An even better Fit
The Honda Fit is all-new for the 2009 model year. It sports a larger and more comfortable interior, new styling that is recognizable but unique from the previous car, and at a base price that's still very competitive. The 2009 Honda Fit also has more power, a more refined drivetrain, and a driving position that's better for tall people. New this year is a navigation system option that pushes the price up high enough to strain the definition of a "cheap" car.
Yes. The 2009 Honda Fit is easily the best car in its class. It's comfortable, roomy, offers up a dose of fun when you pick the Sport model, and it has one of the most clever cargo areas we've seen.
Yes, but it's important to note a couple of things. First, the Honda Civic is only better in the EPA's highway cycle. Second, the combined rating for the Fit is higher (30 mpg vs. 29 mpg for automatic-equipped vehicles). Finally, real-world examples show the Fit to average much better mileage, on the order of 5 or more mpg, according to www.fueleconomy.gov.
The Honda Fit has its work cut out for it, as it competes against the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris, not to mention the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. All of these cars have their merits -- the Versa is available with some eyebrow-raising options, like keyless ignition, and the Yaris boasts Toyota's legendary quality. The two Koreans have exceptionally low base prices.
The 2009 Honda Fit is Honda's entry into the inexpensive subcompact class. Completely redesigned and reengineered for the 2009 model year, the Honda Fit combines class-leading cargo space management with levels of comfort and refinement that were unheard of in this class just a few years ago.
Throw in the $670 destination charge, and pricing for the 2009 Honda Fit starts at $15,220 for the base model with a manual transmission; you'll pay $16,020 for an automatic. A 2009 Honda Fit Sport costs $16,730 with a manual and $17,580 with an automatic, and the 2009 Honda Fit Sport with a navigation system costs an additional $1,850. That's definitely pushing the definition of "cheap car," but the Fit is surprisingly well equipped. Base models come with side curtain airbags and side impact airbags standard, electronic throttle, an auxiliary jack for the audio system, anti-lock brakes, and a 160-watt audio system with speed-sensitive volume control. In other words, pretty loaded. Sport models add fog lamps and a sport suspension, and automatic-transmission versions get paddle shifters. Regardless of trim level, the 2009 Honda Fit comes with a 1.6-liter 117-hp four cylinder engine powering the front wheels.
We like the 2009 Honda Fit enough to award it our 2009 Editors' Choice Award for Best Non-Hybrid Gas Saver. While we concede that the initial price can be higher than its competition, it also offers more standard equipment, and it's very price competitive when feature content is taken into account. The 2009 Honda Fit's interior features an extremely clever rear seat that folds in many different ways, enhancing cargo capacity and ease of use. Plus it looks distinctive – some might even say cool – and Sport models are genuinely fun to drive.
By Keith Buglewicz Photo credit: Ron Perry