MotoringReviews

Honda has a compact hatchback to Fit

The compact hatch remains popular in Mzansi, even today in an era when SUVs tend to get first preference.

This is why Honda recently had us down in the Western Cape to sample its new Fit compact hatchback that replaces the popular Jazz model.

The new Honda Fit launches in South Africa in three trim levels; Comfort, Elegance and Executive. We spent some time at the helm of the Executive and Hybrid models.

Although the Honda Fit might not appeal to certain customers simply because it takes a few glances to actually get used to its looks, there is nothing wrong with the styling and design tweaks.  

The Honda Fit can be had in 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 the existing line-up colours which include Platinum White (Pearl) and Lunar Silver (Metallic).

Inside, the Honda Fit is an impressive all-around compact hatch with a minimalistic interior of good quality. There are soft-touch materials on the dashboard and door panels, while the levels of tech remain at acceptable levels. Our test units were fitted with a standard seven-inch full-TFT instrument cluster, plus a nine-inch touchscreen that was simple to use. The system allows Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone projection, and boasts two USB ports in the front.

The Honda Fit is comfortable inside and has class-leading interior space. Its boot space is measured at 309 litres with the rear seats up and 1 210 with the rear seats folded – the HEV variant has a slightly smaller boot space at 298 and 1 199 litres respectively. Also, the Honda Fit benefits from what Honda calls 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.

Powering the entire range is a 1.5-litre DOHC petrol engine borrowed from the Ballade with 89kW of power and 145Nm of torque. Honda claims this non-hybrid unit will return 5,5 litres/100km, however, during our test stint, the numbers would hover around the 6,1 litres/100 km mark. We also sampled the Fit Hybrid model at the launch. This model features a battery and an electric motor with a combined power output of 80kW and 253Nm.

Both engines spawn a CVT transmission that behaves relatively well until you plummet your right foot with intent. The transmission would go gear hunting while the engine would rev incredibly higher – something that has a negative effect on the fuel consumption.

On the road, CVTs for most cars do now work and the one fitted in the Honda Fit is no exception.

However, the Fit behaved well on the open road during the launch. It is comfortable and the overall build quality leaves less to complain about. Safety comes courtesy of premium active and passive safety technologies such as six airbags, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation and Auto High Beam.

The Fit Hybrid model is equipped with enhanced Honda Sensing active safety technology that incorporates a newly developed, wider-angle, higher definition front camera, able to detect a more comprehensive range of road surfaces and traffic characteristics, including enhanced night-time operation.

Pricing

• 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.

* The Fit Hybrid is available from October 2021. For additional peace of mind, the Honda Fit range comes standard with Honda’s five-year/200 000km warranty, as well as a four-year/60 000km service plan with 15 000km service intervals. Customers also have the reassurance of 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.

Photos: QuickPic

Matthys Ferreira

Served in SAPS for 22 years - specialised in forensic and crime scene investigation and forensic photography. A stint in photographic sales and management followed. Been the motoring editor at Lowveld Media since 2007. "A petrol head I am not but I am good at what I do".
 
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