The Jazz hybrid is packed full of features to help improve fuel economy.
Firstly, there’s Eco Assist which sees the speedometer changing colour depending on how economically you’re driving. If it glows green you’re doing a good job but if it turns blue you’ve exceeded the best balance of throttle and braking.
It’s good to have a visual reminder to ease off the accelerator or brake gently but I’ve found Eco Assist a little distracting during my commute on the A1 where it’s often flashing between green and blue.
The journey seems to be plagued with ‘phantom queues’ - traffic jams that appear suddenly, for no apparent reason. Cue an angry shade of blue from Eco Assist as I brake harshly.
Then there’s the ‘super economy’ ECON mode which is activated by a switch to the right of the steering wheel.
In this mode the car’s management system adopts specific settings to improve fuel consumption.
I’ve found the Jazz is noticeably less responsive above 60mph and can mean overtaking is a struggle.
Unfortunately, after about two months of driving in this mode I haven’t seen a significant improvement in mpg – it is still averaging around the 48 mark – but I’ve yet to do many long journeys so the jury is still out.
There is a wealth of other data if you press the info button including average mpg, average mpg for the last three journeys and deceleration and acceleration monitors.
As seems to be the fashion with hybrid cars the Jazz also tells you how well you are driving by rewarding you with leaves. Each time you turn the ignition switch to lock the number of leaves you have accumulated is displayed.
There is a score for the last drive and a ‘lifetime score’. My lifetime score has made it past the first bar but I don’t seem to be picking up many leaves.
Which leaves me (pardon the pun) wondering whether all this feedback is really beneficial.
Wouldn’t I better off taking an eco driver training course?