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    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I watched the reveal for the upcoming Prius v, and of course the Prius C...what struck me was how much both looked like, IMO Honda Fits. Very similar hatchback and body lines...with the v, of course being significantly bigger.

    I try not to bring it up when I travel the cyber roads of Prius Chat, but I own a Honda Fit. I think in the near future I will own a hybrid, but for now I'm driving a Fit. I have to admit despite it NOT being a hybrid and thus not allowing for hybrid operational levels of efficiency...for an ICE vehicle...it's great.

    Indulge me for a little more. One thing I really like with The Fit, are what Honda over sells as "magic seats"....which really are just rear seats inwhich you can fold the bottoms up and lock. It's a simple thing, but very useful in creating a versatile cargo configuration.

    It's not so much that it creates a whole lot more space, but it creates more vertical space...which allows me to haul things in a subcompact that I think would be difficult in vehicles with much more total size.

    It works...it's cool.

    So my question looking at The Prius v and The Prius C, is why doesn't Toyota steal this idea? I hardly think Honda could own a defensible patent on something as generic and basic as the option to fold seats up? Automakers steal from each other all the time, and this just seems like a no-brainer idea.

    Since evidently Honda is not forthcoming with offering a Hybrid Fit in the US...I'd love to see Toyota steal this innovation.

    I know when I do make the leap to a hybrid, I'm going to miss the magic seats...I don't know why it isn't something adopted in more vehicles.
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    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North

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    The question is, what is Toyota storing underneath the rear seats? In the Fit, the fuel tank is moved to under the front seats (hence the slight raise in the floor just behind the front seats that act as a pseudo-footrest for rear passengers). This configuration allows for a low rear floor. Most cars store the fuel tank underneath the rear seat (of course on the outside. I don't mean literally under the seat cushion) so that's probably why they don't offer a tip-up seat bottom.
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    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Yes, I've looked at Prius of course, and other hatchbacks...sedans with fold down seats and I realize that they don't have the gas tank positioned to offer as low a load floor...so the advantage of flip up seats would be somewhat minimized.

    But I still think it could be used to advantage.

    Sometimes when I see new vehicles released, it's frustrating to me how "simple" things that I think could improve the vehicle seem ignored....sometimes out of a repetitive protocal.

    Another advantage to "flip up" rear seats as they exist in the Honda Fit, is they are actually bench like seats with space underneath...so even in locked down position, there is space under them that you can store things out of sight...

    Right now, new auto's seem to offer a disturbing lack of space for keeping coins...another pet peeve of mine. The "cup holder" on the passenger side of the Prius v? Looks disturbingly cheap and unuseful.

    It seems like automakers will do the "Big" thing to improve a vehicle but often seem to ignore the little things that can make over all ownership so much nicer.

    You are probably right...there might be patent problems, actual design challenges...involved...but designers are a clever bunch..

    Even though I have not seen it, I hear the Japanese Honda Fit Hybrid still has the magic seats....so Honda evidently figured out a way to keep that feature and add a battery.

    No big deal...but creativity in creating storage space in vehicles seemed to hit a wall in 1976..right after someone figured out you could fold down the seats....

    Just seems to me like an area that improvements could be created.
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    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    So The Electric Me's "Other Non-Hybrid" is a Honda Fit! Well well well....
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    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Yep. And I roll my eyes during the winter when I read all the Prius "I'm ONLY getting 44 mpg...What's WRONG posts...."

    I have to use every hypermile trick I know to keep The Fit in the 28 mpg range....Even at your worse, you guys don't know how good you've got it...
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    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North

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    No disagreements there. A family vehicle definitely needs storage (The Sienna has nifty hidden bins underneath the front door armrests for example). The Japanese still seem to be ahead of the Europeans when it comes to interior storage compartments (both number of compartments and the size and usability of those compartments that are available).

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