The Jazz is Honda’s best-selling model in the fleet market and Honda introduced a hybrid version for 2011.
It’s the first hybrid in its class and has emissions of 104g/km and fuel economy of 62.8mpg on the combined cycle. This means it won’t qualify for the London Congestion Charge discount but it should still appeal to fleets, particularly those in the public sector, owing to how practical it is.
Had Honda produced a sub-100g/km model it would have meant compromising on one of its most practical features (its ‘magic seats’) to accommodate a larger battery. The ‘magic seats’ offer a number of seating and load-carrying configurations, which we’ll be putting to the test during the Jazz’s time with us.
The Jazz’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system (which is also used in the Insight, Civic Hybrid and the CR-Z coupe) differs from that used by Toyota because the electric motor is only there to assist the petrol engine and not run independently, powering the car on its own. However, the engine does shut down when idling or when the car is coasting.
As I do fair amount of short, urban journeys the Honda Jazz hybrid should be the ideal long termer for me, although to date the fuel economy hasn’t yet made it above 50mpg.
I plan to make more use of the Jazz’s ECON mode, which is Honda’s answer to the problem of differing driving styles. In ECON mode the car’s management system adopts specific settings to improve fuel consumption. For instance, the driver’s accelerator input is ‘smoothed out’ to optimise throttle position and engine speed.
Another feature I’ll be paying closer attention to is Eco Assist whereby the lighting of the speedometer changes based on how economically the car is being driven.