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By Jonathan Crouch
Added 6th March, 2015
, updated 29th March, 2019
Honda's second generation HR-V lifestyle crossover SUV revived an idea that was originally ahead of the game. Jonathan Crouch looks at the improved model.
Honda broadens its Civic range with this saloon version. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at what's on offer.
With the Jazz 1.5i VTEC Sport, Honda gives one of its less sporty cars a bit of a makeover. Jonathan Crouch is pleasantly surprised.
In 2015, Honda's fourth generation CR-V evolved into something cleverer, classier and much more efficient. Targeting family Crossover models as well as small lifestyle-orientated SUVs, it's a strong package if you're looking at petrol power or an entry-level 2WD diesel. What changed with the post-2015-era facelift though was that buyers got the option of hi-tech automatic transmission and the more sophisticated pairing of high performance diesel power and 4WD. In other words, in this guise, the CR-V sharpened-up its act. As a result, it's a hard car not to like as a used buy.
'Kaizen', the Japanese approach to 'continuous improvement', characterises every aspect of this tenth generation Civic. The sharpened handling is welcome and the extra space useful. More important though, is the news that Honda has finally got its house in order when it comes to petrol power, the 1.0 and 1.5-lite VTEC TURBO units looking good enough to go up against the class best.
A lot of boxes have been ticked then, yet it's clear that Honda has also worked hard to maintain this car's more characterful approach in this segment. Add in British build quality, a great driving position and strong standards of safety and media connectivity and you've got a potentially very appealing package. Dynamic functionality was Honda's goal in creating this car. They may well have achieved it.
An astonishing number of Honda Jazz owners buy another and the revised third generation version we're looking at here aims to keep them loyal. But the Japanese brand also needs to attract new converts to its clever little supermini, something that will be easier to do with this enhanced MK3 model thanks to its smarter looks and the wider variant choice made possible by the introduction of a fresh 1.5-litre engine into the range. For very good reasons, this is the supermini that industry insiders commonly recommend.
Jazz buyers get two petrol engine options, a 1.3-litre i-VTEC petrol unit offering 102PS and a 1.5-litre i-VTEC variant with 130PS. Both are mated to a sweet-shifting six-speed gearbox. Optional is a CVT automatic, which enables the 1.3-litre Jazz to return very reasonable efficiency figures - 61.4mpg on the combined cycle and 106g/km of CO2. For us, it's still the cleverness of this car's packaging that impresses most, with its neat magic seating and tardis-like cabin.
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