• Feb 3rd 2009 at 11:31AM
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Click on the image above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Honda Fit Sport

The folks over at Consumer Reports have ranked the Honda Fit Sport top among tested subcompact cars in their March 2009 issue. "We found the new Fit the most practical and enjoyable car in this month's group," says Consumers Union. The world's largest independent consumer product testing organization, who don't claim to be enthusiasts, ran the small Honda against the Suzuki SX4, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, and Chevrolet Aveo.

Compared to the rest of the group, the Honda Fit Sport 5-speed was the quickest to 60 miles-per-hour (an asphalt-melting 9.2 seconds) and sipped the least amount of fuel during testing (a not too shabby 33 miles-per-gallon overall). The CU testers were pleased with the Honda's versatile and flexible interior, but not with its dismal headlights. Of the five, only the Fit and SX4 were recommended. The Yaris and Aveo scored too low in testing to make the cut, and the Renault-based Versa sedan has proven too unreliable. Better luck next year, guys. Official press release after the jump.

[Source: Consumer Reports via PR Newswire]


Redesigned Honda Fit Tops Consumer Reports' Ratings of Subcompact Cars

Fit easily outscores competitors including Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Aveo and Suzuki SX4

YONKERS, N.Y., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The newly-redesigned Honda Fit outpointed competitors including the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa in Consumer Reports' tests of six subcompacts and small sedans for the March issue. The Fit remains CR's highest-rated subcompact.

The Honda Fit became a hot-selling vehicle when gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon. A redesigned and slightly larger Fit arrived last fall, and it improves on the space-efficient formula that made the last one such a hit with buyers.

"The Fit seems roomier on the inside than you might expect, with an interior that is unusually versatile and flexible--and cargo capacity rivaling that of a small SUV," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut. "Lightness and agility make the Fit fun to drive, the powertrain is smooth and willing, and fuel economy is enviable."

Consumer Reports tested two trim lines of the Fit, a base model with an automatic transmission and a manual upscale Sport model, both of which earned "Very Good" overall road test scores. CR also tested two other subcompacts--a base model Toyota Yaris and a Chevrolet Aveo5, both of which scored "Good" overall, and two small sedans--the Suzuki SX4 and Nissan Versa, both of which were rated Very Good overall.

Prices for the six cars in CR's tests range from $16,020 for the base Fit to $17,378 for the Suzuki SX4.

Full tests and ratings of the test group appear in the March issue of Consumer Reports, which goes on sale February 3. The reports are also available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org.

The Fit and the SX4 are the only vehicles from this month's test group that are Recommended by Consumer Reports. CR only Recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on CR's Annual Car Reliability Survey of its more than seven million print and web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

The Versa sedan's reliability is much below average; reliability for the hatchback Versa has been average. The Aveo and Yaris scored too low in CR's tests to be recommended.

CR's engineers found the new Fit the most practical and enjoyable car in this month's group. It has easy cabin access and a panoramic view out. It also comes well equipped and has comfortable seating. The base Fit ($16,020 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price as tested) and Fit Sport ($16,730 MSRP as tested) are powered by a 118-hp, 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine that delivers quick takeoffs but doesn't brim with power. The Fit Sport's easy shifting five-speed manual transmission adds sportiness; the five-speed automatic in the base model is more relaxed, with lower engine speed on the highway. Braking was rated Very Good. Fuel economy is an impressive 33 mpg overall in the Fit Sport and 30 mpg overall in the base model with the automatic.

The SX4 LE was conceived as a subcompact, but its price and 26 mpg overall fuel economy makes it compete more closely with cars one size bigger. The SX4 has a stiff, choppy ride on rough and smooth roads. Steering isn't quick or communicative. The SX4 LE ($17,378 MSRP as tested) is equipped with a 143-horsepower, 2.0-liter, four cylinder engine that is mated to a fairly smooth four-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration feels a bit lethargic. Braking performance is very good.

The Versa has a nicely made, well-appointed interior. It rides pleasantly and quietly, and the powertrain feels refined. The rear seat is enormous for a small car. Handling is sound but not really agile, and it's tricky at the limits. Its 27-mpg overall fuel economy is not impressive. The Versa 1.8S ($16,130 MSRP as tested) is powered by a 122-horsepower, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that accelerates adequately; the four-speed automatic is smooth and responsive. Interior storage is modest, but trunk space is quite generous. Braking is very good.

The compactly-sized Yaris is ideal for tight spaces, making it a good city car. Its gets very good fuel economy at 30 mpg overall and has some nice interior touches such as a rear seat that adjusts fore and aft and three glove compartments. Handling is responsive but can be tricky at the limits. The base model Yaris ($16,095 MSRP as tested) is equipped with a 106-horsepower, 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that feels lively enough around town but lacks reserve power for the highway. The four-speed automatic shifts smoothly. Braking is excellent.

Despite recent updates, the Aveo remains unpleasant, outdated, and overpriced for what you get. Acceleration is slow, the engine is rough and noisy, handling is clumsy, and the ride is jumpy. Fuel economy at 26 mpg overall is poor for its class, and reliability has been below average. The Aveo51LT ($16,470 MSRP as tested) is powered by an anemic 106-horsepower, 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, and the four-speed automatic transmission isn't very responsive. Braking performance is very good.

With more than 7 million print and online subscribers, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Web site; the magazine's auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To become a subscriber, consumers can call 1-800-234-1645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

MARCH 2009

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports(R) is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, Consumers Union accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. Consumers Union supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.

SOURCE Consumer Reports

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't wait for the Fiesta to hit our shores. I really do believe that Ford will have a segment killer when it gets here.
        • 6 Years Ago

        It's already winning every award they can throw at it in Europe. Even Clarkson loves it!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Erm, the credit for the video goes to Top Gear and the Royal Marines, not a man, on a blog, yesterday.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Did anyone see the Fiesta review on Top Gear. Absolutely classic!
        • 6 Years Ago

        I assume this is the video you were referring to?


        (thanks for mentioning the video, as I hadn't seen it yet)

        -All Credit for vid. goes to Mike!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Buy American!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I own a 2004 Aveo and it has been one of the most reliable cars. Its not perfect but it has NEVER let me down. It was an 04 leftover that I purchased new in 06. yes it sat for 2 years! I paid only $7999 for it and for that I LOVE it. If I had paid 14K for it i would still like the car, but definitly not so much. Yeah its No Honda but the reviews it gets definitly are biased. I firmly believe if the Pontiac Aztec had a Honda (element) name tag slapped on the side of it everyone would have been lining up to buy one. Would i buy another Aveo? yeah.. as long as it didnt cost 15k.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Old Fit handily bested the competition. Fit updates, competition stands still, new Fit slaughters competition.


      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, no mention of how much the Yaris apparanetly sucks. I thought there'd be an entire flamewar by now :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Every car company makes the odd turd and for Toyota the Yaris is it. It just builds on the craptastic legacy of the Tercel and the Echo. What does it in is that the Fit is such an amazing car. 10 years ago the Yaris would have been cool. Now it is way behind. Unfortunately for the Aveo to be competitive you need a 20 year time machine but it is a Daewoo import with cheap written all over it. I would gladly pay the premium for a Fit over one of these bottom dwellers. Hopefully the new Aveo and Fiesta improve competitiion in this segment because right now Honda has a lock on it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Yaris is a nice little car

        You fail.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, the Yaris pretty much sucks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've driven or rode in all the vehicles here and yes, the praise the fit gets is well deserved. It will never be considered fast but the interior and handling are the best in this group. Looks wise, its the least offensive IMO.

      I also see that people have mentioned that the Civic is only a thousand dollars more but in Canada, when you add on certain options or move to a higher level, there is still a significant price difference. My sister who had a 1990 Civic and decided it was time to get something new and headed to the Honda dealership to test drive the new Civic. She found it much larger and than her current Civic and I pointed her to at least test drive the Fit. Needless to say, she bought it and is very happy with the purchase. Its great on gas and peppy enough for all her city driving.

      peter g adely sr
      • 6 Years Ago
      Test drive a Avio. Then test the FIT. Its like the Yugo when it was introduced. A magazine rating for the Yugo was a Corolla with 100,000 miles was a better buy than a brand new Yugo. A recent rental by me in Bahamas was a Suzuki Ignis box. Simple cracker box transportation at a rock bottom price. Wouldnt want to be in it in a crash or highway driving! Drive any old Corolla or Civic with 100K miles or more and see quality! Aveo is a tin econobox and a very low price. Money not well spent on it!
      • 6 Years Ago
      The chevy HHR is a good buy because it has some room in it and the gas mileage is almost 30 mpg on the highway.This car rides good and very quiet running over the road. The eco tech engine seems to be very smooth running and with a 5 speed that shifts nicely .Pound for pound its one of the best cars for economy and comfort on the road. I have had a few 14 hour runs with this car and am very happy with the performaance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just food for thought. When you read mags- its a writers opinion and who knows what or how they base their opinions. A lot of mags seem to praise any non-American makers car while the American cars seem to always get more criticism and some times it seems if they look for the smallest thing to not-like.
      I don't like small, little cars unless its a sports car, but my SUV was in the shop gas was around $4 gallon. So, they gave me a free rental and I choose the little Chevy Aveo - and from experience - not a mag. I loved driving that little car.
      The car is cheap, fun, and lite. I drive fast and was leaving all kinds of cars at the light and passing on the highway. Guess what might get one- as a work car - probably sucks like all small cars in the winter- only bad thing.
      So, buy American, at least test drive and do your own homework, I will always buy American. Was raised that way, feel that way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's the buzz? It's just another boring, homely little Japanese car. Yawwwwwn......
      • 6 Years Ago
      This car is GREAT, but sadly it is priced a tad too high. They need to bring the price down at least by 1K.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Best looking Honda ????
        • 6 Years Ago
        that's not really saying much. that's like saying "best looking toyota?"
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not a bad looking Honda. But I give it second to Accord Coupe.
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