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http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=123626

Date posted: 11-21-2007

TOKYO — The redesigned Honda Fit hasn't long been on the market, launched in Japan only this October, but clearly its qualities were enough to impress the 60-strong JCOTY voting panel to name the Fit Japan Car of the Year. The Fit took the title over strong competition from the new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, Subaru Impreza/WRX STI and Nissan's Skyline sedan and coupe.

Given Honda's extraordinary record in Japan Car of the Year — it's now won five of the last eight awards — and the fact the original Fit was the dominant victor in JCOTY back in 2001-'02, many in Japan in fact predicted before the voting that the Fit would win.

In the end, the Fit romped home with 374 points and the threat from the Evo, Impreza and Skyline never materialized.

Second, in fact, was Mercedes' new generation C-Class, which scored an impressive 299 points and also took Import Car of the Year

Then, 3rd was the new Impreza series with 273 points. The Skyline finished 4th with 245 points. Rounding out the top five was the Mazda Demio (Mazda2) which came in with 128 points and coincidentally (and confusingly) won Japan's "other" Car of the Year award last week, from the independent RJC group.

Yes, Japan has two COTYs but the award taken today by the Fit is the big one, the one that Honda canvassed hard to win.

Consolation of sorts for Mitsubishi came in the winning of JCOTY's "Most Fun" prize. The JCOTY jurors gave their "Most Advanced Technology" award to the high-tech 1.4-liter supercharged/turbo TSi engine in the VW Golf. Last but not least, Daihatsu's 660cc Mira minicar took the "Best Value" prize.

All in all, the Fit is no stranger to car awards. The current Fit won 2006 North American Car of the Year. Chances are this redesigned edition will be a front-runner when judging for the 2009 NACOTY gets under way, too.

What this means to you: It's evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but Honda's new Fit is clearly a very strong competitive new product. A good car just got even better. — Peter Nunn, Correspondent
 
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