The 2009 Honda Fit has just been launched at the New York Auto Show. Aside from the irritatingly average, Gap-clad models cheerily driving it on stage, notable features are the 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission - the Fit Sport comes with paddle shifter - the six airbags that come as standard, the ACE body structure - it's strong and light to boost safety - and the one-touch fold rear seats. The full press release follows the jump.
All-new 2009 Honda Fit Introduces New Realm of Refinement to Subcompact Class
New Fit further refines interior functionality, enhances sporty feel,
and adds safety features
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™; 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™ (ACE™) body structure.
"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 headrests. 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 rear seat delivers a place to store small items.
Adding further refinement, Fit Sport will now offer an available factory-installed Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition, featuring a 6.5-inch screen. Also, all Fit Sport models will feature a USB audio interface compatible with current generation iPods® 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."
Fun to Drive
The Fit will feature a new 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder, i-VTEC™ engine coupled to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an available, segment-unique, 5-speed automatic transmission, which includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Fit Sport. The new engine will 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 Fit will add Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology, available Electronic Stability Control 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. With its availability in the new Fit, VSA will now 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.
Standard active safety equipment will include anti-lock braking system (ABS), with ventilated discs in the front and drums in the back, and electronic brake distribution (EBD). Additionally, front and rear visibility has been improved.
More detailed information about the 2009 Honda Fit will be released closer to the vehicle launch in the fall.