Welcome to the review of the Ford Fiesta from 2011-2012, third in a series of reviews covering my purchase of a small car. To be completely honest I was only interested in the Fiesta due to the optional diesel engine and the hot hatch ST version and of course it’s looks. Anyway, the 2011 Fiesta may share parts with with the Mazda2 but it doesn’t show. I loved the ‘sleek’ hatchback look and it’s genuinely small size.
The interior of the Ford Fiesta is good for its age. Although most of the Fiesta’s I looked at had the better quality interior an equal number I saw where built in Thailand for the Asian market and it lacks certain higher grade materials found in the pre 2011 European market model which is a pity. I believe that the older models where made in South Africa. In this part of the world small cars are view as entry level or cheap cars hence we are treated as second class. On the Fiesta’s I looked at the hard plastic interior didn’t bother me but the cheapness of it did. Cheap looking and small speedo and rev counter, tiny information display screens and placed quite far away from view was annoying. The interior was quite spacious with lots of storage positions including under the passenger seat but the rear seats when folded down was not flat which is an issue for me. I do like the all button look, it fills in the gaps nicely.
The technical and mechanical package of the Fiesta impresses. In 2011 there where 3 engine choices a 1.4 or a 1.6, 4 cylinder petrol and the turbo diesel all of them produce more power than its competitors which is key selling point. The turbo diesel was a oddity in the small car market here and but clearly did not catch on. The ST ‘hot hatch’ model was not available for this model year.. Safety systems included the usual 2 airbags, ABS and even traction control but nothing more than the class average. There was also a sedan version which is not a good looking car. The 2011 models automatic came with a DSG in VW speak of DCT in Ford speak automatic transmission which seems to be the cause of a lot of problems.
The 2011 Ford Fiesta drive experience: I didn’t ask for a test drive as the sales person x2 was not really interested.
Overall I liked the various Ford Fiesta’s on paper but the reliability reports on the internet was a deterrent. Sure I don’t believe everything I read on the internet but there’s too many to be confident. Since I don’t see many driving about usually means the gossip on the internet is true or they are too expensive to buy compared with the competition. The other key problem was with the stereo system – it cannot be replaced with a more modern system.
Welcome to the review of the Honda Jazz from 2011. This is the second car review detailing the various reasons why I didn’t end up buying a Honda Jazz from 2011. The Honda Jazz is not a bad car by any means however there are things about it that I wasn’t completely happy with.
The first car I tested was the Mazda2 which as a nice small car in it’s own right but not my choice for a number of reasons you can read in the prior review. The Honda Jazz was the next car I tried and to be completely honest was my first choice until I realised that some models had a CVT and others a regular 5 speed auto or 6 speed manual. This gets difficult as I don’t really care if it was a auto or manual although I’m undecided after driving the Nissan Verso.
I like the exterior look of the Honda Jazz, it maybe a little van like design but it has enough angles and proportions that make it look pretty sporty? but most off all the design from 2011 does not seem to age, even in 2017. In fact I think the new 2017 Jazz looks like an older model on the outside.
The interior of the Honda Jazz is very good. In fact I think the interior is one of the best looking deigns and quality of materials for 2011. The main flaw is the integrated stereo system which means you’re stuck – if the you want new functions like Apple and Android compatibility. The stereo sound quality is average for the class. The interior has lots of storage locations including a dual glove box and hidden compartments in the rear and multiple cup holders that can be used for other things. The choice of seat materials made from velour and design is really good with seats that look and feel comfortable, it should handle traffic jams quite well. The key selling point of the Jazz is the flexible rear seating and cargo configurations known as magic seats, like the ones from your local movie cinema.
As a used car the interior materials holds up well as none of the examples showing unexpected wear and tear however the doors felt the lightest and cheap especially the door handles. The plastics are hard everywhere but there are cloth padding in the appropriate places which helps the ambience. Thanks to the unprotected doors you will find the usually ding or two but that is expected in a used car. The Honda Jazz safety systems are class standard with multiple airbags for the front and rear passengers in all models which was great as this number of airbags is optional on most of the small cars I looked at.
The 2011 Honda Jazz drive experience: It does not drive like a 1990’s Honda first off, engine power is helped by the 5 speed auto which was the first small car I drove with that many gears. While I think 4 gears is perfectly acceptable in a small car designed for the city and suburbs 5 speeds are a bonus. Steering is a basic electric model with feels Ok but not as good has the old hydraulic versions, probably on of the better ones. The Jazz engine felt stronger up in the revs than the other cars probably due to the additional gear ratio. It’s a better compromise than the Mazda2. Likewise the ride quality, engine noise are well controlled in the city at least, just as good as the others in the class. I noticed that some models had cruise control! Overall not a standout which is disappointing.
Overall I liked the Honda Jazz. The interior space was a selling point and likewise the seating and interior storage. The instruments and materials quality was a little ahead of the rest except for the sound the doors make when closing. I liked the Jazz and only a few things counted against buying one. The stereo system is not changeable which was a key factor, the doors are flag like and none in the right spec, flexible interior for cargo but no passengers, multiple transmission choices and colour at the time I was looking, meant that I would not buy a Jazz in 2017. That said if I was buying a Jazz in 2011 would be a different story.