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Old 3rd October 2020, 09:34   #1
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Default Automatic Shootout : Honda Jazz vs VW Polo

Background: I currently own a Baleno 1.2 P Zeta MT and have previously expressed concerns about driving a "low slung" manual. While those have been alleviated with a simple cushion, my doctor's recommendation after looking at the X-rays of my left knee remains - that I should stop driving altogether. I obviously can not do that, so I consulted whether an AT will help and he said it will be better than wear & tear of the knee joint due to clutch.

This, along with the safety and build quality concerns that have built up over my ownership period of the Baleno has left me looking for better alternatives in an automatic avatar.

Requirements: For most of my ownership of the Baleno, I've been the sole occupant. Nowadays, most of my driving is with the family and safety has shot up the list of concerns with the Baleno. I've also mostly driven on relatively less crowded roads of Punjab and MP, but now we've shifted to Haryana and the NH44 (Delhi to Chandigarh) isn't exactly the safest of roads to drive on.

1) Safety
2) Automatic
3) Good highway driving manners
4) Safety
5) A lasting engine/mechanicals. I would like to keep the car for a long, very long time. I realise Honda has a better reputation in this department.
6) Did I mention safety?

Cars considered: Originally when we considered changing the car, we didn't want to spend much over what we'll get from the sale of Baleno. We'd only thought of Tiago, Ignis, and Nios in their AMT avatars. I TD'd Nios and Tiago.

Ignis was rejected for reasons of build quality. Nios felt better put together but the highway manners weren't to my liking. Tiago fit the bill on everything and I didn't have any qualms with the AMT but the concerns about the finesse left me in doubt. There have been several mentions of not-so-smooth tip-in tip-out points during acceleration, a question mark over the plastics/rattles (I can't live with a rattle-y car), AMT giving out in some situations and then responding with a jerk, etc.

We live a life on the move courtesy of the nature of my father's jobs, and my work. This necessitates a more reliable car than the Tiago. We moved during the pandemic and the Baleno had to do an 800km run where even assistance would be hard to come by and it did that successfully. I need similar reliability. I do not mind the extra effort of maintaining my cars, as long as the mechanics themselves are good.

After this, we started looking at cars a segment above. My dad likes C-SUVs but we cannot stretch our budget for something like an EcoSport AT.

The meat of the matter: We've come to the conclusion that both Jazz and Polo come very close to fulfilling our requirements. Polo's "thud" and build quality has made my otherwise conservative(car brand wise!) father consider a VW!

The concerns about Jazz are:
1) The engine. I don't drive fast, I don't mind an engine which is slow to pick up. What I do love is trips to the mountains with family - and I don't know if Jazz will be able to perform these duties well.
2) CVT - While better than AMT, it's still not as good of an experience as a TC. I'd be willing to overlook this because of Honda's reliability.

Concerns wrt Polo are:
1) Space. My father and I are going to sit in the front seats but my mother is concerned about the rear leg space and the "sitting on the floor" feeling of Polo.
2) Long term reliability. I'd ideally like to keep my car for ~15 years, I don't mind actively maintaining a vehicle. I don't even mind shelling out a bit extra for maintenance and the upkeep of a vehicle, as long as it keeps running fine for a long time. Will it?

A little bit of research that I've done on the TSI engine is as follows:
It's an interference engine with a timing belt. Apparently belts are prone to snapping and in an interference engine, that can cause serious damage. VW has said its belts will last the lifetime of an engine and won't need replacement, how trustworthy is this claim? Modern turbo petrols usually use timing chains.

How well would a VW Polo hold up over a long time in general?

A note on the pre-owned route: I've seen some very attractive propositions in the used market but my father is completely against it - given that we want to keep the car for a loong time.

Last edited by RoadMonkey : 3rd October 2020 at 09:56.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 10:31   #2
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

Thanks @RoadMonkey for starting this thread. These are the two cars in my consideration at the moment. Subscribing to this thread.
Honestly I am not able to decide on the two.
I am a sedate driver so I feel the Jazz would do for me, but what if I am in the mood for some fun? Also Jazz misses out on Hill Hold, that's one of my concerns since my wife also plans to drive.
Hoping for experts to chip in.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 10:35   #3
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

I have been driving a Jazz for the past 8 years now. The 1.2 iVTEC was just about adequate for urban driving back then. Today, it is the lamest small capacity motor around. It is simply gutless, the the lack of response is only made worse by the CVT. This powertrain is well past it’s expiry date. I will not suggest it to any buyer in 2020. Honda’s overall lack of equipment and ridiculous pricing seals the argument. No amount of space can make up for this.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 10:56   #4
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadMonkey View Post
The concerns about Jazz are:
Concerns wrt Polo are:
How well would a VW Polo hold up over a long time in general?
This is super easy! You want the vehicle to last you relatively trouble free for 15 years with safety as your number 1 priority? A Toyota or Honda it is then!

You have already answered your own question, in your post. May I also suggest the Yaris CVT? The lower J CVT variant is priced similarly to the Jazz ZX.

There isn’t any competition between a tiny turbo petrol vs a NA petrol when it comes to longevity.

For the Honda 1.2L, it does suffer from low end torque but then if you get the CVT, you’ll have the paddle shifts to play with in the hills, and I’ve never had a problem climbing inclines even with 4 adults onboard.

Choose wisely!

Last edited by SmartCat : 6th October 2020 at 22:27. Reason: Trimmed quote
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Old 3rd October 2020, 11:26   #5
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

I would suggest you to wait for the upcoming i20 it will fit all your requirements and will be fresh as well unlike the options in your consideration which have been around for almost 5 years and 10 years respectively.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 12:19   #6
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChoosetoCruze View Post
For the Honda 1.2L, it does suffer from low end torque but then if you get the CVT, youíll have the paddle shifts to play with in the hills, and Iíve never had a problem climbing inclines even with 4 adults onboard.

Choose wisely!
Thanks. That does address my concerns. Jazz ticks more boxes for me than VW does, and I do know owning a Honda is a more peaceful affair. I'll be taking the TD later today and see how well it does for myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sv97 View Post
I would suggest you to wait for the upcoming i20 it will fit all your requirements and will be fresh as well unlike the options in your consideration which have been around for almost 5 years and 10 years respectively.
I do not like how the Hyundai cars drive one bit. I also have concerns about Hyundai not sending cars to GNCAP and different build quality of export i20 and the one we get in India.

Then there was this - https://www.cardekho.com/india-car-n...test-22706.htm

I don't mind at all that the cars are old. I like the looks of both and don't really care for the fancy electronic features. Hyundai is focusing more on the bling than the actual cars. If I could go for a Creta/Seltos, only then I'd be looking at them seriously.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 12:56   #7
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

I have a V CVT Jazz 2017 model, no niggles, no fuss, fill and shut it type. Has handled well full loaded on hills as well. Don't worry about that part. Only thing which is a grudge is the fact that 1.2L engine is a bit underpowered over 100 km/h.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 12:59   #8
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

Easy question. Japanese trouble free petrol anyday for me. Extra benefit in a Jazz- Family sitting in rear will thank you.

Last edited by KPR : 3rd October 2020 at 13:00.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 13:10   #9
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

Jazz CVT - Space and comfort in spades, even in the boot (relative to the Polo). Honda reliability and peace of mind in long term ownership.

Polo TC - VWís hit or miss service experience and long term reliability concerns even with the TC.

Looks and the speed angle is an individual preference. If I had to pick one, it would be the Jazz for overall usage and peaceful ownership, having used Honda for the last 20 years.

Cheers
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Old 3rd October 2020, 13:12   #10
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadMonkey View Post

I do not like how the Hyundai cars drive one bit. I also have concerns about Hyundai not sending cars to GNCAP and different build quality of export i20 and the one we get in India.

Then there was this - https://www.cardekho.com/india-car-n...test-22706.htm

I don't mind at all that the cars are old. I like the looks of both and don't really care for the fancy electronic features. Hyundai is focusing more on the bling than the actual cars. If I could go for a Creta/Seltos, only then I'd be looking at them seriously.
Can't really influence your decision if you have your heart set on the choices but if by driving dynamics you mean handling then there is a video by EVO India which says Hyundai cars which have been introduced recently handle better than competitors. I have attached the link below for the same.



And coming to the safety aspect agreed they don't do GNCAP testing but recent Hyundai's which have been introduced all have a solid built so you shouldn't be worried about the safety aspect.

Finally, the niggles are something which are prevalent on most models and we can't really do much about it except for hoping it is acknowledged by the manufacturer and the part is replaced.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by sv97 : 3rd October 2020 at 13:14.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 13:58   #11
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Default Re: Honda Jazz ZX CVT or Polo Highline Plus AT

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadMonkey View Post
Thanks. That does address my concerns. Jazz ticks more boxes for me than VW does, and I do know owning a Honda is a more peaceful affair. I'll be taking the TD later today and see how well it does for myself.
Good luck, Honda has advertised discounts of up to 40,000 on the Jazz - https://www.hondacarindia.com/offers

Remember to use S mode & the paddle shifts if you want to get the best performance out of that engine. It is tuned for smoothness & efficiency.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 16:07   #12
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Default Re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

If you love driving, just go for the Polo. Polo also fulfills other criteria like safety and build quality.
I had owned 2 Honda Cities with electric power steering and the driving was very underwhelming. I had test driven the Jazz when we were looking for a hatchback and I did not like the stance and the steering feel.
Even though the current generation i20 is very ordinary to drive, it may be worth waiting for the new i20.
I have been contemplating to replace my i20 CVT with Polo AT but have decided to wait until next gen i20 is launched.
If rear space is important, Polo will be out of consideration.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 16:58   #13
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Default Re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Was previously quoted 10.61L for the VW Polo Highline Plus AT. That had put me off considerably since I'd planned for around ~10L. This is what pushed me more towards considering Jazz.

Check at a dealership ~40kms nearby, he quoted 10.05L. This has considerably changed how I look at the Polo.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 4th October 2020 at 02:56. Reason: Typo corrected, as requested.
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Old 3rd October 2020, 20:01   #14
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Default Re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Update: I went and took TD of both the cars back to back. It helped me compare the two cars better than any amount of watching reviews would have.

Conclusion? It was a blow out in favour of the VW Polo. I don't want to be unfair to the Jazz, but I felt like a fool comparing the two cars. They're meant for completely different people, aimed at completely different markets. Both of them have things the other doesn't offer, you've to pick what you can live with.

Details: My experience at the VW dealership was all around better than Honda's. The salesman was excellent. I was there for an hour and he didn't put a foot wrong. Amazing and a genuine salesman, very rare, deserves all the success. This is going to be our 4th car purchase and we're all blown away by how excellent he was.

Now, about the cars. While on our way to the VW showroom, we stopped at the Honda showroom to take a look at the Jazz. It feels and looks premium, my parents found it a touch better than even the Baleno. It's spacious, has the feel good factor about it. Then when we went to the VW dealership, we were unimpressed by the all black, cramped interior and my mother expressed her lack of satisfaction with the rear bench space (nothing unexpected so far). We waited for the TD car which had gone away on another TD. All of us were set on the Jazz, whose TD we couldn't get at the time as the TD car had gone to the city we're from! Hah!

Then came the TD. I drove the VW Polo on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway and wow! It felt amazing, composed, glued to the ground. I don't drive fast, but I couldn't keep my speeds in check initially. When I thought I was doing 50, I was actually doing close to 80. The acceleration from 40-80 is EXTREMELY useful in the highway traffic. You need it on a busy highway. When I was driving the Polo, I found navigating through the highway an absolute breeze. I came out mighty impressed indeed. I was starting to inch back to Polo but I wanted to keep an open mind w.r.t Jazz since my mother had her heart set on it.

And back we came, I called up the Honda dealership to ask whether I could have a TD today and they said, I sure can. I went and took the car out for a TD, same traffic, same road. I needed to make a maneuver to overtake a slow ~40kmph vehicle on the highway and I pressed the accelerator.... and nothing. The engine made a lot of noise and then sloooooowwwlllyyy started picking up speed. I'd at times think I was doing 80 but I was really at 60. The CVT box does not help the engine at all. I've driven a manual Jazz, it drives much better than this. I've watched reviews where the reviewers claim that the rubberband effect is well contained - pardon my language but that's absolute nonsense. It is well contained if you're feather footed, and I usually am, but this highway necessitates certain things. The car just would not pick up speeds, it's especially dangerous during overtakes. I thought the sports mode and paddle shifters would help, but the simulations of gearshifts were not really "smooth" and the engine still felt quite lacking. The S mode made driving the car a bit better, but only a bit. I'd take my Baleno over the Jazz any day of the week for the way it drives. With the Jazz, it almost felt like the car was short of breath and as a result, I also felt a little bit suffocated while on the crowded highway.

Jazz is a good car if you primarily drive in the city or on calm, open highways with reasonable traffic. It's also going to leave you wanting if you drive a lot - which I do. My average running per year is close to ~12-15k and I don't think I can keep driving Jazz for that long. The overall feel of the cabin, seating is definitely superior in the Jazz, but...

Well, that's all about my experience. Thank you for reading!
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Old 3rd October 2020, 23:13   #15
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Default Re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadMonkey View Post
Update: I went and took TD of both the cars back to back. It helped me compare the two cars better than any amount of watching reviews would have.

Conclusion? It was a blow out in favour of the VW Polo. I don't want to be unfair to the Jazz, but I felt like a fool comparing the two cars. They're meant for completely different people, aimed at completely different markets. Both of them have things the other doesn't offer, you've to pick what you can live with.
Why donít you consider a Honda amaze diesel CVT. The base variant CVT is within your reach.
Spend a lakh more on the mid variant CVT. It can fulfil your requirements, based on what I gathered from your posts. The boot space, two year old model, economy of a diesel are the benefits, I can think of instantly.Test Drive and then decide.

You say that you keep your car for a very long time. You also say that you donít mind for how long the car has been in the market. This opinion of yours can change. What happens then? Youíre stuck with your purchase.
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