By Khulekani Dumisa
Honda SA has launched the latest generation Fit hatchback. The Fit name might be new but the product is familiar with the local market as it was previously branded as the popular Jazz. The latter was much adored and the new Honda Fit aims to pick up where it left off. It has an ace or two up its sleeve including hybrid technology.
The new Fit range launches with four models, namely the Comfort, Elegance and Executive models available exclusively in 1.5L Petrol CVT, as well as the flagship Hybrid model available with Honda’s 1.5L i-MMD e-CVT hybrid system.
Redesigned from ground up, the Fit features a short nose, long roof line and cabin-forward style of previous generations. The front is dominated by a flat grille, new bumper and u-shaped LED head lamps. On the side, the Honda fit spots new alloys, and at the back there are visibly new LED lights and bumpers.
The colour line-up for the new Fit range includes a host of new colours including Opal White (Pearl), Crystal Red (Metallic), Meteoroid Grey (Metallic), Midnight Blue (Metallic), and Rose Gold (Metallic), in addition to existing line-up colours which include Platinum White (Pearl) and Lunar silver (Metallic).
Inside the quality cabin, there is a new dashboard which is dominate by a central HMI 9-inch touchscreen (standard on Elegance and Executive grades) and 7-inch full TFT instrument cluster which is standard across the range. The infotainment is available with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with the latter available via wireless connection.
The luggage capacity (with rear seats up) starts from 309 litres (298 for HEV) and increases to an impressive 1,210 litres (to the roof with the rear seats down) (1,199 for HEV).
Also key to maximising cabin room is the positioning of the fuel tank in the centre of the chassis beneath the front seats, which is unique in this class. This enables the FIT to retain the exceptionally versatile rear Magic Seat configuration that offers both fold-flat or flip-up seat flexibility, offering optimum versatility to accommodate cargo of various shapes and sizes.
The new Honda Fit incorporates as standard a suite of premium active and passive safety technologies designed to make driving both easier and safer. Passive safety systems include six airbags, comprising front, side and curtain SRS airbags. On the active side, Honda Fit owners have the advantage of improved Honda Sensing Technologies such as Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Auto High-Beam (AHB).
Engines and power
The new Fit catapults Honda back into the local hybrid scene.
The base Fit petrol models are equipped with Honda’s new 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC petrol engine generating a power output of 89kW and torque of 145Nm. This new 1.5-litre powertrain is more powerful and efficient than the outgoing model while returning a fuel consumption figure of just 5.5L/100km and a CO2 emission figure of 132 g/km.
Carrying Honda’s new e:HEV badge, the all-new flagship Fit Hybrid is powered by two compact, powerful electric motors connected to a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC petrol engine and a lithium-ion battery. The total output of 80kW and 253Nm of electric propulsion torque can propel the car to 100km/h in just 9.4 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 175km/h. Fuel economy figure is a claimed 3.7L/100km. Fit Hybrid is equipped with a newly-developed electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (e-CVT) with a single fixed-gear ratio.
The new Honda Fit range is priced as follows:
Fit 1.5 DOHC i-VTEC Comfort CVT R319,900
Fit 1.5 DOHC i-VTEC Elegance CVT R359,900
Fit 1.5 DOHC i-VTEC Executive CVT R389,900
Fit 1.5 DOHC i-MMD e-CVT Hybrid R469,900
Prices include Honda’s five-year/200,000 warranty, a four-year/60,000km Service Plan and three-year AA Roadside Assistance. The FIT Hybrid model comes standard with an extended eight-year/200,000km warranty specifically covering the battery and related components of the Hybrid system.
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