2023 Honda Jazz Crosstar Review: Crossed Up and Fitter than Ever

Lionel Kong

The Honda Jazz gets a rugged makeover for an SUV-like stance


The SUV thing is going everywhere into all sorts of cars. From the little Suzuki Ignis to the massive BMW X7 and everything in between, the body style continues to find its way into all the established name plates as old names like the Toyota Corolla branch off into new SUV variants.

Which is what has happened to the Honda Jazz here. The regular little Honda Jazz e:HEV, which really would have sold in much greater numbers if not for the stifling COE prices lately. Into the fray comes this, the Honda Jazz Crosstar, an SUV-fied version of the compact hatchback.

Here’s our very early look at the Honda Jazz Crosstar!

Technically it’s really just another Honda Jazz variant as the mechanicals are largely identical. Even the sheet metal of the Crosstar’s body appears to be punched out from the same panel formers of the standard hatchback, though the addition of black plastic arches and side sills disguises this by a fair amount.

The addition of roof rails and a slightly raised ride height give the impression of a much taller car too, and the good news is that all the things we liked about the normal Jazz are all in the same place here.

This means you get a roomy cabin, a nine-inch touchscreen entertainment interface with full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a seven-inch, full colour digital instrument panel, plus a pair of USB ports on the dashboard. There are also two USB-C charging ports for the back seat passengers to use.

The seats however, are upholstered in what is clearly ersatz PVC leather, and the steering wheel rim is slightly Fisher-Price with just a basic, bare urethane rim. 

It does retain the Honda Jazz’s signature fold-away rear seats, and they can be configured in multiple ways including being folded completely up for carrying tall items.

Drive power comes from Honda’s e:HEV hybrid drive, which is Honda’s own, very successful, petrol-electric powertrain. A 1.5-litre petrol engine combines with an electric motor to drive the front wheels. Like all the other Honda hybrids that have come before, it is capable of full electric drive for a decent distance, and with a 40-litre fuel tank capacity you can expect more than 800km of driving between fill ups.

The car has a quoted fuel economy of 4.5l/100km, which over our three days with the car it was discovered to hold pretty true. The thing is, the car had a very low mileage count when we picked it up, and as the drivetrain runs in with use you can expect even better fuel economy.

Toyota often gets a lot of praise for its hybrid cars, but in use, the Honda systems are equally strong in efficiency and reliability. The full capacity of the onboard lithium-ion battery is not disclosed in the official literature, but the Jazz Crosstar does switch seamlessly over to its EV mode very often, with the 1.5-litre engine switching on and off unobtrusively. It’s all systems go when you want the car to accelerate quickly, and then the engine keeps the car cruising at highways speeds while also recharging the batteries via the onboard generator.  

The electric motor takes over at low load urban speeds, which we found to be effective up to around 70km/h. Like all petrol-electric hybrids there’s no external charging to worry about, it’s all done and balanced onboard.

 Even bad traffic jams, which are a bane on the fuel economy of regular ICE cars, does not trouble the Honda hybrid system. The car can creep along on electric power alone for quite a distance, then when the charge gets low the engine kicks in to charge the batteries and then the process repeats.

We drove the car with a light foot, fully loaded with five adults, through a 30-minute traffic jam, and with a crazily heavy right foot with lots of heavy acceleration too. No matter what we did the fuel economy stayed under 5.0L/100km on average as the clever computers balance and shuffle between the motive sources.

There’s no official 0 to 100km/h time nor top speed for the car given, but from driving it we reckon that it’s similar to the standard Jazz hybrid, which is around 9.5 seconds.

New small and compact cars aren’t selling as well as they used to be here in Singapore thanks to the massive COE spike, but relatively speaking the Honda Jazz Crosstar is a tidy driver with sound handling characteristics, great all-round view and even a full suite of active safety features including a very smooth adaptive radar cruise control. Six airbags protect the occupants too. The compact car segment in Singapore has a strong Suzuki Swift and Honda Jazz angle, and as before the car’s main competition comes from the Suzuki garage. If you go a size up, there’s also the very capable Nissan Kicks e-Power to check out.

Also worth noting is that it’s priced at S$4,000 more than the standard hatchback. Is the additional cost worth the price of admission for an SUV-fied Honda Jazz? It’s all about what you want. 

Honda Jazz Crosstar e:HEV

Drivetrain type Petrol-electric full hybrid 
Engine 1,498cc, inline 4
Power106hp at 6000-6400rpm
Torque127Nm at 4500-5000rpm 
Electric Motor Not stated
BatteryLithium ion 
System Power122hp
System Torque 253Nm
0-100km/hNot stated
Top SpeedNot stated
Fuel Efficiency4.5L/100km 
VES Band A2 / -S$15,000
AgentKah Motor
PriceS$64,999 with VES, without COE 
Availability Now
Verdict A very easy to manage urban car with sound handling ability and spacious interior


car crosstar hatchback honda Hybrid jazz

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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