New York 2008: Honda's New Fit

Honda's Fit was no spring chicken when it went on sale in the United States in 2006. Available elsewhere since 2001, the pugnacious little car quickly became a hit in a market of compacts where "sub" was no idle prefix.

For 2009, Fit has been redesigned inside and out. It retains the old car's 1.5-liters of displacement, but the new Fit is now equipped with Honda's i-VTEC varible timing and lift conrol. Underpinning that is a redesigned suspension that improves handling, mounted to body shell that is more rigid than its predecessor.

Inside, the Fit now offers Honda's Satellite-Linked Navigation and a redesigned rear Magic Seat® that can fold flat without having to muck about with removing the head restraints. "Critics and customers alike have voted the Fit among the best small vehicles on the road," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "This new Fit raises the bar even further, taking what was already great about the Fit, making it even better and throwing in a healthy dose of refinement."

Honda will release more details about the car closer to its fall introduction, but for now they've put out a small press release about the Fit, which is available after the jump.


NEW YORK, March 19, 2008 - The all-new 2009 Honda Fit, set to go on sale in the U.S. this fall, is making its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. The Fit promises to further its leadership in the subcompact segment with top-of-class feature content, including an available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System(tm); improved interior functionality, including one-motion dive-down rear seats; enhanced sporty demeanor through improved suspension, steering and body rigidity; and high levels of standard safety equipment, including Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering(tm) (ACE(tm)) body structure.

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"Critics and customers alike have voted the Fit among the best small vehicles on the road," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "This new Fit raises the bar even further, taking what was already great about the Fit, making it even better and throwing in a healthy dose of refinement."

Enhanced Comfort and Convenience

Dimensionally compact on the outside, the interior provides surprisingly large passenger and class-leading cargo space to maximize comfort and utility. At the foundation is an improved rear Magic Seat(, now featuring one-motion dive-down functionality, which allows the rear seat to fold flat with the front seats in the rearmost slide position and without removing the rear head restraints. The seats offer multiple seating and cargo-carrying configurations (tall object mode, long object mode and utility mode) in addition to the standard five-passenger mode. Additionally, a new hidden storage bin under the driver's side rear seat provides a place to store small items.

Adding further refinement, Fit Sport offers an available factory-installed Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System(tm) with Voice Recognition, featuring a 6.5-inch screen. All Fit Sport models feature a USB audio interfacei compatible with current generation iPods(r) and many USB storage devices.

"The goal is to provide entry-level vehicle customers with functionality and refinement that's a class above," said Colliver. "Buying a Fit is a choice, not a compromise."

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Fun to Drive

The Fit features a new 1.5-liter i-VTEC(tm) 4-cylinder engine connected to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an available 5-speed automatic transmission, which includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Fit Sport. The new engine is designed to offer the best balance of fuel economy and power. Larger 15-inch and 16-inch (Fit Sport) wheels hint at enhancements to the Fit's suspension, steering and body rigidity, which are intended to produce sportier handling without sacrificing comfort.

Top-of-Class Standard Safety Equipment

The 2009 Fit adds Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology, available Vehicle Stability Assist (tm) (VSA(r)) and active head restraints, to a top-of-class list of standard safety features. With Fit's adoption of ACE, more than 94 percent of Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. will include the innovative body structure. When introduced to the 2009 Fit, VSA will be available in the lineup of every model Honda sells in the United States. Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, dual front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) and side-curtain airbags are standard equipment on all Fit models. All seating positions have three-point seat belts. Additionally, front and rear visibility is improved.

Standard active safety equipment includes an anti-lock braking system (ABS), with ventilated discs in the front and drums in the back, and electronic brake distribution (EBD).

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