New Honda Fit Will Debut at NY Auto Show

Honda is introducing an all-new redesigned version of its highly successful subcompact car, the Fit. Already on sale in Japan, as well as other places around the world, the 2009 model will make its American debut at the New York Auto Show later this week. It is expected to show up in dealerships in April.

Known elsewhere as the Jazz, the new Honda Fit will feature an expanded platform with a longer wheelbase than the current model. The wheelbase is extended to 98.4 inches, and the windshield is moved forward nearly 5 inches. The change will result in more interior space, particularly in terms of legroom. The cabin will also feature a clever and handy swiveling front passenger seat. For power, the new Fit will be outfitted with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 118 horsepower—about 10 hp more than the current model. The engine will be mated to a continuously variable transmission to achieve a hybrid-like 40-plus miles per gallon. The current Honda Fit has government fuel economy ratings of 28 in the city and 34 on the highway.

As for styling, the new Fit has been sculpted with sharper lines and harder angles. It looks definitively sportier than its predecessor, with a more athletic stance and a higher back-end. These changes accentuate the Fit’s personality: small and smart. Just in time for $4 gasoline.

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  • Old Man Crowder

    I don’t understand why Honda seems to be continually avoiding the hybrid technology. They were the ones to START the whole hybrid movement with the Insight and now where are they?

  • Jerry

    I agree old man why did n’t they update the accord after the saw the success of the prius and camry models vs their performance hybrid. It doe n’t make sense

  • Armand

    Can’t wait to see the pillaging going on at the dealerships while suckers pay well over MSRP for this. It’s going to be a big lesson. Oh well..whoever waits in line for this one, deserves it.

  • Chewru Guru

    Is it just me or does this look like a minivan? Also, what about the emissions standards? I recall the current FiT was only LEV standard? Agree with the earlier comments about the hybrid technology. I know they are building a dedicated hybrid for 2010, but they are still missing a good time to roll out a new hybrid. 28/34 doesnt wow me. You can get a crummy Aveo that will probably do that.

    Let’s hope the 2010 hybrid project is a prius-killer, because Honda is starting to flounder a little bit.

  • mdensch

    Read the article more closely. The CURRENT model get 28/34, the new one is projected to get 40-plus. We’ll have to wait for emissions figures.

    I realize that this site is supposed to be devoted to hybrids but, come on folks, the goal is reduced fuel consumption and emissions. If a manufacturer can achieve that with technologies other than hybrid, I say go for it.

  • Collin Burnell

    Yea! Honda is really in a quandary about Hybrids… We all know that a 4cyl Accord getting 35+ MPG’s would sell really well and they would sell a lot more Civic Hybrids (a very handsome car) if they offered it in nice colors.

    Hello! Is anyone at Honda reading this? Hybrid buyers are not all boring (middle aged) farts!!! Some of us still have some Romance and Pizzazz and we want a car that communicates that AND our concern for the environment.

  • uktiger

    Please Honda, put in stop-start technology.

  • PaulRivers

    So far this whole idea that you buy a subcompact like the Fit because you care about the environment and/or you get better mileage is a bunch of marketing BS.

    Look at the current mileage figures:
    Honda Fit: 27/34
    Honda Civic: 25/36

    There’s practically no difference. The only reason to buy a Fit is because it costs less in exchange for being a tiny, tiny, tiny car.

    …now I realize the article is saying the new one will get better mileage, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • atpcliff


    Yes, the Honda Fit IS small, but only on the outside.

    Inside, it will hold 5 adults.

    When you fold down the rear seats, the storage room is IMMENSE, almost as much as a Honda Pilot.

    So, you get plenty of passenger space, as much hauling space as a mid-size or even some larger SUVs, it doesn’t cost very much, and the mileage is good.

    The Fit is a great vehicle, and it would be awesome if it had new propulsive technology (plug-in hybrid turbo-diesel buring natural gas, for example).


  • Boom Boom

    I think one big appeal of the Fit over the Civic is the utility. If Honda sold a wagon/hatch Civic in the US, there might be less interest. And, if the fit is a “tiny, tiny” car, then the Civic is a “tiny” car. It really isn’t that much smaller.

    Hopefully, Honda comes out with something a little more compelling than the Civic hybrid. I drive one, it is a great car, but half the people that ride in it don’t know it is a hybrid. I even had a guy who owned a prius ride along and suddenly ask me, “hey, is this a hybrid”?. Honda needs to put a little more of an effort in to reminding folks that they sell hybrids. (And it would be better if they had more than one option.)

  • Armand

    The new Fit engine will be based on the current Civic which is ULEV.

    The smog index of the current Civic is 0.39 while the current Fit is 0.49. Average smog index for cars in 2008 via the EPA is 0.38. So even the new Civic is just average.

  • Way

    Not every body can pay the premium for the hybrids.
    The new fit is targeting those who cannot afford a prius but still want a good mileage car. In fact the 08 fit is selling like a hot cake. the fit is actually being sold at higher price than the civic. my sister in law just chose the fit over the civic because of the look.

  • Eric2

    Whatever happened to the rumor of the Insight engine +IMA system being “dropped into” to Fit?

    Would have been/be sweet if Honda actually was working on something like that, not just a rumor…

  • Armand

    Anyone paying more for a Fit than a Civic needs to have their head examined. Any car that begins to attract such people willing to get screwed needs to be avoided in that case…regardless of utility. That’s just plain stupid…but then again look at our housing market. So no wonder.

  • Coolyah

    The 2009 Fit’s auto body parts turned out to be sleeker than the previous model. But they look exactly the same in some aspects, in the interior maybe or down the powertrain.

  • omn1potent

    When is the Hybrid version being release, the “mystical affordible hybrid vehicle –” that Honda will have under the Honda CiViC Hybrid? When would it be released in Australia?

  • PA Mark

    I don’t get this post. I have a 4cyl Accord with a manual transmission. I routinely get 40mph. I drive like a granny. It is not that hard. You hybrid guys are fixated on that technology. Wake up.

    I’m sure when properly maintained and driven this new fit can get much >40mpg!

    We are funding tax breaks for the over-hyped technology. The car of the year is a huge hybrid SUV that gets an extra 2-3MPH. Give me a break.

  • cliff lapp


    Actually, the car of the year is a huge GM hybrid that gets 10 more mpg. The non-hybird vehicle got 10 mpg, and the new hybrid gets 20, which is a 100% INCREASE in gas mileage.

    If you NEED a big vehicle, for hauling stuff, the new GM hybrid is a DRASTIC improvement in efficiency.

    Now, we just need to take cars like the Fit and do the same thing: Double the mileage so it gets 80 mpg.


  • Austin

    My wife and I both own 2007 Honda Fit. I have a stick and my wife has a auto transmission. When we bought the car the sticker staid 33 mpg city and 38 mpg on the highway. This year they changed it over to to the 28/34. Well I can tell you that I have never gotten less than 34 mpg in the city. In fact I have gotten and I have known a few people who get over 40 mpb on the freeway. It’s all about driving habits.

  • Anonymous

    We’ve owned a 2007 FIT Sport automatic for about 2 years now.
    We love it..surprisingly plenty of room for my wife and I to go most place we want to go. Love the”magic” seats that allow us to transport taller items. Mileage has been around 33 in town and up to 38 on the highway.
    I’d be interested in a hybrid version…but would sure like it if the mileage figures were closer to 50 MPG’s than the 40 MPG’s I’m seeing for the proposed 09 Fit Hybrid

  • Steven F. Schluter

    We test drove a 2008 Fit Sport yesterday, what a fun car to drive, but we really want to buy a hybrid but the 2008 Civic Hybrid doesn’t have the room for the supplies that we get each week for our store in the mountains. Besides our dealer out here in Montana won’t get one in for a couple of months. The fit has a ton of room but doesn’t get great great gas mileage at least that is what the sticker says. We currently own a 2004 Honda Element that gets around 25mpg and a 2006 Ridgeline 22mpg, we need something that gets much better mileage. I wish Honda would come out with a car like the Fit that gets 50+mpg. We are currently renting a 2008 Prius for a couple of weeks and we are getting an average of 55mpg in the mountains without really trying. Come on Honda, I want to stay loyal!!!

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