Looking at the current market trends, it seems that Mercedes Benz GLA 180 Urban Edition is a car which checks a lot of boxes. It is an SUV, so a part of the largest and still growing automotive segment. Furthermore, it is a compact SUV, which makes it good for city driving and tight parking spaces.
It is made by one of the most iconic car manufacturers in the world, so great for the brand-conscious. It is the Urban Edition model, so its design and equipment additions are welcomed by the stylish buyers.
Its powertrain seems to hit the sweet spot between fuel efficiency and performance.
The car’s interior is luxurious, spacious and practical.
On paper, it seems that the Mercedes Benz GLA 180 Urban Edition is the perfect choice for someone who is looking for a good family car or a fan of hatchbacks. Let’s see if this is the case in reality.
Design of the Mercedes Benz GLA Urban Edition
In terms of design, it comes with the recognizable Mercedes-Benz features such as the large MB grille, stylish headlights and creased bonnet and doors. These features are recognizable across the Mercedes-Benz range, there are even some hints that are reminiscent of the S-Class or GLC.
Having those features in a much more affordable vehicle can only be a plus.
However, being based on the A-Class, it also features the lovely side silhouette that adds a bit of coupe flair to the hatchback body.
Next, being an SUV, it boasts the elevated stance and roof rails that give it a more aggressive look.
Lastly, the Urban Edition means that it also comes with some styling cues. This package adds blacked-out trim, side mirrors and this stunning gloss black radiator grille. It also adds special 18” wheels and fog lights.
It may sound that all these features jumbled into one creation may be a bit too much, but somehow the GLA 180 Urban Edition is a very harmoniously-looking car.
Engine Specs and Drive of the GLA 180
The engine in this model is a 1.6 L turbo petrol unit with 90 kW (121 bhp) and 200 Nm of torque. Being turbocharged, the torque comes much lower in the RPM range, so the GLA 180 Urban Edition always feels ready to go as it only needs a second to get to the most comfortable pulling revs.
A great help in this respect is this 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. While I must say that I don’t really see the purpose of dual-clutch automatics in anything that is not a sports car, I have to say that it helps the engine shift fast and always be close to the most comfortable revs.
The result is the fact that, in everyday conditions, the Mercedes GLA180 feels more powerful than the numbers would suggest. Anyone used to naturally aspirated cars with similar power ratings will think that the GLA 180 has far more power.
With the century sprint of 8.7 seconds to 100 km/h and the top speed of 200 km/h, the GLA 180 is no slouch. Add to this the official fuel consumption figure of 18.2 km/L and you can see why I called the GLA180 the sweet spot between performance and efficiency.
The GLA 180 has four driving modes to choose from – Comfort, Sport, Individual and Eco modes.
Comfort is the mode most people will be using most of the time. It provides a supple ride for a small SUV, although rougher terrains will definitely shake up the interior. It also aims to improve fuel consumption by shifting earlier, but also keeps the power ready to give the push if needed. The speed of the dual-clutch gearbox really helps with fast changes in driving conditions.
Sport mode holds the gears for longer, keeping the turbo spooling and ready to unleash all the power immediately. Shifts are also faster and the steering heavier and suspension stiffer for more control in sporty driving conditions. Paddle shifters are also great fun in these conditions.
Individual mode lets you tailor settings to suit your driving style. While it may sound enticing, you may want to give the pre-set modes a try in order to get a good feel of the car’s possibilities before you individualize the settings.
Interior of the GLA 180
Even though the GLA is an entry-level Mercedes SUV, its interior is very nice, much nicer than in most competitors in the adjacent price range. This Urban Edition model comes with Nappa leather multifunction steering wheel and part-leather sports seats as standard. They provide amazing support for aggressive cornering, but they are also comfortable for long cruising. Seat adjustability means that anyone can find a good driving position.
The 8” multimedia screen is positioned very well, although some drivers will not like its tablet-like appearance. It comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and it is very responsive and easy to use.
As known by anyone who has driven a Mercedes, ergonomics is perfect. You will get used to all the controls after a very short time and operating the plethora of features in the GLA 180 will be a breeze.
Rear seats offer great comfort for children. However, taller adults may find it too cramped on longer journeys. If you often drive tall adults in the back, you may want to look into something larger.
The boot has the capacity of 481 L with the rear seats up and 1235 L with the rear seats folded. Unfortunately, they do not fold completely flat, giving you an angled section of the boot.
Safety Features of the Urban Edition
In terms of safety, it comes with your standard and premium safety features like traction control, automatic headlights, rain sensors, cruise control, reversing camera and more.
If you are expecting interior versatility that some similarly sized Honda models can give, then you will be disappointed by the GLA. However, most buyers who want something like that will not look into the GLA anyway.
Those who will look into it get the chance to enjoy one of the most luxurious cars in its price range with great interior materials, good tech, outstanding design and a punchy, efficient powertrain. While the GLA is an entry-level point into the world of Mercedes-Benz, it most definitely does not disappoint.
The facelifted Honda Vezel seems to have everything going for it. It is made by one of the most revered manufacturers with a great record for producing reliable cars that look good and are fun to drive, it is an upgrade to the already beloved vehicle and it is in one of the most popular automotive segments – subcompact crossover SUV.
While the very popular segment means that the Vezel is very likely to be very sought after, it also means that it has loads of competitors. Everyone is making subcompact SUVs nowadays and that means there is a lot to choose from in terms of price, equipment and different brands.
The previous Honda Vezel was a strong contender, but in such a crowded segment of the market, it was getting a bit dated. Honda did not try to drain every last sale of the previous model. but hurried to make it even more enticing to potential buyers.
Let us see if the Honda Vezel lives up to the expectations.
Design of the Honda Vezel 1.5x
The Vezel looks great. It is definitely one modern, stylish car. It is a mixture of curves and sharp edges and this kind of an idea often translates to clumsy designs. Not here.
The front has large lights that hug the sides of the car and continue towards the middle where they combine with a part that holds the Honda badge. The grille under this section is smaller but cleverly incorporated into the overall design of the front. The very low lip spoiler and fog lights make the front sportier.
Side view reveals a very handsome roofline that falls as it reaches the rear of the car. It is complemented by a crease that runs upwards over the doors and meets with the upper window line at the very back, completing the shape of the rear door handles. Even though it may sound like we’ve given too much attention to these two lines, they are actually the perfect examples of the attention to detail that resulted in this stylish design.
The Honda Vezel is one stylish creation that definitely stands out from the crowd by incorporating a great number of design features without being over the top.
Engine and Drive of the Honda Vezel
The engine in this Honda Vezel is a 1.5L i-VTEC petrol with dual overhead camshafts. It produces 96 kW (129 bhp) and 155 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a CVT and it is the perfect choice. While the feel of CVT gearboxes is not among the most beloved features among some car fans, nobody can deny the smart efficiency of its mode of operation.
It keeps the engine at perfect revs for any particular driving conditions and extracts the most of it without ever making it feel strained, save for extreme acceleration.
The fact that the engine spends most of its time in its most efficient revs thanks to the continuously variable nature of the gearbox also means that fuel efficiency is improved and it officially stands at 20km/L. That is pretty good for an SUV powered by a petrol engine.
Suspension is MacPherson up front and torsion beam for the back. This setup makes the Vezel both comfortable and composed while cruising and stable in curves. It doesn’t matter what kind of a body style your Honda is. It is very likely that it will be at least a bit fun to drive.
The steering feel is great, very precise and it gives great feedback and the pedals are perfectly weighted which makes their use very intuitive from the first day.
Check out the price and full specs of the Honda Vezel 1.5x.
Interior of the Honda Vezel
The Honda Vezel is a subcompact but the cabin is very spacious. The front looks very distinctive, it has great ergonomics and surprisingly good materials for this class.
The control panel in the middle of the central section of the dashboard is angled towards the driver and it is surprisingly easy to use. The steering wheel is thick and perfectly sized and the space in front of the passenger is dominated by air vents for an upmarket feel reminiscent of some Audi models, though with a different general idea.
The instrument cluster packs loads of information, but it is very easy to read and nice to look at. All in all, if you are in the driver’s seat of the Vezel, you will feel like everything in the car is aimed at your convenience.
Legroom in the rear is outstanding and even the headroom is not hampered by the stylish roofline. All the seats are elevated so you get a nice high sitting position, comfortable knee angle and enough space under the front seats to tuck your feet there and stretch a bit more.
The boot opening is wide with no intrusions and it makes loading large items a breeze. It the large items are also heavy, you will love the low load lip. The space with the seats up is 448 L which is among the most accommodating ones in its class.
If you need more space, the rear seats split 60/40 and fold for massive storage capacity. Even more remarkably, when the rear seats are folded, you get a completely flat floor. This is not often the case with subcompact vehicles whose small dimensions usually require a slope when the seats are folded.
Not in the Honda Vezel.
The great legroom translates to enough space to accommodate the folded backrests completely.
The passenger seat folds backwards for a space that is long enough for very long items such as surfboards.
Rear-seat cushions also fold upwards in an arrangement called Magic Seat to accommodate taller items. This feature is familiar from some other Honda models and more than welcome as it makes transporting bulky items a breeze.
If interior practicality and versatility in a small package are your priorities, the Vezel is most definitely one of the top picks if not the best one.
Is the Honda Vezel a Good Car
The latest Honda Vezel looks good, it drives well, it has efficient powertrain and it packs a stunningly practical interior setup. It proves that top-rated practicality can come in a stylish and fun package. Add to this the reliability that Honda is famous for and the Vezel becomes even more tempting.
Book your Honda Vezel test drive today!
On paper, the Toyota Noah Hybrid looks like the perfect all-round vehicle. It boasts modern looks, seats up to 7 people, offers a very versatile interior layout, a huge loading space with a flat floor and a very efficient, yet powerful enough engine to push the big body.
It sounds almost too good to be true so let us check out the Toyota Noah Hybrid review to learn more.
Design Of The Toyota Noah Hybrid
We did mention the modern looks but the overall shape of the Noah is determined by the fact that it is an MPV. In order to maximize practicality, designers at Toyota created a boxy body, especially for the rear.
This dramatically increased interior space, both for the passengers and cargo,
This is why the result is even more interesting. With a few clever lines and smart solutions, they made the boxy blocks far more stylish.
For example, the rear has a chrome stripe flanked by thin and upright taillights which hug the tinted rear window giving just the perfect amount of contrast and flair.
This same rear has a huge loading space, low, large and unobstructed load lip, a huge boot opening and a rear window that offers far more visibility than those on most competitors.
The side is more van-like with an ascending line behind the C pillar and a sliding door, while the front sports a huge grille with massive, body-coloured stripes. The headlights fall perfectly in place and complement the overall design.
In short, the Toyota Noah Hybrid looks as good as a van-like MPV in its price range.
Engine and Drive of The Toyota Noah Hybrid
The engine in this Toyota Noah Hybrid is a 1.8L I4 unit with 100 kW (134 hp) and 142 Nm of torque.
It is aided by an electric motor which adds enough zest with low-end torque to give a much better driving feel than the power and torque ratings would suggest.
For example, the standard, non-hybrid Noah has a 2L engine with 110 kW (150hp). This one is noticeably faster and more fuel-efficient.
The power is sent to the front wheels via an E-CVT gearbox chosen due to its efficiency. The same reason sits behind the choice of the Atkinson cycle for the engine. The engineers aimed to make the Noah as fuel efficient as possible, while also being powerful enough and very, very versatile for city driving.
What is the Toyota Noah Hybrid Fuel Consumption?
The official specification says that you will cover 23.8 km for every litre of fuel. For a petrol vehicle with 7 seats and 1610 kg this is a great achievement.
The E-CVT is also very good. Even though the general operation of a CVT means the ratio changes continually. There are actually seven simulated ratios which fit the engine and the electric motor perfectly. The car always seems to be in comfortable revs which reduces harshness and improves fuel efficiency.
People who drive a lot in the city will also love the turning circle of 5,500 mm. Along with large glass surfaces and a predictable, boxy shape, this means that despite its size, navigation in tight parking spaces should not be an issue.
There is some body roll, but it is not prominent and definitely not uncomfortable for anything that a Noah can’t endure. Brakes are another great feature. The front ones are ventilated discs and the rear ones are solid discs. They inspire a lot of confidence and the pedal feel is well measured.
Interior of the Toyoya Noah Hybrid
The interior is probably the most significant part of every MPV. Getting in is easy, you have keyless entry and locking and the back doors slide open, which is great for tight parking spaces. Moreover, they are powered.
All you need to do to open the rear doors is pull on the handle and the door does it for you. Long-press the button on the handle and the door closes. You can also close and open rear doors from the passenger seat with a press of a button.
The Noah is huge on the inside. The front passengers get comfortable chairs with lots of space between them. The passenger also gets storage space up front.
The instrument cluster is very easy to read and it is a bit different than the conventional ones in that it doesn’t have a rev counter. It rather shows the charge and mode in which you are driving.
Speaking of which, there is a full EV mode, and ECO mode and a POWER mode, all of which change the way the car works. EV mode uses only batteries for power, but if you want brisk acceleration, it will automatically engage the engine.
The central section of the dashboard has a very interesting solution for the climate controls and a very stylish gearbox lever.
Second row backrests are adjustable and they are also spacious and accommodating. In order to access the third row, all you need to do is slide the second-row seat and that opens a huge space for easy entry. Second row seats also fold back to connect to the third row ones for a bed-length of space.
The car comes standard with multi-zone automatic climate control.
The boot space is rather big, even with all seven passengers in place. The height of the boot is especially remarkable and, provided you can stack suitcases one on top of another, you should be able to fit enough cargo for all passengers.
The level of inventiveness which resulted in such versatility of the interior in a vehicle that is less than 4.7 m long is rather astonishing. You should not lack space in the Toyota Noah Hybrid.
But will the seven passengers be safe?
Yes they will. The Toyota Noah Hybrid comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense C that includes features such as traction control, automatic headlights, pre-collision system and lane departure alert.
Is the Toyota Noah Hybrid a Good Car
The Toyota Noah Hybrid is definitely a heck of an offer. It is very spacious, good to drive, stylish, packed with features and very practical. Moreover, despite its performance advantage over the non-hybrid version the Toyota Noah Hybrid fuel consumption is also lower than that of the non-hybrid one.
Looking at the rest of the offer in this segment and price range, this Toyota Hybrid looks like a winner.
Book your Toyota Noah Hybrid Test Drive today!
If compact dimensions and practical and spacious interior at the same time sounds impossible to you, get ready to change your mind!
This Honda Freed Hybrid review will show you why this compact MPV may be more than enough for all your practical needs. It’s got great interior space, 7 seats, modern design, practical features and a great new 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Speaking of the gearbox, its combination with a hybrid powertrain allows this Honda Freed Hybrid fuel consumption to be among the best in its class.
The Honda Freed Hybrid seems to tick all the right boxes on paper. Let’s give it a closer look.
The Freed is an entry-level MPV, but it actually looks pretty good. As standard, you get LED headlights and taillights and 15” wheels with these stylish wheel caps. The overall look is rather boxy, but not bad in any way. We’ll get to the benefits of the boxy body when we start talking about the interior and driving the Freed.
Now, we are talking about the style only.
Even the front fascia is pretty upright, but instead of looking unimaginative, designers threw in a few additional details to spice up the look. The result is a rather nice creation.
The front has LED headlights hugging a stylish grille. The lower section has a small lip spoiler that adds to the sporty look of a car that is most definitely not thought of as sporty, so this is a nice bonus.
Engine and Drive
Most Freeds will spend most of their lives on busy city streets so the length of 4265 mm is a great feature. Combine it with its boxy shaped body, huge window surfaces and a great turning radius and manoeuvring and parking the Honda Freed is a breeze. There aren’t many 7-seaters that are easier to drive.
The power comes from a 1.5L i-VTEC petrol engine and an electric motor. The engine alone produces 101 kW of power and 134 Nm of torque, so it is no slouch on its own. However, the electric motor is in charge of adding up to a fun driving experience. Electric motors have instant torque delivery at any RPM, so this means the Freed has some added push even before the engine has reached comfortable RPM.
The result is a great throttle response and acceleration that surprises anyone who mainly focuses on the practical side of the Freed Hybrid. You will get up to speed in no time and overtakes are far easier than most people would guess from the look at the car and its specs sheet.
Another reason for the significant improvement in the driving feel is the new gearbox option. This Honda Freed Hybrid review was our first chance of trying out the 7-Speed DCT in this car. The DCT stands for dual-clutch transmission and it denotes one of the fastest types of gearboxes.
Its two clutches provide very fast shifts, since while one clutch engages one gear, the second one prepares the next one based on the information processed by the transmission control unit. When the next gear needs to be engaged, the first clutch disengages, the second one engages the already prepared gear and the first one is ready to prepare the next gear.
This process is very smooth and fast and it is a great improvement over the previously used CVT gearboxes.
However, CVTs are famous for being efficient by keeping the engine in comfortable RPM longer than other kinds of gearboxes. Is the Honda Freed Hybrid fuel consumption worse now? Actually no. It stands at 25km/L thanks to the electric motor, efficient engine, 7 gears that enable comfortable RPM for the engine and an ECON driving mode that is engaged by a press of a button. With the Honda Freed Hybrid with the DCT you get a far better driving feel while keeping the amazing fuel efficiency.
But driving is not just about acceleration. The faster you go, the more force you need to stop. You will be pleased to know that the Honda Freed Hybrid comes with front and rear vented disc brakes, which make it a lot safer.
Speaking of safety, the Freed comes with additional safety features such as cruise control, traction control, hill start assist and six airbags.
Reading this Honda Freed Hybrid review you may think we love it, but we still haven’t told you about the best part of the Freed. It is on the inside.
The first thing you see is this stylish two-tone dashboard with this elegant wood trim. Start the car and you are greeted by a digital dashboard that lights up and a steering wheel that comes with cruise control buttons.
The interior is adorned with a number of storage trays, bins and bottle holders and decently sized door bins with bottle holders. There is a lot of storage space, mostly up front and it is all packed in a modern, minimalist design. Large windows give loads of daylight and make the minimalist interior pleasantly bright.
The gear lever looks great and really complements the digital dash, adding to the premium feel in an entry-level MPV. Very nice, Honda.
However, the best feature of the Freed is its seven seats that offer plenty of space despite compact dimensions of the body.
To reach the rearmost row of seats all you need to do is pull a lever on the side of the second-row seat and it automatically folds forwards and up to open a fairly wide space. Having in mind that the third row is mostly for children, the low floor is a great benefit, but the wide entry area is large enough even for adults.
There is plenty of space on the inside. Second-row passengers will have more than enough legroom and headroom. Seats in the third row, understandably, offer less legroom, but there is actually enough space to drive adults there. The compact Honda Freed Hybrid actually offers more third-row space than many larger SUVs. However, if this is not enough, there is an additional feature to help you.
We’ll get to that a bit later. Now let’s see how practical the interior space is.
The third row seats backrests fold down and then the whole seat folds upwards towards the side windows, much like on the beloved and much more expensive Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. This gives a very low boot floor, since the seats do not fold down into it and use up the storage space. There aren’t many cars that can transport bulkier cargo. The whole folding process lasts about 5-10 seconds.
If you think that is great, wait until you see what the second row seats can do. First of all, the backrests can fold backwards and connect to the third row seats to create a large, bed-like space. This is a great feature and one not common in the industry. Of course, they also fold forwards like in most cars for more cargo space. In this form they are also folded against the front seats backrests, so, just like the third row seats, they also don’t eat up into the floor.
If that is not enough for you, the second row seats also slide forwards and backwards to let you choose the amount of legroom for passengers in the two rear rows.
We have already mentioned the low load floor and a wide opening of the fifth door, but we have to emphasize just how great this is for loading heavy and bulky objects into the Honda Freed Hybrid.
This is not where practicality ends. Rear power sliding doors open and close from the interior with a push of a button and from the outside by simply pulling on the door handle. Simply pull it and the door opens automatically. Pull it again and it closes.
But what if you start closing the door before one of the passengers has moved his or her hand from the opening? Honda Freed has you covered! The moment the door senses there is something blocking the way, it automatically opens all the way thus preventing injury.
The Honda Freed Hybrid looks nice, is wonderfully compact and surprisingly good to drive while being remarkably fuel efficient. But all these great features are not even the best the Honda Freed has to offer. Its interior comes with unparalleled interior functionality, practicality and space. It combines features that are seemingly impossible to find in a single vehicle.
You get good design, incredible interior practicality and versatility, advanced hybrid powertrain and a great gearbox, interior that is great to look at and the fuel efficiency of a vehicle that does not offer a portion of the benefits of the Honda Freed Hybrid.
If reading this Honda Freed Hybrid review makes you think this is one of the best vehicles in its class and price range, you are absolutely right.
Book your Honda Freed Hybrid test drive today!
The Honda Shuttle Hybrid combines the best in terms of practicality and efficiency but still manages to provide some fun. If you like the features of the Honda Fit Hybrid, but are not a big fan of its smaller dimensions, the Shuttle Hybrid looks perfect on paper.
Let’s check out the rest of the Honda Shuttle Hybrid Review.
Design of the Honda Shuttle Hybrid
In terms of design, the Honda Shuttle is a bit more modern than its platform-sharing sibling, the Honda Fit. The Shuttle employs sharp lines with a very modern front including large headlights designed to be one with the grille insert that holds the Honda badge in the middle.
The lower section of the front is also very modern and even more aggressive than we expected for a car of this class. The thin fins of the lip spoiler paired with the wider side sections make the bumper of the Honda Shuttle Hybrid look like it was taken from a sports car.
The side view is more revealing of the practicality offered, having a large and somewhat less well-planned section behind the C pillar. What saves the day for the side is a mixture of a darkened B pillar and an elevating lower window line, accompanied by this stylish crease that flows over most of the side of the car and widens at the rear.
Design of the rear is also aimed at practicality with a large window for better rear visibility and an upright fifth door for added boot space. Taillights are reminiscent of some American design solutions and the darkened lower side inserts make the stance look wider and the Shuttle more aggressive.
Design of the Shuttle is obviously in the service of its practicality, but Honda did a very good job of making the practical look very appealing.
Engine and Drive of the Honda Shuttle
Before we talk about the experience behind the wheel of the Honda Shuttle Hybrid, let’s have a look under the bonnet.
The engine in the Honda Shuttle Hybrid is an Atkinson cycle 1.5L Earth Dreams i-VTEC. This flurry of words and acronyms stands for one of the most advanced systems that provides both performance and efficiency.
For example, the i-VTEC stands for intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control, which modifies the way camshaft and valves work in different conditions to ensure either maximum fuel efficiency in low load conditions, due to limited opening of the valves in these circumstances, or top performance available due to maximum lift for more effective breathing of the engine.
The top power available stands at 101 kW (135bhp) and 134 Nm of torque. Add to this the electric motor and its instant torque delivery and the whole system becomes more than sufficient for the spacious family car.\
If you prefer the non-hybrid version, you can check out the specs of the Honda Shuttle (Petrol) here.
Things get even better when we look at the gearbox. The engine is mated to a 7-speed DTC, which is a welcome advancement over the previous CVT. It is faster, very smooth and, surprisingly, more fuel efficient.
Speaking of which, the official fuel efficiency figure stands at 34.3 km/l.
There are two special driving modes. On the right of the steering wheel you can find the ECON button that further improves fuel efficiency by adjusting throttle response to a more timid setting and also limiting the power of air conditioning and other features that use energy. If you are looking for some driving fun, you can turn on the Sport mode by pressing a button behind the gearbox lever.
But let’s see how it actually drives.
The Honda Fit Hybrid, the Shuttle’s smaller sibling with the same platform, engine and gearbox, is one of the best vehicles in its class when it comes to driving. It has precise steering, controlled body roll and a very natural driving feel. Brake resistance is perfectly measured and the engine and motor combination gives more than enough power.
Does the added size of the Shuttle spoil the benefits of the Fit?
Not really. In fact, the larger, more accommodating body is not much heavier, tipping the scales at just 1200 kg – just 60 kg more than the noticeably smaller Fit. It is safe to say that the Shuttle is almost as fun to drive as the Fit.
Refinement of the cabin when on the move is remarkable, even for cars with a higher price tag. The car is quiet, composed and you always feel confident behind the wheel. This also goes for parking. The Honda Shuttle Hybrid has very large window surfaces, including the rear one and the upright shape of the rear makes it very predictable for tight spaces.
This particular model comes as standard with rear parking sensors, so even if you are not versed in parking, there should be no problems.
Interior of the Shuttle Hybrid
The main reason why one would take the Shuttle over the Fit is its interior space. The Honda Shuttle offers heaps of it. With the rear seats up, it can hold 470L of cargo. That is a nice figure, but what is even more remarkable is the shape of the cargo area and its wide, accommodating opening. Load lip is virtually non-existent and there are no protruding parts to obstruct loading bulky objects.
In case you need more, rear seats split 60/40 and fold flat, giving up to a whopping 1143L of space. Just like the higher trim levels of the Fit, the Shuttle offers Magic Seat feature, which means you can actually fold the rear seats up to transport taller objects. Unlike the Fit, Magic Seat is standard across the range for the Shuttle. This is a feature found only on some Honda vehicles and large trucks.
The spacious theme continues for the passengers as well. Rear seats are large and comfortable, legroom is plentiful and the transmission tunnel is very low, so even the passenger in the middle can enjoy more space than in most competitors.
The front also offers some extra space. This is done by moving the engine up front as much as possible and putting petrol tank under the passenger seat.
And, yes, there is loads of storage space up front as well. You have cup holders, bottle holders in door pockets, a spacious central console bin, glovebox and a tray at the front of the central console.
If it is space you are after, the Honda Shuttle Hybrid will not disappoint.
Is the Honda Shuttle Hybrid a Good Car
It makes use of all the benefits of the immensely popular and beloved Honda Fit, while adding plenty of practicality. It is punchy, great around town, respectable on the freeway, easy to park, fuel efficient and fun to drive, comfortable and refined and it packs class-leading interior space that easily surpasses the Fit, which is famous for its interior versatility and spaciousness.
If you like the Fit but you need more space, look no further than the Honda Shuttle Hybrid.
The latest Honda Fit Hybrid is the result of a successful design evolution over the years and it is made to be a five-door subcompact which provides ample room for its class, surprisingly fun to drive, modern tech perks and design and all that for an affordable price.
Add to this a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain, a new gearbox and the Honda Fit Hybrid specs look like the perfect car for anyone who spends a lot of time driving in the city.
Let’s take a closer look at the Honda Fit Hybrid review.
Design of the Fit Hybrid
The 2019 model looks pretty much the same as the 2018 version, with a few modernising revisions implemented, and that is a good thing. If it ain’t broken, why fix it? The headlights look a lot better and the new grille complements the look.
Unlike some of its competitors, the latest Fit Hybrid does not try to be something that it is not. There are no massive intakes or aggressive headlights but rather a nice set of modern features that fit (no pun intended) the personality of the car perfectly.
The side shows an elevated rear part which does not have the coupe-ish line like some of its competitors but a more conservative and upright rear section, albeit improved by a nice roof spoiler. Once again, this is a good thing, as you will see when we get to the interior.
Engine and Drive of the Fit Hybrid
Let’s have a look under the bonnet before that. The Fit Hybrid is powered by a 1.5 i-VTEC engine with 100 kW (134 bhp) and 134 Nm of torque. The engine is aided by an electric motor which provides instant torque delivery at any RPM.
This translates to smooth and confident acceleration, equally great for zipping around the city and fast expressway merges. It also saves a lot of fuel and the new lithium-ion batteries reduce weight while giving more range in EV mode. They are charged via regenerative braking.
The previous versions had either a 6-speed manual or a CVT. Now, we all know CVTs are smart, fuel efficient and advanced. However, they are also less fun to drive and give that unnatural disparity between the sound of the engine and what is actually happening on the road.
This is why Honda has moved to a 7-speed DCT for the latest version of the Fit Hybrid. The dual-clutch gearbox provides a much more direct feel, lightning-fast shifts, great smoothness and great fuel efficiency.
Speaking of which, the Honda Fit Hybrid fuel consumption stands at 31.4 km/L, making the Fit Hybrid a perfect choice for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on fuel with our current petrol prices in Singapore.
Steering is wonderfully precise and body roll is controlled. The front has McPherson struts and the rear has a torsion beam system. This setup, combined with the low weight, precise steering and a proper stabiliser bar gives you a very direct and in control feel behind the wheel of the Honda Fit Hybrid.
Brake feel is also very natural and well measured. Stopping power is more than enough for the small body.
I was pleasantly surprised by how quiet the cabin is at city driving speeds. Some more expensive cars struggle with noise levels, but the car does a great job in this respect, having in mind its class and Honda Fit Hybrid price tag.
Being a city car, ease of parking is very important and the Fit’s compact dimensions, large window surfaces and wonderfully predictable shape, especially at the back, makes it a breeze to park. I was a bit disappointed when I heard that this particular model did not have parking sensors or a reversing camera but I quickly found out that they are really not a necessity in the latest Honda Fit Hybrid.
Interior of the Honda Fit Hybrid
OK, we’ve praised the drive but it is not the most successful aspect of the new Fit. Step inside and you will see an incredibly spacious and bright interior. Its interior dimensions are among the best in its class and most of it come from clever engineering.
For example, the petrol tank is placed under the front seats and the transmission tunnel is minimal, giving loads of extra space in the back, while the elongated windscreen increases the space in the front and which allows more natural light into the cabin. Similarly, that uncoupe-ish rear section translates to more space for the heads of rear passengers and cargo as well. There is loads of space for the front and rear and even three adults in the back will find the space tolerable.
Speaking of the rear seats, they have a two-step reclining function. Legroom in the rear is class leading and the perfect height of the seats provides a very comfortable sitting position.
Add to this the option of the so-called ‘Magic Seat’ that includes rear seat bottoms that can fold upwards allowing you to load bulky and pretty high cargo, which is great for things like washing machines and similar.
The base model that we tested does not come with the ‘Magic Seat’, but the trim above it does.
If you are looking for a car with the same characteristics as the Fit Hybrid but with bigger space, check out our Honda Shuttle Hybrid review.
There are also other seat adjustment options including 60/40 split-folding that results in a flat cargo floor and dropping of the front passenger seat backwards which both allows you to carry very long items and gives your passenger a great position for a nap on long trips.
Boot capacity also reflects this practicality with 354L in its smallest form and massive 1314L with the seats folded flat. The fifth door opens wide and the loading floor is very low, which is great for putting in heavy and/or bulky cargo. Mind you, all this in a subcompact city car. This is most definitely the most versatile interior in its class.
Well done, Honda!
There are some nice, soft-touch materials sprinkled around the cabin. It’s no Bentley when it comes to interior materials but you will be pleasantly surprised by some soft-touch surfaces for a car of this price range. This being said, most surfaces are covered in hard plastics and this is on par with most of the Fit Hybrid’s competitors.
The steering wheel is very modern and packed with features. It does not feel cluttered and it takes a very short time to get used to all the controls. The gearbox lever is also very modern and its design is even reminiscent of some higher class European models.
The instrument cluster consists of a large central speedometer flanked by two smaller sections, giving loads of information about the amount of fuel left, consumption, temperature, mileage, gearbox, range and similar.
Despite the comprehensive amount of information, the instrument cluster is very easy to read and it takes just a quick glance for the driver to get all the necessary information.
There are two cup holders in the central console and one more at the side of the dashboard, the latter being positioned in front of the air vent, which means your drinks can be heated or cooled. Door pockets also have bottle holders.
The interior holds plenty of storage spaces, including a glove box, a small section at the very front of the central console that is large enough for modern phones and a large and surprisingly deep bin under the front armrest.
Is the Honda Fit Hybrid a Good Car
The Fit Hybrid was always a good car in its class but the 2019 model introduced some new features that make it even better. The interior comes with unique spaciousness and versatility, the hybrid powertrain provides better performance than the spec sheet would suggest while using less fuel, the new gearbox is a step up in every sense and the value for money is incredible. If you are in need of a good, practical city car that is fun to drive, there aren’t many better options.
Come by our showroom to view the Honda Fit Hybrid in person and we will be more than happy to explain the features in detail.
Book your test drive today!