DaveEstey
DaveEstey Reader
9/27/10 9:24 a.m.

With my recent Subaru troubles I've been spending a lot of time in dealership loaner cars.

The latest is an 08 Honda Fit sport with the 5-speed auto.

After 300 miles I can easily say this is one of the best packaged small cars I have ever driven.

First off, the interior is a great mix of ergonomics and hidey holes. Seriously this thing has more places to stash stuff than I can even count. Cup holders? How about 5 within reach of the driver. Yeah I hope you're thirsty.

Materials are very nice. The plastics are all soft touch, none of the hard cheap crap that was everywhere in the Chevy HHR I had previously (awful car). The nice plastics are important here, since you could land a Cessna on the dash. Did I mention the dash is huge? Maybe Honda made a deal with Armor All.

It has a lot of useful space, especially with the rear seats folded flat, allowing the car to swallow much more than you'd expect it to. And room in the front is ample even for my 6'2" frame. The rear would be a little tight but certainly livable for short trips. Kids could be absolutely fine in the back.

The seat fabrics are VERY nice. Surprisingly nice actually. Soft and smooth material makes me wonder about durability but there were no signs of wear on this car with 14k miles.

The seats themselves were comfortable but could use more side bolstering in the twisties, which is where this car truly surprises.

Yes it's a front heavy fwd car, but the Fit feels like a terrier in corners. The steering is quick though not incredibly communicative, perhaps due to the electric power steering rack. It's accurate though.

Body roll is nicely controlled and along one of my favorite roads heading to the track Sunday I was grinning as I picked through the apexes while spinning the little 1.5l engine at 6,000rpm. When the limits are found it's always understeer, in fact it's hard to provoke oversteer even with trail braking. Better rubber would certainly help as the stock all season tires are a far cry from grippy.

If you're like me, you still have the fact that the car is an auto in the back of your head, but it really doesn't hamper the fun much. Shifts are crisp and using the "tiptronic" paddles on the steering wheel surrenders only short pauses between paddle push and actual shift. The manual would certainly be the more rewarding choice though because the 1.5l engine needs to be worked to gather speed.

It's not a powerful unit but the engine has a sweet willingness to spin like most Hondas do. It's smooth all the way through the rev band and there are few moments where you feel like the car can't get out of it's own way.

Not that the motorhead in all of us doesn't wonder what a K20 would do to transform the car. But then you wouldn't be averaging more than 40mpg. Frugal fun.

When all is said and done, I wouldn't hesitate to suggest a Fit to somebody looking for a small car. It's a fine little package. I'll take mine in blue with the manual transmission please.

zomby woof
zomby woof Dork
9/27/10 9:34 a.m.

I drove a late model Civic (09, or 10) a few weeks ago. It was the worst handling/driving late model car I've ever been in. I was looking forward to driving it, until I did, then I was looking forward to getting out of it. It was AWFUL.

pete240z
pete240z SuperDork
9/27/10 9:41 a.m.

I saw one for sale last week and thought it was kinda cool.

Lowered......5-speed.....low miles.....

http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/cto/1968908136.html

Fletch1
Fletch1 Reader
9/27/10 10:03 a.m.

I liked the first generations a little better as far as looks. If forced, I would buy a first gen over a Cr-z I think. You can haul alot of stuff in those things. I have another complaint about Honda though. Last night, I watched a Fit commercial. Guess what their selling point was? Six airbags!!! I know thats important to some, but it doesn't exactly get me excited.

petegossett
petegossett SuperDork
9/27/10 10:25 a.m.

We have a little over 60kmi on our '09 Fit Sport automatic & totally love it. Everything on the car has held up well - I'm still on the original wiper blades! Though we did replace the crap stock tires this spring at around 40kmi(which BTW, is an oddball size).

My only complaint is the A-pillar makes a huge blind spot. Oh, and the stock tires sucked in every condition...hoping the Conti DWS will fix that though.

procainestart
procainestart Dork
9/27/10 11:19 a.m.

My sister had a Subaru Legacy Outback that she hated, so replaced it with a first-gen Fit Sport. She and my BiL love it -- great little car for folks who mostly need to zip around the city. When they need to travel far with the two offspring, they throw a Thule box on top.

Woody
Woody SuperDork
9/27/10 12:19 p.m.

My father has a Fit Sport 5 Speed that he bought to tow behind his RV.

I loved driving it and I agree, you can haul a ton of stuff with the seats folded. I removed the front wheels from a pair of mountain bikes and stood them up inside the car.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing HalfDork
9/27/10 12:23 p.m.

I'm closing in on 70k miles on my 2007 Fit Sport five speed and love it. Great mileage, fun to drive and carries almost everything I can think of. No problems other than routine maintenance. I would definitely buy another one but the new body style doesn't seem to be priced as attractively as my original one was..

stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
9/27/10 12:30 p.m.
zomby woof wrote: I drove a late model Civic (09, or 10) a few weeks ago. It was the worst handling/driving late model car I've ever been in. I was looking forward to driving it, until I did, then I was looking forward to getting out of it. It was AWFUL.

This is interesting. I had a rental Civic about a month or so ago, I believe it was a 2010 model (it only had 1500 miles on it when I picked it up.) I was actually quite impressed with how it drove. Having said that I only used it for a freeway trip, no back roads hijinks.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
9/27/10 12:38 p.m.
zomby woof wrote: I drove a late model Civic (09, or 10) a few weeks ago. It was the worst handling/driving late model car I've ever been in. I was looking forward to driving it, until I did, then I was looking forward to getting out of it. It was AWFUL.

+1. I can't think of one thing i like about those damn things.

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