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Honda's latest forbidden fruit is an off-road-ready Fit

The Fit actually looks pretty great in a set of high heels.


Lifted wagons and hatchbacks are all the rage right now and Honda is joining the party. Sadly its upcoming WR-V will be forbidden fruit in the US.

Based on the concept sketch provided, I can tell it's little more than a lifted Fit with additional body cladding, which means the WR-V should be a fine successor to the model it replaces, the Honda Fit Twist. It will probably come equipped with the same engine and drivetrain options as the standard Fit.

The WR-V will make its official debut in November, with sales to start in 2017. Honda will focus primarily on the Indian and South American markets, where this segment is quite popular. It'll go up against other small utility vehicles like the VW Cross Polo, Ford EcoSport and Fiat Urban Cross.

Would the WR-V win over the US market? Sure, but since the HR-V is also based on the Fit's platform, there might be too much overlap in terms of size, equipment and price. The HR-V regularly sells between 5,000 and 8,000 units per month, so it would be silly to cannibalize those sales with yet another subcompact crossover.

Then again, the lifted-hatchback look is clearly popular with US buyers. The Subaru Outback is little more than a taller Legacy with more cargo space. The Audi Allroad and Volkswagen Alltrack are exactly the same as their wagon counterparts, but with a higher ride height. There's a case to be made for the WR-V in the US, it's just a matter of whether or not Honda agrees.