SHARP TURNS – A hatchback worth another look

2013-07-12T00:00:00Z SHARP TURNS – A hatchback worth another lookMATT SHARP Auto Columnist nwitimes.com
July 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I know I have said before that I don’t like hatchbacks very much, but I am going to contradict myself here and make an exception. The new Honda Fit has enough outstanding features to make it a high caliber choice for a new car. Plus there are a few pros that I personally see in having a hatchback, which I will get to.

At first glance, you are most likely going to notice the curves of the hood that gracefully take you to the signature grille. Automobiles.honda.com describes the outside of the Honda Fit Sport as “having fast looks and slick style. From the rear roofline spoiler to its aero-zealous face and fog lights, this swift metro acrobat is a certified extrovert. The Fit Sport also rocks machine-finished, 16-inch alloy wheels cementing its status in the world of high style.”

Although I have not personally driven a Honda Fit, I would really love to have the chance. One of the biggest reasons why I want to is because of the Race-Inspired Paddle Shifters on the steering wheel. It is a new exciting way to shift gears; all you do is tap one side to shift up and the other side to shift down. Also on this jam-packed steering wheel are many controls such as radio volume, station control, and cruise control. If you have seen the movie “Transformers” then you will know what I am talking about when I say that the Fit can be just about anything. Whether you like to travel with people, or if you like to travel with your belongings, the Fit has it all. The back seats can stay upright to comfortably sit 3, or all of the seats, except the drivers seat of course, fold down to store just about anything. You can also fold up the back seats to help keep taller items in place. Speaking of storage, the Fit has a total of 10 beverage holders to hold just about every beverage you can think of, and it also has an upper and lower glove compartment. Not to mention the Fit has secret storage where you fold up the rear Magic Seat to reveal a cleverly hidden storage compartment for stowing and concealing. That means no more hiding valuables under the seat or forgetting them on the seat in plain view. With the Fit you do not have to worry about your view. Front visibility is maximized with thin A-pillar, flat-blade windshield wipers and large triangular mini-windows located on either side. In between those two paddle shifters I talked about is a glowing instrument panel, which features a multi-information display that provides a digital odometer and Maintenance Minder system. You have more then one display in the Fit—there is a navigation screen that is voice activated, and can suggest over 10 million points of interest. The display can also be used for audio, to simply choose a radio station or search through your iPod or MP3 player.

The 1.5-liter, 16-valve i-VTEC engine gives the Fit a generous amount of horsepower in relation to its size and impressive fuel efficiency. One hundred six-pound-feet of torque at low 4800-rpm means drivers can enjoy quick acceleration, creating a comfortable driving experience. Also to help enhance the driving character of the Fit Honda put in Drive-by-Wire Throttle System that connects the throttle pedal to the throttle butterfly valve in the intake manifold to help the engine respond faster in different driving conditions.

The Fit’s safety is solid all the way through, from the 3-point seat belts to the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure. The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure is a Honda-exclusive body design that enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. The ACE™ design utilizes a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash. Just like all Honda’s you will feel more then safe behind the wheel.

The Fit will not make your wallet too thin. It starts out at about $16,000 and the Fit Sport model with all the bells and whistles is about $20,000.

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