By James Raia
Two entry-level cars popular for flat towing — the Chevrolet Sonic and Honda Fit — will cease production after the end of their current 2020 model years.
The Sonic, which, for several years, has been the cheapest new car in the United States, joined the Fit perennially among top-10 most-popular entry-level towable vehicles. Manual transmission models were manufacturer-approved for flat towing.
After years in other countries and with different names, the sub-compact Sonic debuted in the United States dealerships in August 2012. Yearly sales peaked at about 94,000 in 2014 but fell to less than 14,000 last year.
The Fit, also a subcompact, was unveiled in the U.S. in 2006 as a 2007 model. The Fit was praised for its space efficiency. With its centrally located fuel tank and compact rear suspension design, the Fit has an ultra-low load floor, folding rear seats and superior versatility. Its manual transmission models are also manufacturer-approved for recreational towing.
After debuting with sales of 27,934 in 2006, the Fit proved exceedingly popular. Within two years, its annual sales nearly tripled to a peak of 79,794. But annual sales have tanked in recent years, with only 35,000 sales in 2018 and 2019.
The Sonic and Fit, much like other small and medium-size cars, suffered from consumers’ increasing interest in recreational vehicles and pickup trucks.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.