By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
Honda is planning to introduce the next-generation Fit at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall. Meanwhile, the Honda Shuttle, a compact wagon based on the Fit, has gone on sale in Japan sporting new styling, along with interior and equipment upgrades.
For those who may not be familiar with the Shuttle, it springs from Honda’s compact car family that includes the Fit, Vezel (called HR-V in the U.S. and other markets), and Grace, a sedan version of the Fit.
Exterior changes that give the Shuttle a fresh appearance include redesigned front and rear fascias, LED lighting, including front fog lights and rear combination lights, plus revised trim and other details.
Customers can personalize the Shuttle by selecting from an expanded line of accessories from Honda Access and its Modulo brand. For example, the above photo shows a Shuttle Hybrid accessorized with a satin black grille, bright silver lower garnish, and lower skirt.
On the inside, Shuttle gains elegant glossy piano black trim accents. An 8-inch Honda Access Gathers premium inter-navi system is available with high-grade speakers. A windshield-mounted Gathers drive recorder with timekeeping recording function and navigation-linked ETC 2.0 in-vehicle unit are also on the accessories list.
Shuttle’s seats have been redesigned for improved comfort. A high-deck center console creates personal space for the driver and front passenger. The center armrest is said to be as large as that of a high-end sedan’s while the console box can store items like tablets.
Shuttle can be equipped with a driver-assistance expansion unit from Honda Access including front and rear parking sensors, a front camera system, and a rear camera system with dynamic guidelines that display tire angle, plus a double-view screen (above).
The rear seats can be reconfigured to carry long items inside the car, like a surfboard, or tall items, like a potted plant. With the rear seats folded down, Shuttle Hybrid features an amazing amount of space for gear with a flat cargo floor. The large tailgate opening and low lift-over are designed for easy loading and unloading.
The gas-powered Shuttle continues to feature a 1.5-liter direct-injection DOHC i-VTEC engine. Sport Hybrid i-DCD models combine a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC engine, 7-speed DCT system with a built-in high-output motor and IPU (intelligent power unit) that unifies a lithium-ion battery and power drive unit.
Shuttle prices in Japan range from ¥1,969,920 (about $17,900) for the base model with Honda Sensing to ¥2,721,600 (about $24,800) for the Hybrid Z with all-wheel drive.
For more information on the Honda Shuttle, visit the Honda Consumer Website in Japan
Note: Prices, features and specifications for Japanese market models are subject to change without notice. Prices include consumption tax but do not include insurance premium, other taxes and cost related to vehicle registration in Japan.
News sources and photos courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Ltd., and Honda Access Corp.
Story (commentary) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com