Honda has given the Jazz a mild refresh for 2018, with the big news being the addition of a new 1.5-litre VTEC petrol engine.
It is available in conjunction with a new Sport trim, which Honda hopes will attract a younger audience to the model.
The Sport is lower and stiffer and features a subtle body kit, but the Jazz isn’t about to take on the Ford Fiesta ST in the performance stakes.
It’s a warmed-up version at best. The 1.5-litre engine serves up 130PS, a welcome improvement over the 1.3-litre model – which is a bit wheezy with 103PS.
With a manual gearbox, the zero to 62mph time is a respectable 8.7 seconds, while average fuel consumption is rated at 47.9mpg.
For fleets, the 1.3-litre Jazz is still the pick of the line-up, with emissions from 106g/km. The Sport emits 133g/km and, when combined with its £17,115 list price, will cost drivers around £200 per year more in benefit-in-kind tax than a Seat Ibiza FR. Running costs are also higher, by around 2p per mile.
However, the Jazz fights back when it comes to practicality. Clever packaging means there is as much interior space as some cars in the class above. The boot offers 354 litres, more than the Ford Focus, which extends to more than 880 litres with the rear seats folded.
Even with its firmer suspension, the Sport model offers a smooth ride. Honda has also focused on reducing cabin noise and vibration, making the new Jazz a nicer place to be.
With prices from £14,115, the Jazz is still a no-nonsense choice for fleets that need a practical and compact car.
While the Sport is the better drive, it is likely to have less appeal among user-choosers when comparing it against a Ford Fiesta or Seat Ibiza.