Join Date: 14th March 2013
Location: Wellington NZ
Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Downsizing from 9G Civic to 3G Jazz
Can a devoted Civic fan find happiness downsizing to a Jazz?
Just on New Year we traded in our 2012 1.8 Euro Civic and took delivery of a Japanese assembled 3rd generation Jazz RS Limited. The Jazz available in NZ is pretty highly spec'd with features such as LED headlights, city brake assist and Sat Nav not yet available on most Civic models. Like the Civic the exterior styling has proved a little controversial with the Honda stylists trying to give the car more appeal to younger motorists. Personally I like the new look, somehow the car looks more grown up.
The first thing you notice on entering he Jazz is that you sit up in the Jazz much like in a SUV whereas you sit down into the Civic. This makes the Jazz much easier to get into and exit. The Jazz is much narrower than the Civic and three adults in the back is a tight squeeze though three kids across the back is doable. Plenty of leg room, though a six footer may wish for a little more in the front. The boot is noticeably smaller and we had to pack the weekly grocery shop carefully to get it all in whereas with the Civic we could just toss in the bags. Interior finish is good though there is not so much soft plastic trim or space age style as the Civic. The optional extra (expensive) leather trim gives quite a lift here. The sound system is OK but lacks the Bass punch of the Civic. The lack of a CD player may raise a few eyebrows but its a feature we have never used . My wife found the “magic” seats and the hatch lid much lighter and more manageable in the Jazz.
In the city the Jazz is in its element quick, nimble and easy to park while in comparison the Civic felt somewhat ponderous. On the open road the difference is not as great as you might expect. The 1.5 litre DOAC direct injection engine most NZ Jazzes come with is a beauty and almost matches the 1.8 litre Civic in output power which means the Jazz even with the CVT transmission can keep up with the Civic, however open road performance must go to the Civic because the cabin is quieter at speed and the ride slightly more refined. One area where the Jazz scores is in fuel economy, as it uses regular rather than premium grade gas, this coupled with better claimed mpg, leads me to anticipate a 20 to 25% reduction in petrol bills over the Civic.
The new Jazz has been well received by the motoring public in NZ and judging by the local dealers sales in the first 6 months Honda NZ should exceed their target of doubling annual Jazz sales. Going back to my original question, Yes I do believe you can downsize from the Civic without having to accept too many compromises.