2009 Honda Fit (732)

This week we’re looking at the 2009 Honda Fit redesigned for this model year and is powered by a new 117-horsepower 1.5-liter that is more powerful than the previous version and achieves better fuel economy, rated at 28/35 mpg city/hwy for either the base trim or the Sport with either manual or automatic transmission.

Not my favorite look in a car, but Ferrari costs a few bucks more and I don’t want to part with another $100,000 just to go to the store.

General Info:

Parts – Japan 100%.

Assembly – Suzuka, Mie, Japan

Class:  – Small Wagons

Cars: – Accord, Accord Hybrid, Civic, Civic Hybrid, CR-V, Element, Fit, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, S2000.


I asked Cal Trans, “Why are Northern California HOV lanes operated differently than Southern California?” The reason for my question is that drivers in LA want to know why HOV lanes can’t be used by all during off peak hour traffic times on ALL freeways. For example the 14 freeway HOV lane from the I-5 to Palmdale north east operates only between the hours of 5AM to 9 AM going west to the I-5 and 3 PM to 7 PM each day going East from the I-5, and not at all on weekends and holidays. Well, Hello! Makes total sense to me but then here’s the politically correct answer from the Department of Transportation: “The DOT and its partners strive to achieve uniform operation as much as possible. Recognizably, freeway commute patterns differ widely throughout the state. During the 1980.s and early 1990.s, studies were conducted to determine the most efficient means of operating and configuring HOV lane facilities. Studies concluded and demonstration projects have shown that full-time operations, given many hours of congestion (typically between six to eleven hours) with short off-peak hours, provided greater benefits in relieving the rate of congestion, providing rideshare incentives, and making enforcement easier. Further, by restricting access entrances and exits, HOV users consistently benefited with greater overall speeds, which translated to greater time savings per trip. This is why areas that experience lengthy periods of congestion with short off-peak traffic hours typically operate as full-time HOV facilities with restricted access. The metropolitan areas of Southern California often meet and exceed these basic traffic characteristics warranting full-time HOV operations”.

Ok, so the short version is we want to force (encourage) use of the HOV lanes so they justified the study by saying traffic moves faster by keeping the lane HOV only ALL the time.

Handling & Performance:

I averaged 36.5 mpg and that was a nice break with gas prices hovering around $5.00 a gallon in California and most of America. Since it is sure to go back up to world levels even here in America, plan ahead and get into a fuel efficient car while prices are low.


Most folks I spoke with about the car were dispassionate about it noting it was unattractive. Hey, they didn’t have to worry about offending me – I rather agree this is like the homely girl next door. But they end up being the best friends and look after you like a sister. Anyway, I have to say it isn’t so different from the 1960s when the VW Bug was thought of in the same way. But it turned out to be an Icon of the 20th Century. This genre of car in the 21st Century is ever more acceptable and this Fit and the Smart Car from Mercedes Benz take the concept of homely cars to the extreme. Function over Form is finally acceptable even in the midst of extravagant luxury cars and other gas hog SUV’s.

Fit and Finish:

Typically Honda quality even for a pea popper model.


A little pricey for a small car, but the Honda Badge allows for a small premium in price because of the good name it has earned over the years. And considering the work ethic of the oriental car makers and old fashioned attitude of all its workers the cost to the company is about $45 an hour including benefits where the US car makers with irresponsible Unions pushing hard to “Kill” the industry in America is $75 an hour. And of course, lazy management with ‘Golden Parachute’ work agreements operate from Quarter to Quarter instead of considering the long term to make their decisions. Therefore while foreign car makers kept costs in control US companies operated like “drunken sailors on leave” without care or consideration for the future. (Yep, I was a sailor and it’s all true.)

Most people are not shy about sharing their opinions and say “fire top management, force them to sell their private jets, get rid of the mob run corrupt UAW Union by NOT giving our tax dollars to them to be squandered by inept management and corrupt union bosses.

Features and Conveniences:

Good stuff at this price point.

Consumer Recommendation:

Resource – www.safercar.gov

A lot to choose from and its deal’N time. Car companies are way down in sales and you couldn’t have picked a better time to buy. I’m looking at a used Cad CTS and the price is back of wholesale book by $5,000 or $10,000 back of retail. Buy here, buy now. You can bet the prices will go back up before you have to buy another car.

Recognized Competition:

Honda Fit $15-19,000, Volkswagen Rabbit $16-18,000, Kia Rio5 $13-14,000, Toyota Matrix $16-22,000, Pontiac Vibe $16-21,000, Scion xB $15,750, Saturn Astra $17-20,000, Chevrolet Aveo5 $12-15,000, Nissan Versa $13-16,000, Volvo C30 $24-26,000, Mazda 3 $14-21,000, Dodge Caliber $16-25,000, Chrysler PT Cruiser $18-24,000, Toyota Yaris $12-16,000, Jeep Compass $18-24,000, MINI Clubman $20-31,000, Smart fortwo $12-17,000, Subaru Impreza $17-35,000, Suzuki SX4 Sport $13-17,000, Suzuki SX4 Crossover $15-18,000.

Good News:

Small for easy driving and parking, Honda quality and very good fuel economy.

Bad News:

Pricey for the car offset by a reliable badge, rough ride and although I like to feel the road I don’t like to hear it – it’s noisier than I like.

Standard Equipment:

1.5 liter 117 hp 4 cylinder engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, front disc brakes with electronic brake distribution system, drive by wire throttle, electronic assist rack and pinion power steering, CARB Certified, 100K mile tune ups, front side and side curtain air bags, stability control, tire pressure monitoring system, remote keyless entry, security and immobilizer system, child LATCH system, Honda Navigation w/voice recognition, audio w/6 speakers, USB interface, steering wheel controls, air conditioning, tilt & telescopic steering column, 60/40 split fold flat seat, power windows & programmable door locks, cruise control, 16” alloy wheels, rear roofline spoiler, intermittent wipers with rear wiper / washer, power door mirrors & fog lights.

Gas Stats:

$2.19/ Gal avg. November 24, ‘08


For more information.

27 City and 33 Highway MPG

www.safercar.gov   or    888-327-4236


MSRP $18,760.

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