2009 Honda Fit

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27 CITY / 33 HWY
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What Changed for 2009:
  • Completely redesigned for 2009
  • Longer and wider than previous model
  • Midsize interior with versatile seating, cargo configurations
  • New, more powerful 1.5-liter engine
  • Navigation system now available
  • Standard front side and side curtain air bags
  • Available electronic stability control
Just as gasoline prices were nudging up toward $3 a gallon, Honda, Toyota and Nissan introduced new subcompact cars to the U.S. automotive market for the 2007 model year. Honda's was the Fit. The idea was to create what Honda terms \"the ideal small car for a new age.\"

While the Fit was new to the States, it was based on a model Honda had been selling in other countries since 2001. Now, for the 2009 model year, Honda introduces a second-generation Fit that the automaker hopes will even better suit American automotive tastes because it is bigger and more powerful. The 2009 Fit is more than 4 inches longer and half an inch wider than the original, and it rides on a wheelbase that has been lengthened by nearly 2 inches. Honda also says the new Fit is sportier thanks to improved suspension and steering systems, and increased body rigidity.

Like the first-generation car, the new 2009 Fit offers a versatile interior design with a flip-and-fold rear Magic Seat and an adjustable package shelf. The Magic Seat folds with a single touch and the headrests don't need to be removed for the seat to fold flat, even with the front seats set all the way back. Occupants can choose the standard 5-passenger seating configuration, or one of three cargo-carrying configurations: utility mode, long-object mode, and tall-object mode. In addition, a new hidden storage bin for small items is added under the driver's-side rear seat. Cargo loading and unloading is enhanced by rear passenger doors that open 80 degrees and a rear hatch sill that is less than 2 feet above the pavement.

Model Lineup
With the first-generation Fit, Honda offered a base version and a slightly tweaked Sport model. The same strategy continues with the second-generation Fit. Standard equipment on the base model includes cloth upholstery; air conditioning; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; fold-flat front passenger seat; power windows, mirrors and locks; 4-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack; and P175/65R15 tires on steel wheels with wheel covers. The Sport model adds a USB audio interface; security alarm; remote keyless entry; fog lights; rear spoiler; cruise control; leather-wrapped steering wheel; steering-wheel shift paddles (with the automatic transmission); two additional stereo speakers; sport suspension; and P185/55R16 tires on alloy wheels. A Sport model with Navigation System includes a navigation system with voice recognition and a 6.5-inch touch screen, traction control, and electronic stability control.

The second-generation, 2009 Honda Fit comes with a new iVTEC 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 117 hp at 6600 rpm and 106 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. It is offered with a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The automatic comes with steering-wheel shift paddles in the Sport model. Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway with the manual transmission in either model or the automatic transmission in the Sport model. The base model with the automatic transmission is rated at 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway.

Honda notes that the 2009 Fit adopts the company's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, which uses load-bearing frame structures to disperse frontal crash energy and better match the Fit with other vehicles of different sizes and bumper heights, the company explains. Active front head restraints are also new. Other standard safety equipment includes dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags; torso-protecting front side air bags; head-protecting side curtain air bags; tire-pressure monitor; and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. Traction control and Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability control are standard on the Sport model with Navigation System.

The 2009 Honda Fit has earned 5 stars for both the driver and front passenger in frontal crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It has also been awarded a 4-star rollover-resistance rating, but had not been tested for side impacts at the time of publication.

Honda says the new Fit is quieter than the last-generation model, thanks to sound-absorbing acoustic materials in the roof, floor and dashboard. The company also says that increased body rigidity and improvements in the mounts between the body and various components provide reduced NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) qualities.


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