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Honda updated its Honda Fit for the 2009 model year, making significant improvements in the powertrain and in cabin tech.
A new hood design includes a central bulge with angled edges, running down into the grille.
The top trim level of the Honda Fit is the Sport model with navigation. The base model is just called the Honda Fit, and lacks some of the styling cues and has smaller wheels.
The Fit's new grille continues the angular rise that starts at the hood. The polyhedral shape reminds us of Transformers toys.
This 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 117 horsepower, adequate to move the car and more powerful than the engine in the previous model. But we still got it up to 40 mpg with some careful driving.
Although a small, inexpensive car, the Fit seats four comfortably. But the ride can be strenuous over rough pavement.
Antilocks brakes are standard on the Fit, but traction and stability control only come with the very top trim.
The Fit is very flexible with its cargo area. There is room for seven grocery bags with the rear seats up, many more with the seats down.
The interior of the Fit has a good-quality feel, especially nice in an inexpensive car. Navigation is available, but not present in our test car.
We would have liked audio control buttons on the steering wheel, and Bluetooth hands-free cell phone integration isn't available at all.
The best part about the instrument cluster is the display that shows instant fuel economy. Using that meter, we got our average economy over 40 mpg while maintaining freeway speeds.
You can get the Fit with an automatic, but we were very happy with this five-speed manual transmission. Shifts were quick and precise, and we were able to better modulate our fuel economy using it.
The stereo head unit is limited, with no satellite radio and controls that aren't terribly intuitive. We also weren't impressed with the audio quality.
The upper glove compartment contains a standard USB port. You can plug in a USB drive and play MP3s off of it.
The USB port also works as an iPod connector, letting you browse music by artist, genre, and album.
You can set the stereo to show artist, song, or album name, whether playing music from an iPod, USB drive, or MP3 CD.