AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

NAIAS 2014: Honda Fit makes US debut

NAIAS 2014: Honda Fit makes US debut image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted January 14, 2014 09:35

The Fit features Earth Dreams Technology engine and transmissions for fun-to-drive performance and class-leading fuel efficiency.

The all-new 2015 Honda Fit (known as Jazz locally) was just unveiled at the North American International Auto Show for the U.S. market, following its world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show.  It is completely redesigned from the ground up to deliver an unparalleled combination of style, interior space, fun-to-drive performance and fuel efficiency plus leading-edge safety and vehicle connectivity.

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The exterior sports a sleek, modern and sporty style. It has a more aggressive front fascia showcasing a new grille and headlight design. A strong character line runs along the side of the Fit, emphasizing the vehicle's aerodynamic profile.  The rear has LED taillights that run along the hatch with a chrome tailgate garnish and rear diffuser, all contributing to the Fit's more substantial and dynamic appearance.

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The new Fit is slightly shorter (-1.6 in.) and wider (+0.3 in.) with a longer wheelbase (+1.2 in.), giving it improved handling and maneuverability. Inside, the Fit builds on its already class-leading interior space and airy cabin thanks to an all-new efficient platform that incorporates a unique center-mounted fuel-tank layout. The new Fit also delivers a significant increase in passenger volume (+4.9 cu ft) and rear legroom (+4.8 in.) compared to the previous model.

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With the Honda-exclusive Magic Seat® offering multiple configurable seating positions, the Fit provides an unrivaled 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space when the second row seats are folded flat. With an overall height of 60 inches, the Fit allows for easy loading of items into the rear cargo and ingress/egress for passengers.

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The 2015 Fit will deliver above-class interior refinement and features while offering value at every trim level. All 2015 Fit models will be equipped with class-leading standard features including Bluetooth® connectivity.

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The 2015 Fit marks the U.S. debut of an all-new direct-injected 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine. Generating 130 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 114 lb.-ft. of torque2 at 4600 rpm, engine output is increased by 13 horsepower and 8 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing engine, while reducing weight and improving efficiency. Paired to two new transmissions, a slick-shifting 6-speed manual or a sporty and fuel-efficient Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with available paddle shifters, the Fit powertrain offers superior acceleration and passing performance and is anticipated to have class-leading3 EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city/41 highway/36 combined4 (CVT-equipped models).

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Complementing the new powertrain is a revised chassis that provides for improved handling, ride comfort and NVH. A more rigid body, new rear dampers and revised suspension geometry notably enhance the 2015 Fit's ride quality and fun-to-drive handling characteristics.

The 2015 Fit benefits from the most extensive use of ultra-high strength steel in the model's history, providing increased body stiffness while reducing platform (underbody and chassis) weight by 57 pounds versus the outgoing model. Equipped with the next generation of the Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the Fit is anticipated to earn top safety scores from NHTSA and IIHS, including a NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score and a TOP SAFETY PICK rating with a GOOD rating in all IIHS test modes, including the rigorous small overlap barrier test.