How to Customize a Honda Fit

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In stock form, the Honda Fit is a great commuter car or daily driver. It's relatively light, gets great gas mileage and has decent performance. However, like any factory stock automobile, the manufacturers left some performance on the table. Like almost all Japanese cars, the Fit takes well to a bit of tuning and customizing, whether you're looking for more speed or just a different look. This article covers a basic overview of what can be done to upgrade your Fit, but does not cover the detailed directions for installing all of the parts.

  • Replace the stock wheels and tires with lighter and larger alloys. Even if your Fit came with alloys from the factory, upgrading to a set of wider, larger-diameter alloys wheels will allow you to install stickier, lower-profile rubber for increased grip and more response from the suspension. There are many companies that offer wheels and tires, so start with a big distributor like Tire Rack.

  • After upgrading your wheels and tires, install a lower, stiffer suspension. Your Fit will look great, but more importantly, it will handle far better. Lowering springs lower the center of gravity and reduce body roll around corners. Combine the springs with high-performance shocks and your Fit will handle better than you ever expected.

  • Increase the engine's horsepower. The Fit comes stock with around 100 horsepower, so increase the power output by installing a cold air intake like the one from AEM. This will feed more fresh air into the motor. You can also reprogram the ECU and install a header and more free-flowing, larger-diameter exhaust for more power and a better sound.

  • Upgrade the brakes for more stopping power. With your Fit cornering and accelerating better, it's wise to upgrade the brakes as well. You can start by installing more aggressive pads like the ones from Pagid, as well as braided steel lines for a better braking feel. If you want to get extreme, you can install a big brake kit from NEX, which will include new rotors and calipers as well for a dramatic upgrade in braking.

  • Install an aftermarket body kit. While some body kits can be considered tacky and excessive, if you keep it simple, you can upgrade the looks of your Fit without looking too pimped out. Check out some of the products from Mugen for a great JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) look. You can install something as simple as a new grill, or go all out with a front air dam, side skirts and rear wing.

  • Upgrade the stock interior. If your Fit is quicker and corners better than stock, it's a good idea to install more purposeful seats to hold you in better. Recaro, Bride and Sparco all make great seats that look right at home in a modified Fit. After that, upgrade the steering wheel to a grippy suede one from MOMO or Nardi and replace the shift knob and pedals with alloy parts.

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