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The 2007 Honda Fit is a triumph of creativity, and proof that desirable cars don't have to be expensive.
Superb flexibility, key features included standard, nimble handling.
Buzzy at high speeds, small fuel tank.
Available Fit Hatchback Models
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Welcome to Honda's affordable answer to higher fuel prices. The four-door Fit hatchback is a new subcompact car that's been on sale previously in other markets but makes its U.S. debut for the 2007 model year. Highlights include a frugal engine, flexible interior configurations, many standard features and responsive handling.
Unlike motorists from most first-world countries, Americans are rather fickle when it comes to subcompacts. When fuel prices are high, we welcome them with open arms. But when the prices drop, we seem to lose interest in them quicker than we do with the also-rans from American Idol.
Consistently high fuel prices and the arrival of a gaggle of new subcompacts would seem to indicate that subcompacts are coming back in vogue. One of the better ones is the new 2007 Honda Fit. Being rather new and improved compared to its ancestors, this four-door hatchback features ultra-adaptable seating configurations, a sporty driving demeanor and high levels of standard feature content and safety equipment.
In terms of size, the Fit hatchback is about 20 inches shorter than a Civic sedan. Yet if measured by interior volume, the Fit nearly matches the passenger space of the Accord. Honda has made this possible by using an innovative seating arrangement and compact suspension design, and relocating the fuel tank underneath the passenger seat.
The Fit is already an established and popular vehicle in Japan and Europe (where it's sold as the Honda Jazz). We suspect that success will follow it here, too. This isn't to say it's going to outsell the Civic any time soon. But for its specific niche, the one for small-car-seeking consumers living in congested urban areas, the 2007 Honda Fit's combination of snappy handling, versatility and a relatively affordable price make it a smart choice.
The 2007 Honda Fit is a subcompact four-door hatchback currently available in two trim levels. Base versions come standard with 14-inch wheels; electric-assist power steering; two-speed front wipers and a rear wiper; air conditioning; power windows and locks; and a CD player. The Fit Sport would be our choice as it has the base model's features but adds 15-inch alloy wheels with wider tires, additional body styling pieces, keyless entry, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an upgraded MP3-compatible audio system with an auxiliary jack. There are no factory options for the car, but Honda dealers do offer a selection of additional accessories.
Underneath the hood is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. It's capable of 109 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. Sport models with the automatic transmission feature steering wheel-mounted paddles for sequential shift control. EPA fuel economy estimates for a manual-equipped Fit are 33 mpg city/38 mpg highway.
All 2007 Honda Fits come standard with ventilated front disc brakes and rear drums. ABS is also standard, as are front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
As is typically the case for a Honda vehicle, the Fit's interior is intelligently designed in terms of control operation and material quality. Also impressive considering its subcompact status is the car's surprisingly roomy and versatile nature. Much of the credit goes to the car's second-row, 60/40-split "Magic Seat" design. With it, the car has four main seating configurations that can be used to match different cargo or passenger needs. For regular use, the three-person rear seat offers seating dimensions similar to those of the Civic. Folding the rear seat flat provides 41.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
Because of its approximately 2,500-pound curb weight, the Fit feels light and nimble when cornering. Its light weight also helps acceleration; expect a 0-60-mph sprint to take fewer than 10 seconds for cars with either transmission. While the Fit seems well insulated and less tinny than other cars in this class, at highway speeds the engine certainly makes its presence known. Overall, the 2007 Honda Fit provides about as much fun as you can have in a thrifty little car.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.
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