Last post on Jul 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM
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Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, smart fortwo, MINI Cooper
#7395 of 9848 Re: 2009 Honda Fit [thegraduate]
Mar 25, 2008 (3:29 pm)
Hmm, give it rear discs and double wishbones and this thing could have been the perfect reincarnation of the Civic SI of old, albeit in 5-door form.
Should sell well as the market downsizes. In fact, I think it will increase its sales pace by another 50% in 2009 over the 50+% it is already up this year over last. As long as Honda has enough production capacity, that is.
Over at TOV it seems like there is lots of speculation that in 2010 the compact will occupy the sales level the midsize did in 2000. There is also a lot of anguish that the Fit couldn't have been offered in an SI trim.
Clearly, the reason for this is that the model we get as the Fit Sport is already the "SI" in Japan, where the model is lifted from mostly intact. There, the Fit also comes in several lower trims with smaller rims, downgraded everything, and smaller engines.
I am curious, if gas prices continue to climb as they have the last two years, to see if Honda will introduce a gas-sipper trim of the Fit at the MMC in three years. They could sell the 1.3L with CVT here and it would be slow but pull high 40s for mpg. Will the market for slowish subcompacts with super-high fuel economy reemerge? We now have consistently high gas prices, but we also have the advent of the whole hybrid thing. Our cheapest hybrids sell for around $20K. My thinking is that a Fit 1.3 CVT with nothing more than a CD player and window cranks (and the safety gear that Honda has now made standard across the board) could sell for around $13K and clean up in sales at 48 mpg.
I have just returned from a vacation in Europe, which makes it seem a bit foolish that we call the large cars we have subcompacts the way we do. Over there subcompact has a whole different meaning, and seems to be just about the most popular size there is. Certainly, there are very few cars larger than a Corolla there, except for commercial vans, buses, and the like.
I do wish Renault would use the Nissan distribution chain to introduce a few Renaults in the States, if only for the extraordinary and usually cute styling. Maybe they could design a few existing Renault models to incorporate Nissan powertrains or something. I also wish Toyota would bring over the Aygo to the States, it's quite popular there. That and all the multiple body styles the Yaris comes in. Corolla too. The most intriguing thing was to see the new Yaris hatch all over the place there, but with five doors. Less sporty-looking certainly, but much more practical. I suppose our Canadian neighbors get this version. It hardly looks any bigger than the 3-door we get, seems identical but for the two extra doors.
#7396 of 9848 Re: Hmhhh [british_rover]
Mar 25, 2008 (3:39 pm)
I think it's too early to tell on the Smart - give it a year. I think it would especially attract a small group of enthusiastic buyers - see how long it lasts. If its reputation is good, it could do well, at the numbers they're talking about. I would be surprised if it creates a whole new, large market segment for two-seater commuters.
#7397 of 9848 Re: 2009 Honda Fit [nippononly]
Mar 25, 2008 (3:42 pm)
see the new Yaris hatch all over the place there, but with five doors
I've been seeing a surprising number of the 2-door Yarises here, must be doing pretty good.
#7398 of 9848 Re: 2009 Honda Fit [texases]
Mar 25, 2008 (3:51 pm)
So have I, and apparently they are doing well, because Toyota recently changed the production mix for Yaris to produce more of the hatches.
#7399 of 9848 Re: 2009 Honda Fit [nippononly]
Mar 25, 2008 (4:34 pm)
Now that you mention it, I've been seeing more of the Yaris 2-doors around, too. Not that long ago, they were a very rare sight, although the sedan seemed to be a hit right from the start. Oh, and at work I've noticed a Ford Festiva showing up in the parking lot pretty regularly.
#7400 of 9848 Re: Hmhhh [texases]
Mar 25, 2008 (5:34 pm)
I was in Germany in November 2006 staying with friends, and as a lark we decided to go take a Smart-4-2 for a test drive. This car is perfect for a highly urbanized environment like Manhatten or Boston.
If you like HP, you won't like the Smart. I think it will sell well at first, just from the folks doing the "fad" buying, but it will be 3-4 years before the question is answered about long term demand.
You can drive in like a manual, or you can simply put it in gear and depress the gas pedal. It will automatically shift the gears by itself, emulating how you would depress the gas, run through the gear, depress the clutch while releaseing the gas pedal, shift to the next gear, and ...repeat....all by itself! It really takes a few minutes to get accustomed to how it shifts.
A surprising amount of room up front, giving the illusion of a much larger vehicle.
As for long term availability, the last I heard was that M/B has consistantly lost money on the Smart since its inception. Success here in the USA will have a lot to do with the availability of dealers and dealer network.
Mar 26, 2008 (7:00 am)
Early demand doesn't mean much. They have to have sustained demand.
This is a fad car, like the PT Cruiser or New Beetle.
You have to measure sales once the hype dies down.
#7402 of 9848 Re: 2009 Honda Fit [andre1969]
Mar 26, 2008 (11:16 am)
"Now that you mention it, I've been seeing more of the Yaris 2-doors around, too. Not that long ago, they were a very rare sight, although the sedan seemed to be a hit right from the start"
Originally, Toyota chose to build only 20% of the Yarises as hatches, anticipating that would be the demand from the public. Now that they have realized the error of their ways, they are busy building many more of the little 3-doors.
#7403 of 9848 Re: 2009 Honda Fit [nippononly]
Mar 26, 2008 (11:17 am)
The sedan it too close to the Corolla in size and price. Once you equip it well, may as well get the Corolla.
#7404 of 9848 Re: 2009 Honda Fit [nippononly]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Mar 26, 2008 (11:32 am)
Toyota's biggest problem with the Yaris, is that they didn't bring over the much more useful 4-door hatchback... Scion had the nearly identical xA, so I guess they didn't want the overlap..
Now that the xD has replaced the xA, and moved up in engine size (and ugliness), they should bring in the 4-door hatch, and the FIT would have some worthy competition...