I stick to my previous interpretation: they're just being tools.
Sounds like they need to do some re-tooling. Trying to fool the Canadian Public -- that the difference between the two vehicles are only safety items -- is a complete smack in the face.
Kia seems to make money this deal without sacrificing any safety item (plus a better warranty).
However, as I think about it, it's cheaper for a company to remove a bunch of items from a product than add something new/different to something already in a market (when they miss the mark on a Government Rebate). Conversely, why the heck don't they just import the smaller engine and make the bigger engine an OPTION? North America always gets the bloated engine mandate.
You know my feelings on making airbags, ABS, and stability control standard
The UK: 1.4L makes 82 hp, 0-60 in 12-seconds, and would easily make the rebate.
North America: 1.5L / generates 109 hp / about 9 or 10-seconds to 60, and misses the mark.
So a small reduction in displacement would do it, and the powertrains are a direct "FIT".
That is pretty sad. I never thought of Honda as saintly, but they're wallowing with GM on this one.
The engine that everybody outside of North America gets is pretty sweet... a two-valve, two-plug 1.3L inline 4. Presumably a 'wedge' head, at least as famously efficient as the 4-valve 'pent-roof'. The specs from the Japanese web site: 24 km/l, 86 hp @ 5600 rpm, and 119 N-m @ 2800 rpm. The 4-valve VTEC both Canada and the US are stuck with gets 20.4 km/l, 110 hp @ 5800 rpm, and 143 N-m @ 4800 rpm. This is like a CX vs EX civic, but they don't give you that choice any more. You must take the shiny one, which makes it all the less attractive.
To be honest, I was really looking forward to the Fit once I heard it was coming here, to the point of buying one new. But then they announced the single-engine sub-40 highway mileage, and that was that. There's supposed to be a mileage version someday, but I'm not holding my breath.
as much as I love honda, and my Fit, this is nothing more than political posturing by Honda Canada.
let's look at the facts here.
The Fit is NOT the Yaris... the Fit is a four door, and the Yaris is an optional four door. In other words, it comes in a two door version. If I had to guess, the two door version is the one that met the requirements for the rebates.
Secondly, the Fit in Japan (known as the Jazz) has an optional 1.3L engine that gets considerably better gas mileage than the 1.5L engine here. An easy solution would be to offer this engine in Canada, the US, etc. Honda could easily make up a marketing campaign saying that their 1.3L engine gets better mileage and more power than Toyota's 1.5L... oh, and it's safer too.
What Honda continues to forget is that people who buy vehicles like the Fit don't care about horsepower. They care about utility, gas mileage, emissions, etc. If they wanted horsepower they would buy an integra, or a dodge charger. I'd be willing to bet that if the 1.3L version of the Fit were offered in America/Canada that it would sell just as well as the other models.
Oh, here's another option. In my perfect society where people actually CHOOSE their own level of safety, Honda would offer a sidecurtain airbag/ABS upgrade to any vehicle. The base model would not have it.
You just need to convert the teg to stick, rick, I've heard of people getting in the 40s mixed with stick tegs,
Anyway, matt is right. I think marketing the 1.2 with the CVT would be a good move on honda's part. It would cost more, but get much better mileage, and they could say something about putting the technology that makes hybrids great into the hands of average people.