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2009 Honda Fit

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  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Although I would not classify them as "reliable," some sources are talking about the fall 2008 release for the all-new Fit in North America. The New York Auto Show is the model debut, but that is not necessarily the same as commercial release. I am sure we will know more about the exact release schedule when the show opens.

    Rumor was the Fit would be released in the Spring after the NY show. But I've also heard August and also early 2009. I think it's safe to say that it's anyones' guess as to when the car will be in the showrooms for purchase. I certainly have no idea.
    I'd like to see a diesel Fit or the AWD Fit here but sadly that won't happen.
    If they made a diesel Fit I would go right down and buy one today even with diesel costing 60 cents more a gallon than regular!
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Yesterday I was chatting with a Honda salesman in our neighborhood dealership, and I mentioned to him that in Japan you can get an AWD Fit. He exlaimed, "Why don't they let us sell THOSE?" What I said as a theory is that AWD for a car like Fit would likely raise the price point to such an extent that it would end up competing with higher-end (translation: bigger) cars, albeit without AWD. In Japan, that's not much of an issue because lots of people want smaller cars, period, and would not want anything bigger than the Fit.

    Honda is developing a small diesel right now. Whether or not it gets on a Fit is a question mark, and even if it did, would it show up in North America? Only time will tell, I suppose.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Yesterday I was chatting with a Honda salesman in our neighborhood dealership, and I mentioned to him that in Japan you can get an AWD Fit. He exclaimed, "Why don't they let us sell THOSE?" What I said as a theory is that AWD for a car like Fit would likely raise the price point to such an extent that it would end up competing with higher-end (translation: bigger) cars, albeit without AWD.

    Yes possibly but it doesn't have to be that way. I mean yes the AWD system would suck up at least 10% of the fuel economy and they might need a bigger engine as well like a turbo (cheap power) as running 4 wheels instead of 2 (but technically 1) but what a great car and they sure could sell them AWD Fit with a diesel option. They'd sell in the snow states like mine for certain!
    As it is people boost up the power now as it is.
    But AWD well it would be a wild ride if done right.
    Honda is very conservative so it probably won't happen here but it would be great if they did sell them. Suzuki had a winner with their Swift Sport, what a FUN car to drive but not available in the US! :sick:
    I drove one and it's a great little car and could put some kick into Suzuki but no chance of that and a FWD car that can drift I mean it's a great little car. Sadly we won't get that either.
    Honda has stated on the record that they will use small cars for hybrids and large cars and trucks for diesel. i hope they change their mind.
    Hyundai has a 1.5L CRDi in the Matrix as it's known outside the US. But it's turbo is a slow spooling one and it drives horribly like stretching out a rubber band then then letting it go. I didn't care for it, it also looked like a turtle. :P
    But I'd consider buying one if the price was right.
    The Fit could really become as big as the Civic and the Accord if Honda would allow it.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    Wouldn't a Fit with snow/winter tires meet your traction needs? In addition to enhanced "go" traction, snow tires shorten stopping distances and improve directional stability, something AWD doesn't do. Sure, AWD outperforms FWD with all-season tires in acceleration on slick surfaces, but my point is that FWD with snows might be sufficient, and wouldn't exact the cost, weight, and fuel penalties associated with AWD. Also, if the going really gets rough, chains can be mounted on snow tires.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Wouldn't a Fit with snow/winter tires meet your traction needs? In addition to enhanced "go" traction, snow tires shorten stopping distances and improve directional stability, something AWD doesn't do. Sure, AWD outperforms FWD with all-season tires in acceleration on slick surfaces, but my point is that FWD with snows might be sufficient, and wouldn't exact the cost, weight, and fuel penalties associated with AWD. Also, if the going really gets rough, chains can be mounted on snow tires.

    I guess it would depend on where you live. I drive a 2008 Civic Si with traction control running Nokian WRG2 snowflake rated all season tires. The only all season tire made with a snowflake rating. :D
    Now I have also driven the Fit up here and you can get by with snow tire IF they plowed the road, which they usually don't do very often as I am in the boonies and there just aren't that many people compared to the city.
    So they sell a lot of Subaru's up here. But in town with plowed roads you will find that a Prius will have no problem or any other car and most don't even bother with snow tires. You at minimum need snow tires if you want to get to my house due to unplowed roads. Once plowed it's ok. Last storm they didn't plow at all and it was a nightmare getting around. Yes Nokian RSi's would be better or any real snow tire but when the roads dry out you get that squirmy driving on jello feeling that all real snow tires give you.
    Doesn't matter what FWD or RWD car you own. It really is the tires.
    For example I saw the new STi yesterday and the dealer will not allow it outside as there was an inch of snow on the ground and with it's summer tires it would have a tough time in the snow, or so he said.
    AWD is good for unplowed roads like we have all to often. On plowed and sanded roads, the Nokians are amazing, but chains.... useless to put them on considering the hassle and chains allow you to go 5-10 mph Max and you'd have SUV's and trucks smashing into you as they barrel down the back roads at above normal speeds.
    I did check out these and they are an option to chains but seem like less of a hassle.
    http://www.spikes-spiders.com/
    An AWD Fit would sell really well in the snowbelt states.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Wouldn't a Fit with snow/winter tires meet your traction needs?

    I use snowflake rated tires now, see my reply to the other post for a more detailed explanation.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    It really is the tires.

    Yes, and if I may add something else, it's also the ground clearance. I live in a snowy area, and at times the plow does not come around in time for me or my wife to drive on compacted snow. When that happens, our Subaru Forester shows up, with a grin on its face. It has AWD and a relatively good ground clearance (over 7 inches), which makes a world of difference. I am sure that an STI would have a tough time even with winter tires in a condition like that because it ends up floating, thus losing traction.

    About the advantages of AWD, if you live in a pure city environment, then I could make an argument that FWD with good tires would be fine even in a snowy area. If you live in the countryside and/or a hilly area, however, AWD becomes a savior. That probably explains why Japan, which is over 70% mountaineous, is full of regular, non-SUV cars like the Fit that can be had with AWD.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Yes, and if I may add something else, it's also the ground clearance. I live in a snowy area, and at times the plow does not come around in time for me or my wife to drive on compacted snow. When that happens, our Subaru Forester shows up, with a grin on its face. It has AWD and a relatively good ground clearance (over 7 inches), which makes a world of difference.

    Yes, cars like the Forester do quite well in snowy conditions and the issue is ground clearance. My Civic Si has low ground clearance and low profile snow tires. Not the best thing for snow.
    But up here there are days where I can't get out of my own driveway! :sick:
    Next year i'm buying a snow blower but a 120 foot driveway :sick: is a lot of snow to blow.

    About the advantages of AWD, if you live in a pure city environment, then I could make an argument that FWD with good tires would be fine even in a snowy area. If you live in the countryside and/or a hilly area, however, AWD becomes a savior. That probably explains why Japan, which is over 70% mountainous, is full of regular, non-SUV cars like the Fit that can be had with AWD.

    I wouldn't argue about a city environment for any FWD car unless that city was someplace in Minnesota. :surprise: ;)
    My area has a lot of fairly steep hills outside of town and too often they go unplowed as they are low priority.
    So for us up here the Fit with AWD would be a huge advantage. But in many places it just wouldn't be worth it.
    But since everyone loves gas guzzling SUV's here why would they buy an AWD compact car. At least thats the mentality.
    What i also find interesting is that I see very very few Fits up here and yet I see tons of Prius and MINI Coopers. Heck I've seen more Honda Insights here than anywhere else as well.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    "Now I have also driven the Fit up here..."

    If you don't mind my asking, where is "up here?"

    How's the ground clearance on the Fit? Is it greater than the Civics?
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    If you don't mind my asking, where is "up here?"
    How's the ground clearance on the Fit? Is it greater than the Civics?


    I'm up in central New Hampshire. Plus the area my house is in is very hilly and often unplowed.
    The ground clearance on the Fit is probably within an inch of the Civic, although I'm just guessing about that.
    I don't own a Fit. I did test drive a Fit up here.
    The traction control on the Civic which is only available on the Si model is great but thankfully it has a switch to shut it off. There are times the traction control will make it so you can't make it up a hill but when it's off you can.
    I had to buy Nokian snowflake rated all season tire my first week of owning the Si as it couldn't make it up the hills with the stock all seasons.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    I lived in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois for many years, so I can relate to winter driving conditions in New Hampshire. I've been to your beautiful state, but only in the summer.

    Those Spikes-Spiders look like they could be effective, assuming they're reasonably easy to mount and remove. Unfortunately, regular chains aren't.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I lived in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois for many years, so I can relate to winter driving conditions in New Hampshire. I've been to your beautiful state, but only in the summer.

    I've been to Illinois or rather through it many years back, nice State, good people.
    I've heard you get some pretty nasty winters up there.
    NH is great in the summer especially further North of me but in the winter it's warm up the Subaru time. The further North you go the more likely you will need a 4x4 truck or SUV. The budget for plowing the snow isn't all that high as we have a low population density in the upper part of the State.

    Those Spikes-Spiders look like they could be effective, assuming they're reasonably easy to mount and remove. Unfortunately, regular chains aren't.

    I haven't actually seen them in person but they look like a good option for some vehicles. Useless for my Civic as it will go through the snow up to it's diffuser under the front bumper after that you are a snowplow and that takes it's toll.
    We drove a lot of cars today. I'm hoping the 2009 Fit will be out fairly soon. They claim August, I hope much sooner. I drove the Scion xD again and this one had a miles better shifter in it and was very solid on the highway like my Civic.
    I'm hoping the 2009 Fit will be the same way.
  • I notice Toyota matrix body styles hang off the bumpers quite a bit with the sport trim package. I wonder if the Fit Sport will have less ground clearance due to front and rear plastic.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I noticed that a lot of small Japanese vehicles either have no armrest, or they use a little armrest that flips down from the seat (xB, CR-V, Fit) and are too small and/or too high for comfort.

    I hope the armrest on the new Fit is at the correct height and is wide and sturdy enough for you to actually relax and rest your arm instead of having to keep it tense to prevent it from falling over the edge of the narrow ledge provided.

    If it's only 2 or 3 inches wide, the edges will dig into your arm and will be uncomfortable if you're driving for more than short trips.
  • Just a note. I drive in northern New Jersey with a 2007 Fit with 16 inch wheels. I got snow tires for it and have used them through two winters. North NJ is hilly, but certainly no Minn. or Vermont, but I always felt safe driving in my Fit with my snow tires on.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Just a note. I drive in northern New Jersey with a 2007 Fit with 16 inch wheels. I got snow tires for it and have used them through two winters. North NJ is hilly, but certainly no Minn. or Vermont, but I always felt safe driving in my Fit with my snow tires on.

    I drive my Civic Si with snow tires Nokian WRG2's and no more problems in the snow on hills anymore. The Fit should be ok in the snow. But not without snow tires, central Vermont is about an hour away from me.
    Here you need snow tires but AWD is better because of the hills when you add to that the often unplowed or poorly plowed roads.
    AWD's benefits is best seen when starting on a hill which we have a lot of. In flat areas it helps but not as much.
    The Fit would feel massively underpowered with even the new 118HP engine and AWD. A Subaru with 170HP is sluggish, of course it also weighs a lot. The AWD drivetrain sucks up a lot of power. :sick:
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    The Fit would feel massively underpowered with even the new 118HP engine and AWD. A Subaru with 170HP is sluggish, of course it also weighs a lot. The AWD drivetrain sucks up a lot of power.

    Actually, I had a chance to drive a previous-generation AWD Fit (1.5 L CVT) in Japan for a day. I drove in a very congested town, and then took her up and down a mountain road from the sea level to 4,000 feet. I did not find the AWD Fit underpowered at all. In fact, I found this car really perky, due perhaps to the well-tuned and -matched CVT. Granted that I did not take this Fit up to the expressway speed because there was no such road nearby to test it on, in this pretty vigorous driving environment that I subjeted this car to, I did not find the AWD Fit underpowered by any manner. Since this was the first Fit I had ever driven up until then, I was quite impressed with the model.

    Oh, I should add that in this test, I averaged 26 MPG (11 km/l). That may not sound impressive, but the city roads I was on were crawlingly slow, and I took the Fit up on a very steep hill climb right from the harbor to 4000 feet. So seen from that perspective, I think it was an admirable mileage.

    One advantage of the dual-pump AWD system that Honda offers in the AWD Fit and a car like the CR-V is the it reduces the drivetrain losses (the true advantage is that it is cheaper to Honda). The disadvantage is that it often reacts slowly.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Actually, I had a chance to drive a previous-generation AWD Fit (1.5 L CVT) in Japan for a day. I drove in a very congested town, and then took her up and down a mountain road from the sea level to 4,000 feet. I did not find the AWD Fit underpowered at all. In fact, I found this car really perky, due perhaps to the well-tuned and -matched CVT. Granted that I did not take this Fit up to the expressway speed because there was no such road nearby to test it on,

    I drove a Fit a friend of mine owned when i visited him overseas and it's great in town, but merging into 70+mph traffic on the highway puts a whole new perspective on the Fit. in the city it's a great car and even on hills. it's the fast highways where the Fit has it's real problems. Not surprising because the Fit is a City car.

    Oh, I should add that in this test, I averaged 26 MPG (11 km/l). That may not sound impressive, but the city roads I was on were crawlingly slow, and I took the Fit up on a very steep hill climb right from the harbor to 4000 feet. So seen from that perspective, I think it was an admirable mileage.

    My friend used to [non-permissible content removed] all the time about only getting 10.5-11km/l in his 1.3L but it was almost always in the city in stop and go traffic with the A/C blasting. :shades:
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    A 1.3 L Fit would definitely run out of breath if trying to fight with an expressway traffic. The one that I drove, however, was a 1.5 L AWD, and even if I compare it with the USDM Fit, one of which we own, I would say that the JDM AWD one that I drove would be rather competitive even at a higher velocity. It was plenty perky, and I was quite impressed with it.
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