Sold in Japan since 2001 as the Jazz, the subcompact Honda Fit arrived in the United States for the 2007 model year. On a wheelbase nearly 10 inches shorter than a Civic Sedan, the Honda Fits five-door hatchback provided was well-received by customers seeking a budget-friendly approach to the brand popular for reliability.
The 2007 introduction of the subcompact car featured a high efficiency, fuel-sipping 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Generating 109 horsepower, the powerplant could be paired with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the 2007 Fit was rated at 33 miles per gallon city or 38 miles per gallon highway with a five-speed manual transmission.
Anti-lock brakes, side airbags and power windows were some of the surprisingly generous level of standard equipment found on the 2007 Fit. In addition to the base 2007 Honda Fit, the subcompact car was also available in the perkier Fit Sport model. One notable addition to the Honda Fit Sport is the use of paddle shifters with the automatic gearbox.
For 2009, the Fit received a complete remodel that lengthened the wheelbase and greater engine power. The 2009 Honda Fits engine output was increased to 117 horsepower while average fuel economy continued to be roughly 30 miles per gallon. The enlarged wheelbase of the Fit allowed for greater passenger room for up to five occupants. In the second-row, so-called Magic Seat can be configured to multiple arrangements for up to 57.3 cubic feet of cargo room.
Undergoing only minor changes between 2009 and 2014, a new generation Honda Fit debuted for the 2015 model year. Completely restyled on a stronger but lighter structure, the 2015 Honda Fit is powered by a direct-injected four-cylinder combined with either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission.