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siegen

US-market '09 Honda Fit: Review & Press Release

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I posted a thread about the new Fit release in Europe and Asia a while back, but this is the official release here in the US, with driving impressions of the US-spec model. I know you guys are so excited. :]

TOV first drive with real-world shots

Edmunds first drive

PR Photo Gallery

2009us_fit01.jpg2009us_fit02.jpg

Edited by siegen
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Now see, that's what a tiny car should be. WAY more desirable than an Aveo. Stevie Wonder can see that much. It looks decent, except I still cannot warm up to the crappy, plasticky new dashboard. I prefer the old dash.
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It's kind of cool looking...maybe they can do a Type-R or Gundam Wing edition to appeal to the kiddies...

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It's a small car that looks worthy of its asking price. However, the dash IP is quite busy in it's appearance.

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I wonder if Acura will get a version..with the shield grille and aluminum or plood on the dash..call it the FSX... :)

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Wow... they're going to be everywhere. This is awesome for a little car.

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Young technophiles will love that they can get OEM NAV on this class of car.

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It's kind of cool looking...maybe they can do a Type-R or Gundam Wing edition to appeal to the kiddies...

Blasphemy. You know it would have to be either a Mech Warrior or Transformers edition. Leave that anime crap over there!

Just kidding btw, Gundam Wing is dyno-mite!

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Actually we almost bought my wife a Fit. Was not sure I was going to like the new car, like this even better than prev. edition.

Fit is a great small car, I actually LOVE this Honda product.

They just nailed the driving dynamics for this thing. Seriously.

Between the Fit and the Civic SI, Honda builds some sweet driving cars.

Chris

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http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_li...st_drive_review

Steve Siler: Johnson, there are many reasons the old Fit was a good Fit. It was rendered in cheap materials that were screwed together with Swiss-watch precision. It was crazy versatile. But best of all, it still felt like a floggable cheap car: humbly endowed but a hoot to toss about, kinda like my old 1988 Nissan Sentra but with actual steering feel and body control. It reminded me once again that there’s no thrill quite like driving a slow car fast.

Erik Johnson: But none of that is lost in this new car. Yeah, I’ll give you that the old car felt like you were racing it all the time—going 45 mph was an exercise in working the clutch, shifter, and 1.5-liter four practically to breaking point—but the new Fit is still that fun. It’s just that now it feels like you’re racing only when you’re actually beating on it. Otherwise, the nicer interior materials, stiffer structure, and calmer nature mean you can actually get around town without feeling like you’ve downed 17 shots of espresso. This is a great car for people who are coming from larger vehicles and need something that sips fuel while providing some semblance of roominess. The new Fit has 10 cup holders, man.

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MMMMMmm...10 cup holders...but not heated/chilled/lighted ones, I bet.

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i like the Fit, I love cars with space efficiency.

The dash is a turnoff. I would want it to have 150hp and a 6MT.

for what it is though, its extremely commendable in this day and age.

It doesn't matter what MSRP is on this thing, dealers will be marking them up I suppose. I might try to test drive one, if i can find one.

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Now see, that's what a tiny car should be. WAY more desirable than an Aveo. Stevie Wonder can see that much. It looks decent, except I still cannot warm up to the crappy, plasticky new dashboard. I prefer the old dash.

love the stevie wonder gag, i was LMAO!!!!

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I do like the fact it has a telescoping steering wheel. I couldn't get comfortable in a rental Cobalt because the wheel was too far away.

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I love the new Fit. Reminds me of Hondas of several generations ago before they got bloated. 117 hp should do quite nicely with the low weight. Discs all the way around would have been a great touch, but for the money, it's a great deal. The dash is a little messy-looking, but everything appears reachable.

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I really can't wait for the '09s to come in at work. I just want to see how similarly different they are from the '08s. I doubt i'll be able to tell much of a difference though, seeing how I haven't driven a Fit in just about a month.

Of course, that's how long it's been since we sold our last '08. :)

Fits really are hot cars, and for a number of reasons.

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Pricey, but it seems like a high quality product.

It is a nice car...I like it!

Chris

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Ok, I don't know why I've been shying away from typing anything here, but I've driven the new Fit. In fact we got one in a day or two after I posted my last comment. It was sort of a surprise since we weren't expecting one for some time. It was a silver on black Sport model with auto tranny.

The car itself seems a little bigger all around. Idk if it because of the large glass triangles in front of the doors, which excentuate how the greenhouse appears to have grown. Idk. Regardless, the car is still rather small. The front looks pretty sporty and imho way better then the last gen due mostly in part to the better looking head lights. From different angles, the front also looks like what I could image a Euro Ford looking like. It's sharp and aggressive looking i suppose. Of course the side of the car looks better too, as the lines are more sculpted and aggressive. The back is a little subjective, but by no means terrible looking. Idk it just looks odd at some views.

The interior is nice. First thing you notice when you sit down is that the seats are more comfy. Next you might notice the leather wrapped wheel. Feeling the position of it, you might get a feeling that something isn't right. No problem, since it now telescopes to fit most any driving position. Next you might play with the controls... All the A/C knobs are lined up almost vertical to each other, close to the driver. The radio is just off to the right, Not so close but not too far. The controls themselves are nice. The gauges are nice too. Not only do are they electroluminous on the inside, but the indicator lights (like the hashes for speedometer intervals) light up as a brilliant blue color.

Inside, the plastics used also seem to be a nice choice. They feel soft and blend well.

I haven't had much time behind the wheel yet but I can say it drives well. As good as you would expect I suppose. It's hard to tell since the car wasn't broken in yet (lol obviously it had like 3 miles) I couldn't tell you how much difference the additional power makes. It did seem to have plenty of power to lug itself around good at low engine speeds though.

BAH, i'm tired and can't think of much else to say. We currently have one sitting on our lot (as of earlier) that I've been meaning to test out, since it's a 5 spd.

Overall, It seems like a good amount of car for the money.

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James Healy of USA Today review is sort of lukewarm.....

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/review...honda-fit_N.htm

•Stability control. Only comes on the highest-price version — the one that'll be bought by well-heeled drivers moving down from gas-guzzlers, who have lots of driving experience and don't need stability control, which helps prevent spins and skids. Younger folks with less time behind the wheel and a bucketful of hormones will need the stability control but won't be able to get it in the cheaper versions.

Honda brags about its "safety for everyone" philosophy, and this seems counter to that. No surprise, it's about the money.

The '09 Fit seems so right that we should cool our collective jets by looking first at the bad things:

•Ride. Stiff to the point of teeth-jarring on some bumps. Clearly a suspension designed by a dentist. Honda, of course, thinks the characterization, not the ride, is what's harsh.

•Fuel tank. Tiny, less than 11 gallons, so you're constantly refilling despite good fuel economy. The previous Fit holds a couple tenths more.

•Steering. Despite what Honda says are big improvements, it can be a bit twitchy. Not a car for the habitually over-caffeinated.

•Power. Not enough for comfort on fast interstates or hilly terrain. The fuel-sipping engine has to work like a whipped cur to run with the big dogs on the big roads. Makes you long for the easy comfort of a big Detroit V-8 after a couple of hours. The '09 engine is rated 117 horsepower, up 8 hp from the '08. Torque's up just 1 pound-foot, to 106 lbs.-ft.

The big picture: Fit's a sweetheart for urban and suburban users, but marginal for highway commuters and hill-dwellers.
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It's my favorite Mr. Healy. No one can nit-pick like this guy can.

I seriously don't even read his reviews any more, even if it is positive.

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I sat in an 09 Fit Sport today at noon. I made my way out in a scurry to look at it because its rare for a dealer to have one on hand.

In fact, when i got there, it was more or less sold, but sales guy let me in to see it. Nice of him.

I would imagine Honda is clerking these things out like crazy.

Anyways, I like some Hondas but do not worship the temple of Vtec as they say. That said, I find this car refreshed for 09 compelling from a utility and sportiness standpoint.

I did not like the interior of the 08. The 09, different story. More airy cabin, better design. I like the pre 09 Fit exterior and the new one to me is just as nice. In person it looks a little busy and chopped off, but that is the nature of this car.

My first initial impression is that the exterior is well crafted. The sheet metal is not exactly thick, but we all know this car is light, so so be it. Don't lean a pop can against it. The doors felt thin and cheap opening it.

I was introduced to the rear cargo area and seats first. Yes inded, the rear cargo area is good sized, not CAVERNOUS, but very very good sized and usable, lots of height. The plastics back there are light duty.

On to the rear seat. i was surprised, but the rear seat seemed a bit tight. I thought the cushion would be higher and a little more leg room. The seat is WIDE. I'll give it that. The magic seat thing really is a joy to watch, although the quality of it is cheap cheap cheap. It made clunky noises and seemed sloppy and loose, i hope they can fix that.

With the seat up fully and maximum vertical height in the second row, it really is large enough to put in a bike without the front wheel, or a plasma/LCD upright in box (which is the way they should be moved :) ), Potted plants? NO PROBLEMO. Just make sure you get floor mats. the carpet in the fit is nonexistent and very thin. Its more like a thin felt a little kid would cut up for grade school art projects. I do not see it lasting AT ALL. The rear area has a hump in the center, no doubt a cabin brace on the underside of the car.

I hope the wiring under the carpet doesn't corrode like the recall for the pre 09's.

The drivers vantage is wonderfully panoramic. The stretched windshield is quite far out and feels airy, but I wonder if its not a bit too far out. View out the sides is great, the rear windows taper down in the back. The back window is a bit pinched, but still ok to see out of. The window glass seems thin like the doors.

The part your body interfaces with, the seat and steering wheel. The SW is from the Civic, right? It felt nice. It was hard to find the adjuster at first but its down there. The seat felt a little lumpy to me and i didn't like the fabric. The shape of it was ok and it hugged me although I did not like the contour of the cushions and their cut lines. Give them credit for nailing (and providing) the nice driver armrest.

The SW felt like a much more quality piece than the rest of the dash. I was ok with the design. Its busy, but doesn't suck like the last gen fit. The plastics are not lavish by any stretch. Gauges are busy but well done. Radio and CC stack seem random, but everything is legible and falls to hand. Door panels are cheap and thin. I get that this is a light cheap car, and the price is great, but still. The paddle shifter fell to finger nicely, although not as nice as on Aura for example.

Cupholder abound and the ones on the dash itself are brilliantly convenient. The ones in front of the shifter, not so much.

I came to look at this car for the interior space utilization, and honestly it is brilliant. Driver controls although busy I came around to say I was fine with. I am let down by the overall build quality on this vehicle.

Its a Honda though! Why would I say that????

I've had the ability recently to take more test drives in the Astra and also the Suzuki SX4. And I have been in the Versa. I cannot comment on how the Fit drives, so I can comment on the interior envirnments and quality.

I would endorse the other 3 mentioned as more pleasant interiors. The SX4 has a similar vibe with the tall cabin and front quarter windows, but everything about the suzuki interior seems more organized and has better quality. The Versa seems more comfortable. The Astra is more solid and refined.

I would recommend to anyone looking at the Fit, to determine if you are just looking at this vehicle for the space efficiency and little else. I can tell you Astras and the SX4 have high fun quotient and probably give as satisfying a drive or more. Perhaps where the Fit has an edge is gas mileage, and of course, utility. I have my doubts whether the Fit would survive hard usage from a family standpoint, lots of cargo hauling, or harsh climates. I think the SX4 would. Astra, probably. The solidity of the Astra i see being tough to beat by the folded paper Fit.

It creams the Yaris, the Fit does though.

I read recently how even ocnblu looked at the Fit and in the end got the Cobalt even. I think he made the right choice. He will be pleased over time he did. to me, the Fit is a great idea....but I bet he'll be happier with the Cobalt.....more power, more solid, probably as good of real world mpg. In fact, anyone who wants the space the Fit offers, I would send them to go look post haste at an HHR. I think the HHR outdoes the Fit in many ways, while being within reach in price and mpg. The HHR however is not entirely as nimble and I get that that is the big draw of the Fit. I just think from a function standpoint the HHR as GM's space compact provides the best alternative to the Fit, and for most folks I feel is a better buy. I am pretty sure it would not be tough to convince people if you could get them to drive both.

Edited by regfootball
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Well, the Cobalt and G5 were named two of the least expensive cars to own. With that and the wonderful Ecotec engine, clean styling and helpful features, I think I made a pretty good choice.
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