A short historical perspective: During the world-wide recession gasoline prices hit the ceiling as producers, distributors warned of a depleted unsustainable world supply of crude oil. We were collectively convinced to bite the bullet as to rising fuel, related goods and shipping costs. After all, we were out of crude oil, and would have to look to fuel alternatives while limiting miles driven and fuel reliant products consumed.
As the Chevrolet Suburbans, GMC Denalis and HMVs of the world headed to the crusher, companies like Honda survived the recession producing smaller, quality, fuel efficient compact and subcompact cars and light trucks. In the economic cycles of the past, smaller cars had lost their appeal as the economy headed out of the depths and shadows of an economic recession.
It’s a new day as consumers look past cheap fuel and marketing hype. Well, sort of.
We know that Chevrolet Silverado and F150 pickups are the best selling vehicles(by volume) in the U.S.. While not “economy cars,” through new engine, drivetrain technologies, lighter body and frame components, Detroit is squeezing more MPG than ever before with Dodge and Ford realizing real world fuel economy of 25 MPG on the highways.
In the case of Honda, light truck sales are up 27% with CR-V and Pilot leading the charge. However, that hasn't slowed Honda Fit sales, they've gone through the ceiling, doubling in January over the previous year. It looks to us like many post recession buyer’s aren't buying into the hype of long term low gasoline prices while abandoning their compact Honda.
There’s a reason: Honda’s best at maximizing usable interior space and utility within the confines of a fun to drive small or compact car. Driving Fit doesn’t feel like a compromise.
After spending much seat time in Honda’s popular 5 door hatchback, we believe that Fit’s utility and standard feature creature comforts add up to a superior value over much if not all of the competition. Besides, Fit is fun to drive. There’s that other thing that Honda does so well. Fit possesses a bigger car ride and driving feel, despite its relatively small wheelbase, overall body length and light vehicle weight.
Through superior suspension engineering, low center of gravity, a high output Earth Dreams ™ engine and CVT transmission or close ratio 6 speed manual transmission, Fit is very safe and sporty. Besides, how many folks truly require a large car or truck for everyday driving? With a base MSRP of $15,675, Fit LX offers the interior comfort and hauling capacity of a much larger vehicle while averaging 33 city/ 41 highway.
Fit features that “Magic Seat” thing insuring minivan-like utility, yet doubles as an economically to drive sport hatchback integrating superior personal tech-connectability, passive and active safety features, a decent stereo and more. You can read 2015 Fit specifications here.
In closing: Looking to January sales numbers as predicted by Torque News, Fit is offsetting Civic sales in the U.S. and will eventually replace the upsized Civic as the compact front runner in American Honda’s lineup. We further believe that on release 2016 Honda HR-V will within months become Honda’s next North American “Hot Hatch” in the sub-compact class. A great all around purchase or lease value, we believe Fit merits a closer look when weighing a new car purchase.