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Honda Jazz refreshed for 2011

Which? Car favourite is now available as a hybrid

2011 Honda Jazz

New styling makes the Jazz stand out

The Honda Jazz – a Which? Car favourite – has been revamped for 2011 with new looks, a new hybrid model, and the welcome return of an old gearbox.

The 2011 Honda Jazz is more efficient, more practical and promises to be better to drive. Leather upholstery and hybrid technology make a first appearance, while a CVT automatic option rejoins the range.

2011 Honda Jazz: revised looks

Exterior changes to the Jazz are limited to a new protector-style headlights and a set of bumpers.

However, altering the bumpers front and rear has not only mildly modified the visuals, it’s also improved the aerodynamics. The benefit is slight – the drag coefficient falling from 0.336 to 0.330 – but every little helps when it comes to fuel economy.

On the inside, all models feature a darker dashboard finish, while the new leather upholstery option also adds contrasting chrome accents for the air vents and instruments. Leather is standard on the Jazz Hybrid in range-topping HX trim, or optional for £1,250 on the 1.4-litre petrol EX.

In addition, just when you thought the Magic Seats couldn’t get any better, Honda has added a recline function in the rear. The Magic Seats already flip and fold in a variety of ways to create a small car that’s remarkably flexible when it comes to carrying passengers and hauling loads; now the rear seat-backs recline by up to 73mm in an effort to further boost functionality and comfort.

2011 Honda Jazz

The Honda Jazz is now available as a hybrid

Engineering updates: new hybrid, old CVT

Perhaps the biggest news about the 2011 Honda Jazz is that it will be available as a hybrid for the first time.

Which? has covered the announcement of this car extensively, but as the first hybrid to compete in the B-segment (supermini sector), it remains noteworthy. CO2 emissions are cited as 104g/km, with a claimed 62.8mpg. When fitted with a CVT gearbox, it becomes the most efficient automatic in this market segment.

However, this isn’t the only place the CVT shows up. Honda has discontinued the unpopular i-Shift automated manual gearbox on the regular 1.4-litre petrol, and reintroduced an optional CVT instead. As a Continuously Variable Transmission, this should prove much smoother to drive, while the latest technology means it matches the i-Shift for emissions, at a low 125g/km CO2.

Ordinary 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol Jazz models with the standard manual gearbox also see a small efficiency increase, with each dropping 2g/km CO2 to record 126g/km and 123g/km respectively. The entry-level 1.2 returns a claimed 53.3mpg.

2011 Honda Jazz

Prices start from a little over £11k

Chassis modifications and Jazz prices

Finally, Honda has also modified the chassis, in an effort to improve both ride comfort and handling. In particular, Honda says it has made the steering feel much more positive, aiming to increase driver confidence and enjoyment at higher speeds.

Prices for the 2011 Honda Jazz start at £11,295 for the 1.2-litre S, while the new Jazz Hybrid is available from £15,995 in HE specification; the top-spec Jazz Hybrid HX costs from £17,995. The new range goes on sale in February 2011.

The current version is priced from £10,990 – but don’t forget that is at 17.5% VAT, rather than the higher 20% VAT rate included in the 2011 pricing.

However, the current version is also presently on offer and available from £9,995 (a £995 saving) – so it might be worth visiting your local Honda showroom sooner rather than later if you appreciate a bargain.

Read our review of the current Honda Jazz

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