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2009 Honda Fit: “Fit” for Today’s Economy

Though fuel prices have gone down a bit over the past few weeks, it seems “fuelish” that consumers would go back to their big SUV, gas-guzzling ways. If you need utility for five in a great, small package, you should strongly consider the 2009 Honda Fit.
 
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The Fit is now in its second generation, and the 2009 model is all-new. The new Fit features a “super-forward” design that pushes the wheels out to the corners, offering a spacious interior that belies its diminutive exterior dimensions. A new larger windshield and large front quarter windows ensure a clear, unobstructed view to the front. Side and rear views are also very good – a safety feature sometimes overlooked by consumers on ten-minute test drives.
 
It should also be noted that despite Fit’s small size, it is a very safe platform. The introduction of Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure contributes to enhanced safety and is combined with improvements to body rigidity for crisp handling and a surprisingly quiet and comfortable ride. Expect high marks for Fit in U.S. Government and insurance industry crash testing.
 

With the trend downward in size, many consumers recall the days when going “small” meant sacrificing comfort and convenience. But things have always been different with Honda, as they’ve built their reputation on building subcompact and compact cars with features steps above their MSRPs. Fit continues this trend with a very high level of standard content, regardless of trim level. On base models for example, standard features include a great sounding deluxe sound system with iPod connectivity, premium finishing details inside and out (like varied materials inside and a chrome exhaust finisher and side sill moldings outside), a tilt and telescoping steering column, keyless entry, ten cupholders, myriad storage areas, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, six airbags, antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and Fit’s “Magic Seat.” Magic Seat is built into the 60/40 split rear bench, and allows the rear seats to be folded flat into the floor with the flip of a single lever, even with the front seats in their rearmost position.

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Tall drivers and passengers will enjoy Fit’s abundant headroom, though legroom is expectedly tight. Wide bodies will enjoy not rubbing arms with passengers. Even at 6’9” and 275 pounds, my test drive in the Fit through upstate New York’s hilly terrain was enjoyable and not just because of the spacious interior. Pushing the Fit’s 1.5-liter i-VTEC four cylinder was downright enjoyable. If you opt for the more expensive Fit Sport, you can choose a sweet shifting five speed manual with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Fit accelerates smartly, and handles curvy roads like sporty cars that cost thousands more. Quiet and nimble, driving this car won’t cause any “fits” of frustration.

My only gripe about the 2009 Fit is the lack of electronic stability control on base models. It’s simply not available on that trim level. Choose the Fit Sport however, and you get stability control standard, as well as the ability to choose optional DVD based, satellite-linked navigation. The 6.5-inch, voice recognition, touch screen navi system opens to reveal PC card playback capability, further enhancing audio choices.
 
The 2009 Honda Fit is priced between $14,500 and $18,760 depending on trim levels, transmission choices, and whether you choose optional navigation. Purchasing this well done offering from Honda could help keep your resources in “fit” condition.

Honda, New Car Reviews, , , ,

Written by Brian Armstead

Brian Armstead has been a member of the Roadfly.com editorial team for over 16 years. Brian has worked in radio, television and print for more than 42 years. Current and past affiliations include work with On Wheels Incorporated; Decisive Magazine; The Washington Times; The Baltimore Sun; Wheels Today; Motor News Media Syndicate; Planet Vehicle; The Black Family Channel; AboutThatCar.com; Xii Magazine; Rides Magazine; Atlanta Tribune, The Magazine; Sister to Sister Magazine; Cruise Control Radio; NBC Radio; WDCU FM Radio; AutomotiveRhythms.com; Automotive Rhythms, The Magazine; XM Satellite Radio; Washington Post Radio; World Radio; Canadian Auto Press; KCBQ Radio; Fox 28 Panama City; and several more. Brian is President Emeritus of the Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA). Brian’s other automotive interests include collecting art from many of the 68 countries he’s visited, and maintaining his personal automobiles, including a mint 1997 Volvo 960 Wagon, and a modified 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG..

4 comments

  1. I just bought a 2009 Fit Sport, and I absolutely love the car. This was a good if inaccurate review. Some of the mistakes are :

    “On base models for example, standard features include a great sounding deluxe sound system with iPod connectivity, premium finishing details inside and out (like varied materials inside and a chrome exhaust finisher and side sill moldings outside), a tilt and telescoping steering column, keyless entry, ten cupholders, myriad storage areas, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, six airbags, antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and Fit’s “Magic Seat.”

    No. Most of those features – chrome exhaust tip, side moldings, keyless, steering wheel controls, are only features of the Sport trim, not the base.

    “If you opt for the more expensive Fit Sport, you can choose a sweet shifting five speed manual with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.”

    No. You may choose a sweet shifting five speed manual OR a sweet shifting five speed automatic with paddle shifters. The paddle shifters do not come with the manual.

    “It’s simply not available on that trim level. Choose the Fit Sport however, and you get stability control standard, as well as the ability to choose optional DVD based, satellite-linked navigation.”

    No. The stability control is NOT standard on the Sport trim. It is ONLY availible with the Navi package.

    Like I said, I love the car. I’ve owned mine for two weeks and have nearly 1,000 miles on mine. It may be the most fun car I’ve ever owned. And at 6’3, 210 I am not the smallest driver that will sit behind the wheel of one of these, and I have plenty of space.

    1. Glad somebody else pointed out the author’s numerous errors. Sad that Brian Armstead chooses to write about a topic he has no expertise in – and apparently he also cannot do thorough research or even decipher a car brochure’s simple specification chart.

  2. Just returned from Thailand with many new mod parts for the 2009 Fit. I have the Black berry Pearl paint Sport. SUPER for this economy and these parts will enhance the car.
    New Stainless exhaust,front to back (pictues soon). New Lenso wheels,17″x7″. Rear brake coversion to disk and billet caliper,320mm front rotors with 4 piston billet caliper.(very nice).
    Smoked,LED,tailed light assemblies. Oil cooler kit. Projector headlights. Console.

  3. Bought my 2009 Sport manual 30 days ago. LOVE it.
    Applying some simple hypermiling techniques, I have been seeing the north side of 40mpg 20%hwy and 80% city. I traded a 2004 RX8 for this and am not at all disappointed in my decision. Driving feel is great and the shifter is a joy to work. OMG the 6 speaker stereo sings even when pushed. The seat really is Magic. Great buy for $16,320
    1520 miles

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