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Honda Fit New Owner Reports

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  • yep, dog hair. I have one of those red lint collectors that you drag one-way across the fabric. It works good on the seats.

    The cargo area is much harder to remove hair from. I end up just vacuuming/removing with fingers.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i have a beagle, and he does shed a bit, but i remember that the fabric in my rabbit was awful for getting his hair out because it was very solid feeling and was not...well, 'fluffy' the way the fit's fabric feels.

    while the fit may attract more hair, its not hard to get out AT ALL.
  • Hey eldaino! I have been reading the Edmunds forums for a number of months now and really enjoyed reading your Rabbit log. I am debating the purchase of a new Fit or Rabbit and think you're the guy to help me make my decision since you have owned both (although obviously your Fit is really new). If anyone else out there wants to chime in, please do.

    Here is my dilemma: My head says Fit but my heart says Rabbit! I have always driven Acuras and have appreciated their reliability over the years. I've also appreciated their ability to go fast on the highway when needed (my 1996 Integra was certainly not a racecar but plenty fast for me). So, I figured I'd look at Honda since it's the same family as Acura. I looked at the new Civic and the Fit and while I liked how they both drove, neither impressed me. I left the dealer with a "ho-hum" kind of attitude. Test driving the Rabbit was another story. I loved the interior/exterior look immediately. Driving took some getting used to thanks to German engineering--for ex. slower initial acceleration in city driving, strong brakes, etc.--but I think I could get used to that. The one problem w/ both test drives is that I wasn't able to drive on the freeway in either the Fit or the Rabbit. I plan on visiting the dealers again in order to do this, but in the meantime I would appreciate your thoughts on how these cars handle the freeway. I do mostly city driving and don't have a big commute to worry about. However, when I do take road trips, I like to cruise in the 70s and sometimes need to get into the 80s+ for passing, etc. I live near mountains so need a car that can handle them w/ ease. Any thoughts? Also, I need a relatively inexpensive compact car so that's why I've narrowed it down to Fit/Rabbit (I also looked at Versa, Elantra, Mazda3, Corolla, and Mini). Obviously the Fit (Sport, AT) is cheaper, gets much better gas mileage than the Rabbit, and has Honda's reliable name to back it up. The Rabbit (4dr, AT) has a few more features, more horsepower, and just looks better aesthetically to me. It sounds like maintenance on the Rabbit might cost more over the long run; however, I probably won't put more than 7-10K on the car each year.

    Thanks in advance for your 2 cents!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I'd say if the interior space of the Rabbit is sufficient and MPG isn't a big priority, then go for the Rabbit. Another issues is that I'd say reliability of the Fit is likely to be better than the Rabbit based on manufacturer history, but that's more of a trust issue in some ways.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Compactconvert:

    thanks for the kind words! :) looks like that log did a bit of good after all!

    jaime, as we have named our fit, is less than a month old, but i've really scrutinzed every aspect of driving him in comparision to my old bunny (sammie as we named him too ;) ).

    I'll give you a rundown of the pros/cons, and my generalized experience with both cars.

    Its interesting to note how often these cars get compared, especially since the fit is a b segment car, and the rabbit actually competes with the civic,mazda3, sentra etc.

    When my wife and i bought our rabbit, the sticker was 17095, for a 2 door united grey automatic with the 16inch alloy wheel package.

    The great things about the rabbit are as follows:

    1. The interior: without a SINGLE DOUBT, regardless of what ANYONE tells you, it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the materials VW chose to put in the rabbit are top notch, and the best in the segment. The honda civic is a very very close second, but the vw does without pretty much anything that isn't nice to the touch. The downside is that it looks very tuetonic; which is to say, kind of stark and bland, but elegant and classy at the same time.

    2. The stability: There is a reason german cars have that 'feel' to them; the autobahn is a rigorous place to drive, and you need a car that can top out at high speeds and still be solid;...the rabbit again, is fantastic in this regard. I can't tell you how many "Geez, we are really going THAT fast!!?" 's i have gotten when people would come with me and my wife places. And the car is quiet too. Very quiet. It has very low drag, and this helps it as well.

    3. The cheap purchase price.

    4. The ability to accesorize: with real accesories, not the ricey scion stuff either. Its nice knowing you have 7 different alloy wheels to choose from in about 4 sizes all the way up to 18's!

    5. the exclusivity: is it a lambo or ferrari? no ofcourse not. But you will have very little chances of finding another one that you will encounter often. and thats always a good feeling.

    (continued in next post.)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    Now the fit.

    1. Interior quality: is it as nice as the rabbits? no. is it more 'exciting' to look at? yes. Everthing is 'cooler' and brighter, without being obnoxious. And the fact that it doesn't even compete with cars in the rabbits class makes it an even bigger testament to the quality of the interior. The rabbit had the best plastic steering wheel ever, but the fits leather wrap is even better.

    2. Ergonomics: while everything in the rabbit is placed logically, its not as intuitive as the fit. And cruise control is a chore on the rabbit, its second nature on the fit.

    3. The HANDLING; funny, most don't expect this to be a strong point for cars in this segment, but in this case it is. Does it grip as well as the rabbit, no, not AS good, but almost as good. But in slalom tests, the fit owns the rabbit, and even the civic and the mazda 3. and it shows in real world driving too. this is such a fantastically nimble car, you would have to take it to some back roads after buying it to really get a feel for what it can do. Body roll is controlled perfectly...something that the rabbit was sorely lacking.

    4. the magic seats: the rabbit has a great amount of space inside of it, but it still can't match the fits airy feeling. Nor does it have a fold flat hatch like the fit, or the magic seats that can fold every which way. My wife and i purchased our fit just before we moved out of our aptartment...and if we had gotten a civic coupe like we had orginally planned, or even stuck with the rabbit, there would have been NO way that we accomplished moving as much as we did with our fit. the other cars would have fussed about the amount of stuff we shoved into the fit.

    5. Maintanence: its not cheap to own a new car sometimes. But some are defintely more expensive than others, and that was the problem with the rabbit. the cheap price to buy was great, until we realized how much dealers were going to charge us for serivce. Even if you go 'a-la-carte', you still have to deal with the synthetic oil requirement, and that in itself is NOT cheap. Not to mention that VW is really bad about not releasing info with regards to their cars for mom and pop mechanics to utilize, until a couple years after the model has been on the market. This guarantee's (at least somewhat) that their customers will HAVE to go to the dealer for service. The fits first service (due in about a month) should run me about 25 bucks after tax.

    6. The gas mileage: i get about 270-300 miles to a tank on the fit, filling up with about 8.5 gallons of gas. The rabbit returned anywhere from 300-320 on 13 gallons of gas. Not only does it return better gas mileage, but the fit is VERY cheap to fill up. We are saving around 50 bucks on gas alone every paycheck with the fit. And since we have moved, my wife and i drive a lot more in the city than we used to, so we could have expected the difference to be even greater had we not moved and did our normal long freeway drive.

    Is there anything i left out? Oh yeah! My actual response!

    I loved the rabbit, and i still love vw's. But i don't know if i have it in me to own one again. The fit is a substantial vehicle, and it does more than the rabbit did. Its def. the more economical of the two (our insurance went down as well.), and it 'fit' (pun totally intened) our needs better.

    The rabbit is a better highway car, i will say that. its not to say that the fit isn't, but due to the fact that it's engine is geared differently and that it only has a 5 speed auto, it revs slightly higher, and its thinner tires are not as uber stable as the rabbits....but it by no means can't do what the rabbit did. We cruise regularly on our drive to work at 70-80 mph and while the fit does it a little bit more loudly than the rabbit, it does it just fine.

    I was worried about the power defecit, but its a wash. the fit is so light that it doesn't need the same kind of power that the rabbit requires to go quickly. The rabbit was still slightly quicker, but it ran out of breath early, and wasted a lot of gas while doing it. (i don't know how the 170hp version would fare, probably slightly better as the engine now rev's higher, but the difference would be mostly unoticeable, especially if you never owned or drove the 150hp version like we had.)

    The fits handling alone makes up for that.

    Some more food for thought: my wife and i got our rabbit after we came back from our honeymoon, because thats when we knew we were going to need to trade in and just have one car for the both of us. We only ended up with the rabbit because the fit at that time (oct of 07) was still scarce (and it kind is still.) and the only civics in stock were a little out of our league. (on the scarcity of the fit: while i see a tiny bit more of them from time to time, its not as bad as seeing an accord or anything, its not as rare as the hare, but its still a relatively uncommon vehicle.) so, had there been a fit available, thats what we would have been driving for the past year, instead of the rabbit.

    I do think that vw upped the ante on the rabbit, as it gave us 28 thousand trouble free miles, it just was not as economical as previously thought.

    If i had to buy the 2 again, i'd probably still get the fit, but maybe in taffeta white, as its one of the only hondas that gets a dark interior with a white exterior that isn't the si. (we ended up with a 5at vivid blue pearl sport model).

    Hope this has helped!
  • Hello compactconvert,

    Since you're asking, here's my 2 cents:

    Like you, I've grown up with mostly Hondas/Acuras (89 CRX HF, 88 Integra, 94 Accord) but have also owned a number of VWs (79 Dasher, 81 Dasher). My most recent commuter car was an 02 VW Golf TDI. I owned it for over 100k miles. It had some nice features (heated seats, power everything), and drove well on my daily 150-mile highway commute. The savings in fuel mileage (47 mpg overall) was more than offset by the higher diesel prices and, as bobw3 mentioned, REPAIRS. This was a huge issue with my Golf (aka now called Rabbit). I spent much more in repairs on the Golf than any Honda I have ever owned.

    Eventually the joy of owning a VW wore off and I bought an 07 Fit. Have had it for only 8k miles, but no problems. It has plenty of power on the highway and cruises nicely. I get 38 mpg overall, and love being back in the Honda fold.

    Sometimes you don't appreciate reliability, until you experience unreliability (if that is a word).

    Good luck on your choice.
  • Thanks so much eldaino and mgutai! I really appreciate the time you took responding to my question. Going solely on pros and cons it seems the Fit wins hands-down. While it may not look as good to me as the Rabbit aesthetically, I think reliability, fuel economy, and maintenance costs are extremely important and clearly the Fit has the edge here. In my 2 Acura Integras, I lived on both coasts, in all kinds of weather, and mostly parked on the street. They always started up in the morning with no problems and never broke down (with the one exception of my radiator dying after 94,000 miles, but it should have been replaced before that happened)! I can't imagine owning a car and worrying about its reliability--it would drive me crazy. Now if I can just get over that tiny front hood and the feeling that I'm floating over the pavement when driving the Fit.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i would mostly concur, but seeing as how it seems that the new rabbit is miles ahead of its predeccesor with regards to reliability, its just the service costs that got me!

    compactconvert: glad to be of some help! let me know if you have any more questions!

    don't worry about the floaty feeling, its just nimbleness! ;)
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    before my wife and i purchased our fit, i sat in a few of them some months prior.

    i noticed that on the tach, the word 'fit' is there, and its illuminated with the rest of the guages.

    edmunds own long termer has it too.

    mine is totally without it. Weird?
  • Regarding the Fit Vs Rabbit question. I drove a 1998 VW GTI 9 years prior to purchasing my Fit. I have never been a fan of Japanese car stying (and the Fit looks like an overdone video game to me). I much prefer the VeeWee styling. But when my GTI hit 40k I had all kinds of problems like a bad starter and weird things like "air intake valve sensors" go out. I spent way too much money on a car with way too liittle miles. I sold it at 54k, which was really nothing so I got a good price - I sold it to a 19 year old kid who thought it was the coolest thing and has probabluy wrecked it by now. But I couldn't wait to unload it. Beside the mechanical problems, the exterior was falling apart. The side door molding was replaced 3 times until I finally gave up. I was told by VW that all the black cars were having that problem because when they "heated up" in the sun, the molding would get loose and slide off. I decided that I didn't care if I looked "cool" I just wanted a car that woul be reliable. I just don't think I should have to spend thousands in repairs on a car under 50k. So after being a devout VW customerfor 25 plus years, I now find myself in a Japanese car and honestly, I'm loving my Fit. I don't miss the extra power because most of my driving is in the city. And when I do take the highway it's really not an issue for me. So that's my story. Good luck in your decision.
  • Hello again eldaino and other forum folk! So I test drove the Fit on the freeway yesterday, and it performed very well. I was even able to merge uphill onto the freeway and while it rev'd somewhere between 5000-6000 RPM as I was accelerating to 60mph, it was not "in the red" so that didn't bother me. Was it a bit noisy revving? Sure, but so was my '96 Integra. Once out on the flat it cruised at 70-80 mph (around 3000 RPM) just fine w/ very little engine noise.

    Handling was great on city streets--it really does have a nimble feel. The interior fabric/seats still seem a little cheap to me, but I guess that's what you get in an economical car. I did like the layout of the dash and found the controls easy to find/use.

    If you don't mind me asking how much did you pay for your Fit? How did you negotiate? Any tips? I realize there's another forum thread for this, so if you post there let me know.

    Thx!
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i have quite a bit of negative equity in my fit, thanks to the negative equity that was orginally transferred from my wifes protege 5 to the rabbit and then from the rabbit to the fit.

    but the dealer i went to was very upfront about the price, we didn't do a whole lot of negotiating as i just wanted to keep the same car payment since i'll be paying off the fit in a couple years anyway.

    Had negative equity not been an issue, we would have gotten the fit for msrp plus the acceories that came with it, which were the wheel locks and floor mats, and the price for them was exactly the same as on the honda website so i was ok with it.

    all in all we would have paid a little under 18k after tax title and license. I dunno what other people are getting, but fits are not exactly plentiful, so there is little leway with regards to price.

    the engine is a little buzzy at higher rpms, but it sounds good, balanced, unlike the 2.5 in the rabbit, which while very quiet, it just does not sound like an engine when revved.
  • Augh! Yes, the absence of a "map light" or interior light that can shine down on the dash/radio/shifter area is killing me! I just bought my 2007 Honda Fit from Carmax, with 55k miles on it. Considering I traded in my 2005 Nissan Xterra lease that I was WAAAY over mileage on, I was thrilled to get the Fit!!

    So, I guess based on the suggestion of someone else who replied to your thread, it looks like I'm going to have to buy a stick-on light or something for my lighting needs. It's a shame to have to do that, the rest of the interior is really great! I'm hoping that somehow the dealer could install a light for me... but I'm guessing that'll cost an arm and a leg!

    But I guess this lighting issue isn't much of an issue for others, as I have searched here, and Google, high and low to find any information on how others have coped with it, and this is the FIRST mention of the issue.

    I did notice, to my chagrin, that the 2009 Fit has the map light. Thanks, Honda, for failing to put it in my 2007 model! Ugh!
  • I had gotten a 2007 Fit and one thing I read in the forums was to get a 3 light LED clip on for a hat and clip it on the vanity mirror on dirvers side. It worked. I just started the paper work today to get the 2009 w/Nav. I am stoked all over again for this model of the Fit.
This discussion has been closed.