- Priced at R484 000, the new Honda FIT hybrid isn't the most affordable compact car in SA, but it certainly feels like half a million bucks from the driver's seat.
- It comes with every comfort, safety and convenience feature you could want in a vehicle.
- We averaged 5.2l/100km on a 700km journey from Jo'burg to KZN, spending less than R800 on fuel for the trip.
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Honda South Africa launched the all-new FIT luxury compact hatchback in South Africa a couple of months ago, and we have been allowed to live with this intelligent new model to see if it has what it takes to warrant its premium asking price.
Over the festive period, the model we're assessing is the range-topping hybrid-electric (E|HEV) model powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine. The petrol powerplant is augmented by an electric motor and compact lithium-ion battery pack that enables the car to run in pure electric mode. It can also use both the engine and the electrical system to propel itself for added oomph, which comes in particularly handy when overtaking.
Would you pick the Honda FIT hybrid or the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid for your dream garage in 2022? Let us know in the comments section, or please send us an email here.
We have just driven the Honda FIT hybrid down to KZN for the festive weekend, and we are pleased to report that car performed flawlessly over 700 kilometres of challenging conditions that included rain, hail, severe headwind and lots and lots of traffic.
We managed to consume a mere 5.2 litres of unleaded per 100km on this trip, just over R800 spent on fuel in total to drive from Johannesburg to Durban.
Perfectly fit for family
The FIT was powerful enough to carry all our luggage, and its climate control system worked a treat to keep the cabin at the perfect temperature as climatic conditions fluctuated during the drive. I kept the car in ECO mode for the entire drive duration, and it proved to have more than enough power and torque to maintain 120km/h without feeling strained. I expected the CVT gearbox in this car to be a weak point, but it also proved well-tuned with just the right amount of "steps" to ensure the engine doesn't sound strained when you climb on the accelerator pedal.
Seats proved comfortable front and rear, and thanks to light (not too light) steering and wonderfully honed suspension dynamics, the car felt so plush and luxurious on the road. In fact, compared to my 2012 Honda Accord 2.4i Exec, it felt like it offered a more comfortable wafting ride.
Apple CarPlay made it very easy to navigate using Waze, and we used Siri voice control to search for fun facts about the route and select music from Apple Music playlists. We really didn't feel like the car was missing any features, and in terms of safety, we were amazed at how many high-end driver assistance systems come standard in this car. Seriously, it offers semi-autonomous steering, and it will brake for you in an emergency; it even provides accurate radar-guided cruise control. Next week, I'll unpack more on the driver assistance systems and the safety system fitted to the, er, FIT.
Easy driving nature
Driving the FIT down to KZN was such a pleasure. I expected it to be suited to the city, but it's so well-suited to long road trips that it can work as one car for the family. We even managed to make good use of the limited trunk space (298 litres) carrying all our luggage, Christmas presents for the family, and, of course, we never leave home without the PlayStation and our gaming equipment.
We're looking forward to seeing how the FIT hybrid performs down at sea level over the weekend as we visit some friends and family, so we'll be resetting the trip computer to monitor fuel use. We'll also report on performance, as the car seems to be pulling harder down here thanks to the dense sea air, making it so much fun to drive.
If you're considering a FIT for your garage for 2022, I'd seriously recommend taking this hybrid for a spin if it fits in your budget. It looks smart. It feels premium. It drives like a bigger luxury car, and it's just so refreshingly light on fuel. Stay tuned for an update on our test garage Honda FIT next week, and all the best for the festive weekend to you and your family from the Wheels24 team.
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