2009 Honda Fit Sport: Arcade Shifter
May 28, 2009
I don't think the Honda Fit's shifter is mechanically attached to the transmission. It is so ridiculously light and devoid of any resistance, moving the stick through its gates feels more like the manual shifter on an arcade game. If you were to tell me that putting the Fit's shifter into each gate triggers an electrical signal that triggers a gear elsewhere, I wouldn't be surprised. The Fit's lack of torque certainly contributes to this toy car feel.
It certainly makes for easy shifting -- dropping from third to second can be accomplished with your pinky -- but count me as a person who would like some actual mechanical feel to my manual transmission. I don't need some stiff thing that feels like its attached to a John Deere grain combine (cough, Infiniti G35, cough), but some inkling of response would be nice. A Mini Cooper S is one example of how to do it right.
And this is coming from a person who owned an Acura TSX, another car with one of Honda's typically low-effort gearboxes. Perhaps it's because the shifter wasn't capped with a giant super ball, but the TSX and other more powerful Hondas manage to avoid feeling like the Fit's arcade shifter.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 7,200 miles