March 6, 2012

Review: Honda Fit Shuttle / Fit Shuttle Hybrid

The Honda Fit can be seen more and more often on US roads. It's hard to argue with its distinctive jazzy styling, the sparkling choice of colours and, best of all, its 35mpg fuel efficiency (for manual transmission). But let's face it, with a length just over 4m there isn't much room for growth.

For those who love the Fit but are looking for space to stow a full-sized cello, the introduction of the Fit Shuttle is good news. The Shuttle is the wagon version of the Fit, and I suppose with the additional foot in length it's fit to shuttle your crew plus sports equipment and musical instruments around their various venues.

The extra length goes not only into a much larger cargo space, but also into more leg space for the passengers. The cargo space is thresholdless, and the second row of seats fold flat to give six feet worth of flat-bottom storage space that could probably sleep two, as long as you're not too tall. The total width is nearly 1m, or just about twice the width of a standard sleeping mat.

The Fit Shuttle, introduced in Japan in June 2011, comes with either the 1.5L gasoline engine familiar to US Fit owners, or a 1.3L hybrid that gets 59 mpg according to the JC08 standard. The latter tends to overstate such things; I estimate its real-life on-the-road fuel efficiency to be around 42-45 mpg. Accordingly, the dashboard lighting is a cool blue, which is the new green.

Even in Japan the introduction of the Fit Shuttle saw a few months' delay following the devastation of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Rumours are rife on whether or when the Fit Shuttle will make it to US dealers. My guess is that we will keep waiting for a while. Even in Europe they still have to make do with the regular Fit, (with either a 1.2L or a 1.4L gasoline engine).

When it does come here, I hope Honda will make the passenger-aid option available, where the passenger seat turns out towards the side, making it much easier to get in and out of the car. I know a number of people who would be grateful to have that option.


Honda Fit / Fit Shuttle / Fit Shuttle Hybrid.

Fit Fit Shuttle Fit Shuttle
Type 1.5L man 15C FF Hybrid-C
Year 2012 2012 2012
Emissions rating ULEV-2    
MSRP $ 15,175 ¥ 1,610,000
$ 19,700

¥ 1,810,000
$ 22,128

CelloMom Rating      
Fuel Economy:
City/Hwy quoted 27 / 33 mpg    
Avg. quoted 29 mpg 44 mpg (JC08) 59 mpg (JC08)
Avg. actual 34 mpg 32 mpg 42-45 mpg est.

1.5L 4-cyl

MF6 (100V)
Power 117 hp
117 hp
87hp 5800rpm
Gears 5-spd man CVT auto CVT auto
Fuel Reg. unleaded    
Length, mm(in) 4105mm (161.6in) 4410mm  
Width, mm(in) 1694mm (66.7in) 1695mm  
Height, mm(in) 1524mm (60.0in) 1540mm  
Weight, kg(lbs) 1132kg (2496 lbs) 1140 kg 1190 kg
Trunk volume, liters(cuft) 20.6 / 57.3 cuft    
Turning dia, m(ft) 10.5m (34.4 ft)    
Top speed, kph(mph)      

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