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ocnblu

2009 Honda Fit

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Well, today after work I stopped by "my" local BPG/Honda/Acura/Suzuki dealership at the invitation of one of the salesguys to try out an '09 Fit. The car I drove was a base/manual transmission in black. Here are my impressions of the whole experience:

The dealership in general has been very nice to deal with, from my first contact with my eventual Sierra salesperson over the internet, to my parting words with the Honda salesguy this evening. First off, I drove to the back of the lot, where they have a fenced-in holding yard for excess inventory. They have quite a selection already of new Fits... silver, purple, black, bright blue and orange, most with "SOLD" tags on the dash. I parked the truck and started checking them out. The new car is much more up-to-date looking and more substantial than the old one. Base cars come with 15" wheels and plasticky-looking wheel covers this year, up from 14" in years past. The base car's wheels still look small. The Sport, however, comes with nice looking 16" aluminum wheels, a lower body ground effects kit that's not too obtrusive, foglamps and a rear roof spoiler that's not bad because it seems to add a bit of shade to the load area. It also comes with other functional features that make a Sport manual the best overall model to have, imo.

Anyway, I drove to the front of the dealership in my truck and met up with the Honda salesguy. He was very congenial and not pushy as he slapped a dealer tag on the back of the car and pulled it around for me. I jumped in the driver's seat, adjusted everything to my liking, and off we went.

First thing I have to say is, those Honda engines run like a sewing machine... soooo smooth. Honda has added their V-TEC system to the Fit engine this year, but since I've never driven an old Fit on the road, I cannot compare that aspect. The buff press has long raved about Honda manual gearboxes, and I have to say, they're right. This is the smoothest manual transmission/clutch interface I've ever experienced. Usually when I get into a new manual transmission car, it takes a few minutes to get used to it, but not this car. I never jerked it once, and rowing through the gears is easy, smooth and with the right effort so you know you're connected to something mechanical, an unusual trait for a FWD transmission linkage, imo.

Out on the road, it had plenty of pep to get up to highway speeds. The ride is slightly busy but smooth, where my truck uses Road Hugging Weight to keep it feeling planted. The Fit immediately felt fun to drive. I didn't hear any excessive road or wind noise. The loudest part of the ride was the dealer tag flapping against the taillight lens. The route soon changed to a back road with plenty of curves. The little Fit held tight, and the buttery transmission action only added to the fun factor.

On the interior, the dashboard isn't as offensive in reality as it is in pictures. Everything is easy as heck to reach and operate. The steering column has a good range of adjustment, and the seats are supportive. It has a slightly cheesy instant MPG meter in the cluster that seems not to have been put in there for real calculation purposes (but it's fun to watch it fluctuate with the gas pedal). The interior plastics are no better than any given GM small car, whether judged on look or feel, but everything seemed to be snapped together pretty tightly. It is an economy car, after all. As far as utility goes, the Fit is king of the tiny cars, imo, with its "Magic Seats". You can fold down either or both halves of the back seat... you can fold the back seat cushions upward to allow a tall load space from the lowest point of the floor to the roof... you can even lay down the front passenger seat if you want to Hang Ten and stick a surf board inside the car.

Overall, I find the Fit not the Second Coming, but in this class, I think the Fit is at the top, with a fun demeanor, more modern looks than the old car, loads of utility, comfortable ride, and good value for the all-around package. I liked it more and more as I drove it.

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Blu!....I have to say you missed your calling. You have some auto journalistic talent. You have a nice natural flow. Well done.

Here's a photo of the Fit:

hondafitttxa4.jpg

hondafittobetiedmt9.jpg

hondafitthg8.jpg

hondafitinteriorscu9.jpg

hondafitdashew6.jpg

Edited by HarleyEarl
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Well thanks, Harley. And thanks for sticking those pictures up there, too.
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I can't believe I'm saying this, I'm liking this new Fit. It seems only Honda can do cars like this. That interior is very nice for this segment.

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Cannot find any counter argument there. A good and thorough write up, as Mr. Earl said you need to be an unbiased reporter. ;)

Undoubtedly Hondas have the best shift linkage in the business, better than Porsche (that is quite a bit of accomplishment) and much better than the BMWs.

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HE, you originally had an overhead pic of a white/light colored Fit, can you re-post it? I want that big sunroof, and as far as I can tell its not available on NA Fits.

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Great write-up. I haven't seen a new Fit in person yet, but from pictures and articles, I already consider it one of my favorite cars. It would be a great replacement for my Prelude. The specs of the Fit are close to my old '87 Integra, which was an absolute blast to drive. It Honda added a sunroof, it would be about perfect for a non-hybrid vehicle.

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HE, you originally had an overhead pic of a white/light colored Fit, can you re-post it? I want that big sunroof, and as far as I can tell its not available on NA Fits.

hondafitrearwr0.jpg

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No giant sunroof for the USDM models unfortunately. <_<

Nice writeup. I haven't test driven one yet, but I am interested in the car and its utility and MPG.

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Nice writeup blu. I like the new Fit a lot better than the old one. It certainly seems to once again be at the top of its class. I wonder how the Fiesta will do when it gets here. GM and Chrysler hae nothing that can touch it.

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Nice. I look forward to this and the Fiesta duking it out. My prediction is that the Ford will be better looking and sportier, while the Honda will be more spacious and economical. Both already appear to be really good, though.

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great writeup blu....

"hangten" awwwwwww stop it.

I really am not a Honda fan but I respect them. I would buy a Fit, but I wish it had more HP. For me what makes this car attractive as heck is the utility.

Like blu, I may go test drive one meself.

Did the engine drone at freeway speeds? What were the rpms at 70-80mph?

I am a complete sucker for space utilization in a vehicle.

I would buy this thing for the magic seats alone. And ten cupholders.

Will we get an Acura rebadge? LOL

Edited by regfootball
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Nice writeup blu. I like the new Fit a lot better than the old one. It certainly seems to once again be at the top of its class. I wonder how the Fiesta will do when it gets here. GM and Chrysler hae nothing that can touch it.

...including price. You're forgetting that most people that buy these aren't buying them for status or speed. Price counts a helluva lot in this category. You can $10-a-month-yourself to death.

Why stop at the Fit and not just buy a Mini?

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I will agree that the NEW Fit makes the old one look like a dog-turd art sculpture.

Still, I'd never go with anything other than a MINI-coop if I wanted/needed a car

of this size/MPG category....

...now back to my search for a 440-powered Fuselage Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler

or Imperial (4-door hardtop) from the late '60s or early '70s on Craig's :smilewide:

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I can't believe I'm saying this, I'm liking this new Fit. It seems only Honda can do cars like this. That interior is very nice for this segment.

I am liking the Fit also, as well as the Nissan Cube and a few other of the new "small" cars. They are cool in a funky sort of way.

And your write, blu writes very well.

Chris

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I will agree that the NEW Fit makes the old one look like a dog-turd art sculpture.

Still, I'd never go with anything other than a MINI-coop if I wanted/needed a car

of this size/MPG category....

...now back to my search for a 440-powered Fuselage Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler

or Imperial (4-door hardtop) from the late '60s or early '70s on Craig's :smilewide:

Actually I'd like to add a Fit and a MINI to my fleet...

Get one of those good looking Fury's from the early 70's with the hideaway headlights...a very menacing looking car, and it would look fabulous next to the B-59.

Alex Baron, my high school Gym teacher/football coach (didn't play FB, just kept stats, etc.) drove one. It had a slightly bent front bumper, and ole Alex was an NFL sized guy with a mean look to him.

Made people NOTICE when that damned car came in the parking lot...

(As an aside, Alex wasn't menacing at all, he was a great teacher and a great guy...)

But seriously, a Fury 2 Dr HT (go back and re-read your own posts about the B- Piller thingie, the HARDTOP is the one ya want...) would be the Cat's ass.

Chris

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Actually I'd like to add a Fit and a MINI to my fleet...

Get one of those good looking Fury's from the early 70's with the hideaway headlights...a very menacing looking car, and it would look fabulous next to the B-59.

But seriously, a Fury 2 Dr HT (go back and re-read your own posts about the B- Piller thingie, the HARDTOP is the one ya want...) would be the Cat's ass.

Chris

How about a black '70 Sport Fury GT... aircraft carrier proportions..hidden headlights..chop-top look (I always thought the roof was too small for the body on those cars)...great styling..

I'd like to have a couple '70s cars for the occasional weekend drive. Don't have the garage space currently...would have to have a '71 LTD 2dr ht and a '71 Riviera.

Edited by moltar
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...including price. You're forgetting that most people that buy these aren't buying them for status or speed. Price counts a helluva lot in this category. You can $10-a-month-yourself to death.

Why stop at the Fit and not just buy a Mini?

Price is important. The Fit has an MSRP starting at $14.5k. Other cars like the Aveo and Accent have an MSRP as low at $11k. Honda could drop a thousand off the MSRP if they stripped out many of the standard features, but that would deteriorate the image of the car, its resale value, and its desirability. Better to offer another model at a lower price point, which is something they may or may not do with a car like the City.

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Price is important. The Fit has an MSRP starting at $14.5k. Other cars like the Aveo and Accent have an MSRP as low at $11k. Honda could drop a thousand off the MSRP if they stripped out many of the standard features, but that would deteriorate the image of the car, its resale value, and its desirability. Better to offer another model at a lower price point, which is something they may or may not do with a car like the City.

Hondas have always had a bit of a premium over other brands... they are further up the ladder than the Korean cheapies...

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Price is important. The Fit has an MSRP starting at $14.5k. Other cars like the Aveo and Accent have an MSRP as low at $11k. Honda could drop a thousand off the MSRP if they stripped out many of the standard features, but that would deteriorate the image of the car, its resale value, and its desirability. Better to offer another model at a lower price point, which is something they may or may not do with a car like the City.

Used Fits are fetching over MSRP. Quality small cars tend to have the best resale value... my neighbor had a blue '03 or '04 MINI Cooper S, which he essentially drove for free. Then he replaced it with a silver FJ Cruiser (and an Airstream trailer), which is probably depreciating like mad.

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Price is important. The Fit has an MSRP starting at $14.5k. Other cars like the Aveo and Accent have an MSRP as low at $11k. Honda could drop a thousand off the MSRP if they stripped out many of the standard features, but that would deteriorate the image of the car, its resale value, and its desirability. Better to offer another model at a lower price point, which is something they may or may not do with a car like the City.

we do know the resale will uphold on this thing with the buzz its been getting.

so it would be worth getting over an Aveo, its that much nicer.

Although, a loaded sport, at 18-19k is hard to make nice for when it only has 120hp. At least give the sport an engine option, 150-160hp.

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