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The New Honda FIT-Launch drive.

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We recently made a trip to a cold and wet Cape Town to meet a re-branded faithful, the  Jazz now aptly known as the Honda FIT, the Jazz name has fallen away in other markets all over the world, and it was time for the introduction to be done locally.

The new Honda FIT does not move too far away from the beloved Jazz in terms of design, the silhouette flow is stunning and still maintains those adored looks, which is what we have come to expect from Honda. The front end boasts daytime running lights with an elegant design cues. The front bumper is bold thanks to split valances and a Honda logo placed perfectly smack in the middle.  The side profile is enhanced by an array of new wheel designs based on the derivative one would chose when making the purchase , I will confirm the wheels do look mighty fine. Colour –coded door handles , a high shoulder line , and a chrome strip at the bottom of both doors round off the good looks. The rear profile benefits from a chrome strip across the boot lid, darkened LED tail lights and light oval rear view window. It is very easy on the eye, and the selection of colours add more bliss to that.

The INTERIOR is where this car this car impressed me most, the theme for the interior is driven by all round visibility, pillars allow for an flowing airy feel and safety. The dash is lower for a more spaciously driven design, the 2 point retro design steering is another welcome piece, the centre console flow is user friendly and has purpose. The cluster is refreshing with a new design, the placing of all controls looked quite convenient and user friendly.  Space is in abundance within the cabin as we experienced with my driving partner, both us are big chaps and we had no real issues in the FIT.

The DRIVE , the FIT was launched in 2 engine derivatives, the 1.5L DOHC iVTEC mated to a CVT gearbox and 1.5L Hybrid also with a CVT box , the normally aspirated 1.5L generates 89kw of power and 145nm of torque while the hybrid generates a combined 80kw and 253nm of torque. Both cars  feel undoubtedly Honda in ride quality, I say this because they don’t feel any less than what I have come to expect from the brand. The ride quality is sublime, comfort is not compromised, wind noise is minimal at worst as we drove through some serious weather conditions in Cape Town. Handling was another impressive aspect worth mentioning , the route was great for sampling  a number of issues and tick them away ,both engines proved their metal with ease, the hybrid proved more rewarding  in the way of consumption  thanks to impressive technology that generates power back to the batteries. While it’s ICE counterpart found difficulty getting close to claimed figures, then again it is rather pointless to expect such on launch drive, they are always rushed, the Hybrid was more frugal.

Both units launched are set to continue to please the Honda loyalists, especially with the new added safety features ie, Collision Mitigation braking system, this is quite a developed feature which combines sighting pedestrians and cyclists in low lit areas, this also brakes the car in the case of the vehicle going towards oncoming  traffic.  Adaptive cruise control which can follow traffic at a  set speed via cruise control and monitors using sensors and a front placed camera, lane departure warning  which works with detecting lanes on the road, Road departure mitigation which keep the car from straying off the road.

The Honda FIT and FIT Hybrid enters a very competitive market and one that is steered towards SUVs currently, with pricing from R319 900 for the entry 1.5L Comfort  CVT to R469 900 for the CVT Hybrid, its steep by any measure , when all is said and done though, I do approve the FIT I would recommend the mid range Elegance at R359 900, that makes sense for me.

All Honda FIT models are backed by a 4year/60 000km Service plan , and a 5year/200 000km warranty.

Thanks to Honda South Africa for hosting us in wet and cold Cape Town.

Yours in Motoring

Wezile Lorenzio Bonani

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