2007 Honda Fit Sport -- The Most Forgiving Manual
February 26, 2008
Everyone knows that some manual transmission vehicles are harder to drive than others. Being a Joni-come-lately to the stick shift world (I'm not a road test editor), I had to cut my teeth (and likely some of the gears' as well) in heavy rush hour traffic, on whatever random manual vehicle was occassionally available to me. I struggled with our VW and Audi...
I had an easier time with our old MItsubishi Eclipse. Finally, I asked to have the Fit for an entire week, to give me some real practice.
As a result, the Fit will remain forever in my heart as the car that got me comfortable with manual transmissions. Why? The Fit's clutch is the most forgiving one I've yet encountered. As opposed to cars that have a very precise engagement point you have to hit -- or risk stalling out -- the Fit cuts the driver a lot of slack. And as others have mentioned, the shifter is easy to control with just your fingertips. After a week in this car, all that anxiety about getting it right was (more or less) gone. I began to actually have fun with it, to gain confidence. Shifting finally became second nature. I even made it up some steep hills -- in real traffic.
So if you're trying to get someone to drive a stick -- a significant other, a roommate, whatever -- this is a great car for them to learn on.