Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar EX CVT review: We test the car on a trip to Derby


Emmy Griffiths

The Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar is described as “elegant” and “sporty”, with its hybrid technology promising to deliver a smooth driving experience. Discover our opinion on the car below along with expert advice from our in-house specialist.

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The Honda Jazz Crossstar Review

I’m a 30 year old professional driving from London to my home town of Derby to meet my little niece for the very first time.

First impressions of the Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar

My poor little manual Fiat 500. I tried to stay faithful as long as possible. When I saw the sky blue Honda Jazz Crosstar, I thought it was lovely. When I played around with the auto controls, I found them to be very handy. When the rear view camera allowed me to parallel park properly for the first time in my life, I was charmed.

But then I turned on the seat heating and all was lost. The Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar EX CVT had my heart.

How the Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar drives

Before I jumped into the driver’s seat, I was worried that since I was driving a car that was invented to weave through the nooks and crannies of Rome, I wouldn’t be able to handle the Honda’s larger dimensions, but my fears were unfounded.

Of course, driving a bigger car takes some getting used to, but the Honda is so safety conscious that they let me know whenever I was too close to whatever, make things a little easier while getting used to a new car.


Automatic driving was amazing, which should come as no surprise – but as someone who’s driven a manual since it passed its test, I had no idea how much I’d enjoy it with uphill driving. and the stops and starts that London traffic demands. It was completely effortless, especially with the nifty handbrake button. So simple, so effective!

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I loved how smooth and quiet the car was to drive. In my usual vehicle, you can feel every bump in the road, making your trip a fairground ride. In the Honda, all I could hear were the mellow tones of a very engrossing murder mystery (I was listening to an audiobook on the car’s speakers).

Speaking of automatics, I was a big fan of anything automatic on the Honda, not just the ride. Headlights, air conditioning, wipers. To imagine! I used to think I had to light them myself!

The sat nav is easy to use on the digital driver display, with handy arrows on your dash if you can’t get a look, and on the highway I honestly think I was more relaxed while driving than I have ever been before. There’s something about driving a car that you know is designed for your ultimate safety, which makes you feel very calm and confident. I was also very hot, but again, it was probably the heated seats.

What does the Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar look like for passengers?

As well as driving my mom and dad to meet their new granddaughter, I drove the car solo, so I can only imagine the comfort levels while being taken for a ride in the Honda. However, my mum was undeniably impressed with the heated seats, which I turned on without comment to see her reaction, and she and my dad, rear stewards, were very comfortable with the generous space.

We were also impressed with the wide armrest between the driver and passenger seat, which had two spaces for coffee cups, and a small area where a phone can nestle alongside two USB ports for all your charging needs – and those of your passenger.

There is also something to be said for the brightness of the car. The windshield and windows are wide and open, allowing passengers to enjoy panoramic views which, if you’re not focusing on the road (as I was of course), would definitely be a nice way to spend the trip .

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I liked the hybrid element of this car so much, that’s probably the main reason I would switch to the petrol option (this and thanks to the fact that it is much more environmentally friendly, of course). Since it still runs on petrol, this meant I didn’t have to worry about electric chargers, which worried me when a friend admitted that it took him seven hours to charge his car for a long journey, and the full tank of gasoline went on and on.

Two four-hour motorway journeys and a weekend of topping in Derbyshire later, and there was still fuel in the tank. I was very impressed with how much money it would saveespecially when my personal car, a Fiat 500, can barely make a long drive without going to a Total garage to refuel.


Disadvantages of the Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar

This car is like a TV remote. You have about a dozen buttons that you know how to operate, and you never quite understand the rest.

The car has so many ultra modern features that it is really difficult to work them all while driving on the highway. However, the problem arises when the smart car’s bells and whistle become hard to ignore.

For example, the safety-focused steering system moves the car on its own if it thinks you’re too far to one side, a moment I didn’t expect and scared me while driving in the Rotherhithe tunnel (and still learning the dimensions of the car, hence the car’s opinion that I was too far to the right).

Another feature was a small green symbol that kept flashing on the dash, which annoyed me so much that I stopped at a gas station and went to Honda’s live chat to find out exactly what it meant.

Sure, this amazing technology is designed to make your driving as safe as possible, but those little surprises mean it’s probably not a good idea to jump in the car and drive off without hesitation, as I did. I would highly recommend flipping through the manual first to avoid distractions down the road.

Oh, you also need to plug in your phone if it’s an Android, but not if it’s an iPhone, which can only work on Bluetooth. How come, Honda? !

Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar expert opinion

HELLO! car expert Gareth Herincx explains: “Honda has done wonders with the latest Jazz. Once the car of choice for the elderly, it is now one of the the coolest and most advanced city cars on the market. The handsome fourth-generation model comes in two versions: the standard Jazz hatchback and the cute Crosstar, with its cool crossover-inspired look and raised ride height.

“A rival to the Ford Fiesta Active and Dacia Sandero Stepway, its 1.5-litre self-charging hybrid petrol engine (it charges on the go, so there’s no need to plug it in) automatically selects and seamlessly the most suitable option from three engine modes – Electric, Hybrid and Motor. Surprisingly roomy inside, safe, packed with tech and a doddle to drive, 50-55 mpg is very achievable. Of both versions, I would recommend the Crosstar as it’s slightly livelier on the road and I prefer its bushy look.”

Facts about the Honda Jazz 1.5 i-MMD Crosstar

  • Price: from £23,175
  • Engine (self-charging hybrid): 1.5 liter turbo petrol/battery 0.8 kWh (107 hp combined)
  • Transmission: automatic (CVT)
  • 0-100km/h: 9.9s
  • Economy: up to 58.9 mpg
  • Emissions: 110g/km
  • Boot capacity (298 liters or 1,199 liters with rear seats folded down)

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