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Perfectly Plum Fit, Still Sitting Pretty

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On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 4:35PM | By: Chris Salamone

Perfectly Plum Fit, Still Sitting Pretty

Whenever subcompact car comparisons pop up, and the Fit is listed as an entry, the outcome can – more often than not – be predicted in favor of Honda’s most true-to-form econo hatchback. Even without a substantive update since the vehicle’s introduction in 2006, except minor aesthetic improvements in 2007, the Fit has continued to be a fan favorite amongst an increasingly popular segment.

So, you’d think that 2013 might be some kind of watershed or big update year for the Honda Fit, especially in light of recent subcompact makeovers coming from Hyundai, Chevrolet, Fiat, et al. Whether it’s because of last year’s series of catastrophes or the company’s continuing market success, Honda has chosen to stay the course and maintain the 2012 Fit, nearly in the vehicle’s present form.   

There is, however, one change worthy of note. Consumers will have a few color choices aside from the usual subcompact classics (blue, red, white, and black), including the new-for-2013 color Midnight Plum Pearl.

To be more specific, we’re really only getting one new color for 2013 and scrapping the seriously overplayed Orange Burst Metallic. But buyers can also choose between Blue Raspberry Metallic (turquoise) and Polished Metal Metallic (gun metal gray), along with the standard spectrum.

Of course, color options aren’t the real story here. Instead, Honda’s apparent lack of concern for the Fit – as evidenced by a single, minimal update – speaks volumes about the company’s confidence in their subcompact slayer.

Peaking in 2008, with nearly 80,000 units, Honda has maintained sales typically between 50,000 and 60,000 units per year. And 2011 was actually a ‘go’ year for the Fit, selling a higher than average yield.

As for 2012, just over 24,000 units have sold to date. That’s slightly under par, but Honda has chosen to sit pretty nevertheless.

How come? Because, if given the choice of all vehicles under $20K, many consumers would still choose a Honda Fit. Despite a serious lack of updates and mediocre gas mileage relative to the segment (28 city, 35 highway, and 31 combined), the Fit is amazingly versatile, fun to drive, and user friendly.

And lest we forget, few, if any, other subcompacts offer instantly flat folding rear seats – providing a maximum 57.3 cubic feet of rear cargo volume.

In design and spirit, the Fit is most like Honda’s original US market entries which stunned an anti-foreign audience with functionality, reliability, and affordability. If Honda has seen Fit to stick with what works, why, then we’ll just have to call that plum lucky.

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