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ExcessKuma Reader
8/21/23 7:59 p.m.

Like the title says, I'm looking for a solid economic daily so I can stop hallucinating that two obscure Japanese V8 luxury sedans and a backyard good ol boy muscle car are sensible enough for the task. So I landed on a either first or second gen Honda Fit, preferably in manual. Does anyone here have opinions/ownership stories about theirs? I don't need this car to do it all for me, I just want something comfortable and enjoyable to drive without worrying about a speeding ticket or becoming a regular at the gas station. I'm also currently kicking myself over not buying the one that was listed a while back for 2 grand. Sure it didn't have carpet or rear seats and you had to wear a harness, but hey it was cheap and manual!

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/21/23 8:11 p.m.
ExcessKuma said:

Sure it didn't have carpet or rear seats and you had to wear a harness, but hey it was cheap and manual!


Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/21/23 8:11 p.m.

Haven't owned one myself, but they're pretty common autocross cars.

CyberEric Dork
8/21/23 9:09 p.m.

Why would we tie you to a stake? It's a well liked car on this forum.

The only thing I know is the first gens have some water leaking issues in the rear doors I believe.


Personally, I've found the a-pillars hard to see around in city driving in the 2nd gen, but otherwise, I liked the one I drove. Haven't driven a fist gen, but want to. I like the looks more than the second gen.

I'd definitely try to get a manual as the auto feels really anemic. 

eastsideTim UltimaDork
8/21/23 9:18 p.m.

Had a second Gen for a while.  Comfortable is not a way I'd describe it.  Once I got the seat properly adjusted, it wasn't uncomfortable.  It was incredibly practical, and I really liked that about it.

bobzilla MegaDork
8/21/23 9:20 p.m.

They are bringing a premium. There are other options that are a bit nicer to deal with and just as fun to drive. Try the 12-17 accent/Rio. They don't make you pay the Honda tax and are just as reliable and fun to drive. 

Turbo_Rev Reader
8/21/23 9:49 p.m.

I owned one for about 2 years. Manual.

Very practical. Back seats fold down nice and neat and gives you a boat load of storage in the hatch. It's surprisingly good at crap-hauling. Lots of clever compartments and cup holders. I had a roof rack on mine that worked fine for bikes. Everything folds, slides, or otherwise gets out of the way, so they're easy to keep clean.

Fun to drive in the way slow manuals are. Great handling. Responsive. But, yes, anemic in pretty much any form. You'll be flooring it often, especially at the on-ramp. Sits somewhat low. 

Parts are cheap and easy to come by. Maintenance is pretty easy but the engine compartment is cramped. Great MPG but I don't remember numbers. 

Overall, wish I had kept mind and not swapped it for an MR-S. But I also wish I kept the MR-S. Anyways. 

matthewmcl Dork
8/21/23 10:10 p.m.

I am coming up on 100k on my 2018. I would prefer the experience of the manual, but the CVT gets better mileage and cruises the interstate at a comfortable RPM.

jimbob_racing SuperDork
8/21/23 10:14 p.m.

I bought a 2007 GD3 new. I had to wait several months for it to be made and shipped from Japan. The dealership was worried that I'd cancel my order and they'd  be stuck with a manual Fit.  But I bought it and drove it for around 150k miles until it was totalled for a second time in 2015.

Then I bought an identical 2008 Fit with only 17k on it in early 2015. I've driven it almost 100k miles with almost no issues. I tried to sell it here and didn't get a single interested person so I decided to keep it.

My wife has a 2018 Fit with the cvt. Its more adult and refined which is a nice way of saying that it's not as much fun to drive. 

The original Fits are like go carts. Great handling and really fun to drive. I put swift springs on tokicos on it and was actually less fun to drive because it was too harsh on Western Pennsylvanias E36 M3ty roads. I went back to to the  stock suspension and I love driving it again.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/21/23 10:57 p.m.

My Dad had a 2009 Fit Sport five speed that he towed behind his RV. I loved it and drove it every chance that I got. I agree that the seating isn't great, but I did find it to be a lot of fun. The interior space with the back seat folded is amazing.

The Sport alloy wheels are hard to come by because they're light and narrow and the drag racers love them. They are a target for theives. 

My sister ended up with the car eventually and then traded it in for a Honda HRV, which seemed like a natural progression. 

johndej SuperDork
8/22/23 1:10 a.m.

Our 2010 just passed 245k with us only just purchased from original owner at 220k. It's been both mine and wife's commuter for that time. We've got a minivan for full family hauling but the fit still gets the nod for quick solo trips or taking a single kid around or dog hauling. AC is marginal and keep a spare coil nearby but otherwise 0 issues. Very much a momentum car, slower by far than the skyactive mazda 3 it replaced. 

calteg SuperDork
8/22/23 8:03 a.m.

First gens are  more tossable, but the paint tends to fade really badly and they have some water intrusion issues. 

Third gens are a different beast, it definitely seems like they engineered the fun out when they tried  to bring the Fit a little up market 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
8/22/23 8:36 a.m.

I had a 2nd gen Fit as my daily driver for a few months over the last winter- it was a base model 5 speed.  I really, really didn't like it despite the great fuel economy and cleverly useful interior.  Reasons I was not a fan, in no particular order:

-No steering feel whatsoever, absolutely none
-Ultra sloppy shifter
-Horrendous clutch delay valve (removed this, huge improvement)
-Rusted insanely fast for a modern car, mine was definitely unsafe before I welded some stuff into the rear spring pockets to keep them from punching through
-You sit ON the car, not in it.  For some people this is fine but for me the seating position was unpleasant due to this and...
-You can either be too close to the pedals, or too far from the steering wheel and shifter

All that said, it did great handbrake turns, could haul an alarming amount of stuff in the interior, and was technically a good car- I just hated driving it unless I drove it like I hated it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/22/23 9:06 a.m.

More than one GRM staff members drives a Fit. Just saying. 

ddavidv UltimaDork
8/22/23 11:46 a.m.

The Fit is go.

rob_lewis UberDork
8/22/23 12:11 p.m.

Son's got an '08 that was a rebuilt title car (front passenger fender and support were munched).  It's been a fairly reliable car so far.  Started with just a tick over 110k and he's just under 140k now.  We've had some A/C issues.  First was a wonky connection to the firewall that took some head scratching to figure out how to seal up. I think it was related to the wreck. When it leaked, it took out the compressor, so a new one from RA seemed to fix it.  Bought a new condenser and expansion valve but didn't replace them at the same time as the compressor and, of course, now the valve has gone bad.  While the whole dash doesn't need to come out to replace it, it's not a small chore. 

At about 120k miles, one of the rod bearings spun and was knocking something fierce.  I ended up pulling the pan, slapping in a standard size one and putting it all back together and seems to have worked.  He has a tendency to corner at speed and we're thinking it got oil starved and spun the bearing.  I was surprised my driveway cheap fix worked.

One of the axle seals went bad.  Went ahead and replaced the axle at the same time (like $110 from NAPA).  Note, it is VERY easy to push the seal in too far. It gets chewed up and leaks within 50 miles.  We replaced it 3 time before realizing it.  :(  At least we got to the point we could swap it out in 30 minutes......

His does have the rear hatch leak that we've made improvements on by sealing up the original body seals up near the hatch hinge.  It's a common problem, but chasing it takes a bit.  Fix is just to coat it in sealant if you can figure out where it's leaking.

It's been surprising easy to work on.  Some minor fiddly bits (like adjusting the belt tension), but big things like the axle were dead simple and parts are pretty inexpensive and easily available.

Other than the above, it's been a good little car.  As others have said, a bit of buzzing on the freeway down here in Texas where speed limits are 80 mph in some areas, but around town it's fun to drive.  I expect to inherit it when he graduates as my DD. 


AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/22/23 12:16 p.m.

do not let Hennessy Honda of Woodstock anywhere near it.

Turbo_Rev Reader
8/22/23 2:16 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

"Sitting on it, not in it" is apt. My girlfriend at the time remarked that it felt like riding in a horse-drawn carriage. 

ExcessKuma Reader
8/22/23 5:31 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Going to need a headcount there.

DirtyBird222 PowerDork
8/23/23 9:58 a.m.

I have had all 3 gens. 3rd gen is by far the most comfortable. 

2nd gen is slightly better than the 1st IMO. Slightly better ergonomics, the indash cupholder on drivers left, the sport model has a rear sway bar, etc. There really aren't too many variances between gens other than the 3rd gen got slightly more plush and has seats you can do a long road trip in. 

The L15 is dead nuts reliable, some of them get a bit of a "lifter tick" that's annoying but I bought an intake for one of mine and that covered up the noise. 

The magic seats are awesome. Makes it an extremely versatile car for whatever you need. 

RaabTheSaab Reader
8/23/23 12:21 p.m.

I've only ever driven a second gen, but I remember the steering feel leaving much to be desired and the l15 being kinda...underwhelming. It just always feels like it's runnin its lil heart out without ever getting anywhere.  Otherwise, a remarkably composed chassis that's fun to toss around through on ramps and back roads. 

camopaint0707 Reader
8/23/23 1:04 p.m.

honda fit is the greatest car ever

bobzilla MegaDork
8/23/23 1:05 p.m.

In reply to camopaint0707 :

You REALLY need to get out more. maybe drive more cars.

pheller UltimaDork
8/23/23 1:14 p.m.

I'd say the Fit's biggest weakness, as a owner of a 2012 since new, is that motor swaps are not particularly easy as it pretty much got the same motor worldwide, and all of them suck. 

There are definitely more people swapping them now then in years past, but nobody has developed a walkthrough, it's all kinda "you gotta rewire the ECU to get the dash to work, good luck!" 

The cost or effort doesn't worry me, it's being stranded mid-swap with a car that doesn't run and no resources to lean on. 

Get a manual! Especially a Sport Manual (6spd). 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/23/23 1:19 p.m.
ExcessKuma said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Going to need a headcount there.

Two. So, technically we have as many Fit owners as we have MR2, 911 and GTI owners. :) 

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