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European Honda Jazz/Fit Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Toyota Prius is unquestionably the world's best-selling hybrid, and for the past 20 months Toyota's gas-electric has held the title of the top-selling automobile in Japan. Well, the fuel-sipping Prius has finally relinquished its perch atop the Japanese sales chart and the new champ is a pint-sized contender ready for the big leagues.

In January, the Honda Fit subcompact overtook the Toyota Prius, capturing the number one spot. Fit sales in Japan surged to 14,873 units in the first month of this year, a 14 percent increase over the sales it tallied in January 2010. In addition, nearly half of the 14,000-plus buyers opted for the Fit Hybrid. Part of the appeal of Honda's subcompact gas-electric lies in its ¥1.59 million ($19,331 U.S. at the current exchange rate) price tag, which is approximately $3,500 less than the Honda Insight and undercuts the Prius by a similar margin. Perhaps, as one analyst previously pointed out, it really is time for Toyota to consider a Prius price drop.



[Source: Business Week]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Putting the Fit/Prius Japan sales in perspective, Ford sold 14,346 Fusions in Canada at the same time. Just 527 cars less than the best selling care in Japan.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lots of economy cars lately wearing Lamborghini colors...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Even if they lower the Prius price in Japan, they might not do the same in the USA.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This auto cultivated the primary customer interests of resilience,practicality,accuracy and intensifying fuel economy,emissions,riding convenience and technique.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Michael Scott... I normally dont reply to individuals here on AB, but your ignorant post deserves a response. First off, way to stand up for your country and your fellow citizens, sheesh. Secondly, EVERY SINGLE F-150 owner Ive ever known uses the truck the way its meant to be used. They dont just buy them to say "gee, look everyone, I have a pickup truck! Durrrrr!!!" And to further drive home my point, it seems like every other F series Ford I see on the road is being utilized for what it was designed for. And besides, who are you to judge what F series owners in the first place? Do you know every single F-150 owner? Do you follow them around every day, observing their daily habits, too see if they really use the truck for what its built for? You cant expect to see them with a full payload and/or trailer on them every waking second of every waking day now, can you? And thirdly, if you really think theyre "smarter than us" because they drive small, tinny little hybrid cars on their overly crowded and narrow streets, then Ill ask you this: what would their automotive industry be like w/o America and the know-how they stole from us in the first place? Give credit where credit is due, man. And this is coming from a long time Japanese car owner. ;-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Regarding my opinion on F150 drivers, it is based where everyone bases their opinion - personal experience. The vast majority of F150s I see have an empty bed and one dude in the driver seat. It's commendable that this guy drives an American vehicle. However, it would have been more sensible if this everyman would've looked responsibility and efficiency in the eye, decided against the rugged and macho image, and bought a much smarter and more efficient Ford Focus or Fiesta or the like. After all, one can rent a truck at Home Deport for $20 on the odd occasion when one is actually needed. One can also buy a small trailer for less than 1% of the price of a pickup.

        It's just my opinion. I believe I still get to have one.

        Oh, and present company is excluded. This web site is for car enthusiasts, right? Presumably, most of us probably don't fall in this "car for the masses" category. I doubt there is even one F150 driver who will read this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Er, what knowhow would that be? Do you think Japanese cars are copies of American ones? Or did they steal your efficient production methods? Your exemplary quality control? Your slick international marketing skills?
      • 4 Years Ago
      When can we get this version in the US? The glass roof is what I have been waiting for!

      Really opens up the small cars interior.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @theblackemblem:

        Yes.

        Funnily enough, my wife just bought a Fit, and we love it. We'd love a hybrid version, especially since my wife's best friend drives the Civic hybrid, and other than the extra few thousand dollars in the price, there really isn't a down side to it. Honda's small cars are phenomenally well-built in my experience.
        • 4 Years Ago
        theblackemblem, I agree with you, the Insight is simply uncompetitive against the Prius in the US. Buyers looking for sportiness, compact, and affordability will choose the Fit. Buyers looking for comfort, room, and great gas mileage will go for the Prius. I think Fit's advantage is even more obvious in Japan, where space is a premium.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed Frank. This seems like a no brainer. The people who are concerned about MPG are the same people who care about utility and functionality. The Fit is the perfect commuter/city car. Which is what I need! I would gladly pay 1-2k more for double the gas mileage. 27/33 doesn’t cut the mustard anymore.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Totally agree! Honda needs to cut its losses on the Insight and focus on a Fit Hybrid for the world. The Fit is more, excuse the pun, fit for the job as a "whatever" hauler and a gas sipping commuter auto.

        Honda, you drop a Hybrid Fit, into the U.S. marketplace, that gets 45-50MPG, I'm all over that as my daily commuter. And please, don't "eco" it up. Make it look like a standard Fit Sport. No one, outside of myself, needs to know the difference.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Honda can kill the Insight and sell the Fit Hybrid instead...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I just don't understand why someone who is so technologically advanced doesn't implement some new hybrid technologies? I saw a small Japanese company that makes city type cars with HHO technology on-board but never a big car manufacturer! What is with this people? HHO technology has been around for a while and has been tested over and over again and proven to work! Why don't they just make a serial production car and make it easy on us all?? I've been reading about this tech on http://www.hhomaster.com and it seams to me that car manufacturers just don't care about the pollution nor our gasoline bills! Just hope someday someone will throw these monopolists out of their offices and start making some really useful cars!
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