July 14, 2008
Thanks to the unique folding properties of our 2007 Honda Fit Sport's rear seat, a trip to the groomer was easy for Rudie, our 80 lb. German Shepard mix. He came from a shelter, so the actual ingredients of the mix are anyone's guess. Rottie or Doberman are the two leading theories.
What isn't in doubt is the utter flexibility of the Fit's rear seat design. In addition to folding down the usual way to expand the volume when loaded from the hatch, the rear seat bottoms can be folded up against the seat backs to create a tall space suitable for a big dog, a bicycle or any other sort of tall, slender cargo. A big-screen, perhaps? Framed artworks? No problem. Simply load them from the curb via the rear door.
The hidden secret that makes it work even better is an unusual gas tank location--under the front seats. This provides an ultra-low and ultra-flat load floor unlike any other.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 25,765 miles
June 04, 2008
Here's what the driver's side floor mat in our long-term Honda Fit looks like every time I climb inside:
Notice that it's jammed up under the gas pedal which prevents one from achieving wide-open throttle -- a much-needed position in a car with only 109 horsepower. The red arrows show where the retaining clips which once held it in place used to reside. Good-bye full throttle. Rest in peace...
Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 25,430 miles.
May 27, 2008
I have put many miles on our long-term Honda Fit, and I have to say, it's really quite an enjoyable little car. As a car fan and a fast, enthusiastic driver, I'd want something more powerful, quick and sporty, but that said, it's really such a pleasant little city car. What I think I like most about it is its utter simplicity and purity. While so many cars come loaded to the gills with gadgets and lights and beeps and cameras and traffic sensors and all kinds of, well, extra goodies (the dreaded iDrive comes to mind), this one's got a single-CD stereo, easily readable buttons and a great climate control system... Basically, what every other car had before the advent of nav systems and voice activation and all that gadgetry.
It's a perfect car for a Luddite. You want to know where to go? Bring a map and write down directions? Traffic? Listen to the traffic reports on the radio. But there's no learning curve. It's all clearly marked, easy to reach, and well-designed. Seems simple, right? How hard can that be? When you drive as many different cars as we do over the course of our work, you realize how rare that really is.
On another note, I carried three passengers in comfort this weekend (full-size adults) and on another occasion, used it to transport my bike. No prob.
Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor @ 25,138 miles
April 07, 2008
We are dope fiends for big wheels, aren't we?
It's the sidewall of the tires that we should be talking about, of course. Since big wheels simply make it possible to produce tires with narrower sidewalls, and that's the feature that delivers quicker steering response. But instead we're all over the wheels, equating bigger with better. When you look at design renderings for future concept cars, you can barely see any tire at all.
And yet the secret to the Honda Fit is its tiny wheels.
If you want real packaging efficiency with as much interior space as possible, it's a good idea to start with smaller wheels. Take a seat in the Honda Fit and you'll notice you're not swinging your legs around a giant wheel well in front of you, and there's plenty of room in the footwell to set up the pedals in a natural position... (Well kind of natural, since the Fit's driving position is calibrated for shorter drivers.)
That's the message of the Honda Fit. If you want to maximize your people space, maybe you need tiny wheels, not a bigger package.
Of course, any kid in design school would rather eat a bug than draw a car with tiny wheels.
Michael Jordan, Edmunds.com Executive Editor @ 23,804 miles
March 31, 2008
I don't know about you all, but I refuse to drive around by myself with the front passenger seat slid all the way forward. Whenever I see that someone's left the seat that way, I compulsively slide it back so that it's roughly parallel with the driver seat. So it was in our long-term Honda Fit when I brought it along to Joshua Tree National Park last week -- someone had left the passenger seat all the way up, so I promptly slid it back. Except this time I got a little more than I'd bargained for. In the name of Soichiro Honda, I exclaimed, what is THAT!
I'm taking suggestions. Meanwhile, browse onward for a few Joshua Tree pics. I averaged a little over 35 mpg for the trip, by the way -- mainly unimpeded highway driving, A/C blasting (to the extent that the Fit's apathetic A/C can be said to blast), with some stop-and-go mixed in.
March 18, 2008
Dash rattle so soon?
Coming from the center stack.
Japan-made. What gives?
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 22,509 miles
February 04, 2008
I've driven our Honda Fit several times and each time I do I find another reason to like it, whether it's the surprising amount of room, the handling, or being able to find a parking spot virtually anywhere I always walk away with a new reason to like the car. This time however I have a complaint.
I took our Fit to Las Vegas this past weekend and noticed that there was something missing. The Honda Fit Sport has no dead peddle for your left foot. I have always driven our Fit around town and never noticed the lack of a dead peddle before but it became painfully obvious on a longer trip.
I know the Honda Fit is supposed to be a budget friendly car, but it can't cost too much more to add a place to rest your left foot. I would rather pay a little more for the extra comfort on longer trips...
Seth Compton, Broadband Production Assistant @ 21,391 miles
November 27, 2007
Ah, the road trip.
My most recent road trip found me behind the wheel of our long term Honda Fit Sport. I'd like to share some discoveries I made about myself, gastronomic combinations and lastly, about the Fit itself.
Firstly, I discovered that I inexplicably know the lyrics to Fleetwood Mac's 'Fun'... Secondly, I discovered the best energy drink to go with a packet of raspberry Zingers is not Rockstar Pomegranate. Nor is it Red Bull, or Monster. I'm beginning to think that nothing goes with raspberry Zingers except a stomach ache.
Thirdly, the Honda Fit's seats are apparently lightly upholstered marble benches. Seriously, I have never been in a car that gave me as much seat related discomfort. Ever. But, because I'm a guy, I toughed it out for the five hour journey only to wish that I hadn't. I was incapacitated for a good ten minutes after I got out of the car. However, the memory of pain faded after I spent the better part of the weekend driving the Fit in San Francisco. What a perfect little city car. Nimble, fun and small enough to fit into some pretty tight parking spaces, it made the weekend a breeze.
Now if only we could skip that 5 hour bit between Santa Monica and San Francisco...
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 20,003 miles
October 18, 2007
I've driven our long-term 2007 Honda Fit Sport many, many times, and I am growing increasingly enamored of it. Because it's just so incredibly well thought out. Is it fast or sexy or high-tech? Not really. But it knows exactly what it is and makes no pretensions otherwise...
It's inexpensive, bare-bones, and absolutely perfect at that. It doesn't have a nav system or a CD changer. It doesn't have any special bells and whistles.
But as such, it doesn't require the manual, pretty much ever. The layout you see before you could not be clearer. Everything's right there. Clearly marked, good, simple, large buttons and switches. Just get in and drive. Turn up the heat, switch on the lights. Check your fuel level. Toss in a CD. And then just GO.
Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor, @ 18,201 miles
September 25, 2007
After having had the 2007 Honda Fit for a couple of days, I'm even more impressed with it than I was when we first added it to our fleet.
First of all, I love its dimensions. You kinda get it all with the Fit. I had to parallel-park in a spot so small it would have been a no-go for most cars; the Fit hustled its way in with a refreshing absence of drama... But you'd never know how compact it is from sitting in its roomy cabin. Shoulder- and headroom, especially, are excellent.
I also dig the way in which the Fit's shifter does its thing. This Honda may just have the friendliest shifter in its class. It offers supreme fluidity; moving from gear to gear is almost effortless.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 17,305 miles
August 23, 2007
Ok, I've heard of cost cutting in cars. I once heard about a manufacturer who had the idea of trimming the wiring under a power seat to shave a few pennies, only to have it cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs because the wires would pull out when the seat was put all the way back.
I think not having clips to hold the floor mat is another one of those bad ideas. I'll pay the extra buck or two to have it stay in place...
The chump change paid upfront is more than worth the frustration of a mat that slides around and gets in the way of your pedals and/or feet.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 16,821 miles
August 13, 2007
I have tried my best to avoid driving the Fit home at night. I love the little Honda -- it's a blast to drive and is a marvel of packaging -- but based on past experiences I ironically just don't fit in the Fit. Knowing that I didn't have to amass great distances this weekend, I grabbed the key to see if a little more seat time would change my impression. While it still doesn't provide nearly enough 6-foot-3-friendly space, it was a little better than I remembered it...
I wouldn't want to drive to Vermont in the thing, but around town, I was comfortable enough.
In fact, after driving our new long-term Honda Civic GX, I found that I was more comfortable in the Fit. The bigger Civic's leg room is pretty bad too, but the Fit's higher seat cushion gives it a slight tall-dude advantage. I couldn't possibly buy either car, but it's good to know that I don't have to so readily dismiss the Fit for a night.
James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 16,558 miles
August 06, 2007
During the daytime, the Fit's interior gets the job done. Exceedingly simple lines, with enough hard plastic to craft a line of children's toys, but all in all, not too shabby for an economy-priced subcompact.
However, the Fit's interior really shines at night. The darkness swallows all the less-than-ideal aspects of the car's cabin...
All that industrial-looking plastic becomes invisible. The eye is left to behold the most aesthetically impressive aspect of the Fit's cabin: its exquisitely illuminated gauges.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 16,280 miles
July 25, 2007
I got into the Fit last night after its month-long vacation in Fresno, and I realized I'd missed our subcompact while it was away. This is no great revelation coming from a Fit supporter, but there are certain details in this entry-level Honda that you won't find in other cars in this class.
For instance, the way the steering wheel fits in your hands is as pleasing as in cars costing tens of thousands of dollars more...
There's also the shifter's mechanical sound and feel when moving from gate to gate (something that was noticeable to me even though I'd driven the hypermechanical G35 the evening before). Honda probably could have gotten away with putting a less refined setup in the car, given that manual shifters in subcompacts are usually about as satisfying as stirring pudding with a plastic spoon. But the company opted to go beyond that in the Fit, and it's one of the things that makes this hatchback endearing.
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor
July 23, 2007
As of today, our 2007 Honda Fit Sport is averaging 31.3 mpg. Its best lifetime fill-ups so far are in the 36-to-37 mpg range while the worst drop into the high 20s. We still have three months to go on our one-year test but the Fit will certainly end up as being one of the most fuel-efficient, non-hybrid cars we've ever had in our long-term fleet.
I've had the luxury of spending the past month driving the Fit and I'll be a little sad to return into the normal long-term rotation later this week...
Certainly, the car has a few flaws, but they're more than made up for by positive attributes. I really like the configurable rear seats, the high mileage, the maneuverability and the dose of fun the car imparts through its anime styling and sporty handling.
I could potentially see myself owning one. But were I to get a Honda Fit, I think I'd want mine in black. In fact, there's a black one commonly parked in our office's parking garage with dark, gold-painted aftermarket wheels. Yeah, I know black and gold is gaudy and only fitting for late 1970s Firebirds with giant screaming chicken decals on the hood. But somehow it works.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor, 15,680 miles
July 16, 2007
In a variety of earlier posts, we've written highly about the Honda Fit's versatile seat configurations. One can fold the 60/40-split rear seat completely flat, for instance, or raise the rear seat cushions to create a taller area for carrying bulky items.
Well, here's another neat trick: If you move the front seats all the way forward and then fully recline their seatbacks, the seatbacks touch flush with the rear seat cushions to create a rear-seat recliner. Unless your inseam goes past 50 inches, you'll have plenty of legroom...
The rear seatbacks recline for additional comfort, and there's a cupholder in the door for your cool, delicious beverage.
Were I a highly paid executive in need of chauffeuring, I think a $16,000 Honda Fit would be a strangely appealing choice over a $426,000 Maybach 62.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor, 15,522 miles
July 10, 2007
I've really enjoyed driving our Honda Fit the past few weeks. Things like the smooth-sliding shifter, sporty handling and smartly designed interior instantly remind me of other small Hondas I've owned or driven. Like BMW, Honda is a master at maintaining certain attributes across product lineups and timelines. There's even the familiar "d-d-d-dit" Morse code "H" sound when the key is left in the ignition...
It's automotive branding at its best.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor, Edmunds.com, 15,420 miles
July 02, 2007
Most new 2007 and 2008 vehicles have in-dash CD players that can play unprotected digital music files. Though this feature might seem inconsequential if a vehicle has an auxiliary input jack (as our Honda Fit does), it can be refreshing to not have to worry about theft or potential safety issues. Playing a CD's digital audio files allows title and track info to be displayed on the head unit and also allows the use of steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
There's a problem, though...
The iPod is the most popular player out there and its associated software, iTunes, rips files in the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) format for its default setting. Almost all factory-installed head units can read MP3 or WMA (Windows Media Audio) files but not necessarily AAC. I tried playing AAC files in our Honda Fit and, sure enough, no go.
A solution for iPod owners is to simply rip one's music collection in iTunes using the (inferior) MP3 format. But look for more cars and trucks to be coming out with enhanced compatibility. The stereo in the 2008 Scion xB, for instance, come standard with AAC compatibility as well as a dedicated iPod input jack.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor, 15,233 miles
June 18, 2007
File this under "Small peeves big enough to blog about": Our Fit has floor mats that don't like to stay in place. Taking a closer look, I noticed the two holes in the mat and thought "Oh, just like my friends '03 Miata, these holes must lock onto a couple of hooks in the carpet.
Only problem is, there are no hooks. Holes in the mats, but no hooks to secure them to the carpet. Turns out there are supposed to be hooks included with the mats, that you install yourself. We don't have them so we called the local Honda dealer who informed us we can order them and that that the instructions to install them are four pages long.
Of course, this raises a few questions: 1) Why weren't the hooks installed by the dealer? 2) If it's a DIY deal, why didn't we get the hooks? When we get to the bottom of this, we'll be sure to let you know. BTW, anybody out there in blogger land experience this too?
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 14,753 miles.
May 30, 2007
For the long weekend I took the Fit out to meet up with some friends in Vegas for a bachelor party. Vegas, baby! As the lone driver of the group of friends, the Fits primary use besides getting me out there was an airport shuttle. I made two trips, the first time to pick up two guys and the second time to pick up three...
Thankfully, the crew didn't bring much in the ways of luggage.
The small cargo area was just able to accommodate the second groups' bags without flowing above the shoulder level of the back seats. With four grown men riding together in the second trip, there was just enough wiggle room so each person was comfortable. I did notice, however, the Fits' AC was barely able to cope with the desert heat. It kept the cabin cool enough so that we didn't sweat for the trip back to the hotel. Needless to say, we were paying closer attention to what we were going to do than what the Fit had to offer.
On the long ride back to LA, I got to be very familiar with the Fit. Four hours of mindless driving through the barren wastelands of the Mojave will do that to you. I found the interior design engaging for its price point and the drive pretty comfortable. The only real complaints I'd have is that the engine is pretty loud during those long sustained high speed cruises and said engine doesn't have a lot of guts to it. It made highway passing an event planned well in advance.
I guess for some extra change you'd get more sound-deadening and a little more umpf. But with the package and price point you get now, those cons are easy to look past.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photography Editor
March 28, 2007
Whenever I get into our Honda Fit, I always reach in the wrong place to move the seat on its track. Most cars with manual fore/aft adjustment either locate the lever on the lower right side of the seat, or they have a bar that goes all the way across. On the Fit, there's just a small lever on the left side. This would be great if I was left-handed but I'm not...
I wonder if it's a function of the fact that the Fit was originally designed as a right-hand-drive car -- perhaps Honda just picked up the driver seat and moved it to the opposite side of the car, levers and all?
In other news, I realized recently I had never run the Fit's 1.5-liter engine to its 6,500-rpm redline in the course of normal driving. So I tried it and it wasn't memorable. For normal acceleration purposes, there seems to be little benefit to going beyond 5,000. And the engine isn't that happy beyond this point anyway. To its credit, it's still pretty smooth. As you can see, it's easy to check the oil in the Fit, so after snapping my photo, that's just what I did. The level registered smack in the middle of the dipstick.
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor, 7,705 miles
March 21, 2007
Since when did the gauges in subcompact cars get so pretty? Not only are our long-term Honda Fit's gauges large, legible and illuminated in a lovely bright blue, they're recessed in their own individual binnacles -- not an ergonomic benefit per se, but certainly an aesthetic one.
To me, these gauges go a long way toward making the economy-biased Fit enjoyable to drive. One of the reasons I dislike my stepfather's '92 Civic VX hatchback, for instance, is the fact that its instruments are lit by a single tiny bulb with the luminosity of a xmas light -- makes the car feel dank and spooky at night...
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor, 7,285 miles
March 05, 2007
Among the many user friendly features of the Honda Fit is its seats. Thanks to what car designers call a "high hip point" (which means the seat cushion is rather high), it's easy to slide into the Fit, whether you're getting into one of the front or rear seats. Another benefit of the higher seating position is the better view outward it allows. Visibility out over the small hood and out to the sides is excellent and an asset when dealing with the cut and thrust of city driving.
February 08, 2007
Even though the following is lame, I just have to purge it from my brain: I'm unfit for the Fit. Why? I don't fit. And I'm tried of it.
When your knee whams the back of the steering wheel every time you let the clutch out, you tend to have a hard time liking a car. Sure, there's gobs of headroom, but I feel all praying mantis in this thing. I know Erin mentioned it in her post, but at 6'2" tall the problem is mission critical for me. I could never own one of these, however good it may be.
A telescopic steering wheel is an absolute must. Contrary to what you might think, it is the taller of us who need to pull the steering wheel out to give the knees room to schroom.
In fact, the first thing I do in any car so-equipped is slide the wheel all the way out. I've never found one yet that telescoped too far. In the shot below, I've placed my hands where I'd like them to be. I figure I need the steering to be 40 or 50mm closer.
January 22, 2007
I was going to write yet another post about how much I like the Fit and how it's perfect for someone like me -- a single, city dweller -- but figure you've heard that all before so I'll just list off some small issues I encountered with Honda's little five-door when I had it this weekend...even though I still enjoyed driving it around. Mind you, I'm not just complaining for the sake of complaining. If these things annoyed me, they could annoy some small-car shopper out there.
The door locks are so annoyingly small, making them kinda difficult to unlock because you have to pinch them and pull up. I know it's just a matter of my getting used to pressing the universal lock/unlock button on the door's armrest instead and maybe that's why Honda made them so small because it assumes you'll never handle the little plungers. But why not just make them like the Civic Si's easy-to-push see-saw buttons in the side of the door? (I bring up the Si since it's the only other Honda I've recently encountered in our fleet.) Why does the entry-level hatch get this lock treatment which seems to just call attention to its cheapness? Is it because it's cheaper to make?
December 20, 2006
OK, here's the one thing I really don't like about our Honda Fit (and you're sure to hear this from other editors as well): The steering wheel is mounted very close to the dash and it doesn't telescope. For someone like me, who's of average height (5-foot-10), this means you either need collapsible legs or super stretchy arms to find a comfortable driving position. Which is to say I've never found a truly comfortable driving position in the Fit.
Of course, the Fit occupies a price-sensitive part of the market, so I've tried to think of what other amenities I'd be willing to give up to get a telescoping steering wheel...
Cruise control? Nah, I get fussy on long road trips. Perhaps the lower skirts on our Sport trim model? Probably not, since the Fit looks naked without them. The MP3 player jack? Definitely not.
Evidently, slight discomfort is the only thing for it.
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor
November 28, 2006
The Fit is full of compromises - it needs more power, lacks even basic features like a sun visor mirror and can be noisy on the highway. But Fit owners will likely NOT feel short changed as the car is full of little details that give the clear impression that the Fit is something special. The Sport's stereo is impressive for the price, the blue gauges add an upscale flair and little things like the dot over the "i" in Fit help the car to ditch a low buck image.
Plus, after a long holiday weekend of errand running and shopping I used a little more than half a tank of gas...
Total cost for 162 miles worth of city driving? $13.42 - suddenly the Fit's critics are remarkably silent.
Brian Moody @ 2509 miles.
November 21, 2006
I really liked this car, surprisingly enough. I thought it was going to be claustrophobic since it looks so small from the outside and that the materials would be cheapy but I was pleasantly surprised. The materials are actually a better quality than what one would expect from a $15K car. Love that leather-wrapped steering wheel...
And even though the Sport model has 109 horsepower, with the five-speed manual, I was able to get around Corollas that didn't know any better. (Actually a lot of drivers who didn't know any better. Fun!)
My friend who is in the market for a new, economical car was intrigued by all the features present in our long-termer at such a low price -- cruise control, aux input and keyless entry are all standard. After spending a weekend in it as the passenger she ended up looking it up on our site, wanting to buy one herself.
But what impressed me most was when I had to do a bit of grocery shopping at Costco for a large housewarming party, the Fit easily stored the grocery bags, two 20-pound bags of ice, beer, etc. with room to spare. I'm sure if I had even more to lug, the folding rear seat would have accommodated that. Too bad that the cargo area didn't come with a cover, though.
Production Editor Caroline Pardilla, 2,188 miles
November 13, 2006
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to let one of my large friends drive our long-term Honda Fit around a parking lot. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but this particular friend is 6'6" tall and the Fit is a subcompact. It was an opportunity for humor, or so I thought.
Not only did Gigantor squeeze into the Fit, he was perfectly comfortable. This photo of 6'1" vehicle testing assistant Mike Schmidt proves the Fit's roominess. The cell phone is there for scale and shows that there's at least 3 inches of remaining headroom.