Every now and then, we have to say goodbye to a fan-favorite ride. Manufacturers decide that maybe it’s time for a fresh design. Others recognize failing sales and decreased profits as a sign to change direction. But when Honda announced the 2020 Honda Fit would be the last Americans would see of it, many were left scratching their heads. How could such a popular hatchback, with so much praise from car buyers and critics alike, get the boot? It could be a vehicle lineup mistake on Honda’s part too if it assumes the Honda HR-V will fill the void left by the Honda Fit.
The Honda Fit isn’t coming back to the states
Honda introduced a new generation of the Honda Fit on the global stage, and fans were ecstatic about the upgrades and fresh design. But alas, the United States is getting shut out of this new generation Honda Fit. Honda is dropping the hatchback from the U.S. portfolio after the 2020 model year. Production is expected to halt for American distribution, and Honda indicated it would be ramping up production for the HR-V instead.
Car and Driver thinks the Honda HR-V hopes to fill the void
Honda says it boils down to the numbers. The Honda Fit demonstrated drops in units sold, by about 19 percent here in the states. And looking at 2019, the Honda HR-V nearly hit 100,000 sold compared to the Honda Fit’s marginal 35,000. It’s this data, along with Honda’s ramp-up of production for the HR-V, that has Car and Driver surmising that Honda predicts the HR-V will fill the void. Car and Driver also suspects the profit margins are more significant with the HR-V than with the Fit. But with no changes for 2021, can the Honda HR-V replace the Honda Fit?
The Honda HR-V has big shoes to fill
The Honda Fit first came to the U.S. in 2007 and almost immediately began receiving accolades. Car and Driver awarded the Honda Fit as one of the 10 Best for its super-fun personality and amazing, efficient use of space. The Edmunds critics say the 2020 Honda Fit is still incredibly roomy for a small car and says it earns bragging rights for smart cargo and configuration capabilities. And Consumer Reports says it’s the small car that delivers crossover-like versatility and great fuel economy, achieving an average of 33 mpg. This little urban go-getter of a vehicle is certainly leaving big shoes, or should we say tires, to fill.
Americans left confused by Honda’s decision
Honda Fit enthusiasts and industry reviewers alike are left scratching their heads about this latest Honda decision to discontinue the sweet car. And a little jealousy ensues as Japan and Europe both are getting sneak peeks at the new Honda Fit’s improvements to come, while the U.S. gets left in the dark.
The smallest crossover Honda Americans will be able to buy in 2021 is the Honda HR-V. It’s not that the HR-V is a bad vehicle. In fact, it does perform well in a variety of markets and during performance reviews. But in the end, it’s an entirely different driving experience and, to some, can never fill the void left by the departing Honda Fit.
If you want to get your hands on a 2020 Honda Fit, there are a few remaining among dealers. But once those dealer inventories run out, the most comparable Honda you’ll be able to buy is an HR-V or a Civic. And while both of these models are strong Honda vehicles, neither of them will deliver that entry-level value, fun, and versatility quite like the Honda Fit.