Honda’s new minicar has been on sale in Japan since the fall, and it reaches our shores later this year with a smaller footprint and a larger interior. The Fit has been wildly popular since its introduction, which is unusual for a car of this size in the U.S. (think of the general disdain directed at the Chevrolet Aveo, which deserves it, and the Toyota Yaris, which doesn’t really), and the next-generation model builds on that popularity and happy attitude.
The new Fit is slightly shorter, believe it or not, but clever interior packaging has increased interior room, especially for rear-seat passengers. The rear seats fold flat to provide an amazing 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and the Fit’s tall roof means that surprisingly large objects can be stowed inside. Interior materials are improved, and standard features include Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. A seven-inch touchscreen with audio display and smartphone-based navigation is also available. Honda also includes integration with the iPhone’s Siri personal-assistant system.
A new 1.5 liter direct-injection four-cylinder is standard, and bumps horsepower by 13 for a total of 130. A continuously variable automatic transmission is also available. With the CVT, the new Fit returns 33/41 fuel economy.
The Fit was already reasonably fun to drive compared to some of its peers, but Honda has redone the front and rear suspensions and stiffened the body for better responsiveness.
The new Fit goes on sale this spring. Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date.