2015 Honda Fit: Is a 4-door version on the way?(Read article summary)
The 2015 Honda Fit is already available to US buyers as a hatchback and Fit-derived HR-V subcompact crossover utility vehicle. And a test model of the Honda Fit four-door sedan that's currently sold in other markets as the Honda City has now turned up in California.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/File
But could there be a third version of the small Honda on the way?
A photo of the rear of a Honda City was posted by user "thedailyrey" on the Honda-centric Temple of VTEC forum recently.
The car sports a license plate reportedly used by Honda for vehicles in its public-relations fleet.
It was spotted near the company's facility in Torrance, California.
A "City" badge is clearly visible on the left side of the trunk lid, although it's possible Honda could change the car's name if it decides to launch it in the U.S.
If Honda does bring the City to the U.S., it will have a smaller sedan that can slot in below the Civic compact--which has grown considerably over the years.
The City is the same size as the Civic was a few generations ago, showing just how much size bloat (or "bracket creep") has affected most longstanding models in the market.
The Honda plant that already builds the Fit and HR-V in Celaya, Mexico, could potentially add capacity for the City as well.
The City is offered with a variety of small gasoline, diesel, and flex-fuel engines in other markets.
Honda would most likely fit the 1.5-liter Earth Dreams four-cylinder engine used in the Fit hatchback and the HR-V if the City sedan arrived in the U.S.
That engine, combined with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), is rated at 36 mpg combined by the EPA--one of the highest ratings for any subcompact.
When Honda unveiled the current-generation City in late 2013, it said the car would eventually be sold in more than 60 markets worldwide.
While the U.S. still hasn't been confirmed as one of those markets, the presence of a City on the streets of California suggests that Honda is seriously considering the possibility.