Come on Honda, we love adorable little hatchbacks.
Towards the end of 2019, Honda revealed the new Jazz in Europe, previewing what was expected to be sold in the United States as the Fit. The design is positively adorable and we were excited to receive the updated hatchback stateside. But then the company announced that the 2020 Honda Fit would be a carryover model, not the all-new generation that Europe gets.
This wasn't a huge shock, given that sub-compact hatchbacks are far from the most hotly-selling segment in the US. Honda sold 35,414 units of the Fit in 2019, which is down significantly from the model's peak sales year in 2009 when it sold 79,794 units. For comparison, the HR-V, which is basically a taller Fit, sold 99,104 units in 2019. We wouldn't blame Honda for discontinuing the Fit after the 2020 model year but it seems like there's still a glimmer of hope for a next-generation model.
Speaking with Honda's PR and manufacturing teams at the launch of the 2020 CR-V Hybrid, CarBuzz was told: "we are not saying about the Fit yet." This certainly is not a confirmation that the new Fit is coming to the US but it isn't a confirmation of the opposite either. The new Jazz uses a two-motor hybrid system similar to other Honda models sold in the US, so there is still a possibility is could be offered stateside.
The news wasn't so optimistic about Honda e, the adorable electric model revealed last year. A member of Honda's production team said the Marysville, Ohio plant is "getting a lot of investment for EVs. We've stopped a production cycle to tool for an EV." After killing off the Clarity Electric, this shows Honda is still committed to offering an EV in the US. But it won't be the Honda e.
In our discussions during breakfast, we were told the e's cutesy looks would be ruined if it was brought to the US. "Those adorable looks you enjoy would be ruined by US crash regulations," said Honda Senior product planner Brett Watanabe. "The front end would have to be redesigned." So while the Honda Jazz could eventually come to the US, the Honda e (as we currently know it) will likely remain forbidden fruit.