Prices of Honda's fully redesigned 2009 Fit [Jazz in most other markets] will start at US$14,550 (plus $670 destination and handling charges) with air conditioning, AM/FM CD player and power windows,  the US sales unit has said.

The new car gets up to 35mpg 'highway' fuel economy in EPA testing and is sure to sell as well its predecessor, a comparatively late arrival in the US, as buyers flock to smaller, more fuel-efficient models.

Despite being in its swansong year, sales of the outgoing model to the end of the July were up 72.9% year on year to 52,053 units, according to an independent source.

The redesigned Fit line goes on sale on 26 August, American Honda Motor said. The Sport version with more equipment will make its US debut at $16,060 plus destination and handling charges.

The full Fit/Jazz redesign, launched at the Tokyo motor show last October, and on sale in Japan soon after, is gradually rolling out worldwide - Asian sales started in March and European sales are just beginning.

All have a complete body restyle and roomier interior with improvements to the flexible seat folding system dubbed 'magic seat' and load area layout.

Engine and transmission options vary noticeably according to market - Europe gets different, smaller engines and an automated manual option for optimum CO2 emissions - due to tax structures in some markets - while other regions have a more conventional automatic option. Some UK-spec cars also have a panoramic sunroof.

For the US, the Fit gets a new, more powerful, 117hp 1.5-litre i-VTEC I4 engine.

Five-speed manual transmission is standard with five-speed automatic optional. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow for manual gear selection on the automatic Fit Sport.

The automatic standard Fit achieves an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) city/highway fuel economy rating of 28/35 miles per (US) gallon - the manual model and the and Fit Sport with manual or automatic are all rated at 27/33mpg.

Standard safety equipment has been upgraded, too. Dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, dual front-side airbags with passenger side occupant position detection system (OPDS) plus side-curtain airbags are standard on all US models. Anti-lock braking (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), 10.3-inch ventilated discs at the front and 7.9-inch drums at the rear is also standard.

Other equipment includes Radio Data System (RDS) audio with auxiliary input jack, power windows, power mirrors and power door locks. The Sport adds alloy wheels, an under-body aero kit, rear roofline spoiler, fog lights, security system with keyless remote entry, cruise control and upgraded audio system with six speakers, five-mode equaliser and USB connector.

Satellite navigation (with voice recognition for the Sport), a 6.5-inch screen and 7m points of interest becomes available with the US-spec Fit for the first time, and models with the navigator also gain electronic stability control.