Honda Fit Goes to Oregon, Part Two
May 25, 2007
Although the Honda Fit's thinly padded driver seat challenged my pain thresholds (especially on the 15-hour drive home from Oregon), I don't regret choosing it for my five-day road trip. The hatchback's size was incredibly convenient for maneuvering around cities I wasn't familiar with. Basically, I could park it anywhere. Plus, its diminutive size made it more endearing. During my overnight stay in Alturas, CA, where everybody drives diesel 3/4-ton pickups, I parked it right below my room at the Super 8 so I could keep an eye on it. It was the automotive equivalent of a toddler.
And I did get good fuel economy. The Fit returned 34.2 mpg over 2,260 miles; its lifetime average is 30.7 mpg. My best tank, 37.4 mpg, came while traveling south on I-5 through southern Oregon and northern California (lots of downhill grades, lower speed limits, ample state trooper coverage). My worst tank was 29.3 mpg.
Storage and cupholder provisions proved adequate for a frequent snacker -- I even found a use for the slot above the glovebox.
Despite the audio system's dual CD player/aux input functionality, however, stereo performance was lacking on the long haul. The speakers simply aren't up to a steady diet of metal and hip-hop (Perfect Circle, Dan the Automator), and I think the right door speaker may be blown.
As much as I like the Fit, after this trip, I'm less convinced that it's a real deal for a shopper with 10K to 15K to spend on transportation. Compared to a used Civic, acceleration, handling, fuel economy, seat comfort and stereo quality are pretty much a wash. Yeah, the Fit has cute bodywork and a neat reconfigurable interior, but would I choose it over a Civic with independent rear suspension? Not sure I would.
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor, 13,144 miles