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Hi everyone. First I will say, and make no apology, that I own and enjoy my third Nissan. My first car was a 1992 Sentra SE, followed by a 2000 Sentra SE, and currently a 2011 Versa SL hatch. I have always admired Honda and when I bought the Versa the Fit was a close second.

I was actually all but sold on the Fit after reading reviews and looking at specs online. I was also interested in moving over to a hybrid and a Fit hybrid may have sold the deal except that Honda has not decided to release it in the US.

I liked the CR-Z but could not bring myself to buy a two seater. That and the hybrid engine seemed to compromise both performance and fuel efficiency. What's the point then? If only it had a small but existent back seat like it does overseas it might have gained at least a point for some practicality.

Next I looked at the Insight. More practical and fuel efficient than the CR-Z but just barely. The back seat was tight and the headroom was lacking. I appreciate the Kammback for aerodynamics, but didn't like the visibilty or compromise of cargo space. That and Honda's dedicated hybrid didn't even match the EPA ratings of the Civic Hybrid that I looked at next.

I had been driving a Honda Civic as a rental after my Sentra was totaled. It was very practical and comfortable, but otherwise uninspiring. Plus the rear seat and headroom was only slightly roomier than the Insight. That together with the options and/or hybrid model I was interested in was pricing it a bit out of my range. After all I was looking primarily for a commuter car that would sometimes need to accomodate some friends or cargo in the back. It was for the latter that I was already pretty decided on making the move out of a sedan and into my first hatchback.

So finally that brings us back to the Fit. I loved the versatility of its "Magic Seat" and like both its peppy handling and fuel efficiency, but ai was not impressed with its tiny seats and lack of more thigh support especially. I was a little concerned with how it would hold up on a 45 minute commute in stop and go traffic. If only the hybrid was available that might have swayed me.

Ultimately I went with the Versa because of what I felt were more comfortable seats and much greater rear legroom. Sure the Versa's interior was not as quite as nice as the Fit and the back seat does not fold flat but it works fine for what I need. Nissans also don't have the resale value of a Honda but I tend to keep my cars for a long time. I also liked that the price of factory installed navigation was half that if the Fit. The only thing I was a bit wary of was that the Nissan was built in Mexico and not Japan like the Fit. But so was my second Sentra and that hadn't proved to be a concern. So I went with the Versa.

Since then I've enjoyed my Versa, but always admire the Hondas that I see on the road, the Insights, the CR-Zs and particularly the Fits. Especially in the gorgeous yet ill-fated Orangeburst Metallic paint that was available for only one year after I bought my Versa. My only regret with the Versa is that I went with silver. It will be my first and last silver car.

Having not gone through the car buying process and driving less for pleasure and more for work than in my younger days I had lost a bit of interest in cars, but since looking for and buying my latest car I found my interest reignited. I have particularly followed the Japanese manufacturers and having studied in Tokyo previously I was lucky enough to be able to work in Japan for a few months late last year. The timing was perfect as I was there for the Tokyo Motor Show and amongst the release of both the new Fit and Vezel (HR-V)!

Having grown to love owning a hatch as well as the higher seating position of my Versa over the Sentras I find myself like so many others drawn towards moving to a crossover. My mother recently purchased a Mazda CX-5 which love to drive every chance I get (unfortunately she is running low on frequent flyer miles now for another run to and from the airport). But the CX-5 is a bit too big for my needs. Maybe if the rumored CX-3 is built it will give the HR-V a run for its money, but for now I'm looking forward to driving the HR-V and new Fit back-to-back later this year. Having sat in both in Honda's main showroom in Tokyo I am leaning heavily towards the HR-V and I still think it would be a huge missed opportunity for Honda not to release a hybrid Fit or HR-V in the US. Maybe after driving them I will even, for the first time in my life, let go of a car in less than a decade. :)
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