Honda Releases Details and First Images of Fit Hybrid

After three years of speculation about the introduction of a Fit Hybrid, Honda is set to unveil the world’s first subcompact hybrid next month at the Paris Motor Show this September. Not only will the Fit Hybrid be the smallest hybrid on the market, it could carry the lowest price tag.

A hybrid version will go on sale in Japan in October, and is expected in the U.S. in 2011. As we reported earlier this month, Honda plans to sell the Fit Hybrid in Japan for about $18,600. That’s approximately $3,500 less than the Honda Insight, currently the cheapest hybrid, and about $4,600 more than the gas-powered Fit. Pricing for the Japanese market does not move in sync with U.S. pricing—but a similar strategy in the U.S. would put the base MSRP around $17,000.

Exact mpg will be released at the Paris Motor Show, which will run from September 30 to October 17, but we anticipate a significant step up from the gas-powered version, which is rated at 28 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway. The Fit Hybrid is likely to become the second most fuel-efficient hybrid, right behind the Toyota Prius (51/48 mpg). The auto industry is still figuring out how to rate the fuel economy of plug-in cars, such as the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt.

The Fit, marketed as the Jazz in Europe, will use Honda’s IMA system— an 87-horsepower 1.3-liter engine combined with a CVT gearbox—currently found in Honda’s Insight and CR-Z hybrids.

The new Fit/Jazz is updated for 2011—with revised headlights and rear lights, a new front grille, and restyled bumpers and tailgate. Inside, there’s a darker single-color dashboard and blue-lit dials and instruments. The new hybrid is also available with leather trim, the first time this has been available on a Jazz model in Europe.

Though the Fit’s outer shell takes up very little pavement, it yields an unusually large interior space. Total passenger volume is 90.1 cubic feet, which is just a hair short of the larger Honda Civic. It offers more head and legroom up front than competing subcompacts, such as the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.

With so many low-volume luxury hybrids hitting the market in recent years, the introduction of a small affordable high-mpg gas-electric model from Honda is a welcome addition to the hybrid market.


  • Eric

    Looks like Honda is finally getting something right! Kudos!

  • Old Man Crowder

    Meh. I think it looks like the new Mazda 2 and Ford Fiesta.

    I don’t know what I expected, but I guess I’m uninspired.

    But… Low price, high MPG — this could be a winner for those folks that want a hybrid just for the sake of saying “I have a hybrid!”

  • domboy

    Come on, give it a manual transmission option! If you can do it on the CR-Z, you can do it on the Fit.

  • Charles

    If it has near Prius MPGs and saves $5000-6000 at time of purchase, Honda could have a good hybrid for the first time in a long while. I wish them luck, but based on past performance I do not expect all that much.

  • Anonymous

    i’d be interested to see if the mpg will be sustainable or will it eventually fall off like many civic hybrids.

  • JamesDavis

    I don’t care if it would get 5,000 mpg; I still! don’t like it. Why is it so difficult for these people to build an attractive looking car these days. Are all of these manufacturers using the same artistically tasteless design engineer?

  • Dave Smith

    My 2010 Insight is now up to 50MPG after a 5000 mile break-in… Still waiting for the suggested oil change of 10000 miles. :)

  • Tony Hardy

    If it gets better economy then it’s got to be good, lets keep pushing the envelope with better MPG.

  • Peter

    Author: “will use Honda’s IMA system— an 87-horsepower 1.3-liter engine combined with a CVT gearbox—currently found in Honda’s Insight and CR-Z hybrids”

    Are you saying CR-Z uses the same 1.3 L engine as Insight? CR-Z uses a 1.5 L engine.

  • Socks

    good development by Honda…

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  • JAM

    JamesDavis,

    I do not understand comments like yours. There are some unavoidable realities of aerodynamics that will always govern the basic shape of an efficient car like this. If you want cool looking then look somewhere else. Besides that, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think all these high mileage cars look cool. (Well maybe not all of them)

  • walter

    the hybrid fit should get and EPA rating of about 40 to 45 mpg. For hybrid instrumentation I would want an ICE RPM, an Electric Motor RPM, a Battery Charge Rate, a Traction battery State of Charge, and instantaneous MPG gauge. If hybrid fit had two 120VAC outlet rated at 20A each. it could also double as an outdoor generator!

  • Honda gal

    The Honda Fit debuted in Japan 2001 and started sales in the U.S. a few years ago. From what I could uncover with the quick web search, the new Ford Fiesta and Mazada 2 both debut in 2010. The fifth generation Fiesta launched in 2002 also looks a lot like the Fit. So, in my humble opinion, the Ford Fiesta and Mazda 2 look like the Fit. Personally, I wish the new Fit hybrid got higher MPG, but mid to low 50′s is pretty darn good for a cute, sporty little economy car.

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