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Honda Fit
2nd-gen Honda Jazz 1.4 (Europe)
Manufacturer Honda Motor Company
Also called Honda Jazz
Production 2001–present
Assembly Suzuka, Mie, Japan
Sumaré, São Paulo, Brazil
Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
Ayutthaya, Thailand
Karawang, Indonesia
Swindon, England, United Kingdom
Greater Noida, India
Class Subcompact car (2001-2007)
Compact car (2008-present)
Platform Honda Global Small Car

The Honda Fit is a five-door hatchback compact car, manufactured by the Honda Motor Company of Japan, introduced in June 2001 and now in its second generation. The Fit uses Honda's Global Small Car platform, also used by the City/Fit Aria, Airwave, Mobilio, and the Mobilio Spike.

The nameplate Jazz is used in Europe, some parts of Asia, Australia, Oceania, the Middle East, and Africa — while the name "Fit" is used in Japan, China, and the Americas.

By June 2007, more than 2 million Fit/Jazz had been sold worldwide.[1]

Contents

First generation

First-generation Fit
2001 Honda Fit (JDM)
Also called Honda Jazz
Guangzhou-Honda Fit Sport
Production 2001–2007
2006-2008 (North America)
Assembly Guangzhou, China
Thailand
Japan
Predecessor Honda Logo
Class North America: Subcompact
Europe: Supermini
Body style(s) 5-door hatchback
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform Global Small Car; GD1/2/3/4
Engine(s) L12A i-DSI 1.2 L I4
L13A i-DSI 1.3 L I4
L15A i-DSI 1.5 L I4
L15A VTEC 1.5 L I4
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
CVT / CVT-7
Wheelbase 2,450 mm (96.5 in)
Length 3,845 mm (151.4 in)
157.4 in (4,000 mm) (U.S. & Canada)
Width 1,675 mm (65.9 in)
Height 1,525 mm (60.0 in)
Curb weight 1,084 kg (2,390 lb) for 1.4 L LS with manual transmission
Related Honda Airwave
Honda City

The Honda Fit debuted in June 2001 in Japan, followed by introductions in Europe (early 2002), Australia (late 2002), South America (early 2003), South Africa and South-East Asia (2003), China (Sep 2004), and Mexico (late 2005).

A production model for the United States and Canada debuted on January 8, 2006 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car was released in Canada on April 3, 2006, and in the U.S. on April 20, 2006. In the North American markets, the first generation Fit was replaced after only three model years by a new 2009 model, which was released for Japan in November 2007 as a 2008 model. Subsequent iterations will maintain the same platforms worldwide.

Honda originally intended to name the car "Fitta", but shortened the name in some markets, and renamed it completely in others, upon discovering that in several Nordic languages, "fitta" is a popular slang word for "vulva".[2]

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Models

The Fit is sold in 6 variations. All Fit/Jazz models throughout the world utilize one of 7 or more distinct codes. They are found in the vehicle’s identification number (VIN):

  • GD1: 1.3 L L13A i-DSII4 engine 2WD (Europe: 1.4L)
  • GD2: 1.3 L L13A i-DSI I4 engine 4WD (Japan only)
  • GD3: 1.5 L L15A I4 engine 2WD
  • GD4: 1.5 L L15A VTEC I4 engine 2WD (Canada and United States and Mexico only)
  • GD5: 1.5 L L15A I4 engine 4WD (Japan only)
  • GD6: 1.2 L L12A i-DSI I4 engine 2WD (Europe only)
  • GE3: 1.3 L L13A i-DSI I4 engine 2WD (2007 Europe 1.4L model. Made in China)

Drivetrain and platform

Depending on the region, the Fit is equipped with either a 1.2, 1.3 (in Europe referred as 1.4L model), or 1.5 liter i-DSI engine, or 1.5 liter VTEC engine. All four engines are based on Honda’s L-series engine family. The 8-valve i-DSI (intelligent dual and sequential) engines use two spark plugs per cylinder, allowing gasoline to burn more completely; therefore, fuel consumption and emissions are reduced while maximum torque at mid-range rpm is maintained. The 1.5 L VTEC engine has the typical 16-valve configuration that can maximize output at high rpm.

US-spec interior

Honda Fit's L-series of engines also provides the castings and reciprocating mass for Honda Marine’s 75 and 90 horsepower (67 kW) outboard motors, the BF75 and the BF90.[3]

The engines are mated to a 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), depending on the region (CVT not offered in United States). Two forms of the CVT are offered: the regular, and the CVT-7. The CVT-7 offers a smooth, continuous flow of power, or seven simulated "gears" controlled by paddle shifters on the steering column.

The Fit uses Honda's Global Small Car platform, which is also used by the Fit Aria/City (a sedan version of the Fit), the Airwave (a wagon version of the Fit Aria/City), the Mobilio, and the Mobilio Spike.

Hybrid electric

In 2007 it was rumored that a hybrid electric variant of the Fit/Jazz was being developed.[4] Later, Honda's CEO, Takeo Fukui, said that this was not true and there were no plans to develop a hybrid powertrain.[5] However, in August 2008 it was mentioned in a New York Times article that Honda would be producing a hybrid Fit.[6] Additionally, a mid-year announcement from Honda's CEO confirmed the reality of a hybrid drivetrain.[7]

In October 2008, Honda revealed a Jazz hybrid [8].

Multi-mode seating and cargo

External images
Honda Fit fuel tank location
Ultra Seat (Normal mode)
Ultra Seat (Tall mode)
Ultra Seat (Utility mode)
Ultra Seat (Long mode)
Ultra Seat (Refresh mode)
Ultra Luggage (Regular mode)
Ultra Luggage (Tall mode)
Ultra Luggage (Upper/lower mode)

The Fit's fuel tank location under the front rather than rear seats — combined with a compact, semi-independent, H-shaped[9] torsion beam rear suspension — allows for a lower load platform and increased cargo volume.[10] Noted for it's "class leading utilization of interior space and maximum flexibility for people or cargo,"[9] the Fit offered approximately twice the storage space behind it's rear seat than that of the Toyota Yaris hatchback.[11]

Ultra Seat: The fuel tank and rear suspension layout also allows a multiple-mode seating system, marketed by Honda as Ultra Seat (Asia, Oceanica) and Magic Seat (North America), with four seating modes — and a fifth in certain markets:

  • Normal: seats are in their normal position with seating for five.
  • Utility: Either section (or both) of the 60:40 split rear seat folds and lowers onto itself, creating a flat load surface and increased cargo area.
  • Long: The rear seat behind the passenger folds down similar to utility mode, but the front passenger seat folds backward, leaving an area that can hold items as long as 2.4 meters (7.9 ft).
  • Tall: Either section (or both) of the rear seat cushion fold up against the rear seat back, allowing for an area of 1.28 meters (4.2 ft) in height.
  • Refresh: With the headrest of the front seat removed, the front seat back can be folded down to form a lounge-style sitting area. (available in certain markets)[12]

According to the Fit's chief engineer, Kohei Hitomi, the Magic/Ultra seating system's design "came about after the design team had spent long hours watching people in supermarkets and how they stored their things."[12]

Ultra Luggage: In certain markets, Honda offers the Fit/Jazz without a spare tire, a system marketed as Ultra Luggage,[13] where the spare tire well is used as part of a 'Tall' mode cargo area behind the rear seats. A flexible flap allows three configurations of rear storage: Regular, Tall and Upper/Lower mode.

Production

The first generation Fit is produced in 5 countries throughout the world. Suzuka (Japan), Sumaré (Brazil), Guangzhou (China), Ayutthaya (Thailand), and Karawang (Indonesia). Models produced in Japan are for Honda's home market as well as export to Europe, some Asian markets, Canada and the United States. Models for Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam markets are produced in Thailand. The Brazilian factory supplies Mexico, all of Latin America and the Caribbean. Chinese models are sold in mainland China and products from a dedicated export plant[14] are exported to some left hand drive European markets, while Jazz models in Hong Kong are imported from Japan. Honda is considering producing the Honda Fit in North America in response to the increasing strength of the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar[15].

Regions

The Fit is marketed in different ways and has different characteristics throughout the world, depending on which region it is sold in.

Japan

Two engines (1.3 i-DSI and 1.5 VTEC) were offered, each with a number of trim lines ranging from the basic "Y" to the sporty "S". The 1.3 L i-DSI was available with only the regular CVT automatic. The 1.5 L VTEC model with the CVT-7 was added in October 2002.[16] A 5-speed manual was added in June 2004 for FWD model with the larger engine. Unique to the Japanese market, the Fit is also available in 4WD. Starting at a price of about JPY1,123,000 is the basic 1.3Y model. At the top of the range is the 1.5W four wheel drive version for JPY1,743,000. A bewildering range of options and accessories are available at most levels, including Honda's HDD GPS Navigation System with its 6.5-inch (170 mm) color screen. This system incorporates TV and FM radio.

Japanese sales of the Fit exceeded the original monthly sales target of 8,000 units on debut. By December 2001, it had outsold the Toyota Corolla, and ranked first in sales for nine out of twelve months in 2002. With a total sales of 250,790 for the year of 2002, it became the best selling vehicles in Japan, which is a first for a Honda model.[17] After a minor model change (MMC) that went on sale on June 11, 2004, Honda announced that, in about 2 weeks' period after its introduction, the company received orders from customers totaled around 13,000 units.[18] The new generation Honda Fit had its debut at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show in October 2007.

The second generation has been the top selling car in Japan since its official launch in November 2007.

Year Hatchback Aria Total Rank in Japan
2001 104,298 n/a 6
2002 250,790 n/a 1
2003 182,285 14,623 2
2004 149,503 6,992 2
2005 125,894 5,450 3
2006 101,793 5,238 3
Europe
2005 European Honda Jazz

Like Japan, the European market also has two engines available. The European-only 1.2 i-DSI is offered as the base model in many countries, and can only be purchased with a 5-speed manual transmission. The 1.4 i-DSI is identical to the 1339 cc 1.3 i-DSI sold in Japan, but marketed as a 1.4 L to differentiate it from the smaller 1.2 L engine (ironically, at 1244 cc, it is closer to 1.3 L than the bigger one is to 1.4 L). 1.4 L models start out well-equipped with the 5-speed manual standard and the CVT-7 available as an option.

All European models have ABS with disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes or disc brakes on the rear ones. Side airbags are standard on some high end models.

The car has a good reputation in Europe with the UK's biggest automotive survey, performed by the motoring show Top Gear, revealing that the Honda Jazz was the second best vehicle on UK roads (after the Honda S2000), as voted by UK car owners in 2006.[19] The enormous popularity of the Jazz has made it Honda's best-selling model in the region, comprising 30% of all European Honda sales. Top Gear also went so far as to state that Honda Jazz (along with the Toyota Yaris) is the closest to reality car that money can buy, meaning that a Honda Jazz can cover the majority of the automotive needs that man has today.

China

Local production and sale of the Fit (Hatchback) in China started in September 2004,[20] roughly one year after the launch of the sedan version 'Fit saloon' (City/Fit Aria) in September 2003. The trims are similar to that in Japan: with the combination of 1.3 i-DSI, 1.5 VTEC, 5-speed manual, and CVT, there are 4 models in total.

United States and Canada
2007 Honda Fit base and Sport (U.S.)

The Fit went on sale in the United States and Canada in April 2006 as a 2007 model year vehicle.[10] It replaced the Civic hatchback for North America. The Fit took over for the Civic as Honda's chief entry-level subcompact; the Civic continues to grow in size and price and was reclassified as a compact (larger than a subcompact) in 2001.

In keeping with Honda's safety initiative, the Fit was offered in North America with power windows, standard side airbags, side-curtain airbags, and ABS, in addition to the mandatory front airbags. Due to differing safety regulations, North American Fits have larger bumpers, and a longer front clip, than the rest of the world, resulting in a slight increase in overall length.

For the 2008 Model, US models come with a government mandated Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to alert the driver of low pressure in any of the 4 stock wheels.[21] Unlike some systems, the system in the 2008 Fit notifies the driver that a tire is low, but not which one. The added safety equipment increases the weight of the Fit, so it narrowly missed qualifying for the Canadian government's $1,000 rebate, which is only offered for cars that meet the new federal fuel efficiency rating.[22] Honda Canada Inc. decided to reimburse consumers the rebate for 2007, and a revision to the federal ratings allowed the 2008 Fit to qualify for the $1,000 rebate.

The Fit was offered in two variants in the United States (Base and Sport), and three in Canada (DX, LX and Sport). Differences were primarily limited to cosmetics and standard equipment, since all models shared the same 1.5 L 109 hp (81 kW) engine and standard 5-speed manual transmission. A conventional 5-speed automatic transmission was optional, instead of the CVT found throughout the rest of the world. The Fit Sport received paddle shifters mounted behind the steering-wheel when ordered with the automatic. In the United States, the base model was priced at US$13,850, with the automatic transmission adding $800 and the Sport package adding $1,320. In Canada, it started at CAD$14,980 for a DX with manual transmission, and topped out at $20,880 for a Sport with automatic transmission.

For 2006, 27,934 Fits were sold in the United States[23] . A total of 56,432 Fits were sold in the United States in 2007.[24]

The 2008 Honda Fit was largely unchanged from the 2007 with the exception of the TPMS and new windshield wipers that abandon the large rubber blade design to a more traditional rigid plastic with thin rubber blade design. MSRP was also increased by roughly US$100. Total sales in the United States for the year was 79,794, an increase of almost 41% over previous year.[24]

Honda advertised the Fit as "Small is the New Big".[25] Consumer Guide said in its review "While prices seem steep for a subcompact [compared to the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa), this is one in name and exterior size only; it's really a small wagon that challenges some compact SUVs for room while getting significantly better fuel economy".[26][27] The Fit placed first in a Car and Driver comparison of seven economy cars.[28]

Mexico

Fit, sourced from Brazil, was launched in October 2005.[29]

Brazil

Honda started local production and sale of Fit in April 2003 when Brazil became the second production base, after Japan, for Fit.[30] In Brazil, though initially was available with the 1.3 L i-DSI engine only, eventually the Fit has the same engines as the Japanese models (all Brazilian Honda cars have engines imported from Japan) and there are three trim levels available. Base model LX features the 1.35 i-DSI engine (which is marketed as 1.4 in Brazil) and driver side airbag. The second model in the range, the LXL, features the same engine from the LX, but adds some extra equipment: passenger side airbag and ABS. Top model EX has essentially the same equipment as the LXL, but comes with the 1.5 VTEC engine. All models are available with the 5-speed manual or the regular CVT automatic. There are neither side airbags nor side curtains available for the Brazilian version. Also, the radio antenna is positioned differently, as it is near the front of the roof. Honda started selling the 2007 model in February 2006 with new bumpers and some cosmetic changes. The reference price is R$54,025 (US$34,193) for Fit 1.5 EX MT on 21 Jul. 2008.

Alcohol (Ethanol) and gasoline hybrid Fit: Honda Brazil will start the sales in mid December/2006 only for 1.35 i-DSI. 80 hp (60 kW) at 100% gasoline and 83 hp (62 kW) at 100% alcohol. It also works with any intermediary mix rate. There is an additional gasoline fuel tank on the right side under the triangle window for "low temperature starts". This ensures a good start on cold days if the main tank has been filled with alcohol.

Honda Fit was awarded by "Quatro Rodas" magazine as Best Buy in 2005 and 2006, and as the car with happiest buyers in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Chile

All Honda Fit sold in Chile are built in Brazil, except for a few early 2004 models. Until 2007, all three Brazilian trim levels were available LX, LXL and EX, with 5-speed manual or CVT automatic transmissions, but for 2008 models, the 1.5 liter 16-valve VTEC engine is no longer available, while the Brazilian LXL, with 1.35 liter 8-valve i-DSI engine, is sold as EX.

Retail prices for 2008[31] basic LX models are US$13,980, with 5-speed mechanic transmission, and US$15,520, with CVT transmission. Standard LX equipment includes air-conditioning, a CD player with six speakers, one front airbag, trip computer, remote central locking, immobilizer, LED tail lamps, power steering, power windows, power side mirrors with turning lights mounted on them.

Retail prices for 2008 EX vehicles are US$15,825 for the mechanic and $17,405 for the automatic. Standard EX equipment includes all the LX equipment plus light alloy wheels, ABS + EBD breaks, two front airbags and sunroof.

No alcohol powered engines are available in Chile.

Australia
Two 1.3-litre models (outside) and three 1.5-litre vtec models (middle)

The Jazz/Fit offering in Australia follows, to a degree, the Japanese versions (excluding the 4WD models), and was released in Australia in October 2002.

Currently starting at a retail price of AU$15,990, the base model GLi is powered by a 1.34 litre i-DSI engine, and includes air-conditioning, a CD player, two front airbags, ABS brakes, EBD, a trip computer, remote central locking, a transponder coded immobilizer, power steering, windows and mirrors. Standard is a 5-speed manual gearbox, with the CVT auto being a AU$2,000 optional extra.

At AU$18,170 the VTi adds the 1.5 litre VTEC engine, "sports" trim, and side mirror-mounted turning indicators. Optional is the 7-speed version of the CVT auto with Formula 1 inspired gear shift paddles on the steering wheel; the VTi-S has a "sports" body kit, fog lamps, and 15-inch (380 mm) alloy wheels.

A "dot" on the "J" in Jazz indicates whether it is powered by a VTEC or non-VTEC engine. The VTEC version has a blue dot and i-DSI version has a red dot. The body kit for the VTi-S has changed since its introduction in 2003. The picture to the right illustrates the differences. The white Jazz VTi-S in the middle is a December 2003 model, while the left silver Jazz is a 2004 VTi with optional bodykit, the right silver Jazz is a 2004 model VTi-S.

Since its introduction to Australia, the Jazz has been imported from Japan. However in late 2005, Honda Australia began importing the Jazz from Thailand. The cheaper production costs allowed Honda to make significant price cuts across the Jazz range, although the color range has been reduced to six (compared to 12 in Japan).

In 2006 the Australian Honda Jazz received a few minor cosmetic facelift. At this stage a free trade agreement was established between Australia and Thailand which resulted all Australian Honda Jazz models being made from the Thailand factory. The model and trip variants remained the same excluding the cosmetic changes.

All models were upgraded to LED taillamps as standard

All 1.3L Gli Jazz has the antenna mounted at the front behind just behind the front windscreen The VTi 1.5L engine and body remained the same with the addition of a sports collapsible antenna mounting on the rear roof. The CVT paddle shift system was altered for easier use. The paddle system is down gears on the left and up gears on the right. (the previous model had a shifter for both up down at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions)

The VTiS received all the benefits of the VTi but had a sports body kit. In addition, the LED taillamps were smoked giving a more 'sporty' look

Malaysia
A post-2006 facelift Honda Jazz in Malaysia.

Fit/Jazz in Malaysia is available in two variants, the 1.5 i-DSI and 1.5 VTEC. Both of them are equipped with CVT-7 and having 2WD driving the front wheels. No Manual Transmission is offered. Unlike the Australian Market which had different trims for the Jazz e.g. (GLi (Base Model with 1.3 motor), VTi (1.5 VTEC motor without Bodykit) and VTi-S (Sports Model with Bodykit)), the Malaysian Jazzes were either the 1.3 iDSi or the 1.5 VTEC. Choices now are 1.4 iDSi and 1.5 VTEC. The VTEC model is equipped with Honda Modulo Bodykit.

Standard equipment on both models include Air-conditioning, Driver and front passenger air-bags, CD/Radio headunit, ABS Brakes, EBD, Trip computer, Central Locking, Power Assisted Windows, Power assisted Side Mirrors, Power Assisted Steering, Reflector Halogen Headlamps and Ultra/Magic Folding seats. Optional extras can be purchased from Honda Dealers/Service Centers all around Malaysia at retail price. A 3 year Warranty is standard for all Jazzes purchased from Authorized Honda Dealers in Malaysia.

Initially the Jazz was sold as a CBU model (fully imported from Japan). The variants included the 1.3 iDSi and the 1.5 VTEC model. Subsequently Malaysia received units that were built in Thailand. The main and most noticeable difference were rear disc brakes. Japan models incorporated rear drum brakes.

Early 2006 saw the facelift of the Jazz (which was introduced earlier in Japan). The facelifted version included new front fascia and bumpers, new rear bumper, new side skirts, side mirror mounted indicators/turn signals, rear LED brake light, rear LED third brake light, body colored housing headlamps and minor interior changes. The motor remains unchanged.

Singapore

Sold as the Jazz in Singapore by the authorised dealer and Fit by parallel importers. Only one variant is offered 1.4 i-DSI as the Jazz version. FF layout with CVT or 5 manual transmission offered. Priced at US$38,125 (inclusive of COE). The 2008 Fit comes in 1.3L and 1.5L variants.

The new Honda Jazz 2009 comes in 1.3L and 1.5L versions from the authorised dealer.

Jazz's Engine available in Singapore

  • L4 8 valves i-DSI : Max Power 65 kW (87 hp) at 5,500 rpm , Max Torque 131 N·m (97 lb·ft) at 2,700 rpm
South Africa

Sold as the Jazz in South Africa, it is available with the 1.3 i-DSI (badged as a 1.4) or 1.5 VTEC engines both offered with either manual or CVT (automatic) transmission.

Thailand

Introduced in November 2003 for local production and sold as the Jazz in Thailand. Thailand became the third production base to produce Fit, after Japan and Brazil. Initially it was available only with a 1.5 L i-DSI engine which was shared with City (Fit Aria), 5-speed manual transmission or CVT.[32] It is available in two variants, the 1.5 i-DSI and 1.5 VTEC. Both of them are FF layout with CVT-7 or 5 manual transmission offered.

Jazz's Engine available in Thailand

  • L4 8 valves i-DSI : Max Power 65 kW (87 hp) at 5,500 rpm , Max Torque 131 N·m (97 lb·ft) at 2,700 rpm
  • L4 16 valves VTEC : Max Power 81 kW (109 hp) at 5,800 rpm , Max Torque 143 N·m (105 lb·ft) at 4,800 rpm
Indonesia

The Jazz was first imported from Japan under the name Fit in 2002, but due to the high price it wasn't very popular. In late 2003, Honda decided to import the Fit from Thailand, badged as the Jazz to Indonesia at a much lower price. After the release, the Jazz was an instant success and became the best selling car in Indonesia after the Innova, Avanza and Xenia. It was offered in only one trim with the 1.5 i-DSI engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or a CVT transmission. In early 2005, a VTEC model was offered with added rear disc brakes, ABS, EBD and airbags. Since 2005, all Jazz models were built at Honda's Karawang factory.

Philippines
Front (1.3 S)

Sold as the Jazz in the Philippines from 2004 up to 2008 (1st generation). It is available with 3 trim lines:

  • 1.3 L - 5 speed manual, power steering, without air bag
  • 1.3 S - 5 speed manual/7 speed CVT, all-power, ABS, dual SRS air bag
  • 1.5 S - 5 speed manual/7 speed CVT(2005), all-power, ABS, dual SRS air bag

and 2 engine configurations:

  • L13A i-DSI 1,339 cc SOHC 8 valve
  • L15A VTEC 1,496 cc SOHC 16 valve

2004 models were imported from Thailand while 2005-2008 models were built in Honda's plant in Laguna

Second-generation

Second-generation Fit
2009 Honda Fit (Europe)
Also called Honda Jazz
Guangzhou-Honda Fit
Production 2008-present
Assembly Japan[1]
Thailand
Brazil
Greater Noida, India
United Kingdom
Indonesia
Pingtung, Taiwan
Guangzhou, China
Philippines
Body style(s) 5-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Platform GE
Engine(s) Europe and Asia markets

North American market

Wheelbase 2,500 mm (98.4 in)
Length 3,985 mm (156.9 in)
Width 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
Height 1,525 mm (60.0 in)
Curb weight 1,070 kg (2,359 lb)
Fuel capacity 42 L (11 US gal; 9 imp gal)
Related Honda City V
Honda Insight II
Honda Freed

On 20 August 2007, Honda released official pictures and specifications of the new Fit.[33] The vehicle is wider, longer, and offers a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. Height is unchanged due to mechanical parking in Japan. ULTR magic seats are retained in the second generation, rear headrests were redesigned for better convenience when folding down the seats which now only takes two steps to fold down the whole back row. Growth in dimensions brought more space to the cabin, boot capacity decreased from 21.3[34] to 20.6 cubic feet (0.58 m3).[35] There is also a hidden box under the floor. Although there is no increase in the height of the body, the interior height gained another .3 in, being benefited by the new layout of the platform. The version of the Fit sold in North America is larger than those sold abroad, thanks to a longer front end; the difference is visible in the photos below.

2009 Honda Fit (JDM)
2009 Honda Fit Sport (US)

Two engines are offered in the new Fit. A 1.3 L (~79 cu in) i-VTEC will produce 98 hp (73 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 98 lb·ft (133 N·m) at 4,500 rpm. This engine will be offered in both European and Asian markets. A 1.5 L (~92 cu in) i-VTEC engine is also offered and produces a maximum output of 117 hp (87 kW) at 6,600 rpm and 106 lb·ft (144 N·m) at 4,800 rpm.[35] This is the only engine available in the American market. A 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic (4WD only) and CVT transmission are available.

The chassis was thoroughly reengineered, with structural rigidity increased by 164 percent.

"We are very aware that the predecessor was a little firm, so we spent a lot of time fixing that. But we believe we've got it just right now."
—Hitomi

The Fit now negotiates the bumps far better than before, while the ride still remains firm. Media publications who tested the vehicle have commented on there being less understeer than before and how the car feels more like a small sedan rather than a small minivan.[33] The new suspension improves straight-line stability. While being tested on Honda's high-speed proving ground, media outlets stated the Fit felt as stable at 110 mph (177 km/h) as it did at 50 mph (80 km/h) and that the brakes also offer a high amount of stopping power while the pedal felt firm with little brake fade.

The second-generation Fit was officially unveiled as a 2008 model year vehicle on 17 October 2007 at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Fit Hybrid (2010)

Despite early denials of a hybrid variant, Honda announced in May 2008 that it would, in fact, release a hybrid Fit.[36] In his 2008 midyear CEO forecast, Fukui told reporters that, in light of increasing fuel prices, "a Fit hybrid is now starting to make sense".[7]

In 2009, Honda announced the sale of the Fit Hybrid would begin before the end of 2010.[37]

Regional information

Japan
JDM-spec interior

Japanese market sales have begun in October 2007 for the 2008 model year.[citation needed]

Second-party aftermarket tuner, Mugen, introduced on 22 October 2007 a new line of accessories for the Japanese market 2008 Honda Fit.[38] Two body kits (RS kit and L/S Aero kit)will be made available that include new front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a roof spoiler and chrome exhaust tip. Other accessories like alloy wheels, aluminum pedals, different gauges, a sports exhaust, stiffer suspension and the like will also be available.

On 17 January 2008, Mugen Motorsports introduced the Mugen Fit F154SC at the 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon.[39] The F154SC has a supercharger installed onto the stock L15A engine that raises base horsepower of the 1.5 L (~92 cu in) I4 to 150 hp (112 kW) and 136 lbf·ft (184 N·m). Other upgrades include full coilover suspension, exhaust, intake, and brakes. Body modifications include a widen track to feed more air into the engine bay.

Jamaica

The second generation of the Honda Fit is set to go on sale in Jamaica in November 2008.

North America

Although the second generation Honda Fit was introduced in the Japanese market for the 2008 model year, the first generation Fit was still sold in the North American market for the 2008 model year. The second generation Fit for the North American market was unveiled on 19 March 2008, at the 2008 New York International Auto Show for the 2009 model year.[40][41] The North American Fit's front overhang is several inches longer to improve NHTSA crash test ratings. The engine is an updated version of the current first generation Fit's 1.5 L (~92 cu in) i-VTEC 4-cylinder mated to a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Fit Sport trim includes a ground appearance package, 16 in (406.4 mm) wheels, and paddle shifters.[42]

The second generation Honda Fit went on sale in North America around August 26, 2008 for the 2009 model year. The base model MSRP is around $15,000 and the Sport a little above $17,000. To have the Sport equipped with an in-dash navigation system and vehicle stability control, the MSRP is around $19,000[43] making it the most-expensive subcompact on the market for that year.[44]

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Crash Test Ratings:[45]

Frontal Driver and Passenger: 5 stars.svg

Side Driver Impact: 5 stars.svg

Side Rear Passenger Impact: 4 stars.svg

Rollover: 4 stars.svg

Brazil

The Sumare-built new Fit was introduced in October 2008 in Brazil at Sao Paulo auto show. There are four versions: LX and LXL, with the 1.35-liter (marketed as 1.4) 16V engine, and EX and EXL, with the 1.5-liter 16V engine. Both engines have VTEC and flex fuel capabilities as standard. Manual and automatic - both 5-speed - gearboxes are offered; CVT is no longer available. On 1 Oct. 2009 the reference price is R$58,218 (US$32,717) for Fit 1.5 EX MT.

Thailand

The Fit is available in Thailand as the Jazz. The second generation model has been unveiled on March 23, 2008. 3 trim levels will be offered with the top of the range being the SV followed by the V and the S. Cars with the S trim level will have manual and automatic transmission while the SV and V trims with only automatic transmissions.

The Jazz that is built in Thailand will be shipped to serve customers in Malaysia, Philippines and Australia. (original info: Singapore is included. However Kah Motors, the authorised dealer for Honda in Singapore, made it clear in their communications with the public and media, that the Jazz 2009 is made in Japan.)

Philippines

The second-generation Jazz was launched around October 2008, with 3 trim levels.

Indonesia

Similar with Thailand, the Honda Fit is called the Honda Jazz. The general market for the Honda Jazz are students, urban-people, and small families who needed a small, fuel-efficient, and trendy car. The first generation Honda Jazz was a huge success, sold by Honda Prospect Motor (HPM) introduced in late quarter of 2003. The Honda Jazz is manufactured completely knocked down (CKD) in Honda's Karawang Plant, West Java, Indonesia. In 2008, the total sales of Honda Jazz in Indonesia was 231.980 units. It was the Honda's highest selling car in Indonesia. The second generation Honda Jazz was introduced in the middle of 2008, sold in S and RS versions. The RS has added airbags, ABS, EBD, a different head unit and body kit with bigger wheels. The price of Honda Jazz starts from IDR 178 million ($15500) for the manual transmission S until 210 million ($18500) for the RS with automatic transmission. The Honda Jazz ranked 5th in total for the highest selling passenger car in Indonesia, with a total sales of 24.969 units.

United Kingdom

On July 28, 2008 Honda UK announced that the second generation Fit (sold as the Honda Jazz) would be on sale from October 17, 2008. The new model will be sold with two new engine variants; a 90 PS 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol capable of 55.4mpg (combined) and with low CO2 emissions of 120g/km; and a 100 PS 1.4-litre i-VTEC petrol engine capable of 53.3mpg (combined) and with similarly low CO2 emissions of 123g/km. Honda also announced the introduction of an optional new "i-shift" semi-automatic gearbox replacing the traditional automatic CVT gearbox that had been available on the previous model.[46]

Production of the Jazz for European markets moved from Japan to Honda's UK plant in Swindon on the 7th October 2009.[47]

India

Honda launched the Jazz in India in 2009. It is manufactured by Honda Siel Cars India Limited at its factory in Greater Noida.[48]

Australia

The second generation Fit (sold as the Jazz) is available in Australia, albeit without electronic stability control (known as Vehicle Stability Control in Honda nomenclature.) Honda has confirmed that this feature will be introduced by the end of 2010.[49]

Sales

On 17 July 2007, Honda announced that as of the end of June more than 2 million Fit/Jazz units had been sold worldwide since its introduction.[1] Japan accounts for the largest percentage of sales, with 962,000 units sold in the home market. Europe is next with 417,000 units. The U.S. accounts for 77,000 cars since introduction in 2006. Honda expected to sell 33,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the 2007 model year, but exceeded these expectations and sold 40,000. Honda plans to put 70,000 Fits on the U.S. roads for the 2008 model year.[33]

Calendar Year US
2008 79,794[50]
2009 67,315[51]

Marketing

In 2006-04, Honda Australia started promoting the Honda Jazz with Village Green, an animated television commercial, in 30 second and 60 second versions. The 60 second ad was inspired by Thomas the Tank Engine. The campaign was developed by Foote Cone Belding Melbourne, by creative director/art director Scott Lambert, copywriter Mark Ringer and agency producer Mandi Wright. The animated ad was directed by Michael Cusack at Anifex, with director of photography/producer Richard Chataway.[52]

In 2006-04-20, American Honda and its ad agency RPA launched the all-new small car, the Honda Fit, with six 5-second and two 30-second TV ads, with the slogan 'The Fit Is Go'.[53]

In 2008-09-24, RPA (Rubin Postaer and Associates) announced it had started a national advertising campaign for Honda Fit, beginning Sept. 29. The list of ads include "Mecha-Mosquitoes,"[54] (broke 9/21) "Defense Mechanism"[55] (breaks 10/2) and "Bats"[56] (breaks 9/28), produced by Digital Domain. As part of the campaign, the vehicle also appeared in Gossip Girl, 90210, America’s Next Top Model, Smallville and Everybody Hates Chris. Print ads "Gas Hogs" and "Cavernous" will be featured in popular magazines. A dedicated marketing site, http://fit.honda.com/ , was built to communicate top product features through games and interactive experiences.[57] The campaign continued the 'The Fit Is Go' slogan. The TV ads editor was Michael Heldman at Spot Welders, Santa Monica, with producer Lisa English; sound was designed by Eddie Kim at 740 Sound Design, Santa Monica; audio post production was mixed by Loren Silber at Lime Studios, Santa Monica; music was composed by Jonathan Elias and David Wittman at Elias Arts, Santa Monica with producer Ann Haugen.[58]

Recall

In January 2010, Honda announced a recall of 646,000 Fit hatchbacks from 2007-2008 due to a window switch that could catch fire.[59][60]

Honda announced another safety recall on a specific model on January 29, 2010. Honda recalls all 2007 and 2008 models of Honda Jazz or Fit due to window switch defect. This is a separate case from the Honda Recall in August 2009 that was made on Civic and Accord models 2001-02 due to airbag defects. According to the vehicle manufacturing company’s press release, this January 2010 Honda recall affects the Fit or Jazz model only.

The Honda recall of Fit or Jazz 2007-08 models is effective immediately worldwide. The recall affects Honda Jazz or Honda Fit models built in Brazil, China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand with approximately 646,000 car sales. In the United Kingdom alone, more than 171,300 Honda Jazz compact cars will be recalled as a protocol although no window malfunction reports were received in the place.

This January 2010 Honda recall of Honda Fit or Jazz is to promote safety of both drivers and passengers of this car model. It was conducted as the company received reports of window switch malfunctions. The master window switch on the driver’s door can malfunction due to exposure of heavy rain or due to overheating circuit boards that are fire hazards.

To address the issue, all Honda recalled cars will be fitted with a waterproof skirt to prevent further water entry. Honda will also be replacing malfunctioning and worn-off window switches but not all recalled cars are entitled for window switch replacement.

Honda is currently making contacts to reach approximately 646,000 car owners of the said model. Like the January 2010 Toyota Recall, this Honda Jazz or Fit recall of window switches is now being conducted worldwide and the Honda offers the change of affected parts free of charge.

Awards and recognition

See also

References

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  50. ^ >American Honda December Sales
  51. ^ >American Honda December Sales
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