There are several very good reasons why the Jazz won our Best Compact of the Year award, none more so than the fact that this little car is fun to drive and is blessed with a cabin with lots of space.

Honda’s innovative Magic Seats system really is a clever party trick and had us scratching our heads wondering how it was possible that something with such a tiny footprint could afford so much cabin room. You can flip and fold the seats to make them disappear in one swift move or create several configurations and accommodate almost anything inside the car.

Although you only get one trim (EX) it comes loaded with a new 7.0in colour Display Audio touchscreen (with swipe and touch functionality) Steering Wheel Mounted Controls, keyless entry, cruise control, rear parking sensors, a four-speaker sound system, two USB ports and a HDMI port. As for safety, it has ABS (with EBD), hill-start assist, Isofix latches, and two airbags.

The Jazz exudes a bold confidence too (it has a sporty, lower and wider look) while under the bonnet is a peppy 1.5-litre four-pot that makes 130 horses and 155Nm of torque. That’s enough power to make merging or overtaking a doddle but the CVT takes a bit of fun out of proceedings. That said, with its taut chassis it’s still entertaining throw around a little.

Although they valiantly tried their best to knock it off top spot, rivals like the Kia Rio and Renault Megane fall short leaving the Jazz — which had been missing from our market for a few years but now makes a welcome return — as our pick of the bunch.