REVIEW | Fancy a dance? Here's why the Honda Jazz Sport sings all the right tunes

<i>Image: Robin Classen</i>
<i>Image: Robin Classen</i>

The Honda Jazz is perceived by many as something of 'soccer mom' transportation but its image has changed considerably over the past few years, even more so with its Sport variant.

I hadn't driven this car long during the day and already i had drawn plenty of insecure looks from passers-by and motorists trying to figure out if it was some sort of mini Type R. Its exterior looks the part over and over again starting with the gloss black 16" alloys which sits snug on the road. The Jazz I drove sported a metallic Lunar Silver body colour, one of five palette choices available in the Sport range.

All the right notes

I've had this car for the better part of a week now and its fuel-sipping credentials are on par with the likes of the Renault Kwid and Suzuki Swift. It's not often that a Sport model can be attributed to being fuel efficient - this is one of those occasions.

GALLERY | 2019 Honda Jazz Sport

Besides its frugal fuel consumption of a claimed 5.6-litres per 100km, another thing that impressed me was the space available to occupants. While the Jazz might look somewhat small, it does the job whether you want to do some shopping or take a leisurely drive with the family.

2019 Honda Jazz sport

                                                                               Image: Wheels24 / Robin Classen

I am pretty tall so my seat adjustment is never conventional but surprisingly, there is still plenty of legroom for passengers to sit comfortably in the rear.

Boot space is another feather in this little car's cap. Its rather spacious 359-litre boot can accommodate more than just groceries but if you require, the 60/40 split-folding rear seats can free up a total of 889-litres of space.

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No matter which angle you look at the car from, it screams sportiness. The entire car is colour-coded while the side mirrors and chrome grille is covered in Piano black. The red pinstripe on the front and rear bumpers is also a cool addition while the spoiler and rear diffuser are components that complete the overall look of the car. It also comes standard with LED headlights and daytime running lights.

2019 Honda Jazz sport

                                                                      Image: Wheels24 / Robin Classen

You feel the 'top of the range' quality when you get inside. Black and red stitching is a theme here, woven into its fabric seats, leather-covered steering wheel, and automatic gear knob. It makes use of an engine start/stop button which is another indication of the Sports transition as opposed to other models in the line-up.

Connective convenience

The multi-information 7-inch display is convenience at the touch of your fingertips with Bluetooth Hands-Free Telephone. It also features two USB connection points, an HDMI input and a 12V accessory socket for the applications you need.

2019 Honda jazz sport

                                                       Image: Wheels24 / Robin Classen

One thing that is noticeable on the dash instrument display is the ambient lighting that changes as you progress higher through the gears. I'm a big fan of the multi-function steering-wheel that allows you to access everything from hands-free calling to switching songs on your phone - safe and effortless which is a big yes from me.

On the performance front, it definitely has fire in its belly. The fire, in this case, comes from its 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine with a power output of 97kW and 155Nm. While it might not sound like much on paper (or on your screen), it is the combination of its 7-speed CVT gearbox and weight of 1 066kg that makes it an absolute joy to drive as you inch toward the redline. A nice throaty exhaust and chrome tail tips would have been a welcome addition to this model for added grunt.

2019 Honda Jazz sport

                                                                        Image: Robin Classen

The stiffened suspension is noticeable as you tackle speed bumps or any uneven ground, but its does not compromise ride quality, this is down to its 135mm ground clearance. With a few aftermarket tweaks this could definitely be a fun track day car.

I found the transition between gears a bit flat and 'laggy' but shifting it into 'S' (sport mode) woke it up a bit where I could make use of paddle-shifting, engaging a bit of VTEC in the process.

There is a range of six models to choose in the line-up with prices starting from R222 700, while this model comes in at R338 900. It also comes with a 5-year or 200 000km warranty and 4-year or 60 000km service plan.

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