No-one heard or saw anything, but it would have made a pretty loud noise judging by the damage left behind.
After just six weeks in my care, Honda’s new Jazz VTi suffered an underground car park hit-and-run. Since it involved the left-hand rear door and wheelarch, the damage wasn’t even discovered for at least a day. I was away on assignment, leaving my partner to haplessly chance upon the carnage. It’s the second dent-and-dash I’ve copped in as many years. What is the world coming to?
More importantly, this is the first blemish on my experience with 518-TXQ, for in the preceding weeks, Honda’s Thai-built hatch hadn’t put a wheel wrong. It still hasn’t.
The Jazz is already proving to be the most incredibly convenient car for the inner city since my long-departed Nissan Leaf long-termer, thanks to its tall, boxy shape and wide doors that allow for unencumbered entry and exit.
These attributes were comically underlined when my arachnophobic friend Iona, a sassy Scot not prone to suffering fools gladly, was sat comfortably in the middle-rear pew, admiring the general vastness of space the Honda is famous for ... until a huntsman casually crawled from the map pocket by her knee. Even before I could completely stop, she had scrambled over boyfriend William and was out of the car like a shot, screaming.
She couldn’t have bolted from a small room any easier. Don’t worry, the spider was removed very gently.
Further urban-friendly virtues include a commanding driving position, light steering, a tight turning circle, great forward vision and that big centre screen for the crystal-clear reversing camera. The 175/65R15 tyres also manage to soak up your typical street blemishes effortlessly.
The combination of Honda’s 88kW/145Nm 1.5-litre single-cam four-pot petrol engine and new CVT transmission makes for lively step-off acceleration – ideal for rapid yet silky point-to-point commuting. This is backed up by robust fuel economy figures, especially considering the heavy suburban-traffic commuting the Honda has been subjected to.
However, even taking into account the Jazz’s youthful city-car runabout positioning, I could certainly live with much more steering weight and feel, a common observation with current Hondas.
Still, the whole household is mightily pleased with just how seamlessly the Jazz has slipped into our everyday lives, including Romy the Labrador Retriever, who happily steps onto the low floor afforded by the folded rear seat.
It may not be as endearing as my ’77 Civic, but the Jazz simply didn’t deserve the car-park pummelling it was subjected to.
This article was originally published in Wheels January 2015.
Click here to read the full range review on the Honda Jazz.