Jazz combines the best of both

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HONDA’S five-door Fiesta-sized Jazz blows the technological trumpet loud and proud

This clever version introduces a hybrid petrol/electric propulsion to ensure tax and congestion busting low-emissions and miserly fuel consumption.

All in a car that is highly manoeuvrable, handsomely put together, and which carries a badge with an enviable reputation for reliability.

This really is a significant move for Honda in a car so compact and one that rival manufacturers will no doubt be watching with keen interest.

The Jazz Hybrid, with its petrol engine and its electric motor, is the first small Fiesta-sized supermini in the world to be fitted with this technology.

Yet it does so without compromise. It was only a decade or so that early prototypes of small cars with hybrid technology meant a vehicle filled to bursting with batteries, controllers and motors and precious little room for anything or anyone.

Today, this Jazz makes no concessions to the technology – and certainly there are no compromises for the motorist.

This is simply a very good supermini, which happens to have two forms of propulsion.

The Jazz Hybrid uses the same highly efficient and compact package that is Honda’s proven 1.3-litre i-VTEC engine mated to the electric motor that delivers electric powered, emissions-free and almost totally quiet inner city and low speed motoring.

Not only does the environment benefit but so too does the motorist as the hybrid double-act results in CO2 emissions of just 104g/km and fuel figures of 64mpg on the combined cycle.

To put that in perspective, its emissions are 21g/km lower than the current lowest-emitting 1.2 litre petrol Jazz.

The benefit is a road tax bill of precisely zero for the first year of ownership and then just £20 a year.

Unlike cars that are all battery and which take hours to recharge, the Jazz Hybrid is as simple to own, run and drive.

In town at slow speeds, the car is powered by the 14bhp electric motor and as speed picks up, propulsion transfers to the 1.3 litre i-VTEC unit mated to the CVT gearbox.

This combination means that this Honda has the lowest emissions of any automatic transmission car in the supermini sector.