The Grace is a pretty fascinating car. It has the body of an orthodox sedan but the tilted design of the front and rear pillars is stylish; if you sit in the backseat, you will find out that it has an extended leg room exceeding that of luxury cars. It also obtains a good figure in terms of gas mileage, with a fuel-efficient condition of 34.4km/liter.
The emergence of such a fascinating sedan, such as the Grace, is considered as an opportunity for the sedan’s reinstatement into the Japanese market, currently dominated by the impressive sales of compact and kei cars or minivans.
It shares the same basic platform as the Fit system; the extension of its wheel base has led to the creation of a wider backseat space. By doing so, the interior was made to be more spacious. Although the overhead margin is small, the wideness of its leg room is a surprising thing.
Majority of the interior was designed exclusively for the Grace, in pursuit of comfort and quality. The only thing that it has in common with the Fit is the selector lever, instrument panel and the like. Its trunk capacity of 430 liters is enough to carry three golf bags.
The foundation for the sedan was firmly built by utilizing the center tank’s basic platform as the base, and it became a more persistent car with its packaging.
It has the same basic mechanism as the Fit; it is equipped with a one motor system hybrid called the sports hybrid i-DCD. A built-in high output dual clutch motor is mated to the efficient Atkinson cycle 1.5 liter engine.
Its performance is smooth. It has a one motor type hybrid but it is also possible to make it run just with the engine; and if you were to drive it by turning on the ECON switch, a mode that prioritizes gas mileage, then the start will have essentially become a motor only EV driving. However, depending on the battery level, the engine will kick in and change to hybrid driving; then you can switch freely between EV and hybrid driving in urban areas and the like. The driver does not have to be aware of anything as it can always run in a fuel-efficient condition.
The performance generally depicts a sophisticated impression.
It exudes a calmness appropriate to a sedan. It also has a superb level of quietness in urban areas, in high-speed cruising and the like. You can faintly hear the sound of its motor immediately after the almost soundless start; however, that will also become unnoticeable once you start driving.
The ride quality is extremely comfortable. In addition to the expanded wheelbase’s contribution to the ride quality, the utilization of an accessory, called the fuel-filled compliance bush in the rear wheels, is showing the effect of a mechanism that blocks unpleasant vibrations.
It comes with a safety package set composed of a collision mitigation brake system, and side and curtain air bags as a standard or as an option depending on the grade. The collision mitigation brake system is a simplified model that uses a short-range/low rpm infrared; an absolutely essential accessory when it comes to choosing a car in this day and age. I want to choose an equipped vehicle included with the options as well.
I made some inquiries about the powertrains of the Fit and Vezel which have gone through repeated recalls. They explained that the bad aspects of the Fit and Vezel have been eradicated through the recall; moreover, they further explained that the significantly delayed release period of the Grace was due to the insurance of its quality. It is impossible to speak in absolutes, but I think that this is a car that you can ride with confidence.
â– 5 Star Rating
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Hiroshi Matsushita | Car Critic
Born in 1951 in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture. He was a former journalist for the car industry and editor of a car magazine before becoming a freelancer. He is known for his expertise in economic discussions that pertains to car and money such as tax, insurance and miscellaneous expenses. He writes an online diary almost every day.
(Translated by Michael Sabaldan)