Sporty Honda Fit Facelift Is A Reminder Of The Great Small Hatchback We Lost

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The updated hatch now has more power than before.

Honda has released an upgraded version of the Jazz e:HEV in Europe and it's another reminder of what we're missing out on in the United States. Once sold here as the Fit, the little Honda is no longer available in this country, joining other small hatchbacks like the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, and Mazda 2 that were also discontinued as buyers gravitated towards subcompact crossovers.

However, small hatchbacks continue to sell strongly across the pond, and the Jazz e:HEV is one such example. Besides tweaked exterior styling, the Jazz comes with new trim options, better performance from its hybrid powertrain, and a new Advance Sport grade.

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The latest Jazz e:HEV combines a gas engine with two electric motors, and now makes 14 horsepower more than before. Then again, it's easy to see why the total output of 120 hp would be considered insufficient for most American shoppers. A revised CVT gearbox promises smoother shifts, while the Crosstar, Elegance, and Advance trims have a "new acceleration response concept" that creates a greater sensation of acceleration. For the Advance Sport, a unique throttle pedal map is said to deliver better driving power and responsiveness. This model also has a retuned suspension to improve cornering speeds and traction.

While the Jazz will never be a tough hauler, Honda has now added a towing capacity of 1,102 pounds, perfect for small trailers or bike carries. In terms of safety equipment, the Traffic Jam Assist function has been updated with steering support from 0 mph.

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Outside, the Jazz e:HEV comes with a new grille design for the Elegance and Advance trims, along with more sculpted bumpers and a darker headlight insert. For the Jazz Crosstar, there is a honeycomb grille design, unique bumpers, and silver inserts which have been made to look like underbody protection. Interior trim and colors have also received some attention, and the Advance Sport has a combination of black synthetic suede and grey synthetic leather with yellow stitching.

In 2020, Honda hadn't yet confirmed whether the new Fit was coming to the USA or not, but three years later, it's clear that it isn't. Without the Fit, there is no sub-$20,000 Honda on sale, but it seems the brand is simply responding to consumer tastes for more expensive, high-specced models. Last year, for instance, the base Honda Civic LX was cut from the lineup, raising the base price of this model by over $2,000.

The facelifted Honda Jazz e:HEV will go on sale in European markets early in 2023.

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