2009 Honda Civic Hybrid vs. 2009 Honda Fit Sport Comparison Test

2009 Honda Fit Hatchback

(1.5L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)
  • 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid vs. 2009 Honda Fit Sport Comparison Test Video

    Watch the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid vs. 2009 Honda Fit Sport Comparison Test Video on Edmunds' Inside Line | September 25, 2009

1 Video , 24 Photos

  • Comparison Test
  • Top 9 Features
  • Data and Charts
  • Editors' Evaluations
  • Final Rankings and Scoring Explanation
  • Second Opinion
  • 2009 Honda Fit Specs and Performance
  • 2009 Honda Civic Specs and Performance

They're not fast, they don't corner hard and they're certainly not the most pulse-quickening cars we've ever tested at Inside Line. But if fuel-efficiency and utility are priority items in your next car purchase, then the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid and 2009 Honda Fit Sport are unbelievable machines.

Combining economic operation and utility like few other cars sold today, either of these Hondas is a responsible choice for the buyer looking to save fuel, minimize emissions and haul the family. Each has its own unique qualities — important distinctions that can't be overlooked.

The question, then, is which is the better car? To figure it out, for two weeks we used the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid and the 2009 Honda Fit as they're designed to be used. We drove them to work, loaded our families in them, packed our groceries in them and took them to the track to measure their performance. We argued the merits of the Civic's superb fuel economy vs. the Fit's exceptional utility.

In doing so, we designed this test to suit the priorities of a buyer looking for reasonably priced utilitarian transportation. Accordingly, fuel economy and price make up the majority of each car's total score at 25 percent each. Performance, feature content and our 29-point evaluation score make up 15 percent each, while editors' personal and recommended picks combine for the remaining 5 percent.

The Distinctions
Both our test cars represent the very top of their respective model lines. In other words, you can't buy a more expensive Fit or Civic.

Our 2009 Honda Fit Sport test car included the new-for-2009 five-speed automatic transmission, which complements the Fit's 1.5-liter inline-4 engine rated at 117 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. Including Honda's voice-recognition navigation system brings the Fit Sport's cost to $19,430 including destination.

The hybrid powertrain isn't the only feature jacking up the Civic's price. This car also has been equipped with a navigation system and leather seats, which pushed its sticker (including destination) to $27,420 — nearly an $8,000 premium beyond the Fit Sport. The combined power rating of its 1.3-liter, inline-4 gasoline engine and 20-kilowatt electric motor is 110 hp and 123 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable transmission puts power to the ground.

If it's air emissions you're concerned with, the Civic is EPA-certified as a Tier 2, Bin 2 polluter, while the Fit earns a Tier 2, Bin 5 rating. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) classifies the Civic as an AT-PZEV and the Fit as a ULEV2. In case you're not familiar with the alphabet soup of emissions ratings, this means that the Civic emits roughly as many pollutants while running for a week as a 1976 Chevy Beauville Van does leaking oil in your driveway for a day. And the Fit emits only a little more.

Both cars are fitted with front, side and curtain airbags; stability control; and antilock brakes.

Living With Them
Unlike the Toyota Prius, the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid manages to look and act like a normal car. There's a conventional key to start the engine, and a conventional shifter. Short of its goofy wheels, there's very little giveaway visually that this is a hybrid. Start driving, however, and it's clear this is no normal car. Its electric-assisted power steering lacks the feel and response of a conventional Civic and it quickly becomes obvious that handling hasn't been a priority in the tuning of its chassis. If, like most hybrid owners, you're not one to be engaged by the way a car feels when you drive it, then there's little here to dislike.

Here's something funny. Jump out of a Civic Hybrid and into a Fit and you'll swear you're driving a sports car — even with the automatic tranny. The Fit's shift paddles on the steering wheel allow you to downshift for a corner and exercise precise control over engine braking — the Civic can't manage either of these tasks. There's better steering feel, a more responsive powertrain and relatively engaging handling in the Fit as well. Bottom line: It's a hell of a lot more fun.

But your extra money does get you more than a hybrid powertrain in the Civic. Its leather-upholstered seats and automatic climate control are worthwhile amenities that aren't available in the Fit. Plus, it's a just a nicer car, without the noticeable evidence of cost-cutting that's easy to find in the Fit.

Reality
The truth is, if you're willing to overlook the Civic's awkward control feel and miserably slow acceleration, both of these cars will serve you well for daily commuting and family hauling, which is really what they're for.

But you don't have to look far to realize how much more practical the 2009 Honda Fit is when it comes to moving cargo. Even with its rear seats in the upright position, it offers almost twice as much cargo space as the Civic (20.6 cubic feet vs. 10.4 cubic feet). Fold those seats flat and cargo volume expands to a massive 57.3 cubic feet. Plus, the Civic simply can't compete with the Fit's flexibility when it comes to configuring the cargo area.

With the ability to raise its split-folding seat bottoms against their seatbacks, the Fit is unmatched in this aspect of utility. The Civic, meanwhile, lacks even a simple pass-through into the trunk because its battery pack is in the way.

Fuel Consumption
We measured fuel economy using two sets of criteria. First, we performed a test in which both cars were driven twice in controlled conditions — one highway route totaling 83 miles and two city loops totaling 180 miles. Driving the cars together and using the same driving style and similar speeds ensured equal conditions for both cars. Air-conditioning was used during city testing and one driver refueled both cars at the same pump using the same fill technique.

We use the EPA's combined fuel economy number for fuel economy scoring in this test, but offer our own test results to demonstrate how each car performed in various conditions with our editors behind the wheel.

Not surprisingly, the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid easily won every fuel consumption test. It earned an average of 45.7 mpg in our controlled tests — 48.7 mpg in the city and 40.4 mpg on the highway. The Fit, however, was still respectable. It produced a 32.8 mpg average — 32.9 mpg city and 32.7 mpg highway.

Second, we calculated observed fuel economy over our entire time with each car, just as we do in all our comparison tests. Though this data isn't gathered in controlled conditions, it provides a useful idea of the fuel economy each car is likely to produce in the hands of the average driver during everyday driving. The Civic Hybrid again proved superior by squeezing an impressive 36.1 miles from every gallon of fuel. The Fit averaged 29.2 mpg in everyday use.

At the Track
There's no question that both these cars are more impressive when it comes to saving fuel than they are when it comes to conquering a drag strip. Still, even fuel misers like these are expected to operate in environments that require quick acceleration and reasonable agility, so our track tests are telling.

The 2009 Honda Fit ruled our performance tests like Garry Kasparov would dominate Jenny McCarthy in a chess match. Its 11.0-second 0-60 time (10.7 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) might seem slow until you notice that 13.5 seconds (13.1 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) are required for the Civic Hybrid to achieve the same velocity. The story is the same in the quarter-mile, where the Fit's 17.9-second pass at 75.7 mph embarrasses the Civic's effort of 19.3 seconds at 72.5 mph.

The story that those numbers don't tell is the influence a 19-second quarter-mile time has on your driving style. Truth is, this is slow enough that it requires some compensation when you're merging onto freeways. Mostly, this just means being patient — something most drivers in Los Angeles have long since forgotten. We found the Civic's acceleration too slow in many instances. Even when we were patient, others weren't.

Despite its beam-type rear suspension, the Fit showed the independently suspended Civic its taillights in our handling tests. Clearly, this is a tuning issue, since the Civic's platform is fundamentally superior. The Fit pushed through the slalom at 67.8 mph vs. the Civic's 64.1-mph pass. Lateral grip, too, proves to be in the Fit's favor at 0.77g vs. the Civic's 0.72g performance.

The Fit's 134-foot stopping performance from 60 mph won't break any records, but it is 6 feet shorter than the Civic's 140 feet. As with most hybrids, the Civic's brake feel proves awkward and lacks consistency because of the problematic transition from regenerative braking to mechanical braking.

Cost vs. Benefit
Here's the real rub with most hybrids. In most cases, the added cost of the hybrid powertrain makes them prohibitively expensive relative to their conventional rivals. This is exactly the case here.

Sure, the Civic is more fuel-efficient. Using our combined fuel economy figures (36.1 mpg Civic/29.2 mpg Fit) and a rate of 15,000 miles of annual driving, it's clear that the Civic Hybrid will consume 98 gallons of fuel fewer than the Fit in one year. But once you calculate the current average U.S. fuel cost, it's clear that it will take almost 26 years to make up the price difference between the two cars with the savings in fuel costs alone. That's a hard sell for any hybrid.

Another consideration with any hybrid is the cost of replacing its batteries. We don't see this as a big risk with the Civic, since Honda stands behind the hybrid components with a standard eight-year/80,000-mile warranty, which, in states following California emissions standards, will extend to 10 years or 150,000 miles. Even so, replacing the batteries will cost about $2,000.

The 2009 Honda Fit wins this comparison test primarily because it offers 80 percent of the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid's fuel economy at 70 percent of its cost. The Fit also happens to provide equal passenger space, far more cargo capacity and much better flexibility in the kind of cargo it will carry. In a game of fuel consumption and utility, the 2009 Honda Fit is the obvious choice. And while it might not quicken your pulse like some cars we test, it has a rare combination of efficiency and function that easily beats the Civic.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Feature content is a factor that can make or break a purchase decision for many buyers. This is particularly true in a comparison like this, where there's a significant cost difference between the contenders. Features help illustrate what you get for your extra money. We picked features that we think will be important to the average buyer in the segment.

Features

Features
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 2009 Honda Fit Sport
Automatic climate control S N/A
Bluetooth link S N/A
Configurable cargo area N/A S
Floor mats S N/A
Four-wheel disc brakes S N/A
Heated front seats S N/A
Hybrid powertrain S N/A
Leather seats S N/A
Manual transmission control N/A S

Key:
S: Standard
O: Optional
N/A: Not Available

Automatic climate control: For some buyers, never needing to turn a knob to adjust the temperature matters. For others, it's less important. Either way, it's standard on the Civic and not available on the Fit.

Bluetooth link: With the proliferation of laws against the use of handheld cell phones while driving, Bluetooth technology is a must-have feature. It's standard on the Civic and not available on the Fit.

Configurable cargo area: The ability to carry cargo of all shapes and sizes is crucial to those who only own one vehicle. The Fit's clever rear seats can do it all. The Civic, however, lacks even a trunk pass-through.

Floor mats: These are optional for almost every car because there are commonly several styles of floor mats from which to choose, but our Fit didn't even have them. They are standard on the Civic.

Four-wheel disc brakes: Disc brakes offer better heat dissipation and more consistent performance than drums. This is an important advantage on a long descent. The Civic's four-wheel discs are superior to the Fit's front disc/rear drum setup.

Heated front seats: Let's face it. Nobody enjoys sitting on a cold car seat when it's below freezing outside — especially if that seat is leather. Heated seats are standard on the Civic.

Hybrid powertrain: If fuel consumption is your primary goal, then the Civic's hybrid powertrain is a critical feature you won't get in the Fit.

Leather seats: Once considered a luxury amenity, leather-upholstered seats are more durable and easier to clean than cloth. They're standard on the Civic.

Manual transmission control: Manual control over gear selection allows drivers to better manage many driving situations — like when holding a gear for acceleration or engine braking while decelerating are necessary. The Civic's CVT doesn't allow this type of control. It's standard on our Fit test car.

Dimensions
Engine & Transmission Specifications
Warranty Information
Performance Information
Safety Information


Dimensions

Exterior Dimensions & Capacities
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 2009 Honda Fit Sport
Length, in. 177.3 161.6
Width, in. 69.0 66.7
Height, in. 56.3 60.0
Wheelbase, in. 106.3 98.4
Manufacturer Curb Weight, lb. 2,877 2,615
As-tested weight, lb. 2,896 2,600
Turning Circle, ft. 34.8 34.4
Tire size 195/65R15 89S 185/55R16 83H
Wheel type Alloy Alloy
Interior Dimensions
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 2009 Honda Fit Sport
Front headroom, in. 39.4 40.4
Rear headroom, in. 37.4 39.0
Front shoulder room, in. 53.6 52.7
Rear shoulder room, in. 52.3 51.3
Front legroom, in. 42.2 41.3
Rear legroom, in. 34.6 34.5
EPA Cargo Volume, seats up/seats down, cu-ft. 10.4 20.6/57.3

Engine & Transmission Specifications

Engine & Transmission
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 2009 Honda Fit Sport
Displacement
(cc / cu-in):
1,300 (79) 1,500 (92)
Engine Type Inline-4 Inline-4
Horsepower (SAE) @ rpm 110 @ 6,000 117 @ 6,600
Max. Torque, lb-ft @ rpm 123 lb-ft @ 1,000 106 lb-ft @ 4,800
Transmission Continuously variable 5-speed automatic
EPA Fuel Economy City, mpg 40.0 27.0
EPA Fuel Economy Hwy, mpg 45.0 33.0
Observed Fuel Economy Edmunds combined, mpg 36.1 29.2
Fuel tank capacity, gal. 12.4 10.6

Warranty

Warranty Information
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 2009 Honda Fit Sport
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain 5 years/60,000 miles -- Hybrid components 8 years/80,000 miles 6 years/60,000 miles
Roadside Assistance Not available Not available
Corrosion Protection 5 years/Unlimited miles 5 years/Unlimited miles

Performance

Performance Information
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 2009 Honda Fit Sport
0-60 mph acceleration, sec. 13.5 11.0
Quarter-mile acceleration, sec. 19.3 17.9
Quarter-mile speed, mph 72.5 75.7
60-0-mph braking, feet 140 135
Lateral Acceleration, g 0.72 0.77
600-ft slalom, mph 64.1 67.8

Safety

Safety Information
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 2009 Honda Fit Sport
Front airbags Standard Standard
Side airbags Standard dual front Standard dual front
Head airbags Standard Standard front and rear
Antilock brakes Standard 4-wheel ABS
Traction control Standard Standard
Stability control Standard Standard (on Fot Sport with Nav only)
Tire pressure monitoring Direct pressure monitoring Direct pressure monitoring
NHTSA frontal crash, driver 5 stars Being researched
NHTSA frontal crash, passenger 5 stars Being researched
NHTSA side crash, driver 4 stars Being researched
NHTSA side crash, passenger 4 stars Being researched
NHTSA rollover resistance 4 stars Being researched
IIHS offset crash Good Being researched

Evaluation - Drive
Evaluation - Ride
Evaluation - Design
Evaluation - Function


Evaluation - Drive

Overall Dynamics
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.3 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.8 1
Engine Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.0 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.5 1
Transmission Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.3 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.8 1
Brake Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.3 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.0 1
Steering Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.8 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.0 1
Handling
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.3 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.3 1
Fun to Drive
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.3 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.5 1

Evaluation - Ride/h2>
Overall Comfort
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.8 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.2 2
Ride Comfort
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.0 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.3 2
Wind Noise
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.3 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.0 2
Road Noise
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.3 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.0 2
Front Seat Comfort/Space/Access
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.0 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.3 2
Rear Seat Comfort/Space/Access
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.3 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.5 2
Driving Position
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.3 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.3 2

Evaluation - Design

Overall Design & Build Quality
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.7 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.9 1
Exterior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.0 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.5 1
Interior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.8 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.8 1
Interior Materials
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.5 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.5 2
Interior Control Tactile Feel
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.0 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.8 2
Squeaks & Rattles
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.5 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.5 1
Panel Fitment & Gaps
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.5 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.5 1

Evaluation - Function

Overall Function
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.6 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.1 1
Headlamp Illumination
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.0 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.0 1
Visibility
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.3 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.5 1
Instrument Panel (IP) Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.3 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.3 1
Climate Control Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.0 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.5 1
Audio System Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.3 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.3 1
Secondary Control Layout
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.0 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.0 1
Interior Storage
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.8 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.3 2
Cupholders
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 8.5 1
2009 Honda Fit Sport 7.3 2
Standard Cargo / Trunk Space
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 7.0 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 8.5 1
Maximum Cargo Space
Vehicle Score Rank
2009 Honda Civic Hybrid 6.5 2
2009 Honda Fit Sport 9.5 1

Final Rankings

Final Rankings
Item Weight 2009 Honda Fit Sport 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid
Personal Rating 2.5% 100.0 50.0
Recommended Rating 2.5% 100.0 50.0
Evaluation Score 15% 77.6 73.5
Feature Content 15% 22.2 77.8
Performance 15% 100.0 75.1
Fuel Consumption 25% 60.0 100.0
Price 25% 100.0 58.9
Total Score 100.0% 60.0 51.2
Final Ranking 1 2
$19,430 $27,420

Personal Rating (2.5%): Purely subjective. After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she would buy for his or her own use. Each editor was told to think of it as "My money, my daily driver, my choice would be..."

Recommended Rating (2.5%): After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she thought would be best for the average consumer shopping in this segment. Each editor was told to think of it as "Your significant other's money, your conscience, your recommendation would be..."

27-Point Evaluation (15%): Each participating editor ranked both cars using a comprehensive 31-point evaluation process. The evaluation covered everything from exterior design to cupholders. Scoring was calculated on a point system, and the scores listed are averages based on all test participants' evaluations.

Feature Content (15%): Editors picked nine significant distinguishing features they thought would be most beneficial to a consumer shopping in this segment. Each test vehicle was then given a score based on which of those features it possessed. More points were awarded when these features were standard (3 points), optional and present on the test vehicle (2 points), optional but not present (1 point), and no points were given if the feature was unavailable on a given vehicle. The score given here represents the percentage of points, out of a total possible 24 points. Feature content and price are weighted equally for this "what you get for the money" comparison test.

Performance Testing (15%): We subjected these cars to our standard set of performance tests. Scores were calculated by giving the best car in each specific performance category 100 percent. The other car was awarded points based on how close it came to the better-performing car's score.

Fuel Consumption (25%): Fuel consumption is an important purchase motivation, especially in fuel-efficient vehicles such as these, so this category was weighted heavily. Using EPA combined fuel economy ratings as the basis for comparison, we awarded a score of 100 percent to the more fuel-efficient vehicle. The less efficient vehicle was scored proportionally based on how close it came to the better-performing vehicle's fuel consumption.

Price (25%): The numbers listed were the result of a simple percentage calculation based on the less expensive vehicle in the comparison test. Using the as-tested prices of the actual evaluation vehicles, the less expensive vehicle received a score of 100, with the remaining vehicle receiving a lesser score based on how much it costs. Price and feature content are weighted equally for this "what you get for the money" comparison test.

Inside Line Senior Editor Erin Riches says:
I like the idea of driving a fuel-efficient car. But I refuse to think about fuel economy within the limiting framework of maximum mpg. No matter what car I choose, I can't avoid making a personal contribution to pollution and global warming. So I might as well enjoy whichever car I choose, and of these two, I'd rather drive the 2009 Honda Fit.

Granted, the Honda Civic Hybrid is the more relaxed commuter car. It has a roomier cockpit and a more natural seating position. Plus, its longer wheelbase and wider track give it a smoother ride on L.A.'s roughest freeways. The trouble is that the Civic Hybrid is not very quick, and although its idle-stop feature saves gas, it also stacks the deck against the car at every traffic light. Although the Fit loses some spunk when you order the automatic transmission, its engine offers a much more livable powerband.

More importantly, the Honda Fit is a car that wouldn't disappoint me — even if it was my only car. It'll get you to work just fine, obviously. And on the weekend, you won't feel silly driving it with some intent on back roads. This subcompact's suspension was evidently tuned by people with a sense of humor, and indeed, a well-driven Fit has the potential to surprise and embarrass drivers of more expensive cars.

This was all true of the original Honda Fit, too, but the 2009 model brings important upgrades, not least of which are its telescoping steering wheel and new, better-padded driver seat, enabling you to sit comfortably in the occasional traffic jam.

Of course, you'll probably never do as well on mpg in the Fit as you would in the Civic. But if the joy of driving is at all a consideration, you'll be happier spending 365 days a year in a Honda Fit.

Vehicle
Model year2009
MakeHonda
ModelFit
StyleSport 4dr Hatchback w/Navigation (1.5L 4cyl 5A)
Base MSRP$19,430
Options on test vehicleNone.
As-tested MSRP$19,430
Drivetrain
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeInline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,497cc (91 cu-in)
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainSingle overhead camshaft
Compression ratio (x:1)10.4
Redline (rpm)6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)117 @ 6,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)106 @ 4,800
Transmission type5-speed automatic
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I=2.996:1, II=1.679:1, III=1.067:1, IV=0.761, V=1.957:1, Final drive=4.56:1
Chassis
Suspension, frontMacPherson strut
Suspension, rearTorsion beam
Steering typeElectric power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)12.7:1
Tire brandBridgestone
Tire modelTuranza EL470
Tire typeAll-season
Tire size, frontP185/55R16 H
Tire size, rearP185/55R16 H
Wheel size16-by-6 inches front and rear
Wheel materialAlloy
Brakes, frontVentilated disc
Brakes, rearDrum
Track Test Results
0-45 mph (sec.)6.7
0-60 mph (sec.)11
0-75 mph (sec.)17.5
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)17.9 @ 75.7
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)10.7
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)35
60-0 mph (ft.)134
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)67.8
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.77
Sound level @ idle (dB)40.8
@ Full throttle (dB)75.8
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)67.6
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsBest run in "S" mode. Brake torque technique only marginally effective. Paddle shifter makes no performance difference. Manual transmission a better choice if acceleration is a priority.
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsMarginal fade by end of runs. Pedal feel only OK -- longer and softer than I'd prefer.
Handling ratingGood
Handling commentsAs expected, the Fit understeers, which is the default handling attitude for all Hondas -- even those with "Sport" in their name. Still, quick off-center steering response makes this Fit a nimble but underwhelming partner in the slalom.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)421
Temperature (F)80
Wind (mph, direction)3.0 from SE
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)27 city/33 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)29.2
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)10.6
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)2,615
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)2,600
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)64/36
Length (in.)161.6
Width (in.)66.7
Height (in.)60
Wheelbase (in.)98.4
Track, front (in.)58.1
Track, rear (in.)57.4
Turning circle (ft.)34.4
Legroom, front (in.)41.3
Legroom, rear (in.)34.5
Headroom, front (in.)40.4
Headroom, rear (in.)39
Shoulder room, front (in.)52.7
Shoulder room, rear (in.)51.3
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)20.6
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)57.3
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistanceNot Available
Free scheduled maintenanceNot Available
Safety
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard dual front
Head airbagsStandard front and rear
Knee airbagsNot Available
Antilock brakes4-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsElectronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Tire-pressure monitoring systemTire-pressure monitoring
Emergency assistance systemNot Available
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
Vehicle
Model year2009
MakeHonda
ModelCivic
StyleHybrid 4dr Sedan w/Lthr, Nav (1.3L 4cyl gas-electric hybrid CVT)
Base MSRP$27,420
Options on test vehicleNone.
As-tested MSRP$27,420
Drivetrain
Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeInline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in)1,339cc (82cu-in)
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainSingle overhead camshaft
Compression ratio (x:1)10.8
Redline (rpm)6,300
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)110 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)123 @ 1,000
Transmission typeContinuously variable
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)Variable ratio between 2.526 and 0.421 Final drive 4.94:1.0
Chassis
Suspension, frontMacPherson strut
Suspension, rearMultilink
Steering typeElectric power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)13.52:1.0
Tire brandBridgestone
Tire modelInsignia SE200
Tire typeAll-season
Tire size, frontP195/65R15 S
Tire size, rearP195/65R15 S
Wheel size15-by-6 inches front and rear
Wheel materialAlloy
Brakes, frontVentilated disc
Brakes, rearDrum
Track Test Results
0-45 mph (sec.)8.5
0-60 mph (sec.)13.5
0-75 mph (sec.)20.9
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)19.3 @ 72.5
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)13.1
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)34
60-0 mph (ft.)140
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)64.1
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.72
Sound level @ idle (dB)45.9
@ Full throttle (dB)76
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)68
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsAside from astoundingly slow acceleration, there's little to get excited about here. Brake torque seems pointless. There's no way to manually shift. Just put your foot down and yawn.
Braking ratingPoor
Braking commentsAwkward brake feel and response. Pedal engages high and then bottoms out soon with little additional brake effectiveness. This typically awkward hybrid brake feel combined with poor stopping distance is what earns the Civic a "Poor" brake rating.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsIt's immediately obvious that this car was not designed to turn. Lots of body roll in both tests. The throttle has little to no affect on the chassis and the tires are among the worst I've experienced in handling tests.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)421
Temperature (F)75
Wind (mph, direction)4.0 from SE
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)40 city/45 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)36.1
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)12.3
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)2,877
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)2,896
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)59/41
Length (in.)177.3
Width (in.)69
Height (in.)56.3
Wheelbase (in.)106.3
Track, front (in.)59.1
Track, rear (in.)60.2
Turning circle (ft.)34.8
Legroom, front (in.)42.2
Legroom, rear (in.)34.6
Headroom, front (in.)39.4
Headroom, rear (in.)37.4
Shoulder room, front (in.)53.6
Shoulder room, rear (in.)52.3
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)10.4
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)10.4
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion5 years/Unlimited miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available
Safety
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard dual front
Head airbagsStandard front and rear
Knee airbagsNot available
Antilock brakes4-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsBrake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Tire-pressure monitoring systemDirect tire-pressure monitoring
Emergency assistance systemNot available
NHTSA crash test, driver5 stars
NHTSA crash test, passenger5 stars
NHTSA crash test, side front4 stars
NHTSA crash test, side rear5 stars
NHTSA rollover resistance4 stars
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2009 Honda Fit in VA is:

$98 per month*
* Explanation
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