Home » The 2023 Honda Fit Is Adorable Which Is Why I’m So Bummed America Won’t Get It

The 2023 Honda Fit Is Adorable Which Is Why I’m So Bummed America Won’t Get It

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Why do we tend to want what we can’t have? While American car enthusiasts have lusted over European Fords, JDM performance cars, and oddball British sports cars, the updated Honda Fit is a more sensible forbidden car that still offers a lot to love.

This is the old one

While the first two generations of Honda Fit were solid warriors in the subcompact space, the third-generation model pictured above is a bit of a rare sight on North American roads. Its MSRP was fairly close to that of the old Civic, and cheap financing plus the presence of a Civic hatchback and an HR-V meant Honda dealerships had a difficult time moving the marque’s smallest model. When the fourth-generation Fit debuted in 2020, Honda made it clear that it wasn’t coming to America.

However, Honda’s American lineup has changed a lot in roughly three years. The new HR-V is a lot bigger than the old one and loses Honda’s Magic Seat arrangement, and the Civic hatchback has gone upmarket, now starting at $26,945 including a $1,095 freight charge. There now might just be enough space in the lineup to make the Fit viable again, which makes me all the more sad that it ain’t gonna happen.

2023 Honda Fit 3

So, what’s Honda holding from us this time? Quite a lot, actually. The global-market Fit (also known as the Jazz) gets a very thorough refresh for 2023 that includes powertrain tweaks, styling alterations, and optional sports suspension.

Refreshed Jazz E:hev Line Up Gains New Advance Sport Variant

Let’s start with the powertrain, where Honda has upped the ante on the hybrid system. Electric drive motor output jumps by 13 horsepower, gasoline engine output climbs by nine horsepower, and new mapping aims to deliver a smoother experience. Honda hasn’t published a net power output, but expect it to be just a bit north of the current car’s 108 horsepower. As a bonus, all hybrid Fits are now rated to tow 1,102 pounds, perfect for pulling a Honda motorcycle.

Honda Fit Advance Sport

Those who like their Hondas zesty might want to pay mind to a new trim known as Advance Sport in Europe. Not only does this trim level sound like it was swiped from an Acura meeting, it features actual performance tweaks that should make a world of difference. New spring rates that are eight percent softer up front and 20 percent stiffer out back sound like a party, the gasoline motor gets a higher shift point, and retuned dampers should ensure that the whole thing doesn’t pogo down the road.

433355 Refreshed Jazz E Hev Line Up Gains New Advance Sport Variant

Of course, a facelift typically includes exterior tweaks, and that’s exactly what the Fit gets. The new standard front bumper features a re-sculpted lower valence with plenty of textured plastic that should enhance visual width, while a revised standard upper grille looks smart and simplified. Advance Sport models get their own treatment, with a pumped-up front valence and mesh upper grille that make this supremely adorable little hatchback look quite aggressive (see above). Other minor tweaks include a line of updated rear bumpers that echo the fronts, and dark headlight housings to add a touch of aggression to the front end.

Honda Fit Crosstar

Since it’s 2023 and everything’s a crossover now, Honda also has the Fit Crosstar, which is a lot more Fit than it is crossover. Plenty of plastic cladding adds a certain level of stone and debris protection, while a black roof adds a certain level of sleekness.

2023 Fit Interior 1

On the inside, it’s business as usual. You won’t see Honda reinventing the wheel inside this updated Fit, but updated upholstery options add a bit of color to an otherwise deeply pragmatic space. I’m talking water-repellant fabric on Crosstar models, gorgeous tan leather with black piping and cross-stitching on loaded cars, and very soft-looking cloth in mid-range trims. Of course, all the Fit practicality from the Magic Seat flip-and-fold rear seats to dual gloveboxes is still on tap, the sort of stuff that really sets the Fit apart from its competition.

base model

Doing the math, the updated Honda Fit looks to be quite cheap. Excluding Japan’s consumption tax, the base-model updated Fit e:HEV pictured above starts at ¥1,816,000, or less than $14,000 at the time of writing. I repeat, less than $14,000 for a very practical hybrid subcompact hatchback. If Honda brought this thing to America, I have a feeling it would fly off the shelves as very little competes in the extremely-cheap hybrid space. Even a Ford Maverick XL is more than $20,000 now. While a small hybrid car may not be as green as an EV, low emissions in a desirable, affordable package sounds like a great interim step in the quest to go green and a heck of a lot more usable than something like a used Nissan Leaf. Pretty please, Honda, can the new Fit make it to America?

(Photo credits: Honda)

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25 Responses

  1. Test driven the 3rd gen. a couple of times and loved the zippy handling and amazing interior space but as an enthusiast I needed an Si version to seal the deal.

    1. My Fit is the best car I’ve ever owned. Comfortable, spacious and insanely reliable. It is rated to tow 2000 lbs and easily gets over 30 mpg. For 17000 in 2015, worth 11,000 this crazy year.
      Nah, no one wants this. You can’t have it.

    2. It’s bigger and the fuel economy isn’t nearly as good as a Fit. Some of us need to parallel park in our day-to-day and that 20″ makes a big difference.

  2. It stopped flying off the shelves when they sold it here before, why would now be any different? Hate to say it, but that goofy little alien thing the HRV will outsell it by far, just by the virtue of being a “crossover”

  3. I really wanted to like the Fit when it was available. Unfortunately it had probably the most uncomfortable driver’s seat I have ever sat it. I really can’t put my finger on exactly what was wrong, something between the driving position and too short of a lower cushion. It became very obvious during the test drive. I can’t imagine having to live with it for a longer trip.

    I guess that’s the point of a test drive!

    1. My daughter has a fit like the orange one pictured above. The problem with the driver’s seat for me is that it needs to be able to move back one more notch. I’m six feet nothing and I don’t quite Fit. But fine for short trips.

  4. Using current volatile exchange rates is potentially poor practice.

    A Vezel in Japan is 2.8M yen.

    A more accurate calculation would be ((USA HRV Price) / (Japan Vezel Price)) x Japan Fit Price = US EST FIT PRICE.

    Or about $19k. Which is right around what the old Fit sold for + recent inflation and probably the dropping of the LX model because who needs base trims.

    1. which is still much, much cheaper than the Civic, so point holds. I agree that it’s potentially misleading to do a direct currency conversion for car prices, though.

  5. If the US just gave up on FMVSS and signed on to the UNECE regulations most of the world follows, what manufacturers decide to sell here would become irrelevant, that’s how it all was pre-1968. Like something that’s not available here? Call a foreign dealership, do a wire transfer, and stick it on a container ship. Shouldn’t be much harder than that.

  6. We bought a Fit Sport, 5 speed in 2006, 2007 model. The purchase was largely based on Road & Track and Car and Driver reviews of the car. All they had was one demo on the lot when we signed the papers (refundable deposit, but still a leap) for reasons I can’t remember the demo was not available for test drives. So a few weeks later the car arrives, we drive it first time and love the zippy nature, combined with great space and fuel efficiency. We owned for 15 years replaced a couple cheap suspension bushings, a couple light bulbs, but other than that was consumables, tires, brakes pads fluids.

    We did plenty of road trips in it, though I think it excels as an urban commuter, was also plenty serviceable as highway commuter, though as mentioned the front seat isn’t the most comfortable. We would get 36-38 on the highway, seemed to go up the longer we owned the car.

    Anyway, I think the Fit is a great option for a lot more people than the market does. Maybe if the bring it back as a cheap in price but good in Honda quality vehicle, possibly renamed with gear hybrid numbers the could move a few of them.

  7. The first time I ever rode in the back seat of a first gen. Fit my mind was blown. It was cavernous inside compared to how it looked from the outside. My old drummer owns the last US generation and can fit his entire kit with the seats down. They were incredibly popular in the City.

  8. I so wish we got the new Fit in Canada. For whatever reason, Honda’s pricing up here on the HRV and CRV is crazy high. A lot of budget conscious Canadians would flock to a new Fit.

  9. Don’t be too upset. We can’t have the Maverick, Bronco Sport, Bronco, Wagoneer, Durango, F150 et al, Seqouia, 4Runner, Tundra (although I think that’s changing), Challenger, Charger to name a few. If you are upset about a dull ugly hatchback, remember you can go into a dealer and walk away with a Hellcat and I can’t.

  10. IMHO they just eliminated the Fit and moved the name over to a basic Civic. Looks nothing like a Fit but looks very similar to a Civic. But okay i love the Civic.

  11. One of the (many) sad events of 2020 was the loss of the Fit for the American market. I had a 2010 second-gen and a 2016 third-gen, and while the 2016 was a good car with improved ac and handling, the 2010 was a vastly better experience in terms of space and appearance. Fun, capable, and adequate vehicles. No wonder we can’t have them in the US, they don’t provide anywhere near our requisite levels of excess!

  12. The number of new Mitsubishi Mirages I see buzzing around indicates there is still a market for small, inexpensive cars. Yes, the Fit would cost more than one. But there’s so little competition in that space that I bet it could do well.

    An aside here, but I’m curious how Gen Z will influence the automotive market. Gen X didn’t want to drive a station wagon like their parents, so they bought minivans. Millennials wouldn’t be caught dead in a minivan, so they’re out there buying SUVs. I wonder if Gen Z, who are supposed to be more environmentally conscious, will be more inclined to buy smaller, more efficient vehicles?

  13. The thirdgen is certainly common where I am (Burlington, VT). I bought one of the last but had to go out of my way to find one with a stick, new. The Civic was a better deal on paper, but the hatchback model came at a steep premium and it seemed like the gen 10’s extra width was divided as .5% each for the driver and passenger and 99% for the GargantuConsole.

  14. Sometimes I feel like the only auto enthusiast on earth who was born in the right time and place to be pretty satisfied for most of my life with the vehicle options I get vs the rest of the world.

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