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How fit is Honda Fit

Redesigned for 2009, the larger and sportier Fit has quality and utility that few subcompacts can match. Although it’s an expensive car compared to other…

Redesigned for 2009, the larger and sportier Fit has quality and utility that few subcompacts can match. Although it’s an expensive car compared to other subcompacts and hatchbacks, the Fit is a good value over time. It’s even the 2009 U.S. News Best Car for the Money in the subcompact class.

The Honda Fit has quickly became an auto industry darling for its fun driving dynamics, fuel efficiency and unique cargo and seating modes. It’s been one of Car and Driver’s “Top 10 Urban Vehicles” for 2008, and a “10Best” for both 2008 and 2009. It was also the recipient of Popular Mechanics’ Automotive Excellence Award for 2007. Just two years later, Honda has introduced a new and improved Fit that’s once again earned the press’ approvable by providing abundant personality and passenger and cargo space. In addition to 10Best recognition, the Fit was a nominee for 2009 North American Car of the Year, it is a Consumer Guide Best Buy, and it was selected as one of Automobile Magazine’s All-Stars for 2009. Forbes also recognized the Fit as one of the best fuel efficient vehicles for its price.

There are some perceived shortcomings — its hefty price tag or not having stability control on the base trim to name a few — but even these do not prevent the majority from calling the Fit one of the best small cars or hatchbacks. But if you consider the absence of stability a deal breaker, keep the impressive cargo space of the VW Rabbit or the fuel efficiency and low MSRP of the Toyota Yaris in mind.

The 2009 Fit is now slightly larger and has sacrificed some of the last generation’s fuel efficiency to improve its all-around driving experience. The windshield has been moved forward by 4.7 inches to add to improve visibility and add to the sense of spaciousness. Rear passengers are treated to 1.6 extra inches of rear legroom. The engine’s 9 horsepower increase and variable valve timing provides more pep out the gate, while a stiffer chassis facilitates tauter handling. Despite all the recent changes, the 2009 Fit still comes in two trims, the base model and the Fit Sport.

Fit Performance

Most test drivers say the changes made to the 2009 Honda Fit’s powertrain and chassis made a great drive even better. Edmunds writes, “The 2009 Honda Fit drives a lot like the previous model, only better. Like all subcompacts, it’s highly maneuverable and a great urban runabout. Where the Fit rises above the rest is in the way it actually drives.”

Fit Exterior

Newsday says the funny thing about subcompacts like the Fit is “the higher gas prices go, the bigger they look. And the better they look” — a sentiment that’s proven in the numerous reviews that appreciate the redesigned Fit’s diminutive style. In fact, the 2009 Fit was one of nine finalists for Kelley Blue Book’s Best Redesign Award. KBB writes, “The new look is more aggressive, with sharper-angled headlights and a super cab-forward design. Its tall roof line and large windows give the driver greater all-around visibility as well as a vast amount of headroom for all passengers.”

Fit Interior

With a spacious cabin featuring high quality amenities and the still popular Magic Seat, the 2009 Honda Fit has one of the most well-liked interiors of its class. Several auto writers also praise the car’s glasshouse feel with its larger triangular windshield. Jalopnik says, “If ever the term ‘Tardis-like’ applied to a car, it’s this one. There’s room for four adults and their luggage or, start folding seats, and you can carry tall objects, long objects, big objects, small objects (lots of them), awkwardly shaped objects or just about anything really. While you’re not going to mistake this interior for that of an Audi, all the materials are robust, the controls intuitive and the quality high.”

Fit Safety

The 2009 Fit does very well in federal government crash tests and is a “Top Safety Pick” with the insurance industry. Still there are a few complaints that electronic stability control is not available for the car’s base model.

Fit Reliability

The 2009 Honda Fit reliability score shown is the Predicted Reliability rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates. This score is based on trending the past three years of historical initial quality and dependability data from J.D. Power’s automotive studies, specifically the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS). The 2009 Honda Fit has a basic bumper-to-bumper warranty for the first three years or 36,000 miles, and power train coverage for the first five years or 60,000 miles.

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