• Mar 20th 2008 at 8:42AM
  • 13
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The New York stage presence of the 2009 Honda Fit says nothing if not red. The car, the background, everything about the display served to emphasize that color. But there is certainly a green side to a car that gets 46 mpg under the Japanese test cycle. The new Fit is even more frugal in Japan, where a 1.3-liter is an option, but we'll have to make do with a larger engine. As expected, the new Fit uses a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC engine. A few details are available after the jump (the Fit Sport is iPod friendly, for example), but for more we'll have to wait until we get closer to the on-sale date this fall. At least we've got some pictures. I'm guessing you'll note the red theme.

Press Release:

All-new 2009 Honda Fit Introduces New Realm of Refinement to Subcompact Class
New Fit further refines interior functionality, enhances sporty feel, and adds safety features

NEW YORK, March 19, 2008 – The all-new 2009 Honda Fit, set to go on sale in the U.S. this fall, is making its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. The Fit promises to further its leadership in the subcompact segment with top-of-class feature content, including an available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™; improved interior functionality, including one-motion dive-down rear seats; enhanced sporty demeanor through improved suspension, steering and body rigidity; and high levels of standard safety equipment, including Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure.

"Critics and customers alike have voted the Fit among the best small vehicles on the road," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "This new Fit raises the bar even further, taking what was already great about the Fit, making it even better and throwing in a healthy dose of refinement."

Enhanced Comfort and Convenience
Dimensionally compact on the outside, the interior provides surprisingly large passenger and class-leading cargo space to maximize comfort and utility. At the foundation is an improved rear Magic SeatīŖ¨, now featuring one-motion dive-down functionality, which allows the rear seat to fold flat with the front seats in the rearmost slide position and without removing the rear headrests. The seats offer multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations (Tall Object Mode, Long Object Mode and Utility Mode) in addition to the standard five-passenger mode. Additionally, a new hidden storage bin under the rear seat delivers a place to store small items.

Adding further refinement, Fit Sport will now offer an available factory-installed Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition, featuring a 6.5-inch screen. Also, all Fit Sport models will feature a USB audio interface compatible with current generation iPods® and many USB storage devices.

"The goal is to provide entry-level vehicle customers with functionality and refinement that's a class above," said Colliver. "Buying a Fit is a choice, not a compromise."

Fun to Drive
The Fit will feature a new 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC™ engine coupled to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an available, segment-unique, 5-speed automatic transmission, which includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Fit Sport. The new engine will offer the best balance of fuel economy and power.
Larger 15-inch and 16-inch (Fit Sport) wheels hint at enhancements to the Fit's suspension, steering and body rigidity, which are intended to produce sportier handling without sacrificing comfort.

Top-of-Class Standard Safety Equipment
The Fit will add Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology, available Electronic Stability Control and active head restraints, to a top-of-class list of standard safety features. With Fit's adoption of ACE, more than 94 percent of Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. will include the innovative body structure. With its availability in the new Fit, VSA will now be available in the lineup of every model Honda sells in the United States. Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, dual front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) and side-curtain airbags are standard equipment on all Fit models. All seating positions have three-point seat belts.

Standard active safety equipment will include anti-lock braking system (ABS), with ventilated discs in the front and drums in the back, and electronic brake distribution (EBD). Additionally, front and rear visibility has been improved.

More detailed information about the 2009 Honda Fit will be released closer to the vehicle launch in the fall.

[Source: Honda]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Not sure what the video signifies. Doesn't seem to have much to do with this discussion.

      In the city, weight also matters more than aerodynamics. As far as the gearing that is the trend with all manufacturers and I don't like it.

      They all give their manual transmissions short top gears so lazy shifter don't have to gear down very much, but the consequence is worse highway mileage and busy, noisier engine because of higher RPMS. Even my buddy with a 6speed Versa complains that top gear is too short.

      I have been driving manual for 20+ years, I downshift to pass, I would much prefer that top gear be a taller flat cruising quiet economy gear. If I thought it was a hardship to gear down, I would buy an automatic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great litte car. Might be my next. I am also considering next generation diesels like the VW Jetta, hybrids like the CRZ but they have to make economic sense. Rumblings place CRZ pricing at near double Fit pricing. Ah, I dont' think so.

      The Fit is practical, reasonably nimble, decent mileage and decently priced. This is my baseline, I will pay more for something like a CRZ that is more stylish with better performance/mileage, but not 10K+ more.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Well, it seems like more of the same from Honda. [See the new Acura TSX]

      I really want to like the Fit, but no spare wheel is an immediate disqualification from consideration. [how do you rotate the tires? Honda's are not very good with even tire wear]
      Will the fuel tank be larger?

      If Honda would have shortened the current Fit automatic's 3rd gear something like 5-10%, it would be able to hang with the stick under acceleration. [just leave it in 3rd gear in the video, instead of banging the limiter in 2nd]

      I am just mad that if you want a real car, you have to have a curb weight of 3000+ lbs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm with you snowdog, I'm considering Hybrid, diesels and the Fit. Any idea when the "fall" are we talking july/august or October, or Christmas?
        • 8 Months Ago
        My new 09 is being built on Aug 9th and shipped to my dealer in the first week of Oct, or so he says.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I just ordered my Fit today, Sport automatic in Storm Silver Metallic. It is being built on Sept 9th and shipped from Japan, scheduled to arrive on the first week in Oct. At least that is what the dealer tells me, you know how that goes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm sure I'll see more pics soon, but it would have been nice to see a profile view not obscured by open doors.

      Seems like the mileage would be close to the current Fit, which is about the same mileage as Civics once had. Though I like the new Civics, I'm pleased to see that Honda continues to look toward that market segment that really cares about mileage and convenience rather than performance and flashiness.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The current Fit stick is a better city car, but a terrible highway car. Why? The gearing is too short.

      The stick car could just stay in 3rd gear (you are on vtec 40-75mph (upshift to 4th)
      The stick car top speed is in 5th, the auto 4th.

      Now with the Civic, the stick is the better city car, automatic-highway car.
      The gearing on the automatic is so tall, it lugs even with continuous torque converter clutch slip.

      What does i-VTEC mean on the Fit?
      In the Civic it means inverse half VTEC. The cam switching system only works on 1 intake valve, and it disengages at greater than half load, and only works in the bottom half of the engine speed range.
      So you pay a high speed aerodynamic penalty in the Fit, but you can make it up with better city mileage.

      • 8 Months Ago
      Oh and I rotate my tires in the spring and fall when I swap the winter/summer wheels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why can't we find mileage estimates? THey sell the 1.5L in Japan. How many miles per gallon are they getting?
      • 7 Years Ago
      On mileage it is noteworthy that the fit gets LESS highway mileage than the Civic, probably as a result of not being the aerodynamic. Honda really needs to work a little harder in that department.
      • 8 Months Ago
      It looks like they made a large number of improvements. No car is ideal. I want the manual and would like if they gave it a much taller top gear, but that isn't likely either.

      Still when I compare what is available, this makes the top of the list for a fuel efficient hatchback. Could it be better, certainly it could, but it seems to be the lesser of evils to me.

      Overall I would prefer civic coupe if it were a hatchback. Bigger, more powerful engine with better highway mileage. Only the lack of a hatch has me looking at the Fit.

      I am mad because if I want to buy a hatch, I have to buy a smaller engined Fit. ;-)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like the Jetta diesels also. The problem is that the savings from increased mileage is almost completely erased by the premium on diesel fuel. WTF? I remember when I first started driving diesel was 10 to 20 cents lower then regular gas. Now its 20-24 cents more then premium.
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