A Wok in the Park (ing Lot) - 2009 Honda Fit Sport Long-Term Road Test

2009 Honda Fit Long-Term Road Test

2009 Honda Fit Sport: A Wok in the Park (ing Lot)

April 21, 2009

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Yesterday was our first 100-degree day of the year, and the 2009 Honda Fit Sport revealed a weakness.

(1) Tons of glass = a lot of heat inside. They don't call it "greenhouse" for nothing. The worst part is the windshield: this heavily-sloped baby extends so far back that it readily exposes the steering wheel and most of the seats to direct sunlight. The wheel in particular stays hot to the touch for quite awhile. Visibility is indeed a two-edged sword.

Such a thing as "solar control glass" exists, but it costs money and is therefore left out of low-priced cars such as this.

(2) Honda air conditioning = still weak in this case. My old 1986 Acura Integra had weak-sauce A/C, and the Fit isn't much different. The air coming out of the vents isn't cold enough, so cabin cool-down drags on forever in the face of all of that sun-load. Perhaps this is because the Fit isn't an Ohio-developed Honda. How hot does it ever get in Japan, anyway?

(3) No rear A/C vents. OK, this condition is par for the economy-car course, but others get away with it if they don't have condition (1) or (2). As it stands, the Fit's front center vents aren't able to push much cool air between the front seats to the rear. My daughter complained bitterly about being too hot back there, even when it was just 80 outside.

Bottom line: Buy and use a sunshade or park an extra 100 yards away if it means you get to park in shade.

And don't look for the 2009 Honda Fit to be named "The Official Car of Phoenix, Arizona" anytime soon.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 5,451 miles

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