By on October 23, 2019

Image: Honda

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).

Image: Honda

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.

Image: Honda

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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