Author Topic: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive  (Read 1396 times)

John Ratsey

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Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« on: June 15, 2020, 06:35:21 PM »
Last Friday I decided that it was time to contact my dealer about the Crosstar and this morning I took their demonstrator out for a 20 mile test drive on a mixture of rural and urban roads. First we did a test of the remote locking (hold down both buttons for a few seconds until the LED flashed as described on page 169 of the online PDF manual) and then approached the vehicle. It didn't respond to the remote until I pressed a button to activate it again. This security feature was news to the dealer and they'll now be checking their other Hondas with the smart entry. We also discovered that the paper manual is completely different to the pdf online manual.

I had a look under the bonnet (see photo). It's very congested with a couple of of orange flexible conduits that contain the HV cables. There's a rectangular silver box where the gearbox would be and I assume that this houses the generator / motor generator / reduction gear and clutch. The 12V battery looks to be even smaller than on a Mk 3 Jazz. The DRLs are around the outside / bottom of the headlight units while the front indicator lights are strips along the top of the headlight units (so better separation than with very close bulbs). There is no provision to reduce airflow to help winter engine warm-up (but the handbook has a warning or two about overheating so perhaps Honda reckon that the airflow isn't big enough to be worth controlling.

Starting off was a slightly surreal experience as it was just a matter of pressing the power button (numerous lights come on) putting the gear shift into D, releasing the parking brake (probably not necessary) and pressing the accelerator. If the vehicle made a warning noise (it should do when running on battery at slow speed) then I couldn't hear it. With a bit more speed the engine woke up but this was only evident due to a change in the power flow graphic and EV symbol. Overall, the vehicle felt a lot more responsive than my HR-V with the noise-free acceleration making it very easy to exceed the urban speed limits. Mk 3 Jazz owners will notice a very big difference. I gave the accelerator a push while going up a hill and the engine became audible but not particularly loud so I wonder if Honda have improved the sound-proofing compared to previous models.

The Crosstar also went over potholes and patches with less jostling and grunting than my HR-V (which is better than the previous Jazzes). However, this may reflect the longer suspension travel which one of the press reviews mentioned. To me this is a selling point for the Crosstar although probably not mentioned by Honda as it would imply that the suspension on the Mk 4 Jazz could be better. The weather was fairly sunny and I didn't wear my polaroids so I could see if glare off the top of the dashboard onto the windscreen was a big problem. It was not. In fact, although present, it wasn't particularly noticeable until driving into the sun under a series of trees turned the glare off and on. Some of the shady bits were probably enough to get my HR-V to turn the headlights on but there was no sign of that happening so I hope that this annoyance on the Mk 3 Jazz / HR-V has been fixed.

The boot isn't generous but I called in at home and checked that a 55cm trolley bag (which we use if travelling in UK) would fit when placed in line with the vehicle. It did without much space to spare but that's enough. I also tried to test the corner parking sensors and think they are an improvement although not as much as I would like. It should be possible to calibrate the distance and change in colour of the display on the big screen.

The other item of interest was the fuel economy. I had already estimated based on the published data that I should be able to get 70 mpg with my driving style (for comparison my year with a Mk 3 Jazz averaged 58 mpg based on fuel into tank). Anyway, according to the fibometer the vehicle slightly improved on my estimate (see photo - the trip was in two parts with a short stop at home) but I don't think I every exceeded 50 mph so avoid the higher speeds where the mpg starts to suffer. However, I suspect that the engine was fairly warm before I started and the weather was very amenable.

My conclusion was that while the vehicle doesn't meet all requirements on my wish-list it's a noticeable improvement on my current vehicle and I've put down a deposit. However, Honda's system hasn't completely recovered from last week's outage so the dealer wasn't able to check stock availability so I don't currently know when I might get to own a Crosstar given that red or blue are the only two colours of interest and I don't want a black roof. I had originally proposed blue as being more distinctive but the female half of the household prefers red (which I would admit will require less frequent cleaning). Availabilty may be the deciding factor.

Muldoon

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 10:24:50 PM »
Thanks for the review, it sounds quite normal to drive despite the complex technology.

jazzaro

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2020, 02:59:13 PM »
Nice and very interesting review.
I'm very curious to know if standard height trims will keep the handling of the GK3 or their setup will be softer and not so sharp.
I must check.

JazzMusic

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2020, 07:41:48 PM »
Thanks for the review. Still waiting for the YT-videos to show up.

It has been mentioned here and there that the noise level is reduced compared to the Mk3. Some say that it's quite unusual to have the engine rpms not correlated to the vehicle speed. What's your impression on the low-end torque? 253 Nm is pretty much.

Too bad that I favor the standard Jazz over the Crosstar in any color. The Crosstar has 185/60/16 instead of 185/55/16. I'd go with 185/60/15 on the normal Jazz and mount Michelins which are said to offer the highest comfort level. Not sure if you can mount 15 inch rims on a Crosstar.

Hope to go for a test drive in a few days...

John Ratsey

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 06:31:31 PM »
That low end torque is very noticeable and provides quick initial acceleration (hence my comment about easily exceeding the urban speed limits). It will, for example, make getting into a gap in traffic on a roundabout much easier. I only once heard noticeable engine noise and that was constant while happening. If I had pushed the vehicle harder then I expect that the engine would have switched to a different revs range. I think Honda concluded that the noise of an engine running at constant speed was less irritating than having the engine speed and noise frequently changing. The battery can handle any differene in the power balance.

I agree that higher profile tyres are better. My current HR-V has 215/55 R17 so the Crosstar has slightly higher profile. However, I suspect that the longer travel suspension helps the Crosstar absorb the rougher bits of road.

One bit of info I've obtained is that the new Jazz has no 12V starter motor but the 12V battery supplies the other components which use the 12V system. The engine gets spinning when needed by briefly using the HV generator as a motor which explains why there is zero noise associated with the engine waking up. A flat HV battery would mean that the engine can't be turned over while a flat 12V battery means that all the other electrics won't work.

Honda's ordering system still isn't working so I still don't know about stock availability.

JazzMusic

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 07:24:09 PM »
The availability mainly depends on the color choosen. At least, my dealer asked my preferred color upon my request. Both pearl white can be had in July, Taffeta white a little later, in September. White pearl and Red metallic have been the initial colors for the standard Jazz as it seems. There's near to no difference between the three White in the configurator. Dealer's pictures can be misleading. I have to see them in person.

Dead batteries: as we won't drive it during the winter period we'll wonder what trick is needed to keep the car alive and the HV battery happy if not driven at all for some months.

richardfrost

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 07:48:53 PM »
The hybrid system seems very much like my RAV4. If the 12v battery dies you can 'jump start' from another vehicle or battery, but you’re not turning over the car, just getting the electrics up and running. If the main EV battery is ever flat then you have a major problem. I serious doubt that would happen just through lack of use. The system manages its reserves automatically.

Muldoon

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2020, 10:05:22 PM »
This battery set up concerns me, you have to put 100% faith in the technology or you are stuck. It seems to be a lot of tech to nudge 60-70mpg and still pay £150 road tax.

John Ratsey

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2020, 10:29:58 PM »
This battery set up concerns me, you have to put 100% faith in the technology or you are stuck. It seems to be a lot of tech to nudge 60-70mpg and still pay £150 road tax.
I'm happier with this technology than the temperamental auto-stop system in the Mk 3 Jazz / HR-V. I've never heard of a Mk 2 hybrid Jazz having a problem with the big battery. In fact, that vehicle has been consistently aorund the top of the Which? car reliability survey results for numerous years. Lithium batteries have a very low self-discharge rate and Honda recommend using the vehicle for at least 30 minutes every three months so that the HV battery can get a bit of exercise and replenishment.

If/when you get to drive the vehicle then you'll realise that the responsiveness and smoothness of the drivetrain is a big attraction. The extra mpg is almost a bonus. The safety technology is a big step forwards from that in the Mk 3 Jazz. I felt an invisible hand moving the steering wheel when the car felt that I was getting to near the edge of the road when going round a bend.

The press is almost unanimous in stating that the vehicle isn't as exciting to drive as a Fiesta and therefore drop their ratings. Few of the same press give sufficient weighting to the attractions of the vehicle such as a good manufacturer reliability record, economy and a lot of usable space for the vehicle size. Anyone who has been underwhelmed by the performance of the Mk 3 Jazz but liked its other features should give the Mk 4 a test.

John Ratsey

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2020, 10:17:47 PM »
Honda's dealer ordering system is now functioning again. It revealed that single colour red or blue Crosstars aren't available until August. I'm not keen on a black roof (get hotter in the sunshine) but after some haggling I've compromised by accepting, at no extra cost, a two tone red which is available from stock. I think that's the outcome the dealer wanted as he also reduced the offered trade-in price for my HR-V should I wait until August. It's not yet known when the dealer will get the vehicle as there's a backlog in deliveries due to Honda's system problem.

Muldoon

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2020, 11:59:32 AM »
This battery set up concerns me, you have to put 100% faith in the technology or you are stuck. It seems to be a lot of tech to nudge 60-70mpg and still pay £150 road tax.
I'm happier with this technology than the temperamental auto-stop system in the Mk 3 Jazz / HR-V. I've never heard of a Mk 2 hybrid Jazz having a problem with the big battery. In fact, that vehicle has been consistently aorund the top of the Which? car reliability survey results for numerous years. Lithium batteries have a very low self-discharge rate and Honda recommend using the vehicle for at least 30 minutes every three months so that the HV battery can get a bit of exercise and replenishment.

If/when you get to drive the vehicle then you'll realise that the responsiveness and smoothness of the drivetrain is a big attraction. The extra mpg is almost a bonus. The safety technology is a big step forwards from that in the Mk 3 Jazz. I felt an invisible hand moving the steering wheel when the car felt that I was getting to near the edge of the road when going round a bend.

The press is almost unanimous in stating that the vehicle isn't as exciting to drive as a Fiesta and therefore drop their ratings. Few of the same press give sufficient weighting to the attractions of the vehicle such as a good manufacturer reliability record, economy and a lot of usable space for the vehicle size. Anyone who has been underwhelmed by the performance of the Mk 3 Jazz but liked its other features should give the Mk 4 a test.

Hi John

Thanks for the further info and comments, it does sound like a good choice with a marked improvement in driving experience over the MK3 and the concerns over new technology and batteries probably unfounded, a case of getting used to things and after a few months you don't give it a thought. I hope the dealers get more stock soon I'm tempted to go and test drive one.  :)

John Ratsey

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2020, 04:04:34 PM »
Thanks for the further info and comments, it does sound like a good choice with a marked improvement in driving experience over the MK3 and the concerns over new technology and batteries probably unfounded, a case of getting used to things and after a few months you don't give it a thought. I hope the dealers get more stock soon I'm tempted to go and test drive one.  :)
I would expect all dealers to have both the normal Jazz and the Crosstar demonstrators. Arrange to test one. My year with a Mk 3 is now a distant memory but I recall it made a lot of noise when asked to accelerate. The Mk 4 is much more willing to quietly pull away from the traffic lights. Now that Honda's system is working again the dealers can see what stock is already sitting in the UK, what is on the way and what is already scheduled for production.

I don't think I've previously commented on the tilting wing mirror(s) feature (mirror(s) tilt downwards when reversing - very useful for seeing where the wheels are in relation to the kerb or white lines). Until about a week ago this was included in the Crosstar specification but was absent on the vehicle I drove. The dealer asked Honda UK who said that the specs were wrong (and the website was updated a week ago). I sometimes wonder what the Honda UK marketing people, who decide what options to include / exclude, are thinking. A tilting mirror or two is a lot more use than a heating system for fabric seats. There's also the matter of their choice of colours. They occasionally get it right such as with the sunset orange for the Mk 3 Jazz but their choice of colours for the Mk 4 is uninspiring.

richardfrost

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2020, 04:11:46 PM »
A tilting mirror or two is a lot more use than a heating system for fabric seats.
Each to their own. I had both features on my CRV some years ago and I have never missed the tilting mirrors. The heated seats I would miss most days. The provision of this in the Mk4 is one of the key reasons I have included it on my list for next year. However, the tilting mirrors must just be a software configuration, so why turn it off for our market? Seems like an odd choice.

richardfrost

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2020, 05:52:34 PM »
I don't think I've previously commented on the tilting wing mirror(s) feature (mirror(s) tilt downwards when reversing - very useful for seeing where the wheels are in relation to the kerb or white lines). Until about a week ago this was included in the Crosstar specification but was absent on the vehicle I drove.
Having said what I said in my previous post, I seem to remember that in the CRV (or was it the HRV) you had to have the mirror adjustment selector switch set to the mirror you wanted to dip, for it to work. So clearly it would be pressed for the left mirror on most occasions. Maybe the Crossbar has the same foible?

ColinS

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Re: Jazz Crosstar Test Drive
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2020, 06:37:10 PM »
I don't think I've previously commented on the tilting wing mirror(s) feature (mirror(s) tilt downwards when reversing - very useful for seeing where the wheels are in relation to the kerb or white lines). Until about a week ago this was included in the Crosstar specification but was absent on the vehicle I drove.
Having said what I said in my previous post, I seem to remember that in the CRV (or was it the HRV) you had to have the mirror adjustment selector switch set to the mirror you wanted to dip, for it to work. So clearly it would be pressed for the left mirror on most occasions. Maybe the Crossbar has the same foible?
You are correct as far as the HR-V goes Richard, although it only works for the left mirror.

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