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The Honda Jazz is loved by many, especially those Baby Boomers who know and love good quality. Over the years, the Honda brand has felt the pressure to remain price competitive – in an increasingly competitive market. As a result, the outgoing Jazz wasn’t as Jazzy as I had previously experienced.
Moving forward, the Jazz is out, and Honda introduces the all-new FIT range in the South African market.
I’m personally glad. The FIT is vast improvement over the outgoing JAZZ.
When designing and developing the latest generation FIT, Honda engineers took the bold step of completely reimagining the model from the ground up. In the process, they conceived an all-new city car that combines exceptional efficiency with outstanding everyday usability, ready to meet the needs of modern consumers. Love it or not, it is unique and very nicely built.
Step inside and you are welcomed by a minimalist interior that wraps utility, practicality and functionality in a simple, uncluttered ergonomic cabin. To introduce the car’s pleasing utility, durable materials and contemporary, soft-touch dashboard materials are applied throughout the cabin.
The uncluttered, user-focused dashboard incorporates a slim instrument panel that sweeps horizontally across the cabin. The deletion of the dashboard visor further reflects the key focus on driver visibility, enhancing the sense of exceptional spaciousness. There is a user-friendly 9-inch touchscreen (standard on Elegance and Executive grades) plus a 7-inch full TFT instrument cluster which is standard across the range and easy to read. The comprehensive suite of in-built apps can be supplemented by smartphone mirroring, enabled by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with the latter available via wireless connection.
The cabin feels light and bright thanks to the unique sloping windscreen and thin A-pillars that make for a vast view of the front and side of the car. The luggage capacity (with rear seats up) starts from 309 litres (298 for HEV) and increases to an impressive 1210 litres to the roof with the rear seats down (1199 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 packaging and overall design also permits a wider tailgate opening and new stepless flat floor that makes loading and unloading the boot easier than ever.
The FIT carries the bragging rights of class-leading rear leg space of 986mm, while an increase of 24mm in seat padding thickness also adds to the enhanced comfort levels.
The base FIT petrol models are equipped with Honda’s new 1.5-litre petrol engine generating 89kW/145Nm. Fuel consumption figure are a claimed 5.5L/100km albeit I got a figure around 6.7L/100km over a week of city driving.
The flagship model – e:HEV system is newly developed for the FIT. It consists of two compact, powerful electric motors connected to a 1.5-litre petrol engine, a lithium-ion battery and an innovative fixed-gear transmission via an intelligent power control unit.
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. Honda claims its fuel-efficient hybrid system returns a fuel economy figure of just 3.7L/100km.
The FIT Hybrid is equipped with a newly developed Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (e-CVT) with a single fixed-gear ratio to create a direct connection between moving components.
Passive safety is as important to Honda as active safety to protect occupants in the event of an accident. FIT owners and occupants are protected by six airbags, comprising front, side and curtain SRS airbags. Additionally, the FIT features Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation and Auto High-Beam, all of which are traditionally found on pricier vehicles.
30% more expensive than the outgoing Jazz, the FIT is now priced to compete within another class. No longer a budget-friendly city hatch, the FIT carries a sophistication above its competition in terms of technology. The question asks: will customers pay the price premium? Will they rather buy the hatch over the trend crossover? Sales will tell. I’m impressed and happy with what Honda presents.
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
Service and Warranty
The Honda FIT range comes standard with Honda’s five-year/200 000 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.
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