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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Please can you give us some more info about the 1.5 engine. Is this the brand new 3 cylinder unit? What are the figures?

Thanks.
To quote the spec sheets its a 1.5 litre 4 cylinder DOHC 16 valve i-VTEC direct injection unit producing 97Kw max power and 155Nm torque. Claimed economy of 5.4 litres per 100Km with 91 octane petrol.
 

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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.
Her indoors owned a Jazz until I retired when we only needed one car and we stayed with the civic, however, I've always said that when and my mileage reduces I'd buy another jazz but only if they change the engine.
I really enjoyed driving the Jazz and completely agree with your comments, however we were both disappointed with the power, overtaking was a no no, so I'm pleased to read you comments about the new engine and if the UK version is similar I daren't tell her indoors because she would swop the civic for a Jazz instantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
97kw equates to 130bhp.
The economy only equates to 52.5mpg which could be better. I wonder if it's because the fuel in NZ is only 91 RON. UK min RON is 95.
I am a little surprised you think 52.5 mpg is not very good. Personally I think it is reasonable for 1.5 litre car specially when you take into consideration that Honda's figures tend to be closer to the real world than other manufacturers. I should add this figure is for the CVT boxed Jazz the less popular manual box Jazz does a little better. It may be a cultural thing but most New Zealanders still prefer cc's under the bonnet than cc's saved in the fuel tank. That is one reason why Honda's European competitors with their turbo charged sewing machine motors haven't made a great impact on the local market.
 

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Now that my annual mileage has plummeted from 12k to 3k A Jazz would make better sense but I just don't like the interior when compared to the Civic.
 

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Previously owned 2 8th gen civics. Partner has the Ex GT auto. For day to day driving prefer my jazz with its tiny turning circle, lively little engine, easy access into and out of, and light controls.
 

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I am a little surprised you think 52.5 mpg is not very good. Personally I think it is reasonable for 1.5 litre car specially when you take into consideration that Honda's figures tend to be closer to the real world than other manufacturers. I should add this figure is for the CVT boxed Jazz the less popular manual box Jazz does a little better. It may be a cultural thing but most New Zealanders still prefer cc's under the bonnet than cc's saved in the fuel tank. That is one reason why Honda's European competitors with their turbo charged sewing machine motors haven't made a great impact on the local market.
The CVT gearbox is a contributory factor to the mpg figure.

The reason I considered 52.5 mpg to be nothing special is because the 1.8 in the civic does that combined and that is a heavier car with 140bhp.
Engine technology is really coming on leaps and bounds, and petrol engines with 150bhp are delivering combined figures closer to 60mpg these days. Take a look at the new VAG 150 ACT for example.
 

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Does a petrol civic achieve over 50 mpg on a regular basis? You will need a diesel to get those kinda figures or to downsize.
Hold on.
The figures quoted were manufacturers' figures in all cases.
We all know it is very unlikely your average Joe will achieve that.
 

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I thought the 1.8 did around 44mpg combined offically? City cars with 1.0 struggle to break the 60 mpg as I had one of them before my Civic
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If manufacturers mpg claims were books they would be filed under fiction. The best I got out of my 1.8 Civic was 37mpg but generally I got around 31mpg and no I am not lead footed NZ is a hilly country with a lot of slow steep winding roads. If I get something approaching 40mpg out of the Jazz I will be more than happy. Interestingly Honda USA claims 3mpg better fuel economy for the CVT equipped Fit(Jazz) than the 6 speed manual box.
 

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USA has a different sized gallon to the UK, therefore all of their figures are different.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
To be honest the decision to go with the Jazz was not as easy as my original post may have implied. My head said Jazz but my heart said Civic, however she who must be obeyed, after test driving the new Jazz said there was no way she was going back to the Civic, so case closed. Oddly enough back in 2012 when we bought the Civic we test drove both then and the Jazz was wiped before we completed its test drive.
I hope Honda UK offer you guys the 1.5 earth dreams engine as it makes the Jazz a complete car. In comparison the new 1.3L Atkinson cycle engine offered on the base model here is rather anaemic on the motorway and offers only marginal improvement in fuel economy.
 

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After your post I looked up the specs on the Honda site. Unless I'm mistaken the top of the range hybrid doesn't even get electric windows!

Looking through both the hybrid and petrol specs it's not for me.
 

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Jazz is a lot last refined last time I drove one (Couple of years ago).

Doors are tinny and engine noisy. Generally felt cheap.

That said, you get what you pay for and the Jazz is a class below the Civic. Whether the new Jazz is any better, I wouldn't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In my original post I stated that the 1.5 earth dreams 3G Jazz performance was pretty much equal to the 1.8 Civic on the open road and I have just found some published road test figures that bear that out.
Civic 1.8 manual 0-60 mph time 8.8 secs Auto 10.6 secs
Jazz 1.5 manual 0-60 mph time 7.9 secs CVT 9.1 secs
However the Civic has a top speed of 130mph v 120mph for the Jazz
 

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You might struggle to get much of an opinion on here tbh as so far as I can tell the hot VTI version is exclusive to Aus / NZ and not marketed in Europe.

However, there are one or two Aus members on here who might be able to help. Just be aware that it is probably a niche audience.
 
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