When we get leaked images of certain models, the response is often very positive. A new model is a source of excitement for our market, particularly for vehicles that enjoy a very loyal following. But for some reason the response to the leaked images of the next generation Honda Fit, otherwise known in our market as the Jazz, has been unusual.
Perhaps these first official images of the new Fit, fresh from its world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show and presented by Honda President Takahiro Hachigo, will help soothe those ruffled responses.
The look of the Fit is perhaps the most unusual as they have redesigned the hatchback to not be as edgy as its predecessor. The surfaces are more rounded, particularly with the front bumper, and with the H emblem protruding from the color-keyed grill panel.
The most notable change are the 'bug-eye' headlights which reminds us of the first two generations of the popular hatchback. Also, its signature quarter window is much larger than before, allowing for greater visibility. The roof line is rounder than before, and it's flanks appearing more upright than previous iterations.
Changes to the rear are just as dramatic as the front with a tail light design that's a complete departure from the past. Instead of upright lights, the 2020 edition comes with slimmer, wraparound units. The tailgate is classic Honda Jazz with a wide opening and a low liftover.
As we reported earlier, there are five distinct variations of the Fit for its home market of Japan. The first two are the simplified models: the Fit Basic and Fit Home, the latter coming with more upmarket touches such as a leather steering wheel, soft touch materials and better fabric upholstery.
The Fit Ness is the sportier variant with contrasting exterior colors on the A and D pillars, sportier wheels, and other visual enhancements.
The Fit Luxe is the upscale or "deluxe" variant of the model line with 16-inch aluminum wheels, chrome-plating, and more.
The Fit Crosstar is the more interesting model given how Honda geared it to look more like a crossover with black cladding, different wheels, and even an interior that uses water repellent fabrics.
Honda actually didn't highlight what they did with the platform of the fourth generation Fit; instead, what they focused on was how the new model evolved to deliver more comfort across four “dimensions”. Honda says they made the view a bit better by being able to thin down the A-pillar to enhance cornering visibility.
They also say they improved the driving comfort by using what they call “body stabilizing seats”, as well as thickening the cushions for the rear seats. The third is their focus on the hybrid model which uses two motors for more convenient driving. And lastly, there's the signature Honda seating/cargo versatility for better usability.
The new Fit is expected to have a new range of Honda technologies such as the hybrid system, Honda Sensing for safety, and many more. Honda didn't talk about the engine line-up just yet, though one model will have the 1.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine that makes 120 PS.
As for the Philippine launch, Honda Cars Philippines President Noriyuki Takakura couldn't give a definite date or expected timeline yet for the Philippine version which is expected to be the Jazz. Being that Japan is the home market for the Fit, other markets will follow such as South East Asia.