By on September 22, 2016

2017 Honda HR-V

Within months of the Honda HR-V arriving in North America, it seemed as though the Honda Fit was dead to rights.

Last summer, U.S. sales of the Honda Fit tumbled 35 percent as the starting point of a second-half in which Fit sales would plunge 54 percent.

The cause was obvious, or so it seemed. Consumers don’t want subcompact cars, consumers want subcompact crossovers.

With the subcompact crossover, the Honda HR-V, lining up alongside the subcompact car, the Honda Fit, inside Honda showrooms, consumers were driving away in HR-Vs 80 percent of the time.

Fast forward one year: it seems as though Honda has remedied the situation. Not only are U.S. sales of the Fit rising rapidly, the Honda HR-V continues to strengthen its share of the American subcompact crossover market.

How’d they do it? Don’t tell a certain presidential candidate, but it’s all because of Honda’s Japanese-Mexican arrangement.

Known in these parts as the worst current Honda product, the Honda HR-V nevertheless generated more U.S. sales in its first seven months on the market than its Fit platform-sharing sibling did in the whole of calendar year 2015. From the perspective of the Fit, one of its segment’s freshest products, the HR-V’s launch period was a disaster.

After averaging nearly 5,800 monthly Fit sales in the year leading up to the HR-V’s launch, Honda then sold fewer than 3,500 Fits per month in the six months after the HR-V’s launch.

2017 Honda Fit

POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC
After this, therefore because of this? So the market trend would lead you to believe.

The assumption: America’s growing appetite for crossovers, combined with America’s decreased demand for small cars, was causing consumers of Honda’s magic-seated subcompacts to choose the HR-V four times out of five.

The assumption was incorrect.

Recalls plagued the third-gen’s Fit early tenure. Then inventory dried up. From a 79-day supply of Fits two years ago, Honda only had 27-day supply of Fits a year ago.

In other words, the Honda Fit was struggling because Honda didn’t have enough Fits. The Fit, your punny Dad would say, was not fit to serve.

DON’T TURN THAT BOAT AROUND
But heading into August of this year, Automotive News reported an 81-day supply of Fits in Honda showrooms, inventory levels that increased once again heading of September.

The Fit’s rising inventory comes not as Fit sales dwindle, but rather as Fit volume surges. Year-over-year, sales of the Fit during the last three months grew 33 percent. American Honda has reported more than 5,000 Fit sales in five consecutive months after averaging 3,000 monthly sales over the previous eight months. August volume jumped 85 percent.

Honda Fit HR-V USA sales chart

Month to month, Fit sales have improved in five of the last seven months, rising to a 14-month high in July. At the current rate of growth, Honda will report in 2016 more than 60,000 Fit sales for the first time since 2009.

So, a year ago, Honda’s HR-V emphasis brought the Fit low. Is the reverse true this year?

Not at all. Coinciding with the Fit’s improvements are increased HR-V sales. After its first-full-month performance of 7,760 sales in June 2015, limited supply also hampered HR-V volume for many months. But HR-V inventory is ramping up, and American Honda reported 7,580 HR-V sales in August 2016, a 14-month high. Over the last four months, HR-V sales have jumped 18 percent, year-over-year.

Heading into September, Automotive News said American Honda had 27,000 HR-Vs in stock, the greatest level of supply since Honda’s subcompact CUV was launched.

LAND OF THE RISING FIT
What changed? Japanese Fit production.

Of the HR-V and Fit, American Honda spokesperson James Jenkins tells TTAC, “We are seeing a good production level that is getting closer to overall customer demand.”

Honda Celaya Mexico Assembly Plant

Last year, the Celaya, Mexico, facility tasked with bringing HR-Vs to the American market was also responsible for delivering Fits to the United States. But fast forward to the present and 96 percent of the Fits sold in the United States in August 2016 were imported from Japan. Yes, that Japan, where the first two generations of Fit were sourced before Honda began building the third-generation Fit in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

Assembly of Japanese-built Fits destined for U.S. consumption began one year ago at a long-awaited plant in Yorii. Fit production switched in May 2016 to a plant in Suzuka “to optimize the volume distribution,” said Honda’s Jenkins.

Regardless of their origins, it’s clear that American Honda’s dealers now have Fits and HR-Vs to sell. The duo combined for 12,950 U.S. sales in August 2016, up 73 percent from August 2015. Only 1 out of every 20 Hondas sold in the U.S. in August 2015 were Fits and HR-Vs. That figure jumped to 1 in 10 in August 2016.

After briefly sharing a bedroom, the Honda HR-V did not kill its older brother. The HR-V merely asked the Fit to move into an apartment on the other side of town.

Now the siblings get along fine.

[Images: American Honda]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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86 Comments on “The Honda HR-V Did Not Kill The Honda Fit After All, Thank Goodness...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    Is the HR-V geared as badly as the Fit?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I had a chance to drive an HR-V manual (only manual Honda they had), but I declined. I should have just to check it out.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      The HR-v didn’t seem so bad on the gearing when comparing it to the Fit. But the packaging of the HR-v is annoying and will not take any sales away from Subaru. You have go up to the EX-L trim level to get side roof rails. Not a well thought out plan by Honda.

    • 0 avatar

      I like how the Fit is geared. There is a reason why sports cars used to feature “close ratio four speed” transmissions. With the high 6,800 rpm redline, you have lots of options to either stay in gear or shift. I do a lot of 3-5 and 4-6 shifts. Yes, the relatively low 6th gear means about 3,800 rpm at 80 mph, so it’s a little buzzy and gas mileage could be a bit better, but the Fit’s engine produces noticeably more power when you get around 4K (VTEC appears to kick in, yo, around 4,200) so the low 6th makes for easy highway passing.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        4000 rpm at cruising speed would be a deal-breaker for me, since our gas car is the one used for long trips. That’s just too noisy and busy.

      • 0 avatar
        anonymic

        Actually, VTEC kicks in twice on the Fit, well VTC then VTEC. I can’t find much to complain about on the gearing aspect, it’s quick off the line at a light and pulls very well to cruising speed. 6th gear, I agree, is a bit buzzy, but other than that I don’t see what the complaint is about.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      The short gearing of the Fit is one of the reasons we didn’t even look at it in the spring. The HR-V manual has much better gearing. About right in-between the Fit and the Mazda3 that was purchased in the end. The Mazda has the most practical six-speed I’ve ever driven. The first five ratios are similar to my ’04 Mazda3, and then sixth goes a step further, dropping the revs down to around 2200 rpm at 60 mph.

      She’s averaging 6.5L/100km (36 usmpg) with it so far in mostly city driving.

    • 0 avatar
      V4Rider

      I have an Element, granted it has a 5 speed A/T, but it runs about 2300 rpm at 75 with a downshift here and there (generally unlocks converter, drops to 4th, locks converter, then up to 5th again) but the manual in that even spins 3k on the highway. Why doesn’t Honda gear their manuals like their A/T’s? 1-4 super close and 5th/6th drops it way down. Seems like a no brainer for fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        You’re preaching to the choir. The top gear in a lot of manuals is geared ridiculously because too many dimwitted buyers think that the car is “weak” if you have to downshift to quickly pass or to drive up a steep hill.

        • 0 avatar
          V4Rider

          I think dimwitted is an understatement if you expect a bread-van powered by angry hamsters to be anything but weak haha. I bought my Toaster for dog and stuff hauling, wheeling around in deep snow, and getting me through any weather I can throw at it with the highest reliability possible. Does an admirable job too.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    My wife bought a 2016 Fit back in the spring. She didn’t even give the HRV a second glance. Now, she had driven a 2009 Fit for several years and was convinced that it was the best thing since sliced bread, so she was more than a little predisposed to getting the best thing made even better. 6 months later she’s got zero regrets. Glad to hear that reports of the Fit’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Yes, and I believe some of the staff here pointed out the low inventory when people reported that the HR-V was killing the Fit.

    Although I’m reluctant to buy a subcompact anything…I would take the Fit over the HR-V for sure. Haven driven both, the HR-V feels kind of stretched and doesn’t have the same solid feeling that the Fit does. Plus, I just don’t like the way the HR-V looks.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    I still don’t understand the point of these tiny SUV-like vehicles (Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, etc.), but obviously others do, since they’re selling like crazy (except the CX-3, of course, because Mazda).

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I see few Trax (Traxs?); I think they look decidedly downmarket. I think the main ones I see are the HR-V and the Soul, the latter of which is almost not considered a crossover by most people because it doesn’t offer AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        It’s amazing how they can make the litter mate of Encores look so boot-clunky, crude and cheap. The different front end treatment is particularly Palooka.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          True. And the ’17 Encore got a refresh that makes it look a little bit more upscale than it did. Still, there are portions of the Encore that look cheap…like the B-pillars that are coated instead of having actual plastic B-pillar trim, as you’d normally expect of a car in that price range.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Encore needs the waterfall grille back! Now it looks like an Opel or something.

            Plus, they ugly-nosed the 2017 (more vertical grille, taller hood) to more resemble the Trax.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Looks like or simply is and Opel?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Yes, I know the Encore came from the wrong side of the pond but Buick cleaned it up nice and made it look American. Till this.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            I don’t know. I thought the pre-refresh one looked somewhat disjointed and plasticky. The new one is a cleaner, if international, look.

      • 0 avatar
        Powerlurker

        The Soul is an extremely practical vehicle. It’s surprisingly roomy and can seat four adults comfortably and has decent trunk space while being compact enough that you wouldn’t have trouble parallel parking it in the city, plus you can get it in colors other than black, grey, silver, or white. Most of the others are very cramped inside. My wife’s Juke is the polar opposite of the Soul, it’s cramped an tiny on the inside, has minimal trunk space (but a surprising amount of storage under the floor in FWD configuration) and can barely fit an adult in the back seats, but it’s also handles far better than it has any right to and is surprisingly fun and engaging to drive.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          We have a 2014 Soul with navigation (in Alien Green II, no less) in the family. While it’s good value for the money and is styled well, I completely disagree about it being fun to drive or handling well. The short wheelbase makes it uncomfortable. It also races to the highest gear, has what I would consider to be slightly sub-par braking and screams like you’re torturing it if you even think about pressing the accelerator more than usual.

          Of course, it’s just perfect for my grandmother to put-put around town, to doctor’s appointments and such. But I would not have purchased one.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I know an older woman who drives a later-build first gen New Beetle.

      Big surprise, its starting to have issues. Years ago she had a Buick Rendezvous and before that, a Regal GS.

      I was honestly thinking of telling her to look at the Buick Encore, the Chevy Trax (if the Buick is too much for her fixed income), and Honda HR-V. She liked the last CUV but wanted something smaller and good on gas.

      She now lives (after leaving her terrible husband in S.C. and moving here) down a sometimes-awful dirt road, and parts are literally falling off the Beetle (some plastic under cladding). She’s sick of the expensive service (like stupid dealer-only headlight replacement) on that lousy VW, but enjoys the fuel mileage and ease of parking of a small vehicle.

      Its like she’s got “subcompact CUV” written on her forhead:

      She’s old and arthritic, short and would enjoy sitting at a higher vantage point, prior Buick CUV owner who just wanted to downsize.

      I think she would love a nicely-equipped Encore. Its bound to be more comfortable and a better fit than the Beetle, while retaining a lot of the qualities she prefers in a daily driver (easy to park, mpg decent, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I can see why people like them. More upright and higher seating position for better visibility, with tires and a suspension that can handle the terrible roads. Plus, it’s less likely that the bumper of the brodozer will go straight into your head.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      So much ado about nothing. Sonic and Trax sales still better Fit/HR-V. Add in Encore sales and it is closing in on double.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Let us know when you have retail figures, Norm. Otherwise, you are just citing sales to Hertz. No wonder Encore resale values are so low.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          In MY15 the FWD Convenience started at 26 and change, it does 14,7-16,5 clean, and 17,2-18,7 XC. That’s about 1.5-2yo at this point, and percentage wise about right for a Buick model (they were always around 5x% of price in two MYs).

          Assuming the buyer got enough incentives to offset taxation, this isn’t too horrible for a German designed Korean hatchback-esque thing. The only real problem is you’re making payments on an ugly German designed Korean hatchback-esque thing which weights 3358 lbs and only offers 138bhp @ 5k. In contrast, my Z-body Saturn weighs 2,330 lbs -about a 1,000 lbs less- and requires me to slam the accelerator of its 120bhp 1.9 DOHC in order to get decent pickup out of it (it has 43K original miles so its not in need of a tune up just yet). Granted turbo on the “Buick” gives you the low end torque to at least move the heffer around but it does not seem like a win to me.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Useful idiots buying Mexican-build cars for price you can get J-build quality cars. Ha-ha

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      But not you! No sirree.

      What DO you actually own?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Slavuta,
      When you post these wacky statements, all you are doing is telling everyone that you are a racist. I don’t think that’s your intent, is it?

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        Mexican isn’t a race, it’s a nationality.

        Go look at vehicle quality data by year and you’ll see the MY2015 fits (Japanese made) have a serious drop in quality compared to other MY (which are predominately Japanese-made).

        And he never attributed the quality difference to anything, and he doesn’t have to. The facts of the matter are that the J-vin Fits tend to hold together well and the HR-Vs have a number of recalls and TSBs for assembly errors and I haven’t seen a single quality measurement that says the HR-V is doing as well as the J-vin Fits.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Yamahog,
          I suspect we are in agreement here. There are lots of drivers of product quality, and I’ve never seen nationality credibly shown to be one of them. Honda’s Mexican facility had a lot of teething problems at first, as do most factories, especially those that are also introducing a brand new vehicle.

          I’m just asking slavuta to be more careful in his word choices. Labeling people useful idiots for buying a car made in Mexico is not helpful.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            VoGo, I think we’re all in agreement here and no one is being a racist, and yet here you are whipping out the race card so quick it may have left burns in your pockets.

            I personally would prefer a Japanese vehicle from Japan, or the US. Personal preferences, as illogical as they may be. And no I’m not David Duke’s buddy.

        • 0 avatar
          Ronnie Schreiber

          How much of that drop in quality is due to Mexican origin and how much is due to the fact that in 2015, the Fit was brand new?

          Because of my accident, I’ve owned two Mexican built Fits and the only defect I’ve noticed is that second one’s moonroof mechanism is a little bit noisy.

          It is fascinating, though, to perceive minor variations in otherwise identical factory built goods. The shifter in the second car is noticeably better but I think the first might have had a bit more torque.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Here is the fact – there are no Mexican-build cars of great reliability. And there are specific models that lost reliability points after moving to Mexico. There is also fact that no one in this world quantitatively is as dedicated to his job as Japanese worker.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            That’s weird, Slavuta, because every study I’ve seen on national work patterns shows Mexico at the top of the list.

            http://fortune.com/2015/11/11/chart-work-week-oecd/

            But I’m sure your impressions are built solely on data, since you claimed it was fact, so I’ll wait here while you show us all those facts.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Vogo, I am not going to work for you. Why do I have to deal with work patterns that include “roofing and landscaping”. Just take any given model that was build in Japan originally, check its reliability scores, etc, then check the scores after model production has moved to Mexico. May be then you’ll see facts I am talking about.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Slavuta,
        A thoughtful person would parse out the impact of moving a factory, troubleshooting a new site and equipment, needing to train a new workforce, secure suppliers of equal quality, etc.

        When you do that, you figure out pretty quickly that those are the issues that drive product quality, not the nationality of the workers.

        PS: I don’t hire bigots, so don’t worry about working for me.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          And I can’t imagine you’re hiring many people if you dwell on giving yourself a yank about “why”. Regardless of why we see the quality gap, we know that we maximize our odds of getting a reliable first year car if we can source it from an established japanese factory than a new mexican factory. There’s a reason Toyota doesn’t build Lexus LSs and Land Cruisers in Mexico and rather than wondering why, I’d just buy one and be thankful that someone dedicated did the thinking for me.

          If you dig deeper, you might even find that Japanese suppliers routinely beat quality metrics. At a prior job, we had a Japanese supplier that had a defective unit rate an order of magnitude below the rate we had in the contract and their precision was amazingly good. I’m proud to say that eventually we started to use them more intensively and we explored other Japanese suppliers for other parts. They weren’t always ‘the best’ but I don’t recall us ever having serious quality issues with our Japanese suppliers (can’t say the same about American or Chinese suppliers). And although I no longer work in that industry, I do fall back on simple stereotypes that I’ve formed. If a pro-Japanese view makes me a bigot, I’ll wear the label with pride.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Vogo,

          if you call me a racist and bigot – this is fine with me. Because I am both of these things to a bad quality. I like high quality stuff.

          You seem don’t know about cultures of different people and how they go about their daily life. Never asked yourself, why Japan, who was destroyed after the big war, became one the most powerful economies? everything starts with food. they eat a lot of marine food. fish = phosphorus. Phosphorus develops brain cells. In their culture, it is Country, State, Work, Family, self. See, these people are dedicated.

          you know, when you work at the factory and use one of those electronic torque wrenches, you need to recheck and readjust the torque, etc. every so often. I am sure that in Japan, this work will be done. But in Mexico – I am not so sure. They will write it in the journal that they did it but may not do it. Its like those dudes from some African airlines. They didn’t have the tire so they marked that tire had enough tread. Next time tire blew up during landing and the whole airplane crashed. I am not playing these games.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Slavuta, from one Slav to another, ix-nay on the ace-ray stuff. Our folks haven’t exactly been overachievers.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @slavuta: everything starts with food. they eat a lot of marine food. fish = phosphorus.

            Corn tortillas and avocados have lots of phosphorus. If you’d spent much time in Mexico, you’d know they eat plenty of seafood. Barbacoa de Cabeza was popular too.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            God, I love guacamole!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That’s a very compelling chart – thanks for compiling that data.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Wait, correlation doesn’t equal causation? It turns out they were related through shared production constraints? Never seen that mistaken assumption before in my life, “honest”.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Honda originally moved Fit production to Mexico because they weren’t profitable due to the high costs of manufacture in Japan. Once Honda has a firm understanding of steady state HR-V sales, I expect that they will look to expand capacity in Mexico to absorb US-bound Fit volume.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I’m going to go on believing that sales of Japan made Fits is less profitable than Mexican manufacture, but still profitable until it’s proven otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      High cost of manufacture and tariffs.

      However, currency conversion rates have been favorable to Japanese manufacturers and those rates probably affect the decision more than most other factors.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        05lgt,
        Even if US sales of Japanese made Fits are profitable, they’d be more profitable is made in Mexico.

        • 0 avatar

          The most efficient utilization of their manufacturing capacity worldwide may have a greater impact on Honda’s corporate profitability than the fact that one model might be cheaper to build in Mexico.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Fair point, Ronnie,
            There’s a lot of complexity and I trust Honda’s engineers know what they are doing far more than some guy on the internet (me).

            One point to keep in mind is that of all the major carmakers selling in the US, Honda net imports the lowest % of its sales from outside of the US/Canada.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          agreed. Unless labor and/or regulatory reasons we don’t know about exist, Honda will likely increase production capacity in Mexico (or the USA) to meet this demand.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Question, will Toyota/Honda etc sell Mexican/Thai/Malaysian etc built product in the JDM?

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        Yeah! They do. A lot of their low-performance motorcycles are assembled in Thailand and then sold in Japan. The CB500 family and the Grom come to mind.

        But the bikes assembled in Thailand tend to use a lot of Japanese / Taiwanese components. I’ve never seen a build quality issue on either of the bikes but my sample size is limited though I have no complaints.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    Hmm, buy the worst Honda on sale (since CRZ death) that’s built in Mexico, and pay a $6000 premium over a car on the same platform.

    Or buy a good Honda that’s made in Japan and $6000 cheaper.

    Still, that 6 speed gearing on the Fit…. Ugh.

    However, HR-V is absolutely the worst. Nasty POS.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Whats that? The journalists (ie car salesmen) were wrong? I still fondly remember when journalists declared that the Cobalt was the next best thing since sliced bread. Yesterday I witnessed an 07 catch into flames just after it was sold at auction. Good times.

    • 0 avatar
      SP

      Well, Ferraris used to catch fire too, but people seem to think they are good.

      I think the thing about the Cobalt was that it was a really competitive entry in its class in terms of driving experience and usability. I drove one back in the late 2000s and liked it a lot. I thought it was better than the contemporary Pontiac G6 that cost a bit more. For that car to come from GM was a nice surprise.

      Unfortunately, it was still a cheap car made by GM. Which, as we see in hindsight, was not the best thing from an ownership perspective. But the typical American car buyer should probably have known to expect some quality issues. Not that you should expect the ignition switch to fail and kill you … but GM didn’t have Toyota’s reputation for quality back then, and it still does not.

      I would liken it to the case of the PT Cruiser. I hated the idea of it, but when I drove it, I admitted that I liked the reality of it. The only thing is, it was a Chrysler product. Again, longevity was not its strong suit.

      The HR-V seems to be a disappointment for people who like to drive. (I think most auto journalists fall in that category.) But that doesn’t mean it will be a failure in the marketplace. It just checks different boxes that are more important to different people.

      If I want predictions about frequency of HVAC repairs and paint defects, I can read Consumer Reports and JD Power. If I want to know what cars drive and handle well or have comfortable interiors, I will read something like Car and Driver.

      Might be a good idea to read both.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Is the HR-V really as terrible as everyone says?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Ever drive a Yaris? Add a couple inches to its roof height. In the front, only.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      It’s quite noisy and feels cheap inside. Those are really the problems. It’s got a decent amount of features-for-money and it should be reliable.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        You mean its a cheap vehicle, not something one would (or should) hold to high standards? Huh.

        All these people complaining about it, saying it’s a “nasty pos” etc, must hold the Chevy Trax, Kia Soul, Jeep Renagade and Nissan Juke in pretty high regards. I didn’t know they were some quiet mini Lexus with soft touch here and real wood there, with great ride and handling that defy the laws of physics for subcompact utility vehicles.

        How does the HR-V stack up to them, really?

        • 0 avatar
          theonlydt

          Kia Soul drives better and feels more substantial than HRV. Juke has significantly better interior quality than HRV. The Renagadge at least is “styled”, unlike the HRV.

          I would take any of those three over the HRV. Rough 1.8 (never liked it, even in the Civic), cheap, noisy, noisy, noisy, noisy.

          You’re right though, it’s about as awful as the Trax.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          HR-V is noisier than Trax or Renegade. The whole segment has pretty terrible interiors except for the Encore which is a bit more expensive.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          Alex on HR-V full test and comparison.

          HR-V has 3x the cargo capacity of the CX-3 and much higher quality interior, CX-3 handles better and better mpg

          Soul has similar interior size, is faster w/ bigger engine but gets worse mpg and handles worse than the HR-V because of compromised rear suspension

          His sum, HR-V best all-around CUV in category, Soul best front drive, CX-3 has poor utility but best for sportiness.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      HR-V is terror. Just wait for c-HR – that should be a world beated for this class. Although, CVT may poo-poo the whole party

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      It’s probably worth noting that you’re dealing with a Refinement Uber Alles crowd here, and to take their opinions with a grain of salt. At the very least, unlike basically all the rest of the useless segment the HRV competes in, it seems to at least make an effort to be a usable size. Otherwise, it seems about on par with the underwhelming last-gen Civic. Honda resting on their laurels, but hardly a rolling abortion.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I did find HRV roomy. But on the same token, if I needed room, I would buy a different car. If I purchased car like that it is only on coolness measure. Juke is cool in Nismo variant. CX3 cool for 2 people, rest of the car is a waste of time. HRV is not cool and not cheap enough to pick over bigger cars if room is concern.

  • avatar

    I wonder what the take rate would be if Honda offered AWD on the Fit, since it shares a platform and a lot of mechanical stuff with the HR-V but it seems as if you want to drive an AWD Honda sedan you have to buy an Acura.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I picked up a manual Fit EX a week ago today. It had been ordered for a couple of months. Back in the summer no 6 spds were available. It has 620 miles in 6 days. I expected the wind noise to be intolerable and the seats to kill me if bumps didn’t rupture my kidneys first. None of that has been so. My two biggest surprises is that I find it smoother riding and slightly slower than I expected. That is until I started taking it to the redline. I thought the engines had to be driven at 80% or less for the first few hundred miles, but Honda said no waiting was necessary.

    I took it by my sister’s where she drove it with her 6′-3″ husband in the rear. The back seat reclines a few degrees, so I set it back to enhance the effect. They have had a slew Suburbans and Navigators and an Excursion. She liked driving it; he scratched his head over the roominess. It has 1/2″ less rear legroom than Suburban.

    I’m driving country roads for 42 miles to work and the rest is in town until the ride back. Put it 3rd or 4th when needing to pass and 80 comes quickly enough. I never considered a CVT, but did think about a Fiesta ST. I keep more in the rear with the seat half folded than the Fiesta holds flat. The front bumper is a bug magnet, but the windshield stays clean. I’ve really enjoyed the drives. The cornering is better on those skinny 16″ Firestones than I anticipated. I can see going to 205/50/16s when it’s time to replace them, but the novelty of the MPG is also entertaining now. The average gas mileage usually reports 37-39, but the 7″ display reports the current and last drives. Amazing to flail something for 40 miles and still show 41 mpg.

    There really was a not choice of ordering from Japan or Mexico. As far as I can tell all CVT, at least EXs, are made in Japan, while all manuals are made in Mexico. Mine was made in Mexico, but Japan built the engine. The fit and finish seems perfect. The carpet still looks like a subfloor for real carpet, but a box of Weathertechs just arrived, so I’m going to put those in. I really like the car.

    I

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Only dissatisfaction with our 2016 Fit is that Honda gave the impression that it would receive a firmware update enabling Apple’s CarPlay system. After the sale, Honda corporate decided to inform everybody that despite the successful trial in 2015 cars, that they wouldn’t be making a firmware update available.

    You have to buy new future cars to get it (unlike many of their competitors that did deliver backwards compatibile firmware updates.)

  • avatar
    anonymic

    I got one of the last 2016 manual Fits available, they had to truck it in from over 700 miles away. That was in February, they’d run a lot of manuals, then a lot of CVT’s and shut the plant down and moved it to Japan a few months prior. Anyone who speculated that the HR-V killed the Fit was talking out of their ass.

  • avatar
    kc1980

    Honda dropped the ball on the fits styling big time. The previous generation was much more appealing. I suspect that might have something to do with it.

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