Possibly My Next Car: 2007 Honda Fit

honda_fit2.jpgWhile our current cars are running fine (even though one is 11 years old), I find myself very intrigued by the new 2007 Honda Fit. One of many perky new compact cares, many people may assume that it’s just a response to recent gas prices, but the Fit has been sold in Japan and around the world as the Jazz since 2001.

I like it because it just seems simple and useful. It’s got decent seating room due to it’s shape. Check out the different seating configurations, or ‘modes’, that it has. The rear seats actually fold flat like in an SUV, giving you lots of storage space. And it’ll be easy to park.

Honda Fit Picture

With only 109 horsepower, I’ll miss my V-6, but from the reviews it seems to be adequately zippy. With the automatic they even offer paddle shifters! Probably a feature I’ll never use past the first week, but neat nonetheless. The auto also gets an EPA 31 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. Not a Prius, but about double what I’m getting now.

Also, it’s a Honda. Every Honda my family has owned has gone 100k miles easily without any issues (other than me crashing one of them as teenager :P). In fact, this car is about what a Civic used to be (namely, cheaper and smaller).

Finally, it costs only about $15,000, including stuff like ABS brakes, power windows, and CD player. In fact, going through the options list I can’t really find any extras worth buying.

Of course, another part of me likes the Honda Pilot SUV. Third-row seating, DVD player to distract the kids, etc. Oh, and double the price. I like the rugged look of SUVs too, but let’s face it, I don’t need extra ground clearance or 4WD. I think a modestly sized 4-seater should plenty for a family of 4 or less.

(I also like to look at used Porsche’s just for fun. Did you know you can pick up a ’97 Boxster for about $15,000?)

(And, yes, I still want a beater truck, too)

Some Fit Reviews
Car and Driver Magazine
CNET.com
Automotive.com

Comments

  1. I’ve been looking at the Fit too, though I wonder what the crash-test ratings are vs. the Civic.

  2. There was an article from the newest Motor Trend mag. It compared the Honda Fit with Nissan Versa and Toyota’s Yaris. And of course Honda won the 1st place.

    with 31 City/37 Hwy, I’m disappointed at this cus our new ’06 Civic is running at 30/40 and it’s a much bigger and more comfortable car.

  3. Overall very nice car..!
    Few Drawbacks
    Standard Model doesn’t have keyless entry and cruise control.
    Sports Model is $16.5K+

  4. You haven’t reported HSBC’s latest 5.05% APR yet!

  5. Jonathan! I can’t believe, you of all people, are considering a NEW car. You’re out of your mind! Used cars (I don’t need the “preowned” euphamism to make me feel better) are the only way to go. You get the exact same thing you would have in 1-5 years (or in my case 13 years) for so much less. Gas prices shouldn’t be a big deal when you are saving thousands on a used car in the first place.

  6. I like the idea of the Honda Fit, but 109 HP doesn’t seem like much, especially when you put 4 people and some luggage in it.

    My wife and I are trying to decide between the Accord and the Pilot. She’s got a ’95 Accord that she loves, but we’re starting to have to put some money into it…

    Do what I did, and get yourself a beater truck for hauling stuff, and a fuel efficient Honda for everything else!

    Remember, just because it’s a “beater” doesn’t mean it isn’t nice. I bought a ’98 F150 for a few thousand dollars, so be sure to shop around at the used car lots.

    -Grant
    http://www.TheCornerOfficeBlog.com

  7. Don’t do it!! First it is a 5 year old design (Jazz in Japan since 01′) Second, I really doubt your V-6 powered car gets 15/19 MPG (which is what it would have to be for the fit to get double the mileage.) Third, I have driven it (I am a car nut, I drive everything) because the local dealer sent me an invite and then sent me a $50 gas card to drive, and it drives like a turd. Alright, maybe not that bad, but it is not entertaining in the least to drive. Frankly, if you enjoy driving (and it seems you might since you are even considering a used Porsche, bad idea also if you are cheap, ie maintenance nightmare) I would strongly recommend the VW GTI. They are coming out with a 5 door version of this car in the coming months, and although it is a bit more, it does get good mileage (25/31) or if you are just a cheapskate, keep the car you have now. Whatever you do, do not be an idiot and buy a f***ing SUV!

  8. I just picked up my Honda Fit a week ago. I had to pre-order it because they were selling so quick when they hit the dealers. I even had one sell while I was test driving it. After the test drive, I said, I’ll take it. The salesman went inside to write it up for me, and came out with a sad face. It had just sold while I was test driving it.

    I love the Fit. My previous car was 23 years old (83′ Honda Civic Wagon). Which really was a 4-door hatchback. Honda stopped selling 4-door hatchbacks about 10-15 years ago. The closest thing they had was the accord wagon, which was too long for my tastes.

    As for the car, it is almost perfect. I’d like a more powerful engine, but it is adequate. I drive my wife’s 2005 Honda Odyssey, and that thing has power (250+ HP). The Fit has 109hp. I’d like to see a gas cap that pops open with a lever inside. And I’d like to have a locking glove compartment. I’m going to tint the windows. Other than that, the car is very fun to drive, and I have already moved a huge load of computers stuff from one location to another. I had 6 CRTs, 4 Workstations, 20 keyboards, toner, printer, and a couple of boxes of misc stuff, and I still had room left in the car for more. The guy helping me unload it said that I kept on pulling stuff out of the car. He couldn’t believe it.

    Being that I keep my cars for more than 20 years, I’m thinking that buying new wasn’t a totally bad move. Oh, I bought through Costco for $200 below MSRP.

    Have fun,

    Corey

  9. i want the smart car. 69 miles to the gallon.

  10. Toyota Yaris looks mighty appealing as well. In other countries, they also have another Honda called Honda City, which is in between Jazz and Civic.

    When purchasing a car like this, I suggest go for the bare minimum….automatic + AC….and thats it.

  11. Please be nice to your future kids and do not make them ride in that tiny car. They will drive you and each other crazy! I think that one of the reasons parents drive minivans is so their kids can be as far away from them as possible on long trips–and by long, I mean anything longer than a kid’s attention span.

    Now, if the car were just for you, I’d say yes, I think it’s a neat car, too. My Honda has 130,000 miles on it, and has been virtually problem-free for the 5,000 miles I’ve owned it. Incredible.

  12. Bigmouth says:

    Purchasing car is not like purchasing a house. Investment wise, it’s always a lose though some tend to hold their value a little better. I’ve never driven a Fit, but I think they are probably among the finest sub-compact cars out there. Similar class performers are: Toyota Yris, Nissan Tiida, Hyundai Elentra, Kia Rio (for under $8,000), did I miss something? What happened to the US brands?

    Oh, what do you guys think about the Chevy’s 72 month interest free option?

  13. Have you looked at the Toyota Yaris as well? Seems to be in the same class as the Fit.

    As far as reliability and gas mileage goes, this car is way up there. But is it going to be fun to drive as a daily driver? Might be. Personally, I like my cars with a little more “soul” – one reason why I own an Audi :-) But of course, to each his own.

  14. We’ve always been fans of Toyota. Recently we just got a Scion xA; made by Toyota and which kinda looks like a Honda Fit. We noticed this trend towards smaller cars for the better gas mileage and for a while, we had our eyes on the Toyota Yaris and the Mini Cooper. The Scion xA had the best test drive of all three. The biggest struggle now … should we get Sirius or XM? Well, we use Napster a lot and we’ve got our eye on that new Sony 8 GB MP3 player at just $200. Pink and Purple are coming out soon, but dissapointingly, Black is being sold only in Japan. Most likely, we’ll use our Best Buy Rewards coupons for this – theirs no point in getting accessories at the dealership. Hope you have an opportunity to test drive the Scion xA. My coworker says he preferred the Fit over the Scion, but he hasn’t convinced his wife yet. Coversely, Scion xB is more for teens and for really old people. Teens because they like it. Old folks because the xB is so low that they can easily put their wheelchairs on board.

  15. albert, that’s some good mileage. However, the Fit has more headroom, more shoulder room, and more cargo capacity than the Civic.

    Overall, both have basically the same amount of overall passenger volume. But the Fit has a ton more cargo space.

    The Civic is faster, though. I like the Civic a lot too.

    chris – yeah, I have a used car now, but I don’t see anything wrong with a new car if you drive it for a long time. If you annualize it the difference is negligible, and you avoid any possible repairs from a dishonest seller.

    Foodie – I dunno, I grew up in car about this size, and so do all the kids in the rest of the world. Until they turn into teenagers, I think it’s fine.

  16. Ron – Funny you say that, I just walked the dog and walked by a new xA in my neighborhood. It does look pretty nice, I’ll have to check it out.

  17. My vote goes to Scion xA. Compare the xA and Fit from behind, and you’ll know. Plus these reasons:
    1. At least in my experience, maintenance cost usually runs higher for Honda.
    2. I’m not sure what Fit has, but xA has timing chain.
    3. xA has been around for at least 2 years. Lesson I learned is NEVER buy first-year model, too many bugs and issues that haven’t been resolved.
    4. You can get used xA – save on first-year depreciation.

  18. The “Fit” seems nice but it’s so freakin’ ugly!!! Spend another $7K and get the Toyota FJ.

  19. Bigmouth says:

    Come to think of it, I agree with many of you that you should always consider buying a 3 year old car and keep it for only 3 years then sell it. This way, you basically used the car in its peak performance life with minimal depreciation relatively speaking.

  20. Honda Fit is a great car, BUT buying one now, when they are new and going for no discount is a bad idea. Wait until they are at least a year old. Otherwise, consider the Honda Civic, which is already being discounted because its been out longer. Check prices at http://www.carsdirect.com.

    OR- if you truly want to be money wise, buy a car that is two years old, but still under 36,000 miles.

  21. If you’re going to own a car for 10+ years and plan to put over 200K miles on it (like me), consider buying a car that appeals more to your visceral side. Pick something you will enjoy looking at and driving, because as the years tick away, you will increasingly resent owning a vehicle picked solely for the sake of pinching pennies. Econoboxes are a REAL DRAG to own after about 5 years because they get to be damn boring… really quickly.

    I bought a used Mazda 3 hatchback for $14.5K with 37K miles on it instead of going for a new econo-car. It gets high 20′s in the city and mid-30′s on the highway which is acceptable to me. Most importantly, it is FUN to drive, looks reasonably cool, and is a more substantial car than the others in its class. I’m confident the years will pass smoothly without any feelings of “missing out”. Or, if comfort and quietness are your happy triggers, consider a used Toyota Camry (Lexus Lite) instead. TONS to choose from at reasonable prices. Ultimately, don’t neglect your gut. We don’t pick women who we don’t have chemistry with, even if they are a “good deal”. It’s wise to consider long-term cars with the same criteria.

  22. I am not a auto connoisseur. I only get bored when I got stuck in the traffic. With the high gas price, every 1 mpg increase does matter to me. So, I prefer to choose econobox as my primary transportation tool.

    I agree with Martin and BigMouth. It is always easier to negotiate at the end of month or even year. Depreciation tends to be higher in the first three years. You may get a great deal after three years. Besides, recall (common in many car makers) may be issued within that three years to give you a peace of mind.

  23. FrontPage says:

    People say that you should wait a few years while the kinks are ironed out on the Fit… well, the Fit has been out there, being a top seller overseas, and is a hit in Europe. So the Fit has a proven track record.

    I have banged my head for 2 months now, trying to figure between the Fit, the Scion xA and xB, and the Yaris. even drove some used cars and priced the xA and Civic, another car I test drove several times, along with the Element. What else is there? I loved the ride of the Ford Mustang, which I rented this past spring, but… the Ford has a 10-year-old cabin (no provision for iPods, any music player, or even burned mp3 CD’s) and I wanted to go the opposite end of the spectrum with gas mileage after being pummeled by The Man with my 16 mpg 4Runner.

    Hammering away at the options, extras, price and MPG, I yanked the Element as well. Price-wise, I pulled the Civic, which I did like. But priced with insurance and a number of people questioning the MPG estimates, I pulled the plug on that, the Toyota Corolla (too little styling) and the Yaris (which rang up thousands more for comparable features, yet still felt vulnerable on the road in cross winds). It actually got axed after reading enough forums about the painful seats after 100 miles.

    Drove the xB and xA time and time again, both manual and automatic. The xB seemed to struggle more to ride along straight, steady but unchallenging incline at 65mph — it’s more for the city and suburban areas. The xA was my final choice, even with cramped space in the rear, until I just sat in and test drove a Fit Sport auto trans. If it’s still at the dealership in the morning, it may well be mine. Better features, more configurable, good stated MPG’s and iPod worthy, plus I can work on my laptop while lounging in the back seat.

    MPG’s were a big factor. In the final round, I read Corolla and Civic posts up and down, all of which had a credible number of people questioning the validity of the MPG estimates. However, the Scion detracters actually claimed even better gas mileage than the estimates. Rarely did I find someone upset over MPG’s.

    I’ll check the forums for MPG estimate patterns… if the owners say they’re happy, I’ll be outside the Honda dealer in the morning. If not, my choice will be the Scion xA.

  24. That’s a cute little car. Great choice!

  25. I’m one of many new owners of the new ’07 Honda Fit Sport [vivid blue]. I recently sold my 99 Tahoe in favor of better gas mileage + I no longer needed the towing capabilities. I’ve read various comments on this blog and many other sites.

    The good: sporty, fun to drive, more roomy inside than it looks, improved mpg vs my Tahoe but…

    The bad: the sticker reports 31 city/37 highway. For such a small vehicle, you would expect a minimum of 31 combined even with the updated 2008 changes to ratings/testing. I’m on tank #3 and have experienced just less than 25 mpg combined. The temp here in Oklahoma has been at or exceeded 100-degrees the past week+ but still — I EXPECTED more, especially after owning various Hondas in the past. It’s a new decade and we expect more!? Other negatives: optional floor mats priced $99/$109 [dealer pricing] and something I really miss from the Tahoe — an armrest and room to store items.

    Still today, I’m giving it more time but at this point wished I had weighed my options longer.

    btw — tinting the windows this week which will hopefully assist in the constant need for the AC on high which sucks the power, esp on highways. Again, reminiscent of my old ’87 Honda Civic hatchback.

  26. OrlandoNan says:

    MY ’07 gray Fit rox. I got the stripped down manual – and had 38.2 MPG this past week. I am a speed limit driver and after tinting the windows didn’t need to blast the AC. My old ’01 Odyssey ($36k – ouch) was like a cinderblock by comparison. There are five airbags, including sides in the back where my 12-year-old sits. I paid $14,500 including sales tax. Why pay $10,000 more for a hybrid that gets 20% better mileage – a costly trend that early adopters are getting soaked for. I plan to keep my Fit for 10 years. Accord wagon was going strong at that age when sold. Radio is much better than the van; the Fit is fun to drive if you aren’t a speed demon and parks like a dream. Clever collapsing rear seats – they fold up like folding chairs and you have a deep cargo bed for plants, framed prints, etc. I would buy this car again, glad I did. (p.s. I also miss the armrest…to Greg on Aug. 15. ease up on the pedal and your MPG will soar. thanks for dumping the carbon catastrophe Tahoe)

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