By KBB.com Editors
Honda made a name for itself by building small, frugal and reliable hatchbacks. Yet, as the company grew, so did its cars. Larger models, with trunks, soon came to symbolize the Honda brand, leaving many to predict the death of the Honda hatchback. Not willing to concede the youth market to Scion and MINI, Honda returned to its humble beginnings by creating the five-door Honda Fit. Although this entry-level hatchback is priced slightly higher than most of its competition, the Fit nevertheless offers an ample supply of features, versatility and, above all, that unbeatable Honda resale value. Given a major makeover for 2009, the Fit continues to see strong sales across all demographics, proving Americans will buy hatchbacks so long as they offer the right blend of style, fun and efficiency.
Those looking for a small car with good fuel economy, excellent reliability ratings and a spacious rear seat will find much to like in the 35-mpg Honda Fit.
If the bottom line is your top priority, you'll find roughly comparable and economical substitutes for much less. The Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Aveo and Kia Rio5 all offer similar fuel economy yet are priced thousands of dollars below the Fit.
The all-new 2009 Honda Fit has a smoother aerodynamic look, a more powerful engine and a new interior design. The base and Sport trims return but come standard with larger wheels and are available in new colors. The Sport trim is now offered with satellite navigation and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).
Driving Impressions Superb handling is what really stands out with the 2009 Honda Fit. It's no sports car, but we found the Fit rather agile, thanks in part to the added body...rigidity and, on the Sport trim, the rear stabilizer bar. Despite the horsepower increase from the previous generation, it seems the Fit still struggles on moderate inclines, but proves eager when it comes to accelerating on the freeway or darting across intersections. The paddle shifters in the automatic Sport trim make downshifting for passing a snap, but the short-throw shifter of the manual adds to the driving fun. Compared to many of its competitors, the Fit's driving dynamics feel more refined and confident. In-cabin noise is fairly quiet for a sub-compact and, overall, we found the Fit to be comfortable, with adequately bolstered seating and easy-to-reach climate and audio controls.
The available touch-screen navigation system is easy to use and makes the Fit an even more versatile commuter-car package.
Standard in the Sport trim, the Fit can now accommodate portable audio players and USB storage devices which can be controlled via the car's audio system.
In typical Honda fashion the Fit's interior blends visual appeal with real-world practicality. Caffeine fanatics will love the ten beverage holders, and a multitude of storage spaces provides places to stash small items such as cell phones, breath mints and empty coffee cups. Overall interior space is impressive for this class, with ample headroom and legroom both front and rear. Honda's "Magic Seat" may take some liberties in its name, but we must admit it's a pretty neat trick for the rear seat to fold flush without having to remove the headrest. With the rear seat folded down, the Fit offers up a respectable 57.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity, more than either the Nissan Versa or Kia Rio5, for example. The front passenger seat also folds flat, which gives enough space for items up to seven feet, nine inches long.
It may have the same basic shape as the first-generation model, but look closer and you'll find the 2009 Honda Fit is actually a bit bolder and rounder than its predecessor. This 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. Also, with a wider track and longer wheelbase than before, the Fit provides even more room for five passengers and their belongings.
The base 2009 Honda Fit includes a five-speed manual transmission, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, power door locks and windows, 15-inch wheels with full covers, 60/40-split second-row Magic Seat with under-seat storage, 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with four speakers and an auxiliary input jack. Safety features include dual front airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD).
One trim up is the Sport, which includes a security system with remote entry, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a six-speaker sound system with USB audio interface and, with the automatic transmission, paddle shifters. Exterior upgrades include an underbody kit, a roofline spoiler, fog lights, rear stabilizer bar and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Sport trim can also be ordered with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and navigation. An automatic transmission is available for both trims.
The 2009 Honda Fit has a 1.5-liter engine, which Honda revised by incorporating a more advanced i-VTEC system. The i-VTEC varies the intake and exhaust valve events, which in turn enhances performance while still achieving good fuel economy and low emissions. The Fit comes in two different flavors: Manual and automatic. The automatic version uses a three-mode system: A normal drive mode; a sport mode, which holds off shifting gears for maximum performance; and a manual mode, which allows the driver to shift gears with the paddle shifters.
1.5-liter in-line four
117 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
106 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 (manual, sport automatic), 28/35 (automatic)
By daisymay (WA) on Monday, April 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "better than expected MPG"
Cons: "Don't care for power windows, door locks, USB, etc"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought mine new for $17,000 or so with tax and license, 5 speed manual. I've had it for 1 1/2 years and only have 7000 miles on it, use it mainly for city/country driving. Getting 38-40 MPG, was more like 34-36 at first. You can "Fit" a lot into it with the rear seats down. Very happy with my purchase! If I had to find a complaint it would be it's a little noisy from inside...and of course there's not much power there, but seems to take the mountain passes OK. Freeway driving MPG drops to around 35."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By fit freak (CA) on Saturday, April 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive but I like sticks"
Cons: "Plenty of cup holders."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I only have had it for six months, but I really enjoy it. There are only two things questionable about it and that is the slight hesitancy in third gear, which doesn't seem to add up to much, and the fact that it's too low on the front bumper. I have the manual base model, and I would advise that nobody buy the sport model, since the bumper is even lower. Mine scrapes so I can't imagine how badly the sport scrapes when going in and out of steep driveways, or even not so steep driveways. But this is not unusual for newer cars. All of my friends with minivans report the same thing, this scraping, and let's face it; we see it everywhere on the driveways, those markings. Great car. Totally understandable why US News says greatest small economy car. I only have 8,000 miles on my 2013, but expect it to go many many more. AC great, and radio very good too. Storage is incredible. The things I can fit in the Fit :)..."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By DP (NJ) on Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I purchased this car because I thought it was cute (yeah who buys a car for cuteness?) anyway.. I loved it for a couple months until I had neck and back pain which I blame on the ergonomics of driving this very Uncomfortable car. I purchased a cheap cushy chair pad at walmart to help my aching butt on my 2 hr daily commute to work. The cushion helped but I constantly have neck and left shoulder pain from this car. Why do I blame it on the car? because I never had this pain BEFORE the car. I love the spacious ness of the inside of it and its still cute, but Im hating the long drives and being uncomfortable, Im done after 3 years and looking for a new car."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Melliejones (MO) on Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,846overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage, fun to drive, good storage places"
Cons: "wish the interior came in a color besides BLACK !!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love my Honda Fit. It gets great gas mileage. I get around 35 mpg. The back seats drop easily and it will hold all 3 of my dogs and lots of luggage or bark mulch etc. I bot the bright royal blue. I wanted purple but that color was discontinued in 2010. It has many little storage places and many cup holders."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Gen (MI) on Monday, April 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Getting 40+mpg in the summer, especially on long trips, but generally 36-37mpg around town. Love the diversity of the back seat fold-downs. You can store items under the back seats when in up or down position. In the down position, the back is so flat, you can sleep in the car. Only complaint is the floor fabric is cheap and wears quickly. In spite of this, it's good value for the money."
By Seahag (NY) on Monday, April 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "inside room, body style, dash board features"
Cons: "poor mpg, shifting, accelerating"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Am so disappointed in this 2010 Fit Sport Automatic. Had a 2008 Fit standard, and it was such a dreamboat car. Unbelievable mileage, handling, shifting, inside room, you name it, it had it. It was totalled, and got this 2010 automatic, 2 years newer with half the mileage. Drives like a truck, noisy, cruise control won't work consistently, hate the paddle shifting, it's a dog on the highway and in town. It chuggs when upshifting, 18 wheelers pass me going up a slight grade. What happened to Honda engineering? They should hire the 2008 team back. Sorry Honda. I'm going back to the dealership to see what they will do for me. I am sad."
6 people out of 12 found this review helpful