Despite it’s massive lack of soul, our purchase of the 2010 Honda Fit just might have been my smartest automotive buy to date. During my single years, I thought rather freely about cars. No, I didn’t spend an obscene amount of money on them or anything, but nearly every purchase I made during that time leaned slightly toward the “bad choice” side of things. The Dodge Neon R/T with stripes just might have been the worst. Mechanically it was a great car – don’t get me wrong…but I have never received more ridicule as I did whenever I drove that damn thing. I mean, come on. Stripes? On a Neon? I hold my head in shame thinking back on it now.
But our Honda Fit purchase meant a little something special to me. It’s a practical car. Nothing more. Just an honest to goodness automotive appliance. Had I finally grown up? I must have, as I reluctantly traded my beloved Nissan 350Z for it. But it was a necessary thing to do as I had just got married, and my new wife found the Z too difficult to drive. Moreover, it’s lack of storage space made it highly impractical for shopping trips and running errands – so I did the responsible thing and bought my first practical car. I was quite proud of myself.
Our 2010 Fit is a blue base model that we found on the lot at Pacific Honda here in San Diego. The only option was a 5 speed automatic transmission, but I have to admit that the car doesn’t feel all that sparse. It’s got power windows and locks, A/C, a decent stereo, and an amazing set of folding rear seats. They fold completely flat, which creates a cavernous amount of storage space in the back – it’s simply amazing how much stuff can be crammed into this car.
The only option I regret not getting is keyless entry. My last two cars had it, and I guess I never knew how much I depended on it in the past – it’s just so darn convenient. But all is not lost, as all four doors (plus the rear hatch) can be unlocked from the outside by turning the key twice clockwise in the driver’s door keyhole. But the idea of sticking a key in a keyhole seems so prehistoric to me…
For such a small car with an even smaller 4-cylinder engine, it cruises on the freeway surprisingly well. We’ve taken it on countless trips up the 405 to LA from San Diego, and it’ll happily cruise along for hours at 3000rpm at 75mph. Yeah, it’s a little buzzy, but it has no problem keeping up with traffic in the fast lane. The only problem is that it won’t accelerate very quickly from these kinds of speeds, so I have to keep that in mind before I need to make a proactive move to slip into an open spot just ahead. On a related note, yes – the gas mileage is fantastic. However, we live in San Diego where it has been known to be quite hilly in places. Combine that with my heavy right foot, and we are not saving as much money on gas as I thought we would. But I can’t complain – our gas bill is significantly smaller compared to the 350Z.
Braking power is good, despite the fact that our Fit does not have disc brakes at all four corners. Only the front are discs, but the rear’s are drum. It’s such a light car though so it doesn’t really matter – I’ve never found it to be lacking in braking power.
Ride quality is good and it handles decently well. This is a light car with large side surface areas though, so it does get tossed around a little in the wind. I’ve also noticed that it is a bit “flighty” when going over large dips and crests at higher speeds. The butt-pucker factor can get pretty high in these situations, so a tight hold on the steering wheel is required to keep things in line.
Overall, we are happy Honda Fit customers. At the time of this writing, our 2010 Honda Fit has about 8000 miles on it and it has performed flawlessly. I personally think it’s a bland automotive appliance, but it’s not trying to be something else. It is what it is, and it does it’s job exceptionally well.