USED Honda Jazz/Fit TODAY and the car will depreciate THE LEAST amount of money every year compared with any car in Malaysia. On the 5th year of ownership, the Jazz will still retained about 60% of its Value which is VERY IMPRESSIVE indeed. As a comparison, Kia Spectra 1.6 retained 60% in 1st YEAR OF OWNERSHIP ITSELF.

What to look out for in a Used Honda Jazz? This car is still new (introduced to the Malaysians @ 2003. It’s extremely reliable worldwide (from owner’s review). The precaution is buying a unit abused by Fresh “P” Drivers AND Accident repair unit – make sure body surface & paintwork is smooth & even (can only be checked at daylight, under the sun, so AVOID viewing the car @ evening (Ie. 5pm onwards). AND beware of JOINED units. For PEACE of Mind, send the car to PUSPAKOM before you commit. GOOD LUCK in finding a right Jazz!!!