|The new fit looks sportier and edgier than the old model. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
I liked the old Fit a lot and since being completely updated for the 2009 model year I like the new one even more. First and foremost I think it's better looking. The outgoing car was cute, which is nice, but the new one has an edgier look that should appeal more to guys. The updated Fit also received a nicer interior with better materials and more features.
What was good about the old Fit remains, specifically its available five-speed automatic gearbox with optional paddle-shifters, standard four-wheel ABS with electronic brake force distribution,
|The Fit's high roofline and squared off rear end results in excellent interior room. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
The Fit accommodates people well too, in comfortable chairs that provide great leg and headroom front to rear due to a long 2,500-mm (98.4-inch)
|Fit Sport seats are very... sporty! (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
The Fit moves forward into 2010 without any significant changes, except for the elimination of Blackberry Pearl paint (did Honda retire the name because they didn't want to pay Research in Motion to use it anymore or did RIM sue them for trademark infringement? We'll never know). No significant changes means that the Fit continues forward with its zippy little 1.5-litre, SOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine boasting 117 horsepower at 6,600 rpm (very good for this class) and 106 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. As mentioned, you can get a five-speed automatic, which is one speed more than most of its competitors, while it comes standard with a five-speed manual.
The powertrain delivers more
|The Fit's dash is nicely laid out. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
Fit ownership doesn't mean you'll merely save on fuel, as the car delivers engaging handling with a surprisingly nice ride. It gets an independent MacPherson strut setup in front and a semi-independent torsion beam layout in the rear, which isn't unusual, but the car's suspension tuning is particularly well balanced between performance and comfort.
Three trim lines are offered, starting with DX at $14,480, which is followed by LX at $16,880 and Sport at $18,780. You can get a DX with air condition for $15,780, too, which is normally how the dealer stocks base models.
|Rear seat room is excellent and the Fit's Magic Seats add cargo flexibility like no other car. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
Base DX models get power windows with driver's side auto up/down, power mirrors, a tilt and telescopic steering column, two-speed intermittent wipers, a rear washer/wiper, a CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input, fuel consumption display, a front stabilizer bar, and the 60/40 split-folding rear "Magic Seat" that I spoke about earlier but is worth repeating. DX models also come with 15-inch steel wheels and covers riding on P175/65R15 all-season tires.
Standard safety features include dual front airbags as well as side-thorax bags for each front occupant and side-curtain airbags front and rear. As mentioned, ABS brakes are standard, but four-wheel discs can't be had (the rear discs are drums) and there's no traction and stability control option.
|It's like a mini-minivan in back. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)|
The Sport, which was my tester, adds 16-inch alloy wheels with P185/55R16 all-season rubber, chrome headlight bezels, chrome exhaust finisher, fog lamps, an underbody spoiler kit, front and rear stabilizer bars, a security system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, six speakers and USB connection.
There's nothing particularly special about the Fit's 3-year or 60,000 km basic warranty or its 5-year or 100,000 powertrain warranty, but there is something special about Honda's reliability reputation. The automaker deserves recognition for building very good cars, and the Fit easily measures up to anything else in the brand's lineup as well as anything else offered by the Japanese brand's competitors.
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