2008 Honda Fit
The 2008 Honda Fit
, a holdover from the 2007 model, hit the U.S. by storm when released as a 2007 model in late 2006. The Fit is a near-perfect urban city car, combining a small-car footprint with big-car room through the ingenious Magic Seat system. While there are only two versions, the Fit and the Fit Sport, with a price range of $13,950 to $16,070, the two are basically the same car. We think the Sport, with its 5-speed automatic transmission, small rear spoiler and paddle shifters works as the complete package.
What's to Like
The gas mileage is to 'drive' for, there is room for a whole houseful of IKEA gear and the price, while not super-cheap, is affordable enough to not make you blanch at the sticker. Ideal for everyone from the most jaded echo boomer to the just-starting-over empty nester, the Fit, well, fits.
What's Not to Like
The small, 1.5-liter engine is somewhat anemic on the freeway and is also quite loud. The price, in our opinion, could use a thousand dollar or so shaving and the car feels a tad bit tinny when compared to the recently updated Scion
, but overall it's not enough to knock the Fit off its close-to-perfect perch.
The Honda Fit won't win any F1 championships, but for driving around the city, or for daily commuting, it shines. The 1.5-liter engine produces 109 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to propel the close-to-2500-pound car at a rapid clip. The Fit, while a small car, has a bigger-car feel. Again, for a few dollars more we would opt for the Sport, which adds plus-size alloy wheels, a 200-watt, six-speaker audio system and a full-body aero kit complete with a rear roofline spoiler. Those paddle shifters make a difference, too – while driving hard through a corner, you can quickly blip down a gear and really feel the road.
Engine and Drivetrain
The Fit has a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine mated to either a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission. The engine produces a sprightly 109 horsepower and 105 lb.-ft. of torque. While the specs may seem a little underwhelming on paper, it works for the small size.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Magic Seat, the Fit's innovative seating, provides five distinct seating and cargo-carrying configurations, and, with all seats in the upright position, the passenger volume measures 90.1 cubic feet, with 21.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row. With Honda's VTEC engine placed in its smallest car, expect gas mileage in the 28-city, 34-highway range. While not a hybrid, it comes darn close for a lot less money too.
Key Technology Evaluation
While the Honda Fit isn't the most technologically advanced automobile on the planet, it does have its fair share of gadgetry. A standard auxiliary jack, which plugs into the 200-watt stereo, completes the job. What's missing is a Bluetooth connectivity, like on the Nissan Versa
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Really, the only way to get better gas mileage – around 28/34 - is to buy a much more expensive and heavier hybrid. To us, the Fit represents what a greener car should be: lightweight, great gas mileage without the complexity of a hybrid and still fun to drive. With low CO2 emissions, the LEV-2 Fit is a winner.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
The Fit won't be confused with a Maybach
, but its ingenious Magic Seat system folds and unfolds in many different configurations to create some of the most efficient use of space this side of an apartment in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
While not exactly breaking new ground like the Civic Si
, the Fit is a cute little 5-door hatchback with clean, modern lines. No retro-kitsch here for Honda.
Market Segment and Pricing
With prices ranging from $13,950 for the bare bones Fit to $16,070 for the automatic transmission Fit Sport, the vehicle is on par with the Scion xD
, the Chevrolet HHR
and any number of $15,000 urban cruisers.
What We Think
As close to a perfect car for the money that is on the road today. The Fit is a delectable blend of good form, well-thought-out interior design and great gas mileage. We think it’s best in class.