Inside Line drives the JDM 2009 Honda Fit

Click on the photo for a higher-res gallery of the new Honda Fit

We showed you the first official photos of the new upcoming 2009 Honda Fit the other day, and now the first driving impression of the little Honda is online. Inside Line's Japanese correspondent got an early driving impression of the car that will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in a few weeks. The more steeply raked windshieldclearly visible in the photos has had its base moved ahead by 4.7 inches to give a roomier feel to the interior.

The quality of the interior materials has evidently been improved and most of the extra two inches of wheelbase has gone straight into rear seat legroom. The combination of the new iVTEC 1.5L engine and five speed manual apparently gives the runabout brisk performance, but we'll judge for ourselves when it gets stateside. Honda hasn't made any official pronouncements yet, but since the current 2008 model is now available, we probably won't see the new version before next summer. As for engines, we'll probably only get the larger one unless gas prices shoot up some more. In that case, Honda could offer the 1.3L to US drivers. As for equipment, with the US dollar continuing to sink, Honda probably still hasn't made a definitive decision about whether to offer the imported Fit with less content at a lower price or follow the MINI and go for more of a premium small car with the RS version.

[Source: Inside Line]

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