The 09 Fit looks to be more of an improvement in terms of mpg.. w/ that i-VTEC engine (I forget how that works.... isn't it at idle, 1-2 of the cylinders cut off = saves gas) ?? However, in terms of styling interior/exterior .... its in the eye of the beholder. I'm not a big fan of VTEC, but the i-VTEC is a def. improvement
I'm a Toyota fan, through + through. If you look into the variable valve timing timeline/history + development, basically BMW(VANOS) and Toyota(VVT-i ... and soon will have a dual- VVT-i , for increased mpg- kinda like Honda's i-VTEC system) , have the better VVT technology(increased hp and torque at all ranges of the RPM). I've heard countless Honda/Acura owners complain of the VTEC system(usually after 75K miles burning oil ... consuming about 1/2 quart every 1-2K miles. Mitsibishi's system is very much like Honda's VTEC from what I understand.
Have you considered going for a used Scion xA , or xB ? Those have good utility + good gas mpg, given there 1.5L engine. A 05-06 used, can be had for $11-13K range. The new xD is versitle, but has a 1.8L engine.
I have been commuting weekly over a distance of 220 km each way for the last year. Over a period, I amused myself by renting a couple of different Hondas and Toyotas. One of the cars I tried was the Honda Jazz (or Fit). Here it has the 1.3L (they list it as 1.4) of 75 hp and manual gearbox.
The car was very nice to drive and use and you can get insanely good milage at lower speeds (far below official specifications). Typical city driving yields 4.2L/100 km and it's about the same at 80 - 90 km/h. The car is not very aerodynamic so the FE drops a lot at higher speed. At my normal average 120 km/h commuting speed, I got around 5.8L/100 km which is just a little better than my much larger Civic Aerodeck -98.
For comparison, I also tried the Toyota Aygo, which is a much smaller car (smaller than Yaris). This is supposed to be something they class as a "green car" here in Sweden, which gives it tax reductions and parking benefits. To be qualified for this, the car must never exceed 5.0L/100 km. (The Honda Fit does not qualify.) To my surprise, this little useless car used significantly more fuel than the Honda Fit, despite all my hypermiling tricks. I suspected the car was defect so I swapped it for another one. Same story here and I got an average of 6.5L/100 km. Stay away from Toyota Aygo!
The Corolla was also a fuel hog with an average of 8.1L/100 km, more than the much, much larger and more powerful Honda Accord tourer (7.4L/100 km).
Honda Jazz/Fit was the favourite and it's quite an interesting piece of engineering. The wife fell in love with it too and she quickly became a little obsessed with the impressing FE. That built in computer with fuel efficiency gauge helped a lot. Now, there are rumours of a real mass produced hybrid based on this vehicle and with a sales price lower than the standard version...
Come on now. Stepping on the gas in my 68 GTO was like flushing a toilet and my Scooby [89 Outback] is nothing like that. I can get 26-28 hwy daily by watching tire pressure and keeping my speed under 65. Once you get above 70mph mileage really drops. I'll tell you what though, it's a comfy ride that'll do 85 without you noticing that you are going that fast. That's what CC is for.
Then again, 26-28MPG on the highway is not very good. Especially if you have to lag in the slow lane to get that.
"The 09 Fit looks to be more of an improvement in terms of mpg.. w/ that i-VTEC engine (I forget how that works.... isn't it at idle, 1-2 of the cylinders cut off = saves gas) ?? However, in terms of styling interior/exterior .... its in the eye of the beholder. I'm not a big fan of VTEC, but the i-VTEC is a def. improvement"
no the i-vtec doesn't shut down two cylinders....it alters when the intake lobes close on the intake stroke. Its all about the pumping losses....its been discussed earlier this year. watch this video --if you can take the 90's music.