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regfootball

09 HONDA FIT SPORT TEST DRIVE

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I ended up test driving a new Fit today. Quick summary, fun car. FUN! Mechanically tight.

More in a little while when i can go into detail.

Would i buy the car? Well, despite my ambivalence about the video game cheap plastic interior, I will have it on the short list.

A lot of fun, but a few reservations.

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Well, i don't recall what the color was. The interior was black, that is for sure. It was a Fit they were selling used, not sure why other than they said it had 'shipping damage'. Well, it is a tin can of a car so maybe it got dented when unloading...LOL. Anyways, they had 2 'used' ones. The one I drove was a Fit Sport I believe, manual trans. At least he said it was the sport. I actually had come in to drive a used S60 manual, so it was interesting drving them back to back.

The Fit is a nice looking vehicle now in my mind on the outside. The doors, hatch, etc. all feel very light though. The hinges etc. don't really glide with solidity and precision and lubrication like say, an Audi. I know its not Audi priced, but I guess the Fit felt Korean in this department. Fit and finish seemed merely 'good'....i would not say it was stellar like some expect of Honda. Just a little better than average with some sloppy parts.

I was able to acclimate myself in the seat fast....get the driving position set perfectly. Fairly close. I don't like the mouse fur fabric Honda has on the seats. Not only does it look like it won't last, its too 'grippy'. I prefer a weave more like on the Astra. But the seat itself was supportive. Could have used more lateral support. The pregnant steering wheel was nice even if it looked weird bulging out. The gauges to me seemed a bit low but i adjusted quick to that.

Ergonomically, the Fit is a mix of hit and miss. Generally the key items are dead on. Steering wheel location can be placed where you need it. The shifter is dead on, and the throws are perfect. In fact, the shifter is like great sex. Feels wonderful you just want to keep using it. Its more slick than a household light switch. The clutch is about perfect too. Climate controls are close if a bit confusing at first. Window switches are dead on. Stalks are good and feel nice.

Now, the misses. The tilt wheel lever like so many cars is WAY down low and far ahead. I don't freaking get it. Do I have to look like i am reaching for my unit and playing with myself just to adjust the wheel? The power mirror switch seemed cheap and was on the dash. SHould be on the door.

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I'd rather have an Aveo5 LT or G3 with sport pack and power features... Seriously.

chevrolet_aveo_euroncap.jpg

Mmm... Daewoo EXCITEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess it's better than a '93 LeMans.

Edited by empowah
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I'd rather have an Aveo5 LT or G3 with sport pack and power features... Seriously.

:rotflmao:

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Well the Fit Sport has aluminum wheels, different fascias with foglamps, and a roof sporler. It's purty easy to tell it from the base car.
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i'll get a chance to finish this later today.....fell asleep at the puter last night.

saw the G3!!!!!!!! at the auto show. it was DEFINITELY excitement. or was that, EXCREMENT?

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Dealers get allotments of cars from Honda, but they can also purchase them. When they purchase them, they are technically used, although often times they can give you a better warranty, since the certified pre-owned warranty is better in some ways than the new car warranty. Or at least that's what I heard when I was shopping for a Fit. I don't really know the salesman could have been feeding me a line.

I test drove a Fit Sport 5-speed manual with navigation. Great car. I wasn't a fan of the expansive dash, and the interior felt a bit cold. Otherwise, I really liked it. Of course the acceleration was very soft compared to my Integra and A4. But it revs quickly and feels quick, which helps to sidestep the feeling of slowness. I was amazed at the space and configurability of the car. Enough head room for very tall people. The magic back seats seem very useful and were easy to configure. The tilt and telescoping steering wheel is wonderful to have in this level of vehicle.

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Dealers get allotments of cars from Honda, but they can also purchase them. When they purchase them, they are technically used, although often times they can give you a better warranty, since the certified pre-owned warranty is better in some ways than the new car warranty. Or at least that's what I heard when I was shopping for a Fit. I don't really know the salesman could have been feeding me a line.

I test drove a Fit Sport 5-speed manual with navigation. Great car. I wasn't a fan of the expansive dash, and the interior felt a bit cold. Otherwise, I really liked it. Of course the acceleration was very soft compared to my Integra and A4. But it revs quickly and feels quick, which helps to sidestep the feeling of slowness. I was amazed at the space and configurability of the car. Enough head room for very tall people. The magic back seats seem very useful and were easy to configure. The tilt and telescoping steering wheel is wonderful to have in this level of vehicle.

i echo lots of that. dammit i better finish the writeup.
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Well, i don't recall what the color was. The interior was black, that is for sure. It was a Fit they were selling used, not sure why other than they said it had 'shipping damage'. Well, it is a tin can of a car so maybe it got dented when unloading...LOL. Anyways, they had 2 'used' ones. The one I drove was a Fit Sport I believe, manual trans. At least he said it was the sport. I actually had come in to drive a used S60 manual, so it was interesting drving them back to back.

The Fit is a nice looking vehicle now in my mind on the outside. The doors, hatch, etc. all feel very light though. The hinges etc. don't really glide with solidity and precision and lubrication like say, an Audi. I know its not Audi priced, but I guess the Fit felt Korean in this department. Fit and finish seemed merely 'good'....i would not say it was stellar like some expect of Honda. Just a little better than average with some sloppy parts.

I was able to acclimate myself in the seat fast....get the driving position set perfectly. Fairly close. I don't like the mouse fur fabric Honda has on the seats. Not only does it look like it won't last, its too 'grippy'. I prefer a weave more like on the Astra. But the seat itself was supportive. Could have used more lateral support. The pregnant steering wheel was nice even if it looked weird bulging out. The gauges to me seemed a bit low but i adjusted quick to that.

Ergonomically, the Fit is a mix of hit and miss. Generally the key items are dead on. Steering wheel location can be placed where you need it. The shifter is dead on, and the throws are perfect. In fact, the shifter is like great sex. Feels wonderful you just want to keep using it. Its more slick than a household light switch. The clutch is about perfect too. Climate controls are close if a bit confusing at first. Window switches are dead on. Stalks are good and feel nice.

Now, the misses. The tilt wheel lever like so many cars is WAY down low and far ahead. I don't freaking get it. Do I have to look like i am reaching for my unit and playing with myself just to adjust the wheel? The power mirror switch seemed cheap and was on the dash. SHould be on the door.

to speed this up a bit,

the cupholders, this car has a buttload of cupholders, but in the spot you expect them to be, the console area, they are buried low and in front of the shifter. suck! there is a couple pockets on the dash that could be cupholders too I guess. I find it funny that folks rail on the asta for cupholders and lack of armrest yet this fit had no armrest or convenient cupholders either.

people space is good and the seating is nice and upright and easy on the posture but I'm sorry, the video game dash is a bit much. That, and the feeling of driving a bubble because of the stretched windshield and huge front quarter windows. Like on the SX4, it's just weird and unsettling. Not as much on the Fit as the SX4, but really I hope this doesn't become a huge trend. The pillar slope on the Honda is much better than the SX4 but those windows are huge and its really like looking at a video screen for the dash and then through a rolling cage. Its not simple, its busy and annoying. Fortunately the car drives so well that it helps negate that somewhat. The three climate control switches are in easy reach and somewhat easy. The radio then is way the uck up high and to the left and not really convenient to see or use.

The rear seats and trunk are obviously the star of the car IMO, because of the fabulous ROI in terms of usability for the size and what you pay to get it.

Overall I think the design of the interior is just not my cup of tea, but its a big improvement over the prior fit and at least the theme is consistent in the interior and the shapes and lighting all seem to mesh. You can tell they attempted to upgrade the more visible parts of the dash with better plastic although overall the plastics are not great, not terrible. It really straddles the line as some pieces are pretty cheap and others not so much. I would say Honda's engineers and designers did a good job of designing to price and straddling the line of what is acceptable. For me, the interior quality is an issue and would give me pause to buy the car, but not as much as the interior noise issue (forthcoming) or the interior DESIGN. But yes, fabric, carpet, and plastics quality is an issue. And generally the controls were Honda slick but the stalks maybe seemed a bit cheap as did the climate controls. The trunk area seemed like it might hold up ok.

What obviously makes up for it is the drive. The wheel is nice to grip even if it bulges at you. The steering is simply great. Perhaps a bit quick for many, I think I would be just fine with it. The steering feel, while lacking the heft of say a Jetta, is great, especially for a small car. The suspension was about right, maybe was very borderline too stiff. Nah, it was ok. It maybe sounded stiff because the car tended to resonate noise a bit more in the cabin than I like (or is present in an Astra for example). The car felt undertired to me. The tires needed to be wider and stiffer sidewalls. Maybe a slight tish more roll stiffness on the cloverleafs. This is being nitpicky. I wish all cars were this fun to drive. The shifter and clutch are gratifying. The shifter is like good sex, tight but slick and its like a precision toggle switch. Like some VW's. The clutch is just right light and you always know where the engagement point is. You find yourself shifting the car just because you want to.

The engine in most instances has plenty of power. It is refined and smooth most of the time. There is a dead spot just off launch into the mid ranges. It's a Honda so i guess this *fits* the brand. When you hit that flat spot its a drag and you have to coax the moaner out to get it going again. But when the car is on the boil, its a hoot and you swear you have more than 117hp or whatever. And casually launching from a stop its ok too. Most of the time you will want to drive it on the boil. Speaking of, a 6th gear is needed to bring some of the hum down. Note i did not say drone. The level of noise and such in this car is acceptable from the standpoint of a lively car but make sure you don't mind it if you are making payments on it. Most folks will enjoy the frisky powertrain and the louder interior etc. but just make sure this is what you want if you are making payments on the car.

One last comment, the steering really lightens up in the parking lot, its so easy to just manuever it around at walking speed!

For me, it comes down to, can i live the looking out of the bubble thing, the interior cheapness, the immature video game dash, some of the lightness or insubstantial construction, and the loudness factor. The steering, shifting, turning, utility are quite good.

Edited by regfootball
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just wanted to add, it won't let me edit. I think a car that is very similar to this that some folks may want to check out as well is the Suzuki SX4. Seriously the character of these two cars is almost the same, and does not at all feel like a hefty Jetta or a soft Impreza. The SX4's engine is just a bit shy of the Honda in friskiness and elasticity. The shifter on the SX4 feels similar but not 100% as slick. They both have the bubble thing going on but the Suzuki is taller and the pillars feel more intrusive. The dash on the SX4 is more sensible.

The car I am heavily looking at in this class is an Astra XR, and it performs to my liking in the handling and braking and power categories and for my tastes has a nicer interior than the Fit and feels more quality overall and has more heft in so many ways. It has less cargo space. At the same time, the difference in the opinion for me between the FIt and Astra is minimal. I can't blame anyone for liking the FIt based upon performance and utility.

About the only other car in this class I may try now is the new Mazda3. I drove a 010 Fusion manual today with the Mazda 3's powertrain and it was really nice. To me, a car like the Fit really deserves a better engine to maximize the fun chassis. At least 160hp and a 6 speed manual would make the FIt that much better.

WIll I buy one. Dunno. 17-18 grand for a small car is a tough sell when you can get so many good used cars with very miles for cheaper. But to those who like small vehicles and want great handling, the Fit is by all means in the top tier. It's quite the hoot. I bet it steals many Civic sales.

Edited by regfootball
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I'd rather have an Aveo5 LT or G3 with sport pack and power features... Seriously.

That's like saying you'd rather have a Yugo.

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I'd rather have an Aveo5 LT or G3 with sport pack and power features... Seriously.

:rotflmao:

Sure gm4life, anything with a GM badge is always the best right? :alcoholic:

I wonder if you'd like it if it had a Daewoo badge?

LOL

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Autoweek has a long-term test installment on their Fit this week. They say the car becomes a handful in crosswinds, and if it is raining AND windy, it becomes very skittish. Also they're like "WTF?" regarding the TEN cupholders.
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You forgot to mention the two cup holder down low between the seats, rear of the hand brake. :AH-HA_wink: And a center armrest is an optional accessory, but imho, it's not worth the price. Also, it takes away the use of those two aforementioned cup holders. lol

Great review. I drive these things all the time at work (Honda lot tech) and can truly say I agree with you. Mostly I agree that they are fun to drive and the interior is rather poor (material and mixed emotions design wise).

What bugs me most is that those same types of materials were carried over to the Insight. Luckily, the Insight interior is a little more "pleasant" to be in. I'm sure most people would agree, anyhow...

Edited by fuel_sipping
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