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Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Associate Editor
9/27/12 9:52 a.m.

Joe tested a Honda Fit in its ideal habitat: the urban jungle of Los Angeles.

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/new-cars/2012-honda-fit-sport/

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
9/27/12 10:40 a.m.

117hp and unimpressive fuel efficiency?

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
9/27/12 10:56 a.m.

HP numbers don't mean much to me, but rather how a car goes about it's business. Heck, 300hp in a heavy car feels pretty unimpressive.

The Fit may only have 117hp, but it operates in such a pleasing manner that you don't care. Yes, it is kind of gutless, but that just means you have to thrash it constantly to keep up decent pace. With the nice shifter, and light clutch, I found myself playing race-car driver in L.A. traffic. Like many fun, meagerly powered cars, the Fit goads you into driving it aggressively.

The fuel economy may be "unimpressive", but it certainly isn't bad. I still prefer the Mazda 2's driving dynamics and interior quality, but the Fit is just so darn practical and engaging that it grows on you.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
9/27/12 11:02 a.m.

i have a miata and a mazda3, i understand an enjoyable underpowered car. but, 33 rated hwy?!?!

ransom
ransom SuperDork
9/27/12 11:09 a.m.

Nifty little car, from our test drives. Remarkably roomy for its size.

Very nearly bought one instead of the WRX.

It wasn't a mistake, and I've enjoyed it, but given how often you can really use the WRX's "core competencies", I think on a do-over I'd buy the Fit and spend the extra on tinkering on a car that's really fun...

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
9/27/12 11:11 a.m.
belteshazzar wrote: i have a miata and a mazda3, i understand an enjoyable underpowered car. but, 33 rated hwy?!?!

It's capable of better in real life with little to no effort.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
9/27/12 11:15 a.m.

as are it's contemporaries.

Klayfish
Klayfish Dork
9/27/12 11:20 a.m.

Nice review. We have a base '08 Fit, w/5spd. Yes, it's slow. But like Joe said, it's fun to drive a slow car fast. The gearbox/clutch are better than in many sports cars I've driven. It handles really well. The practicality of it is beyond anything in it's class, or even some classes above it.
We get a real world 38mpg when my wife drives it, 41mpg when I drive it.

We're at about 58k miles now, with not a single issue. None.

I test drove a '12 Fit base when I was car shopping a few months back. Very nearly bought it, and in some ways am wishing I had.

petegossett
petegossett UltraDork
9/27/12 11:53 a.m.

FYI we took a 800+ mile round trip to Cleveland a couple weeks ago in my wife's '09 Fit Sport automatic, and averaged over 40mpg throught both tanks of fuel(calculated, not based on the optimistic onboard gauge), at 5-10 over the limit. And the car has almost 110,000 miles on it.

wrongwheeldrive
wrongwheeldrive New Reader
9/27/12 11:56 a.m.

I drove an 08 sport with the 5 speed for 2 years.

Fun car, so slow that it begged you to flog it everywhere, which was awesome. In real world driving conditions, the lowest I ever got was 30 MPG and the highest being 44. Averaged around 37.

I once drove it from NH to Michigan for the Oscoda ProSolo stuffed full with tires, camping gear, a passenger, and other racing stuff(1000 miles), and the thing didn't skip a beat.

I have also autocrossed it numerous times, and while it isn't going to record any FTD's, it is still good fun. Would probably be a good candidate for a STF build as well.

Car is approaching 80k miles now without needing anything outside of standard service and a set of tires.

I have nothing but good things to say about this car. Only things I could ask for is a dead pedal, arm rest, and 6th gear.

PHeller
PHeller UltraDork
9/27/12 12:19 p.m.

SWMBO has an automatic '12 Fit, Haven't seen anything less than 31avg mpg, and thats been with a whole tank burned on driving around town.

She'll need snow tires and I plan on getting some 15x7+38 steelies to widen the stance a bit.

integraguy
integraguy UltraDork
9/27/12 12:54 p.m.

I currently drive a '97 Civic and the hp and curb weights are very close to a Fit. And yes, it's a slow car unless you really give it the gas. RATED fuel economy was one of the reasons I told myself the Fit wasn't very fuel efficient. Some sources rate the Civic with HIGHER fuel numbers and I seem to remember that was always the case...no matter who tested it. Yet, in "real world" conditions, the Fit almost always bests a Civic.

BTW, my little DX Civic with a manual transmission gets 31-32 around town and on my last trip to the folks (2200 miles+-25 miles) I had tanks of 35, 37, 40, and 42. There seems to be something about the gas the further I get from Fl, as my mileage always increases north of the Carolinas.

poopshovel
poopshovel UltimaDork
9/27/12 1:16 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: i have a miata and a mazda3, i understand an enjoyable underpowered car. but, 33 rated hwy?!?!

I get 35 to 37 highway, but of course that doesn't matter, because you've decided you hate it, presumably without driving it. No, it's not a berkeleying miata. Thank God. It IS a berkeleying blast to drive in anger, and wife and I went to the beach last week in a car containing:

1 baby, in car seat.

1 220lb fatass in driver's seat.

1 skinny wife in passenger seat.

1 large cooler.

1 small beach-size cooler.

1 mama-sized suit case.

1 "regular" old-style suitcase.

1 "Pack & Play" (folds up to about 3' long X 12" X 12")

1 Mattress for said pack & play.

1 Home Depot orange bucket for all my fishing gear.

1 18" cube box of toys.

1 fishing rod.

2 BIG baby bags.

1 2004 Challenge Acura Duffle Bag for my clothes.

1 bag of linens.

1 big "beach bucket" full of beach toys.

1 "umbrella" style baby stroller.

We averaged 35mpg with mixed driving, and didn't have sore backs and claustrophobia the whole time.

poopshovel
poopshovel UltimaDork
9/27/12 1:22 p.m.
I have nothing but good things to say about this car. Only things I could ask for is a dead pedal, arm rest, and 6th gear.

All but 6th gear are addressed in the 2nd gen, and yeah, I TOTALLY agree. Seems like it would go from "great" to "stellar" fuel efficiency with another gear. Of course, people are now going to line up screaming that 3500rpm at 75mph is right where it should be.

bravenrace
bravenrace PowerDork
9/27/12 1:33 p.m.

I was rather unimpressed with the rated mileage also. So my question is, if it gets so much better than that, why was it rated so much lower?

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
9/27/12 1:36 p.m.
poopshovel wrote:
belteshazzar wrote: i have a miata and a mazda3, i understand an enjoyable underpowered car. but, 33 rated hwy?!?!

I get 35 to 37 highway, but of course that doesn't matter, because you've decided you hate it, presumably without driving it.

not hate, just disinterested.

yes, Yes, YES... you can exceed EPA estimates. You do it. I do it. Everybody does it. That's not a feature unique to the Honda Fit. But for comparison purposes, i think it falls short here. I could go for a car rated 33 hwy. I could do with one that only had 117hp. Both? meh.

poopshovel
poopshovel UltimaDork
9/27/12 1:36 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: I was rather unimpressed with the rated mileage also. So my question is, if it gets so much better than that, why was it rated so much lower?

Because we're really all honda fanbois and can't admit that they actually get 17mpg.

poopshovel
poopshovel UltimaDork
9/27/12 1:39 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote:
poopshovel wrote:
belteshazzar wrote: i have a miata and a mazda3, i understand an enjoyable underpowered car. but, 33 rated hwy?!?!

I get 35 to 37 highway, but of course that doesn't matter, because you've decided you hate it, presumably without driving it.

not hate, just disinterested.

yes, Yes, YES... you can exceed EPA estimates. You do it. I do it. Everybody does it. That's not a feature unique to the Honda Fit. But for comparison purposes, i think it falls short here. I could go for a car rated 33 hwy. I could do with one that only had 117hp. Both? meh.

Short of what? A prius? Aside from the Mazda2, which does not have the cargo swallowing capacity or all the bells and whistles, what new $16,900 car that consistently gets 35mpg are we talking about?

wrongwheeldrive
wrongwheeldrive New Reader
9/27/12 1:45 p.m.
poopshovel wrote: Short of what? A prius? Aside from the Mazda2, which does not have the cargo swallowing capacity or all the bells and whistles, what new $16,900 car that consistently gets 35mpg are we talking about?

This. The fit is a massive car on the inside with some cool design features. It's cheap, pratical, and fun.

carguy123
carguy123 PowerDork
9/27/12 2:00 p.m.

When I was shopping for a car for my MIL last year the Fit was one of the options but the prices were nothing close to $16,500.

We ended up buying her a Subie for a little less than the Fits I saw and she loves it.

I liked the Fit, but the price vs. the competitors put it out way out there.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/27/12 2:10 p.m.

My father has a Fit Sport that he tows behind his RV. I absolutely love that little car. I'll probably buy it from him when he sells the RV.

Photobucket

PHeller
PHeller UltraDork
9/27/12 2:23 p.m.

The only other new car I'd consider would be a 2012 Impreza. Still pretty large inside, 30mpg avg, awd. Still gutless though.

The Mazda, Ford, Kia, Hyundia in 10 years will all be worthless, the Impreza will holds its value because of AWD and the Honda because its the only hatchback they make outside of the Insight.

alfadriver
alfadriver PowerDork
9/27/12 2:30 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: I was rather unimpressed with the rated mileage also. So my question is, if it gets so much better than that, why was it rated so much lower?

Generally, all cars are like that. It's part of a calculation based off of 5 tests, and should reflect the average driver on the highway. It's pretty easy to be an above average driver in terms of smoothness. (one of the tests is really odd- picture a super agressive driver between 65 and 80 mph- that usually nets a really pathetic number- but that's the test)

Although, there are some cars that it is an upper limit.

I would not doubt a second that poop can get the mileage he can.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
9/27/12 2:34 p.m.
wrongwheeldrive wrote:
poopshovel wrote: Short of what? A prius? Aside from the Mazda2, which does not have the cargo swallowing capacity or all the bells and whistles, what new $16,900 car that consistently gets 35mpg are we talking about?

This. The fit is a massive car on the inside with some cool design features. It's cheap, pratical, and fun.

the packaging of the Honda is plainly good. i just don't see why, with outside dimensions so small, curb weight so light, and horsepower so low.... THIRTY THREE?!

shouldn't it be further than a knatsass from the same efficiency as nissan's Juke? an "suv" (of sorts), with a 180hp turbocharged engine? i realize they're not competitors, but you know what i mean right?

ransom
ransom SuperDork
9/27/12 2:37 p.m.

The Impreza was the other primary candidate before we went nuts with the WRX.

It was a little more money than the Fit, but it also felt like more car, in all ways. As in a little more room, more comfort on long trips, a little more overhead for acceleration at freeway speeds... Seems like the Fit gets out of its own way acceptably until you're already doing 60, at which point the pedal on the right doesn't have much effect. Not that the Impreza's a rocket by any means, just has a little more in reserve at freeway speed.

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