Frugal do-it-all waiting to get up off the bench
As versatile as it is affordable, the Honda Fit is everything we wanted in a straightforward jack-of-all-trades economy car. Six months into our yearlong test period, however, we found the Fit to be easy to own … and just as easy to pass by in favor of the more specialized (and more fun) cars, trucks and crossovers in our fleet.
We’d like to say our little five-door pocket knife fared better this past quarter, but we’re still struggling to rack up the miles. That’s a shame, because you do get exactly what you pay for with the Fit.
The Fit’s efficiency-boosting aerodynamic wedge shape cuts down on wind noise, but road noise still seeps into the cabin—as does the sound of the motor. The four-cylinder’s two liters don’t exactly add up to a sonorous V8 roar. But that’s one of the tradeoffs for the very respectable 28.1-mpg fuel economy we saw this quarter, achieved almost exclusively in stop-and-go city driving.
Our experiences so far suggest the Fit is more comfortable in and around the city than doing stretches on the highway. The city, perhaps, is where the Fit will carve out its own little niche.
In a dense urban environment, near-hybrid fuel consumption is something of a secondary consideration to nimbleness—especially when you’re squaring off for the last parking spot on the block. Fortunately, this is one place the subcompact unquestionably excels. “Maneuverability in the city is the Fit’s greatest asset, coupling quick and light steering with great outward visibility,” one editor noted. “This is a car in which it’s very easy to get a feel for dimensions, with the sloped hood and slabby sides offering excellent flexibility in parking and maneuvering situations where inches matter.”
Of course, we’ve also had more time to become acquainted with the Fit’s shortcomings. Beyond the cabin noise, the big one—at least for one editor—is ergonomics. “While there is plenty of room for cargo with the rear seats folded down, front-seat legroom remains at a premium,” one editor reported.
Will this outweigh the Fit’s otherwise superbly useful packaging? Two more quarters on the road should be enlightening.