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2009 Honda Fit Sport - Four Seasons Update - April 2009

Months in fleet: ThreeMiles to date: 5,564

Is it possible to get safety, utility, value, fuel economy, and perfect driving dynamics in one package? No - although our Four Seasons Honda Fit comes close.

After racking up an additional 1246 miles in April, our staff continues to find the Fit to be a bit manic on the open road, especially when the weather turns blustery. "It's funny that enthusiasts love lithe cars and frequently pine for hatchbacks," notes web editor Phil Floraday, "but the combination of light weight and a tall profile works better for sailboats than economy cars."

Indeed, the Fit's skittish nature, coupled with the lack of a sixth gear, has some of us thinking a Civic would be a better buy for those intent on tackling our nation's highway infrastructure. Others, like executive editor Joe DeMatio, think our opinion will sway now that spring has arrived in Michigan.

"Now that the weather is nice," he writes, "I suspect more people will be willing to take the Fit on slightly longer trips. As long as it's not terribly windy and the sun is shining, it's actually a pretty decent freeway car, because the huge windshield makes for such good visibility." Some argue there may be too much visibility - road test coordinator Mike Ofiara found that the headlamps of a trailing Suburban were enough to transform the rear-view mirror into a veritable disco ball at night.

We still can't sing enough praise for the Fit's packaging, and we've amazed ourselves with how much gear we can pack into the little Honda. DeMatio has perhaps set the record - heading out for a Schutzhund dog training course, he managed to squeeze a dog crate, tent, propane heater, rake, and a number of other baubles into the Fit.

Miles to Date: 5564Average MPG: 35.5 mpg

Base price (with dest. ): $16,930Price as tested: $18,780

Overview

Body Style: 4-door hatchbackAccommodation: 5-passengerConstruction: Steel unibody

Powertrain

Engine: i-VTEC 16-valve SOHC I-4Displacement: 1.5 litersPower: 117 hp @ 6600 rpmTorque: 106 lb-ft @ 4800 rpmTransmission: 5-speed manualDrive: Front-wheelFuel economy: 27/33/29 mpg (city/hwy/combined)

Chassis

Steering: Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinionTurns lock-to-lock: 2.5Turning Circle: 34.4 ftSuspension, Front: MacPherson strutSuspension, Rear: Torsion beamBrakes F/R: Power-assisted ventilated disc/drum; ABSWheels: 15-in aluminum alloyTires: Dunlop SP Sport (all-season) Tire Size: 185/55 R16 83H

Measurements

Headroom F/R: 40.4 / 39.0 inLegroom F/R: 41.3 / 34.5 inShoulder Room F/R: 52.7 / 51.3 inWheelbase: 98.4 inTrack F/R: 58.1 / 57.4 inL x W x H: 161.6 x 66.7 x 60.0 inCargo Capacity: 20.6 / 57.3 cu ft (rear/with seats folded) Weight: 2534 lbWeight Dist. F/R: 62 / 38%Fuel Capacity: 10.6 galEst. Range: 315 milesFuel Grade: 87 octane

Standard Equipment

ABSFront, side and side curtain airbagsTire pressure monitoring systemAir conditioningPower windows, locks, and remote startTilt and telescopic steering wheelTrip computerMP3 jack, USB interface

Options

None