January 24, 2014 00:00 By Agence France-Presse Detroit
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.