The Nation



A generous Fit inside Honda's small car

It's still small, but Honda has found ways to make more room inside its popular Fit while adding some pizzazz to the front and high-end amenities in a new model presented on Monday.

One of the most anticipated introductions at the Detroit Auto Show, the new Fit - which will be sold in Thailand under the name K+Jazz later this year - is technically a tad shorter and wider, but the gains of inside legroom make it feel like a much more generous mid-sized saloon.

Honda boosted horsepower by 13 to 130, hoping to address criticism that the vehicle is underpowered. It now comes with an all-new direct-injected 1.5-litre DOHC engine that Honda says elevates gas mileage to 17 kilometers per litre on the highway and makes for a smoother ride.

"The Honda Fit is a small car with big aspirations. Faster, more fuel-efficient and more fun, it's a subcompact with larger-than-life-capabilities," said John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for American Honda Motor.

Some high-end Honda model amenities have also migrated to the 2015 Fit. They include improved smartphone connectivity to the 7-inch touchscreen monitor, and the Lane Watch technology, which allows the driver to see through right-side (left side for vehicles in Thailand) blind spots on the monitor. It also comes with Bluetooth capability, a back-up camera and, as an option, leather seats for the first time.

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