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2007 Honda Fit Review

Honda’s sporty new entry-level subcompact  by Ron Perry
 

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TO THE POINT What’s New: The 2007 Honda Fit is an all-new car for America, aimed at the entry-level consumer.
Selling Points: Inexpensive, sporty driving character, roomy interior
Deal Breakers: Gas mileage not as good as expected, odd styling, low on power

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2007 Honda Fit

As the saying goes, timing is everything, and when it comes to timing, Honda always seems to be on top of its game. With gas prices exceeding three dollars per gallon, the timing and introduction of the new 2007 Honda Fit couldn’t be any better. Not only is the new Honda Fit easy on your wallet at the pumps, but it’s also easy on your bank account with a starting price of just $14,400 including destination. Honda surely has a hit on its hands considering the Fit oozes quality, but also because it’s sporty, offers lots of cargo space and is cheap to own and operate.

With the ever-increasing costs of living, consumers have to take a serious look at what they drive, and in many cases smaller makes more sense. The subcompact segment always draws more attention when gas prices spike and right now with a barrel of oil at $75, consumers are looking for alternatives. The good news is that entry-level cars just keep getting better and better, although the trade-off of horsepower for fuel efficiency is still a nagging issue for many.

The 2007 Honda Fit is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 105 lb.-ft. of torque. Preliminary EPA estimates for fuel economy are a respectable 31 city and 37 highway. The Fit isn’t exactly a speed demon but is peppy enough to navigate traffic without the need for a stiff drink when you get home. Our test car was equipped with a five-speed automatic with Sport mode that keeps the transmission in gear longer between shifts, allowing the engine’s revs to stay higher thus giving the Fit a more spirited feel. There is also a manual mode that allows the driver to shift manually using steering wheel mounted paddles. Any way you slice it, Honda has traded power for economy. Too bad we averaged just 27.2 mpg during our week with the Fit, compared to 33.2 mpg in a more powerful 2006 Civic EX Sedan that we drove earlier this year. Even with the Fit’s discounted price, we think the Civic is a better choice if fuel economy is the main reason for purchasing a new Honda.

If you decide that you’d rather save money on the front end and benefit from the utility of a five-door hatchback, buying a 2007 Honda Fit is a simple process. Select between standard or Sport models, then choose between the standard five-speed manual and the available five-speed automatic transmission. There are no other options or decisions to make, though the dealer can install a variety of add-ons if you wish. The base Fit starts at $14,400 including the $550 destination charge. Select the top-of-the-line Fit Sport with the five-speed automatic and your bill comes to $16,520 including destination. There isn’t even much of a difference in the mileage ratings. The manual transmission is rated at 33/38 and the automatic at 31/37, so it really comes down to price and preference.

The unit-body constructed 2007 Honda Fit incorporates a MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion-beam rear suspension with a 21mm front stabilizer bar and electric power-assist rack-and-pinion steering. Power-assisted ventilated front disc brakes and rear drum brakes provide braking for the Fit. The standard Fit gets 14-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, while the Fit Sport model gets 15-inch alloy wheels. Both are shod with all-season tires and equipped with a compact spare tire.

Inside the 2007 Honda Fit you get cloth seats, a sporty dash layout and a roomy 90.1 cubic feet of passenger space. For a small car the Fit is spacious, and folding the rear seats provides an abundance of cargo space measuring up to 41.9 cubic feet. Even with the rear seats raised the cargo volume is 21.3 cubic feet, plenty of space for a grocery run and a couple of golf bags.

The 2007 Honda Fit’s exterior design is typical for a car in this class. The Fit has the same basic boxy design as other subcompacts the segment with a couple of notable design elements including the sharply raked nose and the oversized headlights. The rear end is pretty straightforward and the Fit exudes a distinct Japanese flair.

With gasoline prices looking to climb even higher, we think consumers will be flocking to cars like the Honda Fit – and rightly so, because it just doesn’t make sense to drive a big SUV anymore. The addition of the 2007 Fit to Honda’s roster should be a sales slam dunk.


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