I continue with my search for products that provide us with good value. I know that I often say that we should save, save and save (and invest too) but we also need to spend. It is very impractical to say that we should not spend on things we need…what we should do is to make sure that we spend on is of good value—and gives us a bang for every buck we spend on, so to speak.
Although I am a personal finance person and the resounding theme of what I write and speak about is money, its proper use and its growth; but I am also a dude and what does most dudes like a lot is fashion, not! While many of us, especially the married men, do not ogle at other women anymore (I only stare at my wife), we do so with cars. Cars remain to be one of those things we like to look at, drive and own.
I’m on my 3rd car, which I was blessed to review and this time, I was able to use and enjoy the mighty Honda Jazz. The Honda Jazz is one of those ‘iconic’ vehicles that a lot of people simply go “ga-ga” over. Personally, I was not a big fan since I’m not into small cars, owing to my body frame. When my friend called me and asked if I would want to test the 2011 Honda Jazz, I agreed but was not really too ecstatic, it’s just small car after all.
All my pre-conceived notions about the Jazz were instantly thrown out of the window the moment I sat in the driver’s cockpit. Firstly, the Jazz is not as small as I thought it was. I’m not sure if its just optical illusion but I was really delighted that the Jazz was really roomy—even for a big guy like me.
The biggest come-on of the Jazz is its roominess relative to its size. I love the legroom, headroom and its over-all spaciousness. The riders at the rear will likewise enjoy the space. It is amazing how the Honda Jazz can have so much space considering it is a sub-compact car. I particularly enjoyed the folding seats so you can load bigger cargo. The ease of folding the rear seats is also a big plus, and so convenient.
So the car is roomy, a big benefit—but space is not the only criteria for value right? I like looking at the interiors of the car, particularly the dashboard since a driver spends a lot of time inside a car and a functional and ergonomic panel that is pleasing to the eye helps us stay sane amidst the stressful Manila traffic. A great sounding stereo where I can plug my iPod plus an air conditioning system that keeps the whole car cool despite the scorching Philippine heat is definitely a win-win combination for me.
The car is nifty, the car is spacious and the car is functional…but does it drive as good as it looks? While many reviewers like to test cars by taking them outside Mega Manila, the real test for me is how the car handles in our city streets—after all, I spend more time driving in the city than I do outside.
My best gauge of driving pleasure is that if at the end of the day I am not exhausted from driving, the car gets two thumbs up from me. After traversing through the crazy streets of Metro Manila, going to places for meetings from one after the other, and the occasional request from my wife for unscheduled errands, the Jazz was such a dependable partner. Was I tired after “playing” with the Jazz for a whole day? Not at all!
I was actually looking forward to my wife asking me to do errands because it is an excuse to use the definitive Honda for another spin. With only a 1.3 L displacement, the response of the Jazz was impressive—it’s zippy and handles the streets like it was hugging the road. The suspension was also smooth even it comes with a small platform.
Like I said before, the acid test of any car for me is how my family enjoys it. I got two young boys who love to tag along with me and they were raving about the Jazz, from how it looks from the outside and in the inside. My Teenage girls also liked the car a lot, even asking me to buy one each for them – well, I told them that after they graduate and earn their own income, they can get themselves their own Jazz with their own money – but with my blessings! Since my wife drives a lot too, I asked my wife to drive the Jazz as well and did she approve of the popular car? She said just said that she wouldn’t mind having one for herself to replace our older cars – that’s one of the best endorsement any car can get.
I never really got why the Honda Jazz was a very popular car and why its owners rave about their cars with cult-like behavior. A few days with this diminutive yet grand automobile, I have become a huge fan of the Honda Jazz.
My only issue with the Jazz is its cost—the model I tested, 1.3-liter automatic transmission, has an SRP of Php 792,000. But I suppose one needs to pay the price for the quality and value the Honda Jazz brings. After all, you get what you pay for.
Oh, before I forget, the best feature of the Jazz for a personal finance guy like me is its fuel consumption! Is it efficient? You bet! I estimate about 14 kilometers to a liter and that city driving with insane traffic at times!
The Honda with all its Jazz, got themselves a keeper.
Randell Tiongson is a personal finance coach and columnist. He is an advocate of life and personal finance and a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, E-Life and Moneysense Magazine. To read his blogs, visit http://www.randelltiongson.com