29 July 2021

Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021 Car Review

Kiwis’ love affair for crossover SUVs continues, with the top five passenger car sales being dominated by SUVs, making up fifty per cent of the passenger car market so far this year.

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Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021
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Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021
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Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021
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Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021
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Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021
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Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021
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Honda Jazz Crosstar 2021

We recently had the opportunity to review the new Honda Jazz Crosstar, a mini 'SUV' packed with technology.

The Crosstar is similarly equipped to the entry-level Life, but appeals more to those with a more adventure lifestyle, given its bolder stance and enhanced array of protective garnishes.

The new Honda Jazz Crosstar starts from $30,000 (+ORC).

A Jazzy look

The Crosstar sits proudly 30mm taller than the other two Jazz variants, and there’s also integrated roof rails that add further versatility for carrying bulkier items like kayaks and surfboards.

All three of the new Jazz models are designed with a very individual look and, according to the designer Baek Jongkuk, the goal was to design a companion which focused on improving the usability of the space and minimising any unnecessary features that would otherwise detract from the usability of the vehicle.

The A pillars do stand out on the whole range - they have been reduced to half the width of the previous model. This has been achievable through greatly improved torsional rigidity and new structural technologies that move impact stress towards the front quarter light pillars.

Sense and sensibility

The interior of the Jazz Crosstar feels more rugged and a touch more suited to an adventure based lifestyle than the Jazz Life we tested, especially with its waterproof fabric upholstery. There are also some thoughtful touches such as anti-fatigue seats, a soft-touch fabric dash, knee protectors and door trims to help make longer ventures a bit more palatable.

Other accents like the plated finish door handles and climate control vents help give the cabin a smart and clean appearance. We also loved the knurling on the climax control switch gear and the clicking note produced when it was required.

Honda has focused on a new design philosophy, encapsulated in the Japanese notion of 'Yoo no bi', which recognises the beauty that exists in everyday items. These have been perfected over time to make them even more beautiful and ergonomically satisfying to use for their specific purpose. The result is a minimalistic cabin which doesn’t really feel like it’s lacking in features, despite at first glance perhaps looking that way.

Origami seats

Although new, old tricks like the unique positioning of the fuel tank in the centre of the chassis beneath the front seats has been kept. This enables the Jazz Crosstar to retain the exceptionally versatile rear Magic Seats that offer both ‘fold-flat’ and ‘flip-up’ seat flexibility, depending on cargo space required.

The back of the seats have an ingenious pocket mounded high up that fitted our iPhone 11 perfectly.

Aside from the flexible space offered by the Magic Seats, there’s also a reasonably sized boot on offer, with 304 litres and a sizable 1,205 litres once the seats are folded flat.

Honda’s splendid new nine-inch infotainment system is paired to a seven-inch Drivers Display across the Jazz range. There’s also a comprehensive suite of apps, including Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay.


While not as equipped as the top of the line e:HEV, the Jazz Crosstar still has all the essential safety systems, like Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control (TCS), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) and Agile Handling Assist (AHA).

The Honda Jazz Crosstar does not currently hold an ANCAP rating.

The drive

In comparison to the e:HEV variant, the Crosstar isn’t too much louder thanks, in part, to high-grade sound deadening and insulation. The cabin was not overly noisy for a vehicle of this class.

The power delivery was smooth, however, you could hear the engine under heavy load from time to time, especially as we ascended the hills towards Orewa with a full car. There’s also an Eco mode, however, we didn’t really feel much of a difference using it, nor did we need it – the car demonstrated very good economy in normal mode.

The Crosstar offers a fuel efficiency rating of 5.8L/100km, and a CO2 efficiency rating of 133g/km.


It’s not uncommon these days having unique variants like the taller Crosstar. Honda is not alone – other marques like Audi and Kia offer similar cars with the A1 City Carver and Picanto X-line. Often, buyers simply want the extra height and versatility of an SUV without shelling out additional thousands on an excessively capable off-road SUV.

If you want the taller silhouette, plus some welcomed additions like the roof rails and waterproof seating, we’d say the Crosstar is definitely worth the additional $2,000 over the Jazz Life.

At a glance


Honda Jazz Crosstar


1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC Petrol


From $30,000 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

Not yet rated

Power and Torque

89kW, 145Nm


EarthDreams Auto CVT

Fuel economy/CO2

5.8L/100km, 133g/km

Towing capacity



2WD (Front)

Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

304 litres

Safety systems

  • SRS airbags (driver, passenger, front and rear sides, front and rear side curtain)
  • Three-angle reverse camera with dynamic parking aid
  • Emergency stop signal
  • Vehicle Stability Assist
  • Agile Handling Assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Anti-lock Braking System and Brake Assist
  • Traction Control

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