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26 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi. Newbie here, from the UK (beware: looooooooong rambling post ahead :popcorn:)

I finally succumbed to the scrappage scheme and decided to upgrade my car.

My first 2 cars were Honda Civics, the very first being a green version of this model:

It was a 1.4i hatchback (M/T).

My second car (what I would be trading in) was this one:

...which was coming on 15yo now and starting to fall apart a bit. I recently serviced it last month with my bro (new sparks, air filter, battery, radiator bits, oil change and filter etc etc) but there were new strange noises coming from the drivers front wheel after that (brake discs). It seems that it'd gotten to that age where it needed to be put out to pasture and I just kept spending money on it (worsened by all these bleedin' potholes that STILL haven't been filled in ages after it snowed here :mad::D).
I'd also had to disconnect the radio, central locking and interior light about a year ago as they all kept draining the battery.
Anyway, it was a 1.5 (1496cc) non-VTEC model (the LSi) that was quite peppy around town but was getting worse with recent mpg's being 27ish range despite doing basics like correct tire pressures/driving sensibly etc.

So I had a few options up my sleeve that would be decent evolutions of my trusty (but rusty) Civic.
For background, I basically didn't need anything like a Type R or something but just needed a reliable runaround for when I can't drive my other car.

I had quite a few on my shortlist but all that went out the window when I decided on another Honda. I KNOW they're built well and damn reliable & I've lost count how many times colleagues in their clio's/corsas/c5's etc would be late for work 'cos their car wouldn't start, whereas mine would start up first time every time even in the depths of winter. Sweet as a nut.
Saying that, I went to the Honda showroom expecting to find a deal on a used 1.6 Honda Civic (ideally about 3yo - the prev gen. civic).
Sat inside one of the current gen ones instead (yes, I realise this may be a :worms:).
Where's the rear visibility? Not only is there a ruddy great (un-needed) spoiler halfway across the rear window :mad:, but the pillars obstruct most rear 3/4 vision so you have to rely on the wing mirrors pretty much solely. Looking in front is nice with a cool ubersleek dash and it's a nice place to be, certainly, but I like decent all round awareness when driving and that's mighty difficult with the very poor rear visibility on the Euro Civic (it's like sitting in a van as opposed to a car :eek:).
My sis had an EX as a company car and even she said that it's neigh on impossible to park without the parking sensors as she also can't see behind her very well :(.

So I then jumped into a Jazz sitting next to it. Niiiice ;). I could now get a great all round view including the rear and I swear it seems like there's MORE space in here than the bigger civic has .......it's like a tardis .
Even though it's called 1.4, the actual spec is 1339cc so it's actually a 1.34 (which is what the rest of the world correctly call it) isn't it? Despite this, it has more torque (94) and more bhp (99) than my current civic.....so I'd be going down on engine size but hopefully keeping performance about the same (slightly heavier car I think c.f. mine).
Fuel consumption also almost doubles (60 mway, 52 combined).
Insurance group halves to 5E.
Also, it has come within the top 5 for something like 5yrs in a row? in the JD power survey and resale value is superb.

So I started looking quite hard at the ES model but with a couple of additions:

Jazz 1.4 iVtec ES + metallic paint + front spots + 5yr servicing - scrappage scheme = £12178, of which I pay 35% up front and the rest off interest free over two years.......brilliant deal imho for a brand new ('10' plate) car with honda reliability, cheap to run, cheap to insure and comparable performance (but double the fuel economy).

I was tempted by the EX spec but it had many things I didn't want:
don't need moonroof, climate control not needed in such a small car imho - I'm fine with manual A/c, I have an iPod but don't care about adding USB to a factory unit (if I needed I'd go whole hog and replace the audio myself), I'm happy with 15" alloys - neither of my prior civics had alloys so going up to 16" wasn't going to be "missed" and i'd risk it worsening ride quality a tad too (less rubber), it's heavier than the ES? because performance and fuel consumption is worse than the ES), and on and on...

but one thing I did want:
Front spots

so I simply added them as options into the ES spec :).

The only thing I found it difficult deciding on was the colour. They're all OK but I had a few reservations with black (marks show up easily and it wasn't pearlescent like Honda's old (great looking) Pirate's Black) and I like dark grey / slate grey, so I plumped for the Storm Grey. I would have liked a darker version but after having a look in the showroom I think I made the right choice.

...& here it is:

They installed the front spots brilliantly too, changing the indicator stalk to new ones rather than giving me a separate switch for them somewhere.

I'm amazed that Honda managed to include VSA as standard :). Audio controls on the steering wheel for ES are handy & I also like the orange-red glow of the dash :D

I also like the fact that we have recirc/fresh air change as a button rather than a cheap slider they get in the US (I hate sliders 'cos I always manage to break 'em ;))

Initially I decided not to do any audio upgrades but I keep changing my mind about this. I'm currently deciding on whether to upgrade HU first and speakers later or live with it.

The only other thing I have changed so far is the tax disc holder to a black "twist off" richbrook one :), and I've also ordered a new gear knob off fleabay because the stock one feels VERY cheap and nasty and has no weight to it at all :(. I've ordered one that looks as close to original as possible:

Original plasticky one

Heavier 3rd party one (with similar black midsection with silver top):

Stiil awaiting delivery on that though :(.

P.S. I must admit, I did laugh when reading the multiple posts about how slow and lumpy it "apparently" is.....not from my viewpoint it isn't ;):

1st car = sixth gen Civic 1.4i non-VTEC 5dr hatchback (EJ9 75bhp 83lbft - D14A3), 1115kg = 67.3bhp/tonne

2nd car = fifth gen Civic 1.5 LSi non-VTEC 4dr saloon (EG4 89bhp 88lbft - D15B2), 1030kg = 86.4bhp/tonne

4th car = second gen Jazz 1.34 iVTEC 5dr hatchback (L13 99bhp 94lbft - L13Z1), 1119kg = 88.5bhp/tonne
^^^As you can see, my Jazz is the most powerful/torquee Honda I have ever owned :D, so it is actually a step up for me. I haven't booted it around as of yet because I need to complete the first 600-1000 miles carefully, but even with me pootling around like an old bugger, it still feels far nicer to drive than both my previous Civics ;).

Finally BEWARE - I may start asking some very dumb Q's over the coming months as I get to grips with it :D.


329 Posts
what a excellent write up, really good, im changing my Civ end of the year and short listing a few cars. The Jaz does look good but so does the new Fiesta! Gonna be a hard decision for me, as the new Jazz has similar stuff to the Civ. Let us know how you find the ride quality after you done a few thousand miles and the newness wears out a bit. Good luck on new car.

PS you did well to avoid the Civ, but i guess you have done your research!

R.I.P - (User sadly passed away)
9,228 Posts
Welcome indeed ! ...

If anything, the current Jazz looks like a successor to the 6th. Gen Civic, than anything else ...

As for "need to complete the first 600-1000 miles carefully" - nope ! - don't do that - read the running-in recommendations in the Wiki and follow that ...

p.s. - if it's not in the Wiki, it's definitely somewhere ! - use the Search function ...

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys :).

The other (minor) reason I since discovered (hindsight's a wonderful thing ;)) for me not to choose a Civ is the simple fact that a new one will be arriving this year, in which case residual values will fall in the face of a new model (the Jazz has just had it's new change for the UK).
I'm also just about to pass the 200 miles required before the brakes would've bedded in on mine :).

Re: Gear Knob - as predicted, hasn't arrived :(. Seller listed as 7 business days but that's now passed so I've asked for an update and if no reply, will get my money back through paypal (tough to find UK sellers for those though).

EDIT: Just read your post JDR :D.....I'll hunt that down asap (I'm sure the manual mentioned 600 though, I must be wrong....)

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well I managed to get another gear knob through my bro this week and installed it. Here's a quick piccie (sorry re:quality :() of before and after shots:

It came in 3 parts (1=nut, 2+3=knob). OEM gear knob was a simple twist off job (took about 9-10 turns from memory):

The OEM one is el-cheapo plastic that weighs 75g (I weighed it :D).
This new one is about 280g all-in, so even though it's slightly smaller, it makes the gear change feel ever so slightly better imo (it's not a massive improvement unfortunately, but it is noticeably better - not in speed but in feeling and weight).

I'm still thinking I might go for a Tegiwa one instead as it's meant to be 400g and looks "chunkier". I'll give it a few weeks and decide whether to "upgrade" or not :D.

Had my first fill up the other day too. Trip indicated 37.8 ave. mpg, but actual* calculated was 36.5 ........so I reckon that's not a bad figure whilst I'm "running it in" :), and the trip isn't too far out either.

I'm travelling about 9miles each day to work in urban roads so my average speed for the whole journey is about 17mph and it takes 20min each way (so that's a total of 18mi @17mph taking 40min each day).
Based on that, I'm not too unhappy, but I'm still hoping that economy will improve over time (maybe with a couple of thousand miles under the belt)?

* if you have an iphone, I recommend the app Road Trip. All you do is note down your odometer reading when you fill up, then using the reciept, fill in that figure along with the price and volume filled. I decided to get to fuel light "on" (about 25 miles left according to trip) and then filled'er'up to full tank. The app will chart your mpg for that stint & overall and can be tailored to imperial gallons, £ etc...

125 Posts
Hi Gaffer, You mentioned you had an ipod, you're probably aware but if not, you can play your ipod through the AUX jack plug on the dash from your ear phone jack on your ipod, just need to buy a cheapo lead. I tried to get a lead for the wife that had a 90 degree angle which would sit better coming out of the AUX plug in the dash and then put the ipod in the glovebox on shuffle, but I couldn't get one locally.

15 Posts
Jazz's are awesome, I loved mine, I got a Skunk2 gearknob for it though as it was the closest I could find to my old Integra one but a lot cheaper!

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
@barratec, yep, I was initially thinking about it, but I'll stick with mp3 discs for the time being. Whenever someone (?Autoleads) decides to make the fascia, I'll upgrade to a different double din which allows full ipod control.

BTW, I've seen those leads in my local pound shop and was considering it myself but then I saw lots of right angle "adapters" that will convert the standard lead into the one you want:
3.5mm Jack To 3.5mm Jack Right Angle Adapter on eBay (end time 11-May-10 22:56:14 BST)
Maybe that might be the ticket for you?

@isitafox, how much did you pay for yours btw?

Big T
1,554 Posts
welcome to civinfo :D

3 Posts
Another Jazz buyer

I'm glad you are happy with your car. Here's my story...
I've been a Honda man since the 7T's having owned Accords, Preludes and Civics and have had consistently good experiences with Dealers, reliability, driving pleasure - the whole package really.
So my 2005 SE Civic was due for a change and the bloke in me was quietly yearning for the funky Civic, EX model ticked all the boxes.
However, the old fart sitting on the other shoulder was telling me "Go Jazz y'old fool"
So I made a visit to my local dealership to look at some ex-demonstrators, both EX's, both grey. One Storm silver and the other Alabaster silver. Both niiice cars.
So we ('er indoors came too) took a walk to the main showroom to see what kind of p/ex I could expect.
Sitting right front & centre was an Jazz EX in Cerulean Blue and it really did look the biz. Her indoors was smitten (or should that be smote?).
Any road up, once the numbers were crunched the basic cost for the new one was only about £1500 more than the ex-dems, so the deal was done. The £500 for 4 years service was just too good an offer to refuse and I took up the Diamondbrite option and the premium accessory pack as well.
I just heard from the delership that the car will be ready next mon/tues.
I'll keep you updated.

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
@Cryoman: Happy to hear you went for a jazz, it's a great little car :D. Feel free to start up your own thread when you recieve it (remember to post piccies for us :)).

@Griffin: Cheers. It's a little odd, I know - owned a couple of civics for nearly 10yrs and now I start posting here when I have a Jazz :D;)

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
No probs Barratec. :D

Just a quick update here in that I've finally broken the 1000mile barrier :).

The mpg just keeps getting better and better. I started on something like 36.5 mpg (actual) and now on my 4th fill up the trip is indicating 43ish. Of course, the trip is v v slightly optimistic (by about 1-1.2mpg) but even then, for purely town driving that's excellent imho.

I'll fill'er up tomorrow and will get the accurate mpg then....

EDIT: Right, here we go...this is from my data logging app:

I'm at the 1132 mile mark and am currently hitting 42.1 mpg (actual - like I said, the trip is slightly optimistic :))

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Quick update here. Took mine in for it's yearly service (which they tried to charge me for despite me having Honda Happiness :rolleyes:) and they gave me a courtesy car.
Basically, my car exactly (1.4 ES), however, with the original light plasticky gear knob.
I kid you not, but the gearchange felt MUCH better :confused:. So much so that I have switched back to the stock one. It's difficult to explain but it just feels nicer and quicker to change gear now - almost a flick of the wrist rather than a hefty "pull"/"push".

Revamped original, painted and lacquered and now back in the car.

Also, a year has gone by and STILL no replacement fascia available from ANYONE :scream1:

Honda: Have no idea what I'm getting at, when I finally got what I wanted across they replied "that's not even available as a separate part on our system" :confused:.

...even though you'd get the exact fascia I want if you opt for the satnav option when you buy it :facepalm:.

Autoleads: No sign of a fascia yet

Connects2: Sell a LHD version....in fact that's ALL they sell in the UK :facepalm:. I don't think they've even contemplated the idea that we drive on the RH side over here judging by their responses.

Import from Japan: Mighty difficult to find one, but similar ones are available. I say similar because A) they're the wrong colour (Dk grey for JDM rather than mid grey for UKDM) and B) they have no room for the airbag light that we have on UK dashes......i.e. not the "correct" replacement fascia's for us.

So I give up. I actually don't think it's possible to change the audio if you have a UK 2009-onwards (Gen 2 aka GE) Jazz because no one makes the parts that allow you to do it.
...which means that none of the thousands of UK owners have done it (everyone's happy with the poor SQ) :(.

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
UPDATE: I thought I wouldn't stand for the crappy sound so I figured I would at least try and upgrade the speakers and seeing as most information around the web pertains to USDM fits (which have 6 speakers and other differences) I thought it would be useful to post some info on how I did my 4 speaker install last weekend.

Firstly, the headunit in UK Jazzes is made by Alpine and is 41W peak per channel (41x4) which equates to 29W RMS per channel.
Part number is TUNER ASSY. (41WX4) (ALPINE) in case you're wondering ;).

Anyway, I decided to buy a set of 4 Alpine speakers to go with the headunit because the stock speakers are pretty rubbish.
They have no treble, and no midrange with woolly bass. I had to listen with Bass set at -2 and treble +2 and voices still sounded muffled and indistinct. Listening to Talk Sport was pretty unbearable tbh.

So, on to the procedure (apologies for the piccies, some are from the net and some from my iPhone, so they aren't necessarily the best).

Stage 1

Remove the screw inside the door handle recess. You will need a philips no2. BE CAREFUL, this black screw is VERY secure and you need to be careful to apply enough force without stripping the head.

Now remove the bottom plastic cover of the "arm" of the door. It is secured in place via plastic tabs and should pull off. To do this safely, I inserted a thin plastic card into the upper right side where it meets the arm cloth. A slight twist will expose a gap which allows you to get a purchase and pull the plastic off.

Now unscrew the big silver screw shown in the middle of the picture above using the philips screwdriver

Now remember to unclip the wiring plug.

Note that UK 'ES' Jazzes have electric windows all round so you'll have to remove plugs for all the four doors, inc. the rear passenger ones.

Now try and get your finger behind the plastic where the speaker grill is and pull the corner towards you. This is the easiest to pull off, after this pops out, the rest of the "plastic pins" will pull away and the door will be "free" at the bottom/middle.

This picture shows where the 6 lug holes for these plastic pins are, so you'll know where they are (stock piccie above). The pins are bright red so they're easy to spot.

With the door hanging "loose" there is NO NEED to proceed to remove the plastic panel completely because you can lift it away enough to get to the speaker screw at the bottom (image above shows when I was putting it all back together with the new speakers, the stock speakers look a LOT cheaper and nastier :D).

...plus, the rear doors have this plastic wedge which makes it harder to pull the door panel completely off anyway, so I just left them hanging there.

Now unscrew the speaker from the door (stock piccie above)

...and pull up in order to lift the speaker from the two clips holding the bottom into the door (stock piccie above). After this, remove the speaker and unplug it.

Do the same for all four doors and take the 4 speakers into the house/garage.

Total time so far about 30min

So now we need to install the drop in speakers into place and do some modding.

Stage 2

The stock speaker is in the top right of the piccie. Notice the cheap, small magnet. Also, these are simple cheap paper cones, not even dual cones and certainly not coaxials (which Honda charge an arm and a leg for upgrading to).

The cone is actually part of the spacer, so you need a dremel to cut it away from the basket (about 12 or so thin plastic "legs"). Then cut the top 2 and bottom 2 supports from the input plug.....you'll use these later.
Once done, rip the cone out of the spacer and peel it away fromt he outer edge where it's glued in as well.
You should have a spacer, a female connector plug and a ruined/ripped out cone. Throw the cone away.

At this point, if I had a 16.5cm speaker, it'd be a direct drop in.....however, I chose Alpine SXE-1725S 16.5cm speakers. Unfortunately, the speaker is 16.5cm but it has a wide flange around the edge that brings it up to 17cm total. In order to fit into the spacer, I had to dremel away that extra edge

This then slots right into the spacer snugly, after which you can screw them into the spacer via the screws supplied with the Alpines. I then had to sand the sharp points of the screws at the rear by a mm or so as they are ever so slightly longer than the spacer depth.

The end result is a speaker that is shallower than the stock speaker and thus won't obstruct the window when wound down nor hit the speaker grill in the door plastic in front.

In order to be careful to not damage the Alpine cones, I was very careful here and doing all four housings and speakers meant this was quite time consuming, total time here about 1-2 hours

If you don't need to trim the speaker edges, then preparing the spacers and screwing your speakers in carefully (and sanding the points down) might take half that time.

Stage 3

So that's the speakers mounted, now it's time to address the electrical connections.
You could of course, simply cut the plugs off and directly solder the oem wire onto your new speakers, but I thought a better way (which would also preserve polarity with less of a chance of making a mistake) is to simply transplant the stock electrical plugs onto the new Alpines.

I araldited the plastic plug from the housing (from earlier) into position on the Alpines and then soldered the connections into place using thick gauge speaker wire. BE VERY CAREFUL HERE. Not enough heat and the solder won't tin the wire correctly.....too much heat and you could damage the speaker/voice coil.
Also, when putting the plug into position, I bent the Alpine pins back in order to allow enough room for the door plug to fit all the way down onto the connector.
Note, after soldering into position like above, take some time to tidy up any stray strands (which I did afterwards by tinning them into the wire).

Here are all 4 speakers ready to go. Time for this stage was about 1-2 hours

Stage 4

So here is the new speaker in position.

There are a few things to note when putting the doors back together again.

Remember to reach behind and pull the electrical connector through before pushing the door panel back into place.

The door arm plastic has a very tiny plastic pin toward the front end that is easy to miss and easy to damage. It also has a spade-like part on the back end that you have to slide into the door panel in order to fit it. To avoid damage and have an easy fit I inserted the "spade" bit first, then moved to the other end and made sure that plastic pin aligned correctly. The rest of the pins then followed after a slight push and clipped back nicely.

Remember to push the handle against the door and slide to the right in order to "hook" the handle into position. It is held in this way by 4 L shaped hooks that you need to align correctly first. Doing this also means the screw hole lines up correctly (it's easier to understand when you do it yourself).

Total time to put it all back together again about 15-20min

Trim all fitted back perfectly, there are no knocks or rattles and you can even see the silver reflection from the new speakers :).

The sound?

Well, it's a BIG improvement. I now have adequate treble, decent (tighter) bass and a midrange at last. It's not massively louder, just massively better balanced. Good enough in fact, that I have gone back to Bass set to 'C' and Treble set to 'C' (i.e. neutral for both) and everything sounds much clearer.
I can also now listen to medium wave and whilst it doesn't sound great (headunit at fault here) it's MUCH better than it was before, with more clarity to voices.
The extra treble does mean that it's easier to hear a small hiss if radio reception is poor, but that's a sympton of good speakers exposing poor headunit reception and isn't a problem imo (the overall improvement in sound far outstrips this minor niggle)

Yes, given the option a headunit upgrade would be a good move but unfortunately, being in the UK, means that this is out of the question for most of us (it's possible by getting the satnav option's plastic surround but Honda insist they can't supply that part to me).

For £60, this is a great little upgrade that takes a bit of time to do right but is well worth it when you do :cool:.

26 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Subwoofer Install and Wiring Harness for '10 UK Jazz

After my previous Speaker install (see above), I decided that whilst the sound was excellent, the lowest frequencies were not really filled in.

Rather than being a flat EQ curve, the sound was more like this:

I wasn't looking for some kind of teenager chavy BoomBox "BombaClat upside ya face I aks ya" style:

...but was rather looking for a flatter EQ curve that sounded more balanced with emphasis on SQ rather than SPL:

This meant that I didn't want a gigantic box taking up my boot - with the added bonus of meaning that the boot is still usable and I can still get at my spare. I eventually chose the Alpine SWE-1000 to go with the Alpine components and OEM (Alpine) HeadUnit:

I'm still messing around with the settings, but I currently have the factory OEM Headunit set to "neutral" for bass and treble, with the SWE-1000 set to the 10-11 o'clock position for LPF and Gain (so it cuts off at about 70Hz), and the Phase set to REV (bizarrely, sounds better than set to NORM).

There isn't much else to show because I routed all the wires through the existing trims and upholstery.

Firstly, I removed the radio using this guide (page 3):

Then I used this guide to remove the center console (also has one metal screw to remove), again on page 3:

I then spliced the Speaker wires into the supplied speaker level leads (Rear pair) and, because there is no "remote on" wire coming form the factory HU, I spliced the remote on lead onto the purple ACC input into the HU.

The UK 2010 Jazzes have a slightly different wiring system than those I've seen on the net:

Proof (piccies of my Jazzes wiring loom for the radio before I vampire tapped it with the sub feeds):

Now, when doing the tapping, I didn't start my car and therefore didn't need to disconnect anything (useful to know you can do this without having to unplug the radio and therefore no radio code needed when you plug it all back in again).
All I did do with a multimeter is check that purple was indeed the Ignition On (ACC) feed.

Separate to this, if you look at the passenger side up into the bulkhead, you'll see a massive grommet with loads of wires entering the engine bay:

This is useful because any wire going through here ends up less than a foot away from the battery so there is no worry about routing the wire all round the shops and over hot engine compartments:

I used a coat hanger and simply fed the supplied +ve feed (fused) directly onto the battery:

Where it runs back, it is suspended away from anything remotely hot (runs around an air intake and directly to the back of the engine bay):

Once into the cabin, I routed it over to the center console where the spkr lvl input (spliced) wires were dangling along with the spliced ACC "turn the sub on" feed.

Next, I added the subwoofer remote cable with the all the other leads down both sides of the transmission tunnel under the carpet - using the wire once again to tunnel under the carpet in the rear to the rear boot. Negative lead was screwed into the seatbelt base securely, sub then mounted to the extreme right of the boot (when looking from the rear). I could've left such a small cabinet underneath the rear seat, but the boot should give a better acoustic response as the cone is facing a larger enclosed space in the boot firing R to L (rather than directly up at the base of a seat or directly back towards the hatch door - the longest length to "fire into" is essential for deeper bass).

Screwed everything back into place and voila - all the wiring has disappeared!
The added bonus is that the Alpine remote for the sub has a blue LED, which I placed at the very end of the centre console (furthest forward I could put it, beyond the cupholders/ashtray thingy) with the result that it bathes the area with soft blue light - not unlike the Ambient Lighting option offered by Honda - only MUCH cheaper ;)

Here is a piccie of the center console. It's daytime so on camera it doesn't look very bright but as mentioned at night, the sub control led is bright enough to "ambient light" the console for me.

Overall, practically invisible, small enough to not impede the magic seats or boot space or ability to remove the spare wheel, loud enough to flatten out the sound curve, not loud enough to qualify for burberry accessories :worms:, and cheap enough (£125) to be affordable...
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