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2008 Honda Fit Subcompact Proves that Small is the New Big

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2008 Honda Fit Sport

SEE ALSO: Compare Honda Models Specs and Prices - Honda Buyers Guide

September 10, 2007 -- TORRANCE, Calif. -- As the newest addition to the Honda lineup, the Fit subcompact five-door hatchback epitomizes the Honda legacy of quality, innovative packaging and a fun-to-drive character.

"Small is big," said Dick Colliver, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Honda Fit has proven that small cars can have big popularity, a big interior and a big fun factor without the traditional small car compromises."

The Fit offers 90.1 cubic feet of interior volume with multiple seating and cargo configurations. The powertrain consists of a 109 horsepower, 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder VTEC(TM) engine and a 5-speed manual transmission or an available 5-speed automatic transmission. The Fit Sport adds plus-size alloy wheels; a 200-Watt, six-speaker audio system; wheel-mounted paddle shifters (when equipped with the available automatic transmission) and a full body aero kit complete with a rear roofline spoiler.

The Fit has earned a top five-star crash safety rating1 for frontal crash performance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For 2008, the Fit has a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). This system adds to the Fit's slew of standard safety features including dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), side-curtain airbags and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). All seating positions have three-point seat belts, and the front seats have automatic tensioning seat belts. Two Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) are provided in the outboard rear seating positions.

Dimensionally compact on the outside, the interior provides a surprisingly large passenger and cargo space that optimizes comfort and utility. At its functional foundation is the Fit's Magic Seat(R), an innovative 60/40 split rear seat that allows the seat backs to fold down or the seat bottoms to flip up, providing five distinct seating and cargo carrying configurations (refresh mode, tall object mode, long object mode, utility mode and the standard five passenger mode). With all seats in the upright position, passenger volume measures 90.1 cubic feet with 21.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row (slightly less than an Element's cargo volume behind the second row). In order to help maximize Fit's useable interior space, Honda located the fuel tank in a central location near the middle of the vehicle. The fuel tank location allows the cargo floor in the rear of Fit to be relatively low, thus increasing the interior volume.

The 1.5-liter, SOHC, 16-valve, 4-cylinder VTEC engine generates 109 horsepower @ 5800 rpm and 105 foot-pounds of torque @ 4800 rpm. The compact and efficient powerplant features Honda's innovative Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC(TM)). The VTEC system's ability to provide highly efficient operation at low engine speeds and increased performance at high engine speeds benefits fuel economy, power and low emissions. Refinement is further enhanced with electronic Drive-by-Wire throttle control, which provides quick throttle response, smooth automatic transmission shifts (on automatic transmission models) and precise fuel delivery to the engine. City/highway EPA fuel economy ratings2 of 28/34 miles per gallon (manual transmission) are among the highest ratings in the subcompact 5-door hatchback class. Emissions levels are rated as LEV-2 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Tier 2, Bin 5 by the federal government (EPA).

The suspension setup is a combination of a front MacPherson struts and a rear torsion beam with a trailing arm. The compact front and rear suspensions were both designed to allow for a large passenger cabin with a low floor. The Fit employs a compact, efficient and highly responsive Electric Power Steering (EPS) system that also contributes to higher fuel economy since engine power is not needed to operate a hydraulic system.

Fit comes with standard amenities such as air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD audio system with four speakers, power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, and 14-inch wheels with P175/65R14 tires. The Fit Sport includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter controls (when equipped with the with the available automatic transmission), an underbody aero kit, rear roofline spoiler, fog lights, security system with keyless remote entry, cruise control and 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P195/55R15 tires. Inside, the Fit Sport provides a premium 200-watt, AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers, MP3/WMA playback capability, a five-mode equalizer, and an auxiliary audio jack for input from a portable music player.

Accessory 16-inch wheels with P205/45R16 tires are available as a dealer-installed option on Fit and Fit Sport. For 2008, two new exterior colors complement the Fit's palette: Tidewater Blue Metallic and Blackberry Pearl.