Interior Roominess Becomes Holy Grail for Automakers | Edmunds

Interior Roominess Becomes Holy Grail for Automakers


Just the Facts:
  • The redesigned 2015 Honda Fit with its Magic Seats and the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon, which is endorsed by Tall Clubs International, highlight the push by automakers to provide lots of room for people and their gear.
  • The Fit's second-row Magic Seats fold flat into the floor to open up cargo capacity.
  • The Transit Connect Wagon, which arrives in dealer showrooms this month, features fold-flat second- and third-row seating.

DETROIT — The redesigned 2015 Honda Fit with its Magic Seats and the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon, which is endorsed by Tall Clubs International, highlight the push by automakers to provide lots of room for people and their gear.

The Fit's second-row Magic Seats fold flat into the floor to open up cargo capacity.

The Transit Connect Wagon, which arrives in dealer showrooms this month, features fold-flat second- and third-row seating.

Interior roominess was a theme of a recent Buick LaCrosse commercial that featured 15-time NBA All Star Shaquille O'Neal folding his 7-foot frame into the sedan. Buick pitched O'Neal as a "Size Authority" in that commercial.

The 2015 Honda Fit debuted at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. The Fit loses 1.6 inches of overall length but gains a longer wheelbase in the redesign. As a result, Honda was able to create the Magic Seat configuration, which opens up 52.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity when the second-row seats are folded flat.

"With an overall height of 60 inches, the Fit allows for easy loading of items into the rear cargo and ingress/egress for passengers," Honda said in a statement.

The automaker says the new Fit "delivers a significant increase in passenger volume and rear legroom." The Magic Seats offer multiple configurable seating positions.

The subcompact Fit competes with the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris.

While the Ford Transit Connect Wagon's endorsement by Tall Clubs International had somewhat of a gimmicky feel, the message is not lost on car shoppers. Tall Clubs International bills itself as a social and professional organization for the "vertically gifted."

"People of a certain stature have to make special considerations for head- and legroom when out buying a new car," said Brian Comeno, president of Tall Clubs International, in a statement posted on the Ford Web site. "Car shopping is very tough, and if you are concerned about fuel efficiency, smaller is sometimes the way to go.

"The Transit Connect provides both comfort and fuel efficiency, giving people who are vertically gifted important factors that go into purchasing a new vehicle."

The Transit Connect Wagon is the people-mover version of the Transit Connect, a panel-side cargo van.

The wagon and cargo van have 46.8 inches of headroom in the first row and 45.1 inches in the second row.

Edmunds says: Even pint-sized cars like the 2015 Honda Fit can jump on the roominess bandwagon.

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