Fit Hybrid

Honda Fit e-CVT Hybrid a Winner in an Ever Changing Car World

We were more than suitably impressed by the all-new Honda Fit when we drove it back in August. But the prospect of the hybrid version always intrigued us. Made in Japan, Fit replaced the Indian-built Jazz in this market. It encapsulates the notion of ‘yunobi’. Which recognises the beauty in objects perfected over time to become ergonomically more appealing and satisfying. ‘Fit’ for purpose, so to say

Completely reimagined from the ground up. Fit chases a more diverse new customer profile while still looking after loyal existing owners. It’s a cool monobox city car that best combines efficiency and usability, ready to meet the needs of modern consumers. Unique as Jazz always was, Fit’s styling also divided office opinion. Either way, it’s slightly lower, more compact stance is punctuated by premium DRL headlamps. A refined roof spoiler, cuts a cool pose.

A comfy, spacious, high quality cabin

Narrower A pillars and hidden wipers deliver a clear view out of a comfortable, spacious and high quality cabin. Especially at the rear. Austere, practical, functional and simple, it’s uncluttered and clean. Durable soft-touch finishes highlight its inherent quality, and best of all, it’s clever! The seats deliver greater lumbar support and minimise fatigue and the central armrest is height-aligned with the door rest.

Fit’s clear, easy to read, and simple driver centric dash has 7-inch full TFT instrumentation is slim. The ergonomic smartphone-style fully configurable 9-inch HMI central touchscreen infotainment system is seamless, quicker and more intuitive. The wireless Auto and CarPlay system and its shortcuts do have some quirky connectivity habits. Best of all, Fit also happily returns to tactile buttons and key controls. And conventional dials for heating and ventilation settings. In place of that horrid previous touchscreen solution.

Rear legroom leads the class and a broader tailgate accesses a versatile flat-floored 309 litre boot. Fit’s Magic Seat configuration has a flip-up rear seat. Or fold the rear seats flat for an impressive 1210 litre bay

Fit Introduces Honda’s New e:HEV Hybrid

Fit Hybrid introduces Honda’s lightweight, compact and efficient e:HEV two-motor powertrain. It comprises of a pair of compact, yet powerful electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery. The electric drive motor delivers maximum torque from 1 rpm. It spins up to 13,300rpm at Fit Hybrid’s 175 km/h top speed. The e-motor works in tandem with a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC petrol engine. Which both powers the front wheels and drives a separate second electric motor generator.

Fit Hybrid’s innovative electronically controlled fixed gear ratio CVT transmission seamlessly and secretly switch between three driving modes. It motors in either EV Drive on pure lithium-ion battery power. Or in Hybrid Drive, when the engine turns the electric generator to power the electric motor. Or Engine Drive, where the petrol engine engages the wheels directly via a lock-up clutch.

It transitions between EV Drive and Hybrid Drive modes. To ensure optimum urban driving efficiency. Engine Drive then takes over at highway speeds. Open road performance is also boosted on demand by the electric drive motor. The petrol engine turn the generator to recharge the battery In Hybrid Drive. The battery is likewise charged by regenerative braking when in EV Drive

Fuel Efficiency is Fit Hybrid Silver Bullet

Producing a total output of 80 kW and 253 Nm, an intelligent power control unit ensure smooth and direct response. For a compelling blend of performance and efficiency. It gets to a claimed 100 km/h in 9.4 seconds and on to a 175 km/h top end. Our tests proved better than that. Our Fit broke nine seconds to 100 with brisk overtaking numbers, too. But its real world economy is Fit Hybrid’s real silver bullet is its fuel economy. Honda claims 3.7 litres per 100km and tax exempt 88 g/km CO2 emissions.

The beauty of the Honda Fit’s novel e:HEV Hybrid system is that it maximises the strengths of its driving Modes. It takes advantage of its torquey electric motor to propel off the line. And accelerate to a point where the petrol engine takes over at its optimum. A conventional petrol engine uses most fuel to get off the line and accelerate to cruising speeds. The electric motor only uses free, rechargeable battery energy to pull away and accelerate. The electric motors is least efficient at higher speeds, where the petrol engine is at its best.

That perfect storm allows the Honda Fit Hybrid to return almost impossible fuel consumption. We easily matched its 3.6 l/100 km average in mixed driving conditions. On one trip, we even managed to break into the high 2 litres per hundred. Motoring on gas on the opening road and taking advantage of that harvested free electric energy in the traffic. Our overall test fuel use was 3.9 litres per 100. Put in layman’s terms, there was more than a third of a tank of petrol left after a week. And over 500 km of mixed driving. Pretty astounding, may we add…

Smart Hybrid a Splendid Global Warming Solution

The regular petrol Honda Fit impressed when we drove it. And we wondered how good the Hybrid would be. To be honest, ithis Golf and Corolla rival does everything its petrol sibling does. Just as well, if not considerably better. It’s more powerful, quicker, faster and far more economical. Because it is a far smarter car and a splendid solution to the pressures of global warming. And its’ pretty well priced and backed too.

We reckon Honda has a winner in the Fit e-CVT Hybrid in this ever changing motoring world. It really and truly plays its many strengths to perfection. — Michele Lupini

Data & Images: Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Honda Fit e-CVT Hybrid
Engine: 80 kW 253 Nm 1.5-litre petrol-electric I4
Drive: Hybrid Automatic CVT FWD
0-60km/h:         3.92 sec
0-100km/h:        8.95 sec
0-120 km/h        12.87 sec
400m:             17.3 sec @ 134 km/h
80-120km/h:       6.77 sec
VMax:             175 km/h
Fuel:             3.7 l/100km
CO2:              88 g/km
Warranty/Service: 5y 200K/3y 90K km
LIST PRICE:       R484K
RATED:            9
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