RAC Cars News


Ford Fiesta or the Honda Jazz?

By raccars Published

Used Ford Fiesta - What Do You Need to Know?

The Ford Fiesta has been providing UK motorists with reliable passage for more than 20 years, but what are the real need to knows when it comes to this iconic car?

● Wide range of engines to choose from

● Some models have lots of hard plastic in the interiors

● Known for its excellent reliability

● Less storage space than other cars in its class

● Good driving dynamics borne from its sporty roots.

Ford Fiesta

View all used Ford Fiesta models on RAC Cars today.

Used Honda Jazz - What Do You Need to Know?

A practical and quirky car, the Honda Jazz is a cult classic in the British Isles and remains a popular choice.

● Excellent resale value

● Bright and vibrant colour choices

● Not known for a dynamic drive

● Five star Euro NCAP safety rating

View all used Honda Jazz models on RAC Cars today.

A Short History of Two Excellent Compact Cars

Honda has always had it tough in this class, competing against some of the best loved vehicles the UK has ever seen.

Out of those, is there any more successful that the Ford Fiesta? In sales terms the answer is an unequivocal no.

However, you have to give it to Honda for building a real following of their punchy compact.

One of the reasons the Ford Fiesta has been so successful over the decades is because of its all-round appeal to people from all walks of life, never finding itself labelled or put in a box. At first it was often seen as the sensible option for older drivers. However, over the years Honda have refined the Jazz, added sportier lines and found younger drivers keen to fly those distinctive colours.


It would seem that Ford barely has to do anything to improve or develop the Fiesta to attract buyers. Well, that’s if you ignore this car’s storied history as one of the first genuinely racy yet affordable cars. Suddenly the masses could drive away in style, without having to spend a small fortune.

The Jazz has had an entirely different upbringing. This was a car brought into the world with practicality and stability in mind. As the years have passed, though, so has some of that prudishness. Bright colours almost hid the fact that the Jazz was becoming sleeker, lower and more angular. And with that evolution a subset of drivers have loyally stayed for the ongoing journey. But what should you look out for when buying a used Honda Jazz.

Honda Jazz

Honda Jazz - What Should You Look Out For?

● Cold brakes may click but this is usually just the pads moving slightly in their mounts.

● The cold weather will make the suspension creak but, again, is commonly found to be a mounting point. A dab of silicone will stop the rubbing.

Yes, that really is the list of common faults for the Honda Jazz. Did we mention that it’s known for its reliability?

Ford Fiesta - What Should You Look out For?

● If the warning lights don’t go straight out after you turn the key, you should negotiate for a better price.

● Noise over speed bumps may mean you need the suspension drop links to be replaced. Obtain an RAC Vehicle Inspection if you do hear some noise, as it is better to check than to worry for a long period of time.

● It can cost £300 to fix an air conditioning or water seal leak, so have a good check for dampness in the front carpets when viewing the car.

How Do They Compare On Driving Dynamics?

The winner in the driving dynamics battle is the Ford Fiesta every time, and for drivers seeking a little more dynamism, there is an ST200 model that can sprint from 0-62mph in just 6.7 seconds.

The Honda Jazz is perfect for whizzing round town and the all-round visibility is excellent, but when faced with the open road, the Fiesta is far more engaging to drive.

Comfort levels and spaciousness are certainly categories where the the Honda scores highest.


The interior of the Ford Fiesta is basic but durable, and has never been an issue in a car that earns its reputation on the road.

The American dynasty, in all of its forms, is a practical vehicle that won’t cause any concerns on this front.

With the Honda Jazz however, a modern, light and bright design is backed up with a renowned level of space and storage. It’s a real leader in its class.

Both models offer good storage options. The Fiesta boot has a capacity ranging from 290 litres to 974 (with the rear seats folded). The boot on the Jazz ranges from 354 litres to 883 litres.

New Ford Fiesta and Honda Jazz Models

Engines and gearboxes

The choice of engines for the Ford Fiesta is really extensive. Two stand-out options are the award-winning three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and 1.5-litre Zetec ECOnetic diesel that can deliver up to 88.3mpg on a combined run.

The Fiesta is available with a five or six-speed manual gearbox or a dual clutch automatic transmission.

The Honda Jazz is available with a 1.3 i-VTEC petrol engine, and a 1.4i VTEC diesel engine, but it has a very good reputation for reliability. The Jazz has either a six-speed manual or a CVT gearbox.

New Ford Fiesta models are available in a number of trim levels including Zetec, Titanium, and Centura. Prices new range from £13,545 to £22,895, whereas used Ford Fiesta prices range from £200 to £18,000.

Honda Jazz models are on offer in S, SE, EX, SE Navi and EX Navi. Prices new range from £13,645 to £17,855, whereas used Honda Jazz models can range from £450 to £17,000.

View thousands of used Ford Fiesta and used Honda Jazz models on RAC Cars.

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