[home][rumors and news][model release matrix][dealer network][desktop calendar][exhaust notes][tov forums][links][search][sponsors][garage][login]

Tire Rack Upgrade Garage
 Search for a Dealer:
 Canadian Flag US Flag
 Honda Acura
There are currently no active Acura promotions
There are currently no active Honda promotions
Honda reveals Everus EV Concept at Beijing International Auto Show
2.4L TLX A-Spec arrives at dealerships today
American Honda Posts March Sales Increase as Balanced Sales of Cars and Trucks Propel Honda and Acur
TOV Video: 2019 Acura RDX overview with Gary Robinson
Hondata releases FlashPro for FK8 Civic Type R
All-New 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec Variant Makes Surprise Debut at New York International Auto Show
2019 Acura RDX Debuts in New York with Turbocharged, Torque Vectoring Powertrain and Onslaught of Pr
Tune in for Live coverage of the 2019 Acura RDX at 12:15PM
General Talk --> Re: Modern Vehicles
Join Discussion......
Professional Motorsports --> Re: F1 - 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Join Discussion......
CR-V --> Oil Contamination in CRV's and Civic's with the 1.5T
Join Discussion......
Civic --> Re: Civic Si vs GTI - latest C&D Comparison Test
Join Discussion......
Type R --> Re: Interior Carbon Trimming
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: No more Ford Cars
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: 2020 Honda FCEV
Join Discussion......
Accord --> Re: New Inspire Addresses Specific Accord Design Elements
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Inspire front-fascia for 10th Gen Accord?
Join Discussion......
Type R --> Re: Type R Tailgate Spoiler?
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Honda Tochigi Collection Hall & CEO Hachigo
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Bosch Says It's Made a Breakthrough That Can Save Diesel Engines
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Endurance Test: How bad exhaust emissions from Plug-in-hybrids really are
Join Discussion......
RDX --> Re: 3rd Generation Acura RDX Reviews
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: 2019 FORD FOCUS
Join Discussion......
TOV First Drive: 2009 Fit is Win!
 Date: August 19, 2008 18:00
 Submitted by:  JeffX
 Source: TOV News
 Credibility Rating: Not Specified

Ann Arbor, MI Last week we had the opportunity to check out Honda's all-new 2009 US-market Fit. With more power, a substantially stiffer body structure, and a "real" VTEC engine, the new Fit is even more fun to drive.

Though the Fit has only been offered in the USA since the 2007 model year, the same essential vehicle has been on sale in other markets since 2001, so it's no surprise that this new model represents a giant leap forward in almost every way. Considering the fact that the "old" Fit was already considered the benchmark amongst much newer competitors, this all-new Fit should have executives at Toyota and Nissan sweating bullets.

Honda calls the design "super-forward aero-form", and though I had my reservations about the US version's lengthened nose, I have to say this is a very sharp looking vehicle on the street. Parked next to competitors such as the Toyota Yaris or Nissan Versa, the Fit looks much sportier, and even though it's a small car, it somehow pulls off a much more upscale look than these other two options. The bulges and creases in the Fit's bodywork give the car a lot of character, and lend it a slightly muscular look.

Once inside the Fit, the beautifully styled interior puts the competition to shame, both from a style and functional standpoint. The overall design of the interior would look good in a much more expensive vehicle, and there are some really nice touches (such as the Sport model's leather wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped shift knob (5AT), a high-quality knit roof lining material, and nicely finished shifter and emergency brake handle), but some of the harder plastics serve as reminders that the Fit is essentially an entry level vehicle.

Good news, the Fit's signature "Magic Seats" are back, offering improved comfort and convenience. The rear seat bottom is 20mm wider and offers more cushioning, while the seatback is 15mm taller. The rear seat headrests now tuck into the seat back, providing vastly improved rear visibility for the driver (Honda claims a 30% improvement); this design also permits the rear seats to fold flat even when the front seats are in their rearmost positions. Speaking of visibility, visibility out the front has been improved by 10% thanks in large part to 20mm slimmer pillars and front quarter windows that have been tripled in size.

The Fit's exterior dimensions have increased slightly, gaining 4.2 inches in length (up to 161.6 in.), 1.9 inches in wheelbase (now 98.4 inches), and a 1/2 inch in width (now 66.7 in.). For the most part, interior dimensions have increased fractionally - with most of the interior volume gains going towards the rear seating accommodations. Overall volume has increased by 0.7 cu ft, up to 90.8 cu ft. Cargo area with the rear seat up is down slightly, but still offers 20.6 cu ft. The one interior specification that has increased dramatically is the listed cargo volume with the rear seats folded down - Honda's specs now show this to be 57.3 cu. ft, which represents a 37% gain over last year's spec of 41.9 cu ft. The 2009 Fit's larger body structure and additional equipment add up to roughly 50 lbs of added curb weight.

Numbers aside, the Fit's interior remains very comfortable for full sized adults, though front seat passengers are positioned fairly close together. Up front, one of my biggest gripes with the '07-'08 Fit has been addressed; the footwells have been enlarged so your feet are no longer crammed towards the center of the vehicle. This additional footwell space has created enough room for a proper dead pedal, and the pedal spacing has been widened to a degree, which is good news for my size 12 feet. One of the Fit's strengths has been its adult-sized back seat, and that continues to be a strength. For comparison purposes, I jumped into the back seat of the 2008 Yaris sedan and then back into the 2009 Fit's back seat, and the difference was astonishing. I fit quite comfortably in the Fit's back seat, but the Yaris was so tight I couldn't sit upright without compressing my spine and/or cocking my head to the side.

Honda has positioned the Fit as an upscale subcompact, and to bolster that image, an in-dash voice-activated navigation system is now offered on Sport models. This system is essentially the same as the unit that's been offered with the 8th generation Civic, so it too has an in-dash CD player supporting MP3 and Windows Media playback, a compact flash card reader (that also supports MP3 and Windows Media playback), an analog aux-in jack, and a USB interface that is compatible with iPods, iPhones, and USB memory devices. The one feature that didn't quite make the cut was an integrated XM radio receiver.

On the road, the Fit's 1.5L SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder (117hp@6600 rpm, 106lb-ft@4800 rpm, codename L15A7) has been fortified with "real" VTEC, meaning it actually has dual discrete lift profiles that the intake valves follow, and the difference over last year's "mild" VTEC motor (which switched between 3- and 4-valve operation) is immediately noticeable. On paper the differences don't sound like a lot (+8 hp, +1 lb-ft) but the new version of the engine makes noticeably more torque everywhere below 4000 rpms and above about 5500 rpms, and the difference can easily be felt. To multiply this additional thrust, and to further offset the '09 Fit's weight gain, the effective gear ratios of the 5-speed manual transmission are shorter by anywhere from 3 to nearly 8 percent. The Fit's clutch takeup feels better than before, and the shifter action has been improved thanks to a shorter stroke and double-cone carbon synchros. Acceleration feels downright perky in the lower gears, and the engine pulls very nicely to its 6800 rpm redline, including a nice little VTEC "kick" on the way up. At idle, the engine is so quiet and smooth, on a few occasions I was startled to discover that it was actually still running. The one downside is that compared to most Honda 4-bangers, this L15A7 gets a little bit gritty in the mid- and upper reaches of the rev band.

The Fit's optional 5-speed automatic transmission (with SportShift function) carries over essentially unchanged for 2009. Every ratio except for 4th gear is identical, and the difference in 4th is all but negligible. Thanks to the 2009 Fit's uprated engine, the 5AT Fit felt plenty snappy in the local Ann Arbor traffic and on the brief freeway stint that I had it on. The "Dual Mode Paddle Shifter" Sport Shift system operates pretty much exactly how it did in the 2007-2008 Fit - you can drive it like a regular automatic in "D", but at any time, you can demand an upshift or downshift by tapping one of the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifter buttons. The transmission will hold the selected gear until it senses that you have resumed a normal driving pattern. You can also slide the shifter down to the "S" mode, which will behave similarly to "D" mode until you demand a shift via the paddle shifters. At this point, it goes into full manual mode and will hold whichever gear has been selected until the driver either selects another gear or slides the shift lever back into "D".

Whether you opt for the 5MT or 5AT transmission, the Fit is a lot of fun to drive. Either way you go, it's not going to set the world on fire with its acceleration numbers, but after driving around in a 5MT Fit for a couple of hours with a mix of city driving and 75-80mph freeway, the in-dash trip computer (which, to Honda's credit, is standard equipment in all 2009 Fits - hooray!) indicated an average fuel economy of nearly 39mpg(!).

Wind and road noise in the 2009 Fit come in at acceptable levels, and the ride quality is quite good, but the 5MT's aggressive gearing means the engine note is pretty much always present at freeway speeds. The 5AT offers a more relaxed cruise. Ride comfort is good - at this point it's difficult to say whether or not it's dramatically better than the outgoing model; Honda provided several examples of older Fits for comparison purposes but unfortunately I ran out of time before I could do any back to back comparisons. Honda promises that the 2009 Fit's ride quality and handling have improved, thanks in part to improved front and rear suspension designs. Up front, the MacPherson strut has had its geometry optimized to provide superior wheel alignment when turning, for a more solid handling feel. Additionally, the axes of the suspension arm mounting points and compliance bushings have been aligned for optimal smoothness. The rear suspension design has been enhanced by virtue of longer trailing arms, larger compliance bushings, and a reduced spring lever ratio. On paper, these improvements, along with the Fit's tremendous increase in body structure rigidity should certainly ride better.

While it was difficult for me to determine definitively whether or not the 2009 Fit's ride quality had improved, I felt that the handling certainly took a step forward, particularly with respect to steady state grip. The previous Fit was always very nimble, and offered quick turn in, but with its modest 15" wheels and tires, the onset of understeer came on fairly early. Grip in the 2009 Sport model is way up, despite the Sport's 10mm narrower 185/55 R16 tires. While the roads around the Ann Arbor area aren't all that challenging, there were a few 270-degree onramps where I pushed the Fit Sport pretty hard. While the 2007 Fit Sport would quickly dissolve into understeer, the '09 carries quite a bit more speed before the front tires begin to scrub speed. The best part is that the '09 Fit felt like it might even offer a hint of lift-throttle oversteer, but I'll have to wait to make the final determination on that.

Jumping to Conclusions
As great as the original Fit was, the 2009 model is better in every conceivable way. The Fit continues to offer one of the most space efficient packages on the marketplace, adding in tremendous driving enjoyment and world-class safety features (something I didn't even have time to touch upon in this article). Honda hopes to sell "85000+", ranging from $14,550 to $18,760. In today's marketplace, I would say the sky is the limit.

Related Links

Last edited by JeffX on August 19, 2008 20:29

Click Here to Submit Your Comments

Viewing Threshold (What is this?)

[fancy] [flat] [simple]
Your Feedback
Date Subject User
08-20-2008 12:41 We'd all want more, but...   (Score: 1, Normal) Koya76
08-20-2008 18:12 JOHND
08-20-2008 18:40 corey415
08-20-2008 18:41 corey415
08-20-2008 23:18 Ridgeline!
08-21-2008 09:42 rancho1
08-21-2008 13:41 Honda-D
09-10-2008 03:38 Chris777
08-21-2008 14:20 TonyEX
08-22-2008 11:33 Koya76
08-22-2008 11:55 RayChuang
08-22-2008 15:08 Koya76
08-22-2008 17:55 JOHND
08-22-2008 18:02 2007RC46SP2
08-22-2008 21:29 Harvey Jr
08-23-2008 02:26 Tastycakes
08-23-2008 15:15 notyper
08-23-2008 16:01 acuraguy
08-23-2008 22:13 jero
09-10-2008 03:38 Chris777
08-25-2008 18:00 carcrazy84
08-25-2008 18:12 carcrazy84
08-25-2008 22:51 jero
08-25-2008 23:43 Waldo
08-26-2008 02:07 notyper
08-29-2008 12:26 Koya76
08-29-2008 14:46 JOHND
08-19-2008 19:55 XM Satalite Radio   (Score: 1, Normal) nysg
08-20-2008 14:34 JOHND
08-20-2008 16:03 DCPattie
09-02-2008 15:50 vandaryl
08-20-2008 17:08 The Devil is in the Details   (Score: 1, Normal) A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-20-2008 17:19 Wizard
08-20-2008 17:35 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-21-2008 08:20 DrS2k
08-21-2008 11:06 80honda
08-21-2008 11:56 Chris David
08-21-2008 12:07 2007RC46SP2
08-21-2008 12:22 Powered by Honda
08-29-2008 12:28 Koya76
08-20-2008 17:36 Honda-D
08-20-2008 19:38 Breaking News: '09 Fit will now debut on Aug. 26th!   (Score: 1, Normal) A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-20-2008 19:44 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-20-2008 19:44 JeffX
08-20-2008 19:53 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-20-2008 21:17 JeffX
08-21-2008 14:30 Nick GravesX
08-21-2008 15:49 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-21-2008 16:41 TonyEX
08-21-2008 20:07 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-24-2008 15:18 PGH
08-25-2008 01:35 mobomofo
08-25-2008 08:42 PGH
08-26-2008 18:36 CalPi
08-26-2008 19:29 SoichirosHeroes
08-20-2008 13:24 Absurd question of the day...   (Score: 1, Normal) Varmint
08-20-2008 13:35 JeffX
08-20-2008 13:38 DrS2k
08-26-2008 08:07 danielgr
08-26-2008 10:09 80honda
08-26-2008 10:36 cforez
08-26-2008 10:50 hondaracer
08-21-2008 19:19 US vs Japan Front Bumper   (Score: 1, Normal) Tyson
08-21-2008 19:31 2007RC46SP2
08-21-2008 20:05 Rescue250
08-22-2008 02:26
    • my bad   (Score: 1, Normal)
08-21-2008 21:03 Insightman
08-21-2008 21:44 Rescue250
08-21-2008 22:08 2007RC46SP2
08-22-2008 15:40 siegen
08-22-2008 16:43 duncan
08-22-2008 19:52 AZCivic
08-23-2008 13:22 Blackraven
08-26-2008 09:46 TurkMan71
08-19-2008 18:48 EPA gas mileage DOWN for the manual trans!!!   (Score: 1, Normal) Cj
08-19-2008 19:32 Dream'R
08-19-2008 21:02 ipribadi
08-19-2008 19:37 atomiclightbulb
08-19-2008 20:19 Wizard
08-19-2008 20:29 Cj
08-19-2008 20:31 JeffX
08-20-2008 02:15 danielgr
08-20-2008 06:12 Nick GravesX
08-20-2008 08:22 Cj
08-20-2008 09:15 Chris David
08-21-2008 11:41 mobomofo
08-21-2008 12:43 Varmint
08-21-2008 13:56 MojaveAccord
08-21-2008 15:32 Wizard
08-26-2008 08:02 danielgr
08-21-2008 01:49 rancho1
08-22-2008 10:12 thowes
08-24-2008 11:02 Waldo
08-25-2008 12:48 Wizard
08-25-2008 14:36 Tastycakes
08-25-2008 15:55 Wizard
08-21-2008 01:34 Flip Down Seat Armrest: Fits is Fail   (Score: 1, Normal) rancho1
08-21-2008 22:59 Bebop
08-22-2008 21:19 Harvey Jr
08-22-2008 22:39 PolishedMetal6MT
08-26-2008 01:26 NickDC5
08-21-2008 11:13 Canadian prices   (Score: 1, Normal) duncan
08-21-2008 13:53 Honda-D
08-21-2008 14:24 duncan
08-21-2008 20:05 Honda-D
08-22-2008 10:03 duncan
08-22-2008 13:01 Majarvis
08-22-2008 14:13 Powered by Honda
08-22-2008 14:14 duncan
08-22-2008 14:25 duncan
08-24-2008 01:38 AznSupastar
08-22-2008 14:19 Adv
08-26-2008 00:01 sjee
08-20-2008 01:38 Can the front passenger seat fold forward for more room?   (Score: 1, Normal) A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-20-2008 08:55 JR
08-20-2008 09:00 JeffX
08-20-2008 13:10 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-24-2008 20:21 soniccar
08-24-2008 22:55 2007RC46SP2
08-25-2008 22:44 soniccar
08-22-2008 15:30 it will be the best   (Score: 1, Normal) fatbloke
08-22-2008 15:48 2007RC46SP2
08-22-2008 16:07 fatbloke
08-25-2008 15:25 wrussi
08-25-2008 09:57 Question about the armrest   (Score: 1, Normal) Inmyrem
08-23-2008 13:53 No Locking Gas Fill Door?   (Score: 1, Normal) Bebop
08-23-2008 14:25 330R
08-24-2008 00:46 Bebop
08-20-2008 14:15 AWD fit...   (Score: 1, Normal) unclejemima
08-20-2008 14:48 Tyson
08-20-2008 19:25 Power Of Dreams
08-20-2008 21:11 Honda-D
08-20-2008 21:37 2007RC46SP2
08-21-2008 00:55 Organic1
08-22-2008 22:43 TonyB
08-23-2008 11:57 WCA19
08-23-2008 14:04 TonyB
08-22-2008 13:19 How's that body roll?   (Score: 1, Normal) PolishedMetal6MT
08-19-2008 22:39 Height adjustable seats   (Score: 1, Normal) Koya76
08-21-2008 11:29 civicw
08-21-2008 12:45 Rain
08-21-2008 13:13 corey415
08-21-2008 14:25 Nick GravesX
08-22-2008 01:53 rancho1
08-22-2008 13:03 Majarvis
08-20-2008 12:47 Fit Diesel ...   (Score: 1, Normal) DrS2k
08-20-2008 22:40
  • Hybrid   (Score: 1, Normal)
08-20-2008 23:00 Turkle
08-22-2008 12:48 av911
08-20-2008 23:14 Why and what?   (Score: 1, Normal) Ridgeline!
08-20-2008 23:53 JeffX
08-21-2008 22:56 Potenza
08-19-2008 18:07 The Fit's great, but where's the TL review?   (Score: 1, Normal) Cj
08-19-2008 18:12 JeffX
08-20-2008 09:36 saudi @honda.fan
08-21-2008 13:10 Ivtec2
08-21-2008 20:38 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-19-2008 18:17 MalcolmR
08-21-2008 20:16 muffler and tip   (Score: 1, Normal) 2007RC46SP2
08-21-2008 00:59 Nice grills, ugly grills   (Score: 1, Normal) TonyEX
08-21-2008 01:29 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-21-2008 07:42 Potenza
08-21-2008 13:46 Honda-D
08-21-2008 14:18 TonyEX
08-19-2008 18:50 Only thing I wish for on the FIT   (Score: 1, Normal) Powered by Honda
08-19-2008 20:23 doublebullout
08-20-2008 00:28 2007RC46SP2
08-21-2008 07:02 JR
08-21-2008 07:39 Potenza
08-21-2008 12:34 MasterOfDaDomain
08-21-2008 13:35 Honda-D
08-20-2008 00:38 Tyson
08-20-2008 00:55 aznstuart
08-20-2008 04:11 Powered by Honda
08-20-2008 09:20 Chris David
08-20-2008 12:16 duncan
08-20-2008 10:51 RayChuang
08-20-2008 12:22 JZ65
08-20-2008 17:02 All hail the new Civic Hatch Si   (Score: 1, Normal) TonyEX
08-20-2008 17:12 JeffX
08-20-2008 19:16 nowakj66
08-20-2008 21:15 JeffX
08-20-2008 22:49 TonyEX
08-20-2008 23:54 JeffX
08-21-2008 00:58 TonyEX
08-21-2008 13:24 JeffX
08-21-2008 11:09 intune
08-21-2008 13:14 Jeff, Is it 6-disc or single?   (Score: 1, Normal) PolishedMetal6MT
08-21-2008 13:01 Absolute Home Run!   (Score: 1, Normal) PolishedMetal6MT
08-20-2008 20:20 Gas Tank -- how big this time around?   (Score: 1, Normal) mobomofo
08-20-2008 22:35 bien
08-21-2008 00:10 Insightman
08-21-2008 11:36 mobomofo
08-21-2008 11:36 mobomofo
08-21-2008 11:54 2007RC46SP2
08-20-2008 08:40 Honda Fit Sport with Navi/ VSA   (Score: 1, Normal) agamhonda
08-20-2008 10:01 rayyu882
08-20-2008 11:38 agamhonda
08-20-2008 16:34 rayyu882
08-20-2008 13:50 JOHND
08-20-2008 21:16 Honda-D
08-21-2008 08:27 rayyu882
08-19-2008 20:14 where is a photo of that new ORANGE color?   (Score: 1, Normal) AznSupastar
08-20-2008 00:40 2007RC46SP2
08-20-2008 15:24 Potenza
08-20-2008 19:21 AznSupastar
08-20-2008 20:45 Potenza
08-20-2008 21:18 2007RC46SP2
08-20-2008 21:41 Solo2EG
08-20-2008 23:44 AznSupastar
08-21-2008 07:51 Solo2EG
08-20-2008 00:52 Accessories up on collegehillshonda   (Score: 1, Normal) Potenza
08-20-2008 17:13 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-20-2008 20:50 Potenza
08-21-2008 00:31 A.W.E.S.O.M. - O
08-19-2008 23:35 If this is the case, can't wait for the GSH   (Score: 1, Normal) Power Of Dreams
08-20-2008 00:22 2007RC46SP2
08-20-2008 01:58 Power Of Dreams
08-20-2008 04:10 Powered by Honda
08-20-2008 07:53 TSX69
08-20-2008 08:33 Insightman
08-20-2008 22:37 TSX69
08-20-2008 04:05 Tastycakes
08-20-2008 04:09 Powered by Honda
08-20-2008 10:28 MT vs. AT   (Score: 1, Normal) duncan
08-20-2008 13:44 DrS2k
08-20-2008 17:05 JeffX
08-20-2008 12:56 85,000 Units? Funny...   (Score: 1, Normal) R-Z
08-20-2008 13:00 JeffX
08-20-2008 14:48 Potenza
08-20-2008 12:22 Can't wait!!!   (Score: 1, Normal) duncan
08-20-2008 12:38 saudi @honda.fan
08-19-2008 18:15 Great!   (Score: 1, Normal) siegen
08-19-2008 18:45 Powered by Honda
08-19-2008 18:52 tnkgrl
08-19-2008 19:01 JeffX
08-19-2008 19:16 av911
08-19-2008 20:15 lucegoose
08-20-2008 00:38 2007RC46SP2
08-20-2008 08:10 xcess
08-19-2008 19:43 So I guess no sunroof of any kind offered?   (Score: 1, Normal) Honda-D
08-19-2008 19:52 Honda-D
08-19-2008 21:26 gumbey
08-19-2008 22:32 JeffX
08-20-2008 01:09 2007RC46SP2
08-19-2008 22:47 Tire size   (Score: 1, Normal) Potenza
08-20-2008 00:34 2007RC46SP2
08-19-2008 21:14 Predicted sales   (Score: 1, Normal) ipribadi
08-19-2008 22:34 Potenza
08-20-2008 00:26 2007RC46SP2
08-19-2008 21:34 Good news all around   (Score: 1, Normal) 6SPDTL
08-19-2008 20:16 Tires   (Score: 1, Normal) MSP
08-19-2008 20:24 JeffX
08-19-2008 21:31 TonyEX
Photo Gallery - Some other cars from 2019 NYIAS
Read Article....................
TOV Video: 2019 Acura RDX Walk-around with LPL Steve Hansen
Read Article....................
TOV Photo Gallery: 2018 North American International Auto Show
Read Article....................
2018 Acura RLX PR Photo Gallery
Read Article....................
TOV First Drive: 2018 Honda Accord
Read Article....................
2018 Honda Accord Specifications and Features (FINAL)
Read Article....................
Contact TOV | Submit Your Article | Submit Your Link | Advertise | TOV Shop | Events | Our Sponsors | TOV Archives
Copyright © 2017 Velocitech Inc. All information contained herein remains the property of Velocitech Inc.
The Temple of VTEC is not affiliated with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. TOV Policies and Guidelines - Credits - Privacy Policy