The 2007 Honda Fit doesn't look a car that would inspire jealousy in the hearts of onlookers. But if the window sticker was still attached, it would definitely do so, as this car is an excellent value for the money. The Honda Fit is just now making its debut in the United States, but it has been tooling around roads in Europe and Asia for some time. Honda hopes this new addition will be fit (pardon the pun) for a fan base here in the States.
The most impressive feature of the Honda Fit is its incredible interior space. Both front- and backseats fold down into several different configurations, so it can schlep stuff of just about any size. The car is also surprisingly zippy, as long as it's relatively empty and driving on a flat surface. But once it gets weighed down or enters hilly territory, the 1.5-liter engine that could turns into the little engine that might if the throttle is depressed hard enough. The small power train yields big benefits at the gas pump, however; the Fit's high gas-mileage will be easy on the wallet. Its emission rating is OK but could be better for a car with such a small engine.
The stereo's auxiliary input and ability to play MP3 CDs are just the start of its MP3-friendliness. It's a good-sounding system for an economy car and uses interesting and unique controls. Unfortunately, these controls also make it hard to stick an aftermarket system into the dash. Furthermore, navigation and Bluetooth aren't available.
Pricing for the 2007 Honda Fit starts at $13,850. Our Fit Sport model with automatic transmission and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters was $15,970, not including destination charge or tax.
Despite its diminutive proportions, the 2007 Honda Fit feels incredibly roomy inside. The configurable interior features a high roof and fold-down seats to accommodate passengers and cargo of varying sizes.
The cockpit is outfitted with slick dark-blue-backlit gauges, which are a nice change from the duller dash colors of yesteryear. The sporty steering wheel is surprisingly comfortable and easy to grip, and it has buttons to set the cruise control but none for the audio system.
The front seats are comfortable on short drives but lack a wide range of adjustability otherwise. One manual lever under the lower cushion moves the seat forward and back, and another lever on the side reclines the seat. The lack of lumbar support could prove problematic on long road trips.
Rear space is a sight to behold when the back 60/40-split Magic Seat is stowed. The Honda Web site shows a photo of an alpaca in the back seat of the Fit, but we weren't able to verify whether the car could indeed carry farm animals. We did, however find that the backseat provides enough room for two adults to kick back and stretch out. Cup holders in the rear doors and the back of the center console ensure that drinks are close by and easy to access. Legroom is adequate even for large adults, as long as the front seats are moved up slightly.
The blue-backlit, 200-watt stereo system looks cool. The in-dash CD player supports burned discs in both MP3 and Windows Media (WMA) format, and it displays ID3 track information. The stereo controls are well laid out, with a large unique knob surrounded by mode buttons. Unfortunately, this arrangement is not aftermarket-friendly; it would take a lot of custom work to shoehorn another stereo into this dashboard. An auxiliary jack near the 12-volt DC power adapter allows for easy hookup of a portable music player. But other gadgets such as satellite radio, GPS navigation, and Bluetooth integration are conspicuously missing. The Sport's six-speaker setup offers decent sound, and preset EQ modes may be selected to suit different types of music. The nomenclature on the last feature, however, is a bit baffling; we couldn't figure out what exactly Smooth music was.
Vent and AC controls work well and are easy to use, although the Fit doesn't have a more sophisticated climate control system, as found in other cars. The knobs and vents feel a bit flimsy, but they aren't bad for a car of this price. The vast size of the sliding control that opens and closes the fresh air vent raised a few eyebrows among staffers; we thought it an odd use of valuable real estate on the center display. The rear defroster must be switched off manually, which can lead to accidental overuse for those of us accustomed to hitting a button once and forgetting about it.