The 2009 Honda Fit is one of those cars that can continue to amaze you the more time you spend with it. It is a car that hides a lot of big surprises under a small car exterior and should be on any car buyer's short list, especially for those few actually looking at new cars this year.

Before we get to the juicy bits, it's, er, fitting to review this small car's history. The Honda Fit made its U.S. debut in 2006 with a splash of iconic commercials (“The FIT is GO”) that harkens back to the Atari days of Pac Man and Asteroids. Three years isn't a long time for a car model to be out--but the Fit is also know as the JAZZ in other parts of the world and has been a member of Honda’s automotive lineup since 2001. In fact, in the Japanese markets the car is so popular there are entire sites devoted to the customization of these cars. The original Fit came in at 157.4 inches in overall length, rode on a 60-inch wheelbase and was propelled by a 109-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Giving the size of the car, the original Fit sipped fuel with an EPA estimate 33 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

The 2009 Honda Fit brings more power, more room and more excitement. The base model is priced higher at $14,750, but offers good value for the additional size, power and better styling. The new car has been stretched to 161.6 inches overall length and now rides on a 98.4 inch wheelbase. It's also gained muscle with 8 hp over the outgoing model. Unfortunately, with all the additional muscle and size, it has suffered an increase appetite where fuel is concerned: it drinks gas at a rate of 27-28 mpg city/33-35 mpg highway.

Other improvements that are noteworthy are the high-quality appointments of the interior, including the addition steering-wheel reach and rake adjustments and the optional navigation system. And if that isn’t icing on the cake, maybe this will be…the FIT has been named on of Car & Drivers 10 Best. If you want a car that is “fit” for urban commuting, then look no further than the 2009 Honda FIT.

TheCarConnection.com has given the new 2009 Honda Fit an 8 of 10 in the performance category and a 9 out of 10 for safety. Great marks--and it's one of the highest-rated small cars across the High Gear Media network.

You can read even more about the 2009 Fit over at our HondaReports.com site, and get more pricing and photos right here at AllSmallCars.com.