January 27, 2010
Just back from a trip to the Bay Area over the weekend. Great time to drive after all the recent rain. Bright sun and lots of snow on the mountains that circle the basin.
In fact, there was so much snow that I went up U.S. 101 to avoid any potential slowdowns on snowy Interstate 5 up on top of the mountains through the Grapevine. Of course even when I cut over from U.S. 101 at Santa Barbara to the old stagecoach road across San Marcos Pass, the mountains on the other side of the Santa Ynez Valley even had a dusting of snow.
It was a great weekend to drive the old El Camino Real. Hardly anybody on the road, for California, anyway. Took the Honda Fit. For which am widely thought to be insane.
December 11, 2009
Hot on the heels of my cramped adventures in the SX4, I drew the Fit straw last night. The last Fit fit me pretty similar as the SX4 -- not enough seat travel, the back of the seat was mounted too high, there was no height adjustment and no telescoping steering wheel.
The new Fit, however, is better. There's still no height adjustment, but the back of the seat is mounted a little lower. The telescoping wheel is also a big help. I'm generally more comfortable, but I still wouldn't want to travel very far in the Fit. This isn't a small car thing, either. The Mini is fantastic and the new Ford Fiesta is pretty good, too. Hell, even the Smart was OK. I'm curious to see what the small Fiats (500, Panda) will be like if and when they show up in Chrysler dealerships.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 17,563 miles
October 30, 2009
I was sitting in the back of the Fit recently and decided to rest my arm on the armrest on the door. It wouldn't let me. The slope of the rear-most part is pretty extremely raked, and my arm sort of kept slipping off. I jumped in the front seat to see if this was the case up there. Yup. The picture above is of the front passenger arm rest. Note the sloping rear section of the armrest. There's no place to keep your elbow anchored. Any other Fit drivers disagree?
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com
September 14, 2009
It's been a while since I've driven out Fit. In fact, I've been driving my own car, a Mazda3 a lot. The first thing I noticed when I got into the Fit was how high up the seats felt. Almost like a mini minivan.I kept looking for some way to lower the seat bottom.
For the first time I thought our Fit was very uncomfortable. It's bizarre to me since before I loved the way it felt. Amazing the difference a few days makes.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
July 21, 2009
While slogging through the 5-to-20 mph traffic on the 10 trapped-way last evening, my mind got numb but my clutch leg didn't. In the annoying world of L.A.'s perpetual traffic you appreciate things like the Fit's light-effort clutch and gear shifter. When my exit came up (thankfully clear of traffic), I grabbed second, hit it, grabbed third and let the Fit fly as we sliced through the ramp's turn, the Honda's eager engine and planted chassis adding a much-needed six seconds of joy to my drive home.
It may not be much of a looker, but the Fit's a heck of a charmer.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 9,267 miles
July 16, 2009
Readers of the Long-Term Blog know by now that the Fit is a hit among the staffers, and I count myself as one of the "fitties". But there are just a few tiny items I'd like to see fixed in future Fits.
Nav Screen: Leaving the office last night, the navigation screen looked nearly blacked out. My initial reaction was to blame my polarized sunglasses, but no, still dark and now I'm squinting. Maybe the headlights are on? Nope, they were off. The theory put forth by Executive Editor Seredynski was simple -- the previous driver may have switched the display mode from auto (or day) to night, or possibly adjusted the brightness level to make the screen legible in their particular environment. Now this is more of a driver setting issue, but the screen is prone to catching a lot of glare since it lacks any kind of binnacle or cowl to provide shade.While we're on the subject of the screen, how 'bout updating the graphics, Honda? The interface reminds me of Windows 95! Get a mac-based designer to sweeten up the artwork for you, mmmkay?
Armrest: The fold-down driver's armrest feels a bit lower than the armrest in the door panel. Not by much, maybe half an inch or so. It makes me feel like I have scoliosis. Other cars like our Jetta TDI have a ratcheting armrest so the driver can adjust the height. This would be a welcome addition, but I'd still prefer an even perch for my elbows.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor at 8,975 miles
July 01, 2009
I almost always drive at 3 and 9, but there comes a time when stuck in traffic or mindlessly trudging down an endless strip of desert highway where I like to resort to the lazy man steering position. Elbow on the door sill, fingers at 9.
Cars with a thin sill (or high beltline) make this almost impossible with the window up, but others make it really easy. You could serve drinks on most Volvos door sills, they're so flat and wide. The last two generations of VW Jetta and Golfs come to mind as well. Add the 2009 Honda Fit to that list. It too is flat and wide, plus the car's telescoping steering wheel allows me to keep a reasonably firm grip on the wheel with thumb and fingers. Makes being lazy easy.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 8,466 miles
June 05, 2009
When did our Honda Fit get so uncomfortable? Got in it last night and the seating position is terrible. Ok, maybe not terrible, it does have a telescoping steering wheel, but the seat is way too high.
Granted, at 6'2" I'm a little taller than most, but it felt like I was starting down at the top of the dashboard. I suppose it's set up that way to give the average size driver a good view through the windshield, but how about they just add a seat height adjuster instead? This is the "Sport" model after all, right?
Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 7,216 miles
April 21, 2009
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
March 02, 2009
One of the main reasons I disliked driving our 2007 Honda Fit was that I didn't fit in it. It had no seat height adjustment and the non-telescopic steering wheel was too far away. My 6-ft 2-inch frame was utterly incompatible with what felt like a hasty JDM adpatation.
All of my complaints have been magically wiped away in the 2009 Honda Fit. Being able to lower the seats and pull the new telescopic wheel back has several benefits. My knees have clearance behind the wheel, which means I can operate the clutch and other pedals without splaying my legs apart, mantis-style. I can also reach the wheel without reaching, maintaining a nice bend in my arm. And my ankle doesn't feel strained because it no longer takes an awkward bend to rest it on the throttle.
And it goes beyond mere driving position. The 2009 Fit is more stable and precise when it comes to maneuverability and steering. And it has a less-wheezy engine, so I find myself downshifting far less often to summon speed when passing.
To me, the 2009 Honda Fit is an entirely different car. It went from a car I steadfastly avoided in 2007 to one I seek out in 2009. I've always favored small cars, and the 2009 Fit restores my faith in the genre.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 2,723 miles