We get a lot of enquiries at Independent Motors from people looking for small automatic cars.
What is often generally overlooked by people – and motoring writers sometimes – is the fact that there are quite a few ‘automatics’ we don’t normally associate with the term.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is a prime example.
It is not, technically speaking, constructed as an automatic but, critically, you do not have to shift gears.
Indeed there are no specific gears; there are just endless numbers of seamless responses to how fast or how slowly you wish to go.
The only downside has been that the response could be sluggish and create its own bit of sonic boom.
However, they have been greatly improved over the years by the likes of Toyota, Lexus and, of course, the source of this little review, Honda.
I took their large supermini Jazz CVT – yes automatic – for a few days recently, powered by the 1.3-litre i-VTEC petrol engine (€200 road tax).
I am something of a Jazz fan as you’d know if you read the Motors Advice Desk and the number of times I recommend it.
So it was good to reacquaint with a view to informing you of something I hadn’t reported on for a couple of years.
I had a pleasant time in it, but I’d have to say you wouldn’t need to be looking for tearaway acceleration if you were depending on the CVT to give you instant response.
It was very much a leisurely drive, nice and smooth but, a bit disappointingly sedate to be truthful.
Yet, that is a small price to pay for an automatic doing the work for you.
As well as an automatic, lots of readers also look for a small car that has a bit of height to make entry and exit less challenging to torsos.
The Jazz is certainly a bit taller alright and the headroom inside was excellent.
Regarded as one of the more expensive superminis out there, the fact is the little Honda is quite a bit roomier than most. Add on the cost of automatic/CVT and the price gap narrows.
And there was a more-than-decent level of spec on the car I was driving.
It included: parking sensors front and rear, 7in touchscreen infotainment system, 15in alloys, air con, dynamic safety pack (forward collision warning, traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed limiter, lane departure warning), city-brake active system, cruise control with speed limiter, auto wipers and lights, electric windows, remote audio controls, magic seats (easy to fold), HDMI, two USB sockets.
It costs €21,440.