October 19, 2007

For Sexier-Than-A-Ferrari Minivans Size Matters Less Than Fit


The 2nd generation Honda Fit went on sale in Japan this week; it comes to the US as a 2009 model.

And though LA Times car critic, new father of twins and--let's face it: size queen--Dan Neil says the new Chrysler Town & Country is "the sexiest vehicle a man could ever drive," I would just point your attention to the four major design goals for the Fit's Ultra-Seat functionality:

The four modes of "Ultra Seat" provide enhanced utility.

Utility mode: Easy one-motion dive down and release operation of the rear seats. The luggage space can be extended to a maximum length of 1,720 mm*12 thanks to the spacious full-flat floor.

Long mode: In Utility mode, place the passenger seat in the full reclining position to create a space up to 2,400 mm long to carry long objects.

Tall mode: Fold up the rear seat cushions to take advantage of Fit's 1,280 mm roof height--the perfect way to make space for tall items like house plants.

Refresh mode: Remove the front seat headrests and put the front seats in full reclining position to stretch out across the front and rear seats for a rest.

Stretching out "for a rest" is one of the Fit's freakin' modes, people! Chrysler, ball's in your court.

Honda launches new Fit/Jazz for Japan [jalopnik]
Honda Fit - Japanese site [honda.co.jp]
Dan Neil: Chrysler's new minivans will make you a DILF


Oh yeah? Well the U.S. of A. did not go to all the trouble of inventing the cupholder after stealing the minivan idea from the French to let those crafty Asians win the Daddy-mobile race.
I look forward to the 2010 Chrysler Town and Country with the optional "Boulevard and Boudoir" package: seats that are both reclining....and vibrating.

[yeah, didn't see the cupholder count in that Fit, which is only a car that *looks* like a minivan. -ed.]

It's an invention of necessity in Japan... almost every hatch in that country has seats that fold into a flat, um, "rest" space. It's a rolling alternative to the "love hotel"!

What do you expect in a country where it's normal to live with your parents until you're married? (And for that matter, after you're married in a lot of cases...)

Any vehicle that lets you carry two car seats and still have still have room for 4 adults passengers in it deserves more respect than minivans currently get.

By the time you put the seats in an Accord, Forester, or Focus, you might as well just be riding the Vespa and bring a spare helmet for your one passenger.

That said, the Fit is a pretty nice microcar.

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