By Hafriz Shah
The first generation Honda Jazz was one of the very first small cars to be considered a premium product. It was priced way above other cars of similar size, and perhaps precisely because of it, it sold in droves. As a result, Honda Malaysia, being over-confident, priced the next generation at almost RM110,000.
Buyers did not take to the higher price lightly and this drove up the first generation’s used prices, with first-hand owners enjoying minimal depreciation compared to other cars of the same age.
Recently though, used prices for the Jazz has started to trickle down to relatively affordable levels. If anyone is in the market for a used Jazz, this is the perfect time to go shopping for one.
The Honda Jazz was a revolutionary small hatchback. While small from the outside, it possessed an interior that was bigger than cars that were one, or even two, sizes up. It was Honda showcasing its superiority in packaging small cars. With the ingenious Ultra Seats, the rear seats could be folded in a way to transform the small hatchback into a pseudo-MPV with a large cargo hold and a high ceiling.
Interestingly, many units in Malaysia are driven by ladies, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your take of lady drivers. The interior, more often than not, would have gone through mild abuse by kids, so do look out for any permanent tears/stains.
What is fairly certain though is that the mechanicals are in good shape, even seven or eight years in. The only thing you have to look out for is any obvious jerks from the gearbox, which will be costly to repair/replace.
Engine options started out with a 1.3-litre i-DSI (CBU units from Japan) to 1.5-litre, either in i-DSI or VTEC form (later versions were CBU from Thailand). Both engines are decent enough, with the former having superior fuel consumption while the latter is significantly more powerful. Whichever engine you choose, it will be mated to a CVT with seven virtual ratios that is well-equipped to handle both city traffic and highway sprints with ease.
The Jazz underwent a mild facelift in 2006 where it gained a restyled front and rear bumpers plus stylish LED rear light clusters. As the engines were left unaltered, these models will be markedly more expensive so it’s best to purchase pre-facelift models for now.The refreshed bits can easily be retrofitted by your nearest accessories shop anyway, if you must have the newer look.
Unfortunately, it is also popular among tuners as a Jazz with a tasteless bodykit is a common sight on Malaysian roads. Finding a stock, untouched example will be rare but it should prove well worth the effort.To know more about new Honda models, visit www.honda.com.my
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