Honda Fit: Big on Simplicity
January 29, 2007
There's a lot to be said for simplicity, especially when you're talking car audio controls. I recently spent time in our Mercedes-Benz R500 long-termer. I was trying to change channels on the radio, and for one dark moment (or two) I thought I was going to have to haul out the owner's manual. The owner's manual is great for discovering little secrets in your car's bag of tricks, but if you feel the need to use it for something as basic as changing channels on your car's radio, I don't think the car's designers have properly done their job... Adding salt to the wound is the fact that the R500's stereo controls feature teeny buttons that can be tricky to access.
You'll never have that problem with the Honda Fit. Its audio controls are laid out so clearly a toddler could figure them out, and its buttons and knobs are so king-sized, they look like they belong on a Playskool toy.
Want to turn up the volume on that Nina Simone remix? No problem! The volume control knob is so hard-to-miss you could probably see it from outer space. Feel the need to switch from CD to radio? Easy as cake! The gargantuan AM/FM button on the periphery of the volume control knob makes it clear what you have to do.
Older drivers with arthritis and other mobility issues will likely appreciate these design cues most, since big buttons and large knobs are easier to grab and navigate. But youngish people who get cranky when simple things are made unnecessarily complex will appreciate them also.
Warren Clarke, Content Editor @ 4,223 miles