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.
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.
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.