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2007 Honda Fit Sport 5 Door Bookmark

The Good :)  Great gas mileage.  F1 style paddle shifters. Go-cart like driving dynamics.  Versatile folding seats.

The Bad :(  Small width.  Seats get dirty easily.  Fuzzy roof lining.  No interior map lights.  No trip computer. 

Engine                         I-4, 1.5 Liters
Output                          109 hp / 105 lb-ft
Top Speed                   100 mph
0-60 mph 9.5 sec (est.)
Weight                         2550 lbs
Price As Tested           $15,200

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           Honda has won many awards recently with the redesigned Civic and the car-like pickup truck, the Ridgeline.  Now they have done it again with their new subcompact car, the Fit.   For many years, Honda has been selling the Fit around the world from South America to Europe, where its known has the Jazz.  They have successfully sold more than one million units to date.  When the Fit was first introduced in Japan in 2001, it broke sales records in its first full year on the market.  In 2002, it was named the 'Car of the Year' in the UK by AutoExpress Magazine and in 2004 it was named 'Best Supermini' by BBC Top Gear Magazine.  This year it was named as a finalist for the 2007 North American Car of the Year.  

With last years spike in gas prices, American buyers are increasingly looking to subcompact vehicles, which offer better mileage and more bang for the buck than even a compact car.  The all new Fit puts Honda in the position to gain market share by giving buyers more flexibility and fun than their Civic small four door car.  However, competition is growing fast in this field; Toyota recently introduced the Yaris and Nissan has come out with the Versa.  Even Chinese and Indian automakers are planning to enter the subcompact market with vehicles they have successfully sold for years in their home countries. 

"Although Fit is an entry-level vehicle, it does not make compromises in feature content, refinement or material quality," said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Fit may be inexpensive, but it does not feel cheap."

            From the front end the fit is well styled with an aggressive design theme.  Everything seems to flow outwards from a central point, the Honda symbol.  The front headlamps are clear and angular with color matching the body inside the lens.  The vehicle's front design is very futuristic in many ways and reminds us of cars seen in the movie i-Robot.  Honda designers did a wonderful job creating a steep hood surrounded by a curved one piece bumper design.  The front bumper spoiler is rounded nicely and offers sporty air inlets down low near the fog lamps.  The large windshield is raked to blend in nicely with the angled front hood, making for a continuous line for the eye to follow. 

From the side profile you can see the orange color of our Fit carry into the front headlamps which is a nice touch.  Exterior mirrors are shaped in a non-traditional wedge design which adds to the flair on the outside.  The lower valences which are flowing from front to rear are straight out of the initial concept drawings.  It's refreshing to see that what a designer initial drew on paper is close to what actually got produced.  Windows have been divided into four large segments offering a small A-pillar window along with a small window at the rear trunk compartment.  The high positioning of the windows offers a better feel inside making the passenger compartment seem larger.  The wheels are styled nicely but small at only 15 inch diameter on our Sport model. 

The rear end is styled concisely with a small spoiler built into the top edge of the rear window and angular tail lights fitting nicely around the edges of the Fit.  The spoiler in back is sculpted well offering a smooth wrap around design with a bit of flow at the bottom portions.  We also liked the Fit logo with a futuristic lettering style and a blue dot over the letter i. 

            Inside the Fit welcomes you with soft seats that are supportive on your back and cozy on your bottom.  Overall there is 90 cubic feet of interior volume, which is a lot for a car categorized as a subcompact.  The overall interior design theme is minimalist with everything the driver needs up high and close to his hands.  The interior is layered with different materials and textures to give you a better feel while still being low cost.  The dotted plastic trim on the dash flows into the doors and arm rests.  Sooth materials and fabrics are blended with textured materials so that nothing gets too boring.  The steering wheel is leather wrapped with perforated leather on the sides. 

On the dash and instrument cluster, the main item that sticks out is the large dial for stereo system.  This knob controls volume and around it you have selections for the source you would like to use.  Blue is the color used throughout the dash and instrument cluster and it looks quite nice at night.  This rounded dial theme was brought into the climate control dials which are located just below the stereo.  The 200 watt stereo system offered in the Sport model is quite good and offers decent levels of bass and clarity.  There is also an audio input jack near the gear shift lever so you can easily plug in your iPod.  At night this system with its large blue backlit screen really looks funky and fresh.

            Storage compartments in the front cabin range from relatively thin areas in the doors to a larger cubby hole in the center between the two seats.  A small space for pens can be found above the glove compartment.  Just in front of the gear shift lever are two large bottle holders which have an indent so you can fit a coffee mug with a handle as well.  Behind the emergency brake handle is another small cup holder and tray for the rear seat passengers.  In back, passengers have a large bottle holder in each door.  All four doors also have deep handles which can also serve as storage. 

            The large amount of interior volume easily enables tall persons to comfortably sit.  Though some people may want more width in the Fit, legroom and cabin height is just fine.  The steering wheel is adjustable in height only, though we were able to get a right fit for all our test drivers.  Even the passenger seat is situated at a comfortable height for various size adults.  The rear cabin offers a bench style seat which was comfortable and had adjustable headrests.  Lacking is a armrest in front and back. 

            The adjustability of the seating compartment is really a clever feature and a major selling point.  Honda calls their invention the Magic Seat.  Five seating and cargo configurations are available.  A Refresh mode, Tall Object mode, Long Object mode, Utility mode and the standard Five Passenger mode.  You can easily fold the rear passenger seat 60/40 by first removing the headrests or by sliding the front seats to their forward most positions.  When the back seat drops down, it lowers into the floor to match in height of the rear cargo compartment, creating more volume inside.  Simply pull up on the rear seat and the bottom cushion folds up as well, making for a nice space to put a bike or a stand-up suitcase.  Fold down the small brace under the seat bottom and the seat easily folds back to where it all began.  There is really nothing under the rear seats when in normal seating mode so you can store items here as well.  The front seat on the passenger side allows you to take its headrest off and push down the seatback towards the back seat cushion to make for a long lounge chair should your passenger want to sit in back and put their feet up onto the front seat cushion.  Call it shotgun chauffer style!  You can do this with the driver seat as well and have two lounge chairs.  Why anyone would need this is anyone's guess, I suppose you can watch a drive in movie quite nicely in the Fit.  When the rear seats are folded down, you can lower the front seat back cushion as well to make a long space for a ladder or surf board.  We can really see this car well suited for the west coast lifestyle of outdoor adventures. 

The Honda Fit offers a 1.5 liter VTEC inline four cylinder engine.  VTEC is short for Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control.  This system gives more efficient operation at low speeds and better performance at high speeds.  This is mated to a front wheel drive train and a 5-speed automatic transmission.  The engine produces 109 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 105 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.  A drive-by-wire throttle system gives a smoother response and precise fuel delivery.  The Fit also includes other features that lead to smooth engine operation such as roller-bearing tipped rocker arms, a low friction timing chain tensioner, molydebenum coated piston skirts and an offset crankshaft/connecting rod.  Fuel economy is rated at 31 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on the highway.  Lacking is a in car trip computer showing the driver what actual mileage is along a journey, we think this should be essential in a car which most people will buy for fuel economy.

            Behind the wheel, the Fit displays a sporty and fun character and drives like a slot car.  Steering is very precise and there is little body lean or sway.  The engine, with its rather minimal horsepower, is very peppy and gets you to 60 mph very quickly.  It is quite surprising to see how powerful and quick the engine really is.  The transmission is very smooth and you can hardly feel the gears shifting, even when really stomping on the gas.  Switching the 'S' mode changes to a more aggressive shift program.  This is also where you can use the paddle shifters located just behind the steering wheel to their maximum potential.  If you decide to use the paddle shifters in 'D' mode, the computer will move gears up for you automatically whereas in 'S' mode, you can go all the way to redline and stay there for as long as you like.  We loved how fast the paddle shifters and the transmission acted while driving.  Shifts are instant with any abrupt motions.  For a low priced ride the Fit is a lot of fun. 

The suspension setup for the Fit is a combination front MacPherson strut, rear torsion beam with trailing arm design.  The compact front suspension and rear torsion beam were both designed to allow for a large passenger cabin with a low floor.  We found this suspension to be good, offering a ride that is not too firm and not too soft.  The standard wheel and tire size measures 14-inches with P175/65R14 tires, and 16-inch wheels with P205/45R16 tires are available as a dealer-installed option.  The Sport package found in our test car includes underbody kit, rear roofline spoiler, fog lights, security system with keyless remote entry, cruise control, and 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P195/55R15 tires.

Honda dealers can accessorize your Fit to be unique to your tastes.  Interior accessories include the Honda Apple iPod Music Link, ambient lighting, trim panel accents in silver, red or blue, steering wheel covers and shift knobs.  Exterior parts can also be customized with Honda Factory Performance equipment including 16-inch alloy wheels, Sport package underbody kit, sport exhaust, chrome exhaust tip finisher, rear bumper accents and a sport mesh grille.

            Safety features include dual front airbags with dual stage deployment.  Front side airbags are also standard as well as side curtain airbags.  In this small car it is vital to have these airbag systems.  ABS is offered to help stop the vehicle though if you are on ice, this vehicle does take its time to stop due to its light weight.  The Fit comes with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, which we would like to see changed to disc brakes as well.  Also something necessary is Stability Control and Traction Control.  It is vital to have this feature in modern cars and hopefully the Federal Government will make this a requirement in all cars soon.  During our test, we had a major ice storm and we found the Fit to slide around easily specially during braking and accelerating.  The tail end would begin to slide as well and this is where having stability control would have greatly helped.  The Fit has received five stars in the NHTSA crash tests. 

            Our vehicle starts at a base price of $14,650 with a destination charge of $550 bringing the total to $15,200.  The Fit is made in Suzuka, Japan with 100% of the parts coming from Japan.  The basic warranty is for 3-year or 36,000 miles with a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.  Go to any other country and you will find most drivers in a subcompact vehicle, yet when you come to America you see why we are the most polluting country in the world.  Lets all change that for the future of our kids by fitting into a car that actually Fits well in our daily life. 

 

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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$15,312

$15,970

Destination

$550

$550

 

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COMPARISONS 2007 Honda Fit
Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5A)
2007 Volkswagen Rabbit
PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A)
2007 Mazda MAZDA3
s Sport 4dr Wagon (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
2007 Suzuki SX4
4dr Wagon AWD (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
2007 Kia Spectra
Spectra5 SX 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
MSRP $15,970 $18,065 $18,530 $15,999 $16,995
Invoice $15,312 $17,350 $17,343 $15,359 $15,890
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 7 yr. / 100000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders inline 4 inline 5 inline 4 inline 4 inline 4
Base Engine Displacement 1.5 liters 2.5 liters 2.3 liters 2.0 liters 2.0 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
20 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 109 hp @ 5800 rpm 150 hp @ 5000 rpm 156 hp @ 6500 rpm 143 hp @ 5800 rpm 138 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 105 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm 170 ft-lbs. @ 3750 rpm 150 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 136 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm 136 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
Driven Wheels front wheel drive front wheel drive front wheel drive all wheel drive front wheel drive
Independent Suspension front four-wheel four-wheel front four-wheel
Stabilizer Bars front front and rear front and rear front and rear front and rear
Tires P195/55R15 H
all season
195/65R15 H
all season
P205/50R17 V
all season
Being Researched P205/50R16
all season
Wheels alloy
15 in.
steel
15 x 6.0 in.
alloy
17 x 6.5 in.
alloy
16 x 6.5 in.
alloy
16 x 6.0 in.
Power Features Fit Rabbit MAZDA3 SX4 Spectra
One-Touch Power Windows 1 4 1 1 1
Heated Driver Mirror Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Standard
Heated Passenger Mirror Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Standard
Power Steering electric power steering electric speed-proportional power steering electric speed-proportional power steering power steering speed-proportional power steering
Premium Shift Knob Trim Not Available Not Available leather Not Available leather
Premium Steering Wheel Trim leather-wrapped Not Available leather-wrapped Not Available leather-wrapped
Total Number of Speakers 6 10 6 4 6
Handling Fit Rabbit MAZDA3 SX4 Spectra
City 31 mpg. 22 mpg. 25 mpg. 24 mpg. 27 mpg.
Highway 37 mpg. 30 mpg. 31 mpg. 30 mpg. 35 mpg.
Length 157.4 in. 165.8 in. 176.8 in. 162.8 in. 171.3 in.
Width 66.2 in. 69.3 in. 69.1 in. 69.1 in. 68.3 in.
Height 60 in. 58.2 in. 57.7 in. 63.2 in. 57.9 in.
Weight 2551 lbs. 2911 lbs. 2983 lbs. 2981 lbs. 3003 lbs.
Wheel Base 96.5 in. 101.5 in. 103.9 in. 98.4 in. 102.8 in.
Front Headroom 40.6 in. 39.3 in. 39.1 in. 39.6 in. 40 in.
Rear Headroom 38.6 in. 38.5 in. 38.4 in. 37.5 in. 38.8 in.
Front Shoulder Room 52.8 in. 54.7 in. 54.9 in. 53.3 in. 55.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 50.6 in. 54.6 in. 54 in. 52.8 in. 53.9 in.
Front Leg Room 41.9 in. 41.2 in. 41.1 in. 41.4 in. 42.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 33.7 in. 35.3 in. 36.3 in. 35.9 in. 35.4 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 21.3 cu.ft. 15 cu.ft. 17.1 cu.ft. 38.1 cu.ft. 18.3 cu.ft.

 

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