2020 Honda Fit: Vibrant, Newly Electrified, and Possibly Not Bound for a Dealer Near You

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2020 honda fit vibrant newly electrified and possibly not bound for a dealer near

Honda last revamped its subcompact Fit hatchback for the 2015 model year, tossing the entry-level model a styling refresh for 2018. Now, there’s a new Fit on the block (or Jazz, depending on market), but its availability in the U.S. remains a question mark.

Sales of most subcompact cars have followed a trajectory traced by their compact and midsize stablemates, and it points nowhere but down. If Honda feels it’s worthwhile shipping the Fit across U.S. borders, what you see here could be yours.

Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday, the 2020 Fit is undoubtedly the smallest Honda to adopt a floating roof design. It’s also the smallest Honda currently in the lineup to boast a hybrid drivetrain (RIP, previous-gen Insight).

The model revealed in Tokyo carries Honda’s two-motor hybrid system. For Europeans, this is the only powertrain available; specs remain unknown at this time. Honda claims its e:HEV setup allows for fully electric driving in “virtually all situations of everyday driving,” so that’s an interesting addition to the subcompact class. Such technology normally warrants a higher price, which further dims the Fit’s U.S. prospects — assuming the brand doesn’t have a gas-only solution in mind.

While the front of the fourth-generation Fit’s greenhouse brings to mind GM’s 1990s Dustbuster minivans (or perhaps European small cars of the past decade or so), the vehicle’s front end is something of a departure from the brand’s design language. Honda intends the Fit to set the standard of small-car excellence. Offered in five trims in Japan — Basic, Home, Ness, Luxe, and crossover-mimicking Crosstar — the new Fit places the fuel tank beneath the front seats, allowing owners to flip up the rear seat bottom to muscle tall items into the backseat.

Those seats, by the way, are of a body-stabilizing design borrowed from development of the brand’s premium cars. Fatigue will become a thing of the past, Honda claims. A suit of Honda Sensing driver-assist and safety features should make the trip all the more stress-free.

Beyond that, there’s little else to tell you. Honda hasn’t loosened its lips about American availability, and until it does, any specs pertaining to the car’s hybrid drivetrain aren’t of much use to the reader. Not that we have any.

Fit sales peaked in the U.S. in 2008, a year in which the little hatch sold nearly 80,000 units. Since then, it’s been a gradual decline, with last year’s volume sitting at just over 35,000. Despite the recent refresh, Fit sales are down 17.2 percent through the end of September.

[Images: Honda]

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  • Cognoscenti Cognoscenti on Oct 24, 2019

    I like the interior as pictured, for this price point. Definitely not the penalty box of yore - I've driven many of them! Also, people like me who prefer cloth must be dying out just like the manuals.

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    • Stuntmonkey Stuntmonkey on Oct 25, 2019

      @CKNSLS Sierra SLT CKNSLS - That was generally true of all 90's Civic hatches as well, it was just something that we accepted back in the day, but not now. If this Fit concept was scaled up to the Civic platform it would be my ideal next "green car". Where I live "green" means increasing urban density and mass transit… a car is still necessary but it doesn't have to be huge anymore. Every spot I park in anywhere is small and tight and has a concrete post next to it.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Oct 26, 2019

    Those taillights look like they're trying to ape the i3, slightly. What's the difference between the white one and the bluish one. The grilles are different? Also, bravo for not going full Civic and making a car that's trying too hard to be "exciting." The looks to be a perfectly cromulent little runabout. Not something I'd like to own, but something I can respect.

  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.
  • Lorenzo They may as well put a conventional key ignition in a steel box with a padlock. Anything electronic is more likely to lock out the owner than someone trying to steal the car.
  • Lorenzo Another misleading article. If they're giving away Chargers, people can drive that when they need longer range, and leave the EV for grocery runs and zipping around town. But they're not giving away Chargers, thy're giving away chargers. What a letdown. What good are chargers in California or Nashville when the power goes out?
  • Luke42 I'm only buying EVs from here on out (when I have the option), so whoever backs off on their EV plans loses a shot at my business.