Last post on Apr 21, 2013 at 2:55 AM
You are in the Honda Fit
What is this discussion about?
Honda Fit, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), Hatchback
#2478 of 2554 Re: ONLY good thing about Honda Fit was Gas Mileage [wordsworth]
Sep 14, 2010 (7:01 am)
I am not surprised that the dealer was poorly informed, to advise you that there were no handling equipment differences between the Base and Sport models - I had to dig very, very deep to find out the Sport actually includes an additional rear sway bar missing on the Base model.
Consumer Guide has a good review of both the Base and Sport models. Their take is BOTH models handle significantly better than the average small car (disregarding the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 which weren't out at the time). As to the two Fits, the Sport handles better than the Base but at a significant degradation in ride quality. I think the degradation in ride quality is due to the narrower profile tires, not the sway bar. I think part of the difference in handling on the Base model is due to lesser quality, narrower tires.
I test drove both the Base and Sport. I thought the Base wallowed a bit, the Sport was more precise but harsher riding. I later test drove a Base a lot harder and found it very grippy on freeway on ramp curves - apparently the wallowing didn't really affect grip around the curve. The handling was definitely good enough for me. What I DIDN'T like was the wallowy feeling between 70 and 80 on the freeway. It didn't feel "planted." It felt like a light, flighty car, a feeling increased by the noise of the engine (3900 rpm with the manual transmission), wind noise, and tire thrum.
The Mazda2 is much quieter and feels more solid.
The problem is, there is really only one mini--mini van, and it's the Fit. The versatility of those seats is phenomenal. Head room and cabin "spaciousness" are phenomenal. In the Mazda2 it's possible to feel a little claustrophobic. In the Fit you feel "spacious." Measurements between the two cars are comparable, but "feeling" is vastly different.
Honda continues to annoy me with their cheapness. What you get is good quality, but on the Base they leave out keyless entry, floor mats (missing on the Sport too), cargo cover, and stability control - all included on the Fiesta and Mazda2. to make matters more insulting, Honda is apparently only "dribbling" out stability control to the Sport trim for 2011; in 2012 federal rules mandate stability control in all makes and models, but with a corporate motto of "Safety For All" I don't know how Honda can sell the Fit without stability control. It's hypocritical.
Sep 14, 2010 (7:51 am)
I added an aftermarket rear sway bar to my base Fit and it really woke it up. I did the same thing on the Yaris it replaced. The sway bars really should come standard on these small cars.
#2480 of 2554 Re: ONLY good thing about Honda Fit was Gas Mileage [micweb]
Sep 14, 2010 (9:44 am)
I have a 2009 Fit with 35,000 miles, about half of it from road trips with a family of four.
I agree with the assessment of ride quality on the low profile tires. On bumpy local streets, the 55 series tires provide much less cushion than my older Civic's 65 series. I run the Fit's tires at 40 psi, which gives me about 2 mpg better on the highway and improves the already crisp handling, but makes the ride harsher on rough streets. It's rough. On the positive side, the two year old in the back seat loves flying over big stomach-in-throat humps.
The car is a pleasure on the highway, and I don't find it flightly, just responsive. It's similar to a Civic in strong crosswinds.
I also agree with the spaciousness assessment. I'm 6'5, the teenager's 6', and we manage to fit comfortably. Not a lot of side to side room--three across is a squeeze in the back and two large men in the front seat can feel a little close (when I took delivery from the similarly-sized salesman in the passenger seat, I thought "what have I done?"). But with a car seat, toddler, toddler toys, playpen, and three big-persons' worth of luggage, there is room to spare in the cargo area. (It's about a third bigger than the Accord's trunk).
We get 35-40 MPG on the highway with this load, at 60-75 MPH with tires at 40 psi.
Immediately after purchase, I did spend about $350 on floor mats, a trunk mat, a removable cargo shelf cover, and a cargo net to bring the interior standard up a notch. Otherwise it's comfortable. The leather wheel is especially nice after hours of driving.
#2481 of 2554 Re: ONLY good thing about Honda Fit was Gas Mileage [wistlo]
Sep 14, 2010 (12:18 pm)
Thanks for the useful observations from an owner with substantial mileage. Very thoughtful. I looked at one at lunch today and the interior space is amazingly versatile. Any observations about noise levels? Esp. on the freeway?
#2482 of 2554 Re: ONLY good thing about Honda Fit was Gas Mileage [micweb]
Sep 14, 2010 (3:50 pm)
I don't find the car all that noisy, though there is a bit of tire noise. My only complaint with the Fit as a highway car is that I get tired of the stiff ride after a few hours (I have the Sport model).
#2483 of 2554 Re: ONLY good thing about Honda Fit was Gas Mileage [stephen987]
Sep 14, 2010 (3:56 pm)
Thanks! I'm looking at the Base and it is not so hard riding so that isn't an issue.
#2484 of 2554 Re: Rear sway bars [tele_mark]
Sep 14, 2010 (3:59 pm)
Where did you find an aftermarket rear sway bar for the Base Fit? Did it come with the necessary mounting brackets and bolts?
I put a TRD rear sway bar on a Yaris LB and it really tuned up the handling - much less understeer. If there is a similar bar for the Base Fit that leans me even more towards that model.
#2485 of 2554 Re: Super unleaded vs Reg. unleaded [spiff1969]
Sep 14, 2010 (11:06 pm)
In the past 5 years, I have never used any fuel other than Chevron in the West. In the East where Chevron is harder to find, I used Mobil. Texaco is connnected with Chevron and is a good one in localities that don't have Chevron. ARCO is cheap and I use it in rental cars at the airport to save money, never a vehicle I own.
#2486 of 2554 Re: Rear sway bars [tele_mark]
Sep 14, 2010 (11:10 pm)
I am interested. Where did you get the bar installed and approximately how much does it cost to do so?
#2487 of 2554 Re: ONLY good thing about Honda Fit was Gas Mileage [micweb]
Sep 14, 2010 (11:49 pm)
I am responding to these comments:
"Honda continues to annoy me with their cheapness. What you get is good quality, but on the Base they leave out keyless entry, floor mats (missing on the Sport too), cargo cover, and stability control..."
I have a Base Fit with 15K on it at this point. If you have a Base model--Honda actually gave you a blessing in disguise by leaving those things out.
1. No Keyless Entry: I hated this too when I got the Base FIT, but it turned out to be an opportunity to load a VIPER Responder 350 Keyless Two-Way Alarm Paging System ($300.00 installed everywhere). Now I have a security system that far exceeds the security system on most cars including the Sport Fit. You not only have keyless entry, but also a remote with a LCD screen that monitors the security system 24 hours a day, up to 1500 feet away and constantly communicates and vibrates or rings or both the second anyone tampers with your car--not to mention a really bright warning light flashing at night. So you know in advance if anyone is in your car or anything happened before you get there or you can run out immediately and catch the bastard. Other great features are CarJacking prevention, security control of the electric doors to prevent intruder entry the second you turn the ignition on and dome light control. I would not have gotten this alarm if I purchased the Sport and with the Sport they would have had to remove that alarm system (which does not have many features and only a horn beep.) I learned about the Viper from my Honda Dealer Service Advisor that was discouraging me from installing the Honda Sport alarm on my Base Fit! No Joke! He just did not see why anyone who can install a Viper for less $$ would want a factory Honda alarm. At first I was resistant--but he was right in the end.
2. No Floor Mats: Another blessing. If they gave them to you, it would be the cloth/fabric ones. Like most cloth mats--they last a week max, and you can never get them as clean and looking as day one ever again. A few months later---you are disgusted to put your feet on them. Instead, buy the beautiful thick Honda All Weather FIT mats (125.00) They are great--and every month or so, I wipe them down with water and they are brand new clean again! If you want to know how dirty mats get, get the all weather ones and wipe them down regularly and see how much dirt there is.
3. Cargo Cover: There are probably a few occasions I would have liked this to hide things, but really--you purchased the FIT for its versatility--Do you really want that piece of plastic impeding the ability to fold seats up and down and load cargo in and out like a pick-up truck? Who needs that! Plus its another thing adding weight to your car, killing MPG and where are you going to store it when you don't need it. (The Wife: "I can't stand that car cover getting dust in the gararge--get rid of it--why did you buy it, if you are not going to use it!") Sorry--FIT does not need it. (Savings of 150.00).
4. Stability Contol: There has been a lot of discussion about stability control on the Base FIT here. I don't get it! Could I have been the only person to get a Base FIT that rides great? I took my FIT non-stop (except fuel) from Los Angeles to Portland, OR this summer and then to Vancouver BC, then down the Oregon Coast and back to LA and never once, even at unmentionable speeds had a problem with stability. Now maybe if I went to the track with it--maybe--but no one buys a FIT for that. I don't get the issue. Come by and drive my Base FIT if you want.