And what to expect for the North American market
Honda has overhauled its capable and surprisingly spacious Fit subcompact for the fourth time. Here are five things we learned about the fourth-generation 2020 Honda Fit when it made its official debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
This is not for America
Honda President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo introduced the all-new Fit at the Tokyo Motor Show as a vehicle “perfected in Japan for a global market.” The Fit’s release date in Japan is February 2020, but American Honda tell us that, at this point, American plans for the Fit are still to be decided. “The [Japanese domestic market] Fit you are seeing is pretty cool, but not built directly for the North American market. We’re still a little bit out of making any Fit news for the U.S.,” said American Honda product PR manager James Jenkins.
Fit has been a global hit for Honda
The first Fit nameplate debuted in Japan in 2001, and it has been completely overhauled every six years, with the second and third generations arriving in 2007 and 2013, respectively. Collectively, over 7.5 million Fits have been sold worldwide.
There’s a new Fit Hybrid
As Hachigo-san said during his introduction, Fit is “specifically important for Japan” and if you read between the lines, it’s exactly the kind of car that established Honda’s empire. Fit has always been small, with a smartly packaged five-passenger layout, and powered by an efficient powertrain. For 2020, the JDM Honda Fit will launch with a traditional gasoline powertrain and a new two-motor hybrid system under Honda’s recently announced “Honda E” hybrid strategy.
It’s not all about the MPGs
“Fuel economy is not everything. What people sense is what counts,” said Hachigo at the introduction, before outlining some of the new Fit’s key priorities. In addition to making the seats more supportive and slimmer, reducing the separation between the front and rear cabin, and installing slick storage solutions, the Fit team focused on a “comfortable field of view.” This means an expansive view of the road, that the designers and engineers achieved by using extremely thin pillars to support the windshield. Tall triangles of side glass provide visibility ahead of the side mirrors, which are mounted to a much thicker pillar (one we would traditionally call the A-pillar, as it’s a key structural member and part of the door aperture). While it appears to provide a great view of the road, we wonder whether it also gives the driver the sensation of being set back from the road.
There are five fun flavors for Japan
The JDM Honda Fit will launch with five different grades that are all entirely too cutesy Japanese to cross the Pacific to America: Basic, Home, Ness (Fit ness, get it?), Crosstar, and Luxe. Basic is the value-priced base model as you’d expect, while Home appears to be what we’d consider the volume play, with all of the most popular options bundled together. Fit Ness is about fun and a “healthy life” but should not be confused with the sporty and adventurous Crosstar, which comes with roof rails and a water-resistant interior. The leather-trimmed Luxe edition appears to be the fully loaded Fit, and one we could imagine as a Fit EX-L, if and when Fit makes it to America. Stay tuned.