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Honda Fit v. Scion xB

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited April 22 in Honda
With the Fit hitting the market, many shoppers are comparing these two vehicles. How do you think they stack up?
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Comments

  • Having mentioned earlier on that I almost bought a Scion xB, I thought I'd share what I thought the key differences are between that and the Fit, for anyone else trying to make the same decision.

    Background: I hadn't heard of the Fit, and I was close to buying the xB. I had two stumbling blocks: the cargo space was going to be really tight for me, possibly unworkable; and when I finally test drove it, it just didn't feel "fun" to me. But thinking there was unlikely to be any better choice for me, I intended to bring all the stuff I need to fit into it to the dealer and see if I could fit it all into the xB. (The dealership was very obliging about the idea.) Then I learned about the Fit, and have been hanging out in this forum ever since.

    Anyway, comparing the base models of each, which are priced almost the same ($14,570 xB vs. $14,400 Fit)...

    xB advantages:
    * stability control
    * traction control
    * better stereo (MP3 CD compatibility, 6 speakers, steering wheel controls)

    Fit advantages:
    * better cargo space (larger and flatter main cargo area, more flexible)
    * better fuel economy (EPA 33/38 vs. 30/33; edmunds real world test 32 vs. 28; Car & Driver 35 vs. 27)
    * side and side curtain air bags
    * from published reports, seems likely to be more fun to drive, though that's TBD, I haven't driven one yet

    Personally, I'd rather have the stability control and the traction control than the side and curtain air bags. Most accidents are not side impact disasters. Most are of other types, which could be better avoided in the first place with stability and traction control. I figure I'd be much more likely to "make use of" those. (Best to have it all, of course.)

    Other notes: I prefer a quieter car. In this case, cruising at 70 mph, Edmund's said the Fit was quieter, at 70 dB vs. 74 for the xB; but Car and Driver measured both at 69 dB. So that's not conclusive.

    A little thing that I liked is that the Fit monitors mileage and driving conditions, and will prompt you for when you should change oil, rotate tires, etc. Not everyone will care, but it's a good feature for someone like me who tends to forget about that stuff for long periods of time!

    Overall, my own weighting of the various factors lead me to the Fit, but I could easily see why someone might choose the xB.

    Any key differences I missed?
  • reddroverrreddroverr Posts: 509
    "A little thing that I liked is that the Fit monitors mileage and driving conditions, and will prompt you for when you should change oil, rotate tires, etc. Not everyone will care, but it's a good feature for someone like me who tends to forget about that stuff for long periods of time! "

    Anyone know if they can track oil changes and possibly void your warranty?

    Just wondering.
  • johnnyb11johnnyb11 Posts: 50
    Re: the comparisons of the Fit to the xB. I just traded in my xB (05) for the black , fit sport mt.

    I drove my xB for 20k miles, just under a year. Very roomy, fun to drive, and really you get a lot for your money. But, you get even more with the Fit.

    The Fit is quieter - road noise, wind noise and engine noise, oh, and squeaks and rattles (despite earlier writer suggesting otherwise).

    The Stereo in the Fit Sport is better (except no steering wheel controls - which in a subcompact seem rather silly to me).

    The Fit handles better than the xB.

    The xB's actual gas mileage was a huge disappointment - I was lucky to average 27 mpg - totally unacceptable in a subcompact with a 1.5l 4cyl 105 hp motor.

    The interior fit and finish, placement of controls, quality of materials, is simply night and day better in the Fit.

    The drivetrain is far more refined than the xB (though the xB is no slouch for the price point).

    My kids lost some legroom with the Fit, but it's still quite spacious back there for my 6' tall 14 year old - and I now have far more useable room behind the back seat than in the xB - this comes to the heart of the matter regarding space between these two vehicles. The overall measurements in the two vehicles are nearly identical, but the Fit's space is simply more practical. Yes, the box offered lots of perceived space, but the fact is that most of that height was almost never needed - it is length and width that is more important. And, the truly flat folding seats in the Fit give almost the same height as the Fit.

    I believe gas mileage will be far better in the Fit according to some real life tests - avg. 32-35 (much better than 27).

    The Fit just looks better; while I enjoyed the uniqueness of the xB, in the end, after a year, I still felt a little odd in it (I'm 38 years old).

    The xB had too many rattles - that was totally unacceptable, and surprised me about a Toyota.

    In the end, I've always been a Honda person, but found the xB package to much of a value to resist. The Fit, though, just did a better job of everything, really. I'll miss stability control and traction control, but I think I'd rather have the side and side curtain airbags. And, in the end, the Fit's price is better too.

    Ultimately, I am totally impressed by what you get for your money in the Fit. The xB was quite a deal, but this is even more, which says a lot. I feel lucky to know that I can get most of what the SUV and horsepower folks are getting in space and amenities (and safety) for less than half the price, and way less gas. To any prospective buyers, jump on this vehicle. It's great. (yeah, I too wish it had height adjustable seats, armrest, 6th gear - but nothing is perfect - nothing). Thanks Honda!!
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    I got my xB firstly for the ease of entry provided by the upright A-pillar and high seat. I am 6'-2" and age 63, and have trouble bending and crouching to get in my wife's LeSabre, not to mention even smaller cars.
    The xB does have a mileage reminder for oil changes. It is reset after each change, and can be set to appear in increments of 1000 miles.
    I have from 33 to 40 mpg with my manual transmission in mixed suburban and hilly country driving. The low figure was using constant acceleration and deceleration during break-in. The high figure was driving very gently using minumum throttle and rpms to see how good the car could do. Most tanks are 35 mpg.
    The xB's ride was greatly improved by replacing the too-stiff rear shocks with Monroe SensaTracs. I also added a rear sway bar that flattened the already good cornering.
    I would still get the xB over the Fit, but only because I need the ease of entry. For a smaller, more agile person, the Fit sounds like the better choice. Certainly its styling is prettier.
  • re:

    Yes, the box offered lots of perceived space, but the fact is that most of that height was almost never needed - it is length and width that is more important. And, the truly flat folding seats in the Fit give almost the same height as the [Scion xB].

    Actually, if the xB seemed to offer you more height, it was an illusion of the shape. I did some measuring, and the Fit actually offers more height in the cargo area than the xB does!

    WIth the seats down, the Fit has a storage area height of 40" over most of the area (it drops some for the back 5", and where the hump for the rear center seat belt retracts). The Scion xB height is 36" over most of the back half of the storage area, and then, since the seats don't fold flat, the height gradually drops to about 32" by the time you reach the front edge of the cargo area.

    In terms of length, the floor of the cargo area (seats down) is about 55-56" deep in the Fit, and 45" in the Scion, so again, the Fit is notiiceably larger. However, there is an overhang area in front of the cargo area in the Scion, so the difference may not be as bad as it seems, if you can make use of that.

    Width at the narrow section (between the wheel wells) is also better in the Fit, at a bit over 40" (the Scion is a bit under 38"); width at the widest section (between the rear doors) is 50" on the Fit, and slightly under that in the xB.

    So the Fit beats the xB in the size of the cargo area in all dimensions. The only thing I"m not sure about is how the amount of the cargo space that has a 50" width (or close to it) compares.
  • re: "The xB does have a mileage reminder for oil changes. It is reset after each change, and can be set to appear in increments of 1000 miles."

    The Honda version is a little more sophisticated. From their web site:


    The Maintenance Minder system automatically indicates when to have standard service performed based on actual driving conditions (tracked by the ECU) and minimizes the guesswork related to whether the vehicle is being used in standard or severe use conditions for maintenance interval purposes. The display indicates when to change the oil, air cleaner, transmission fluid, spark plugs or coolant, as well as when to rotate the tires
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    handling?

    And I don't know if you drive a stick or not, could someone who did compare the shifter and clutch between those two?
  • I drove both with a stick. I can't be specific about the shifter and clutch. Both were easy to drive, no surprises, but I enjoyed driving the Fit much more.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... The display indicates when to change the oil..."

    Our Buick LeSabre Limited has that. At 3000 miles it indicated 70% oil life remaining, far longer than I like to go. But I guess the computer reminders would save a car from severe neglect.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... I got my xB firstly for the ease of entry provided by the upright A-pillar and high seat. I am 6'-2" and age 63..."

    Besides the upright A-pillar that does not smack my head, here is the height difference that makes the xB so easy for me:
    The Fit is 60" high with 40" headroom.
    The xB is 64" high with 46" headroom.
  • bdog3bdog3 Posts: 2
    We're ready to choose between the two (automatic-both) but thus far have been unable to verify how either will perform when faced with regularly going up and down a 5500 foot mountain (summer season). Would appreciate any input from drivers with XB or FIT mountain-driving experience.
  • jimmy5150jimmy5150 Posts: 30
    I am currently a Scion xB owner considering a lateral move to the Fit.

    I'm a Honda fan, but 19 months ago, the Fit wasn't available, so I opted for the best thing on the market for the money.

    I am a big fan of xB for around town driving. Taking kids to school, grabing some groceries....very roomy, nice stereo, easy to enter and exit the vehicle

    I am not a big fan of the xB for long trips or mountain driving. I find the vehcile to be very underpowered and the aerodynamics do nothing for it at highway speeds.

    The gas mileage is about 27 in town, 32 higway....horrendous for such a lightweight, small vehcile.

    While the vehicle is pretty quiet on the highway, the engine noise is a little much for me. It's like the exhaust is tuned a bit to sound "throaty" and is annoying at times.

    I also find start up to be a little rough at times and overally I'm not overly impressed with the powerplant in the Toyota.

    Around town it's great, but the xB is not a highway vehcile and has a tendancy to "beat you up" on long trips.
  • mankomanko Posts: 9
    With reference to the question about the differences in feel for the xB and Fit's clutch/shifter, definitely the Fit has it over the xB. My xB had a very reliable tranny, but the feel was kinda crappy. Most annoying was that more often than not, when downshifting from 5th to 4th the shifter would get caught in the gate and balk going into 4th smoothly or at all, letting the revs drop too low and causing a missed/sloppy down shift. Also, the throws were long and thus the shifts kinda slow. As for the clutch, very light and smooth, but too weak if you like to use the engine -- mine started to slip noticebly after about 15,000 miles. You could say it's just bad driving, but I've heard the same from other xB owners, so I know it's not me. This is particularly an issue if you have any mods like intake, headers, exhaust that up the power somewhat, and/or drive aggressively with no issues using the engine fully.

    The Fit, on the other hand, has an exceptionally smooth shifter, shorter in throw than the xB's, but still a bit long. Clutch is light and smooth also, but the point of engagement is a bit narrow compared to the xB, so it's taking me a little bit to get used to it still. Downshifts are much easier than the xB I'd say, blipping to revmatch is almost second-nature and very natural and smooth. Smooth is the keyword with the Fit over the xB I'd say, tranny/clutch wise.

    My only real complaint is that the car is way too quiet for my taste. I know many people are the opposite, but when I'm driving, I'm driving, not trying to duplicate sittng on the sofa in my livingroom with a wheel in front of me. I want direct feedback, both from the engine and road, which I feel the Fit lacks compared to the xB, although the Fit's handling is greater overall. The xB had a very direct, immediate feel to it, whereas the Fit is a bit dead, probably due to softer springs/dampers.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    I had looked at the Fit and noticed a few things with the Xb:

    - No telescoping steering wheel
    - No seat height adjuster
    - No sunroof.

    Of course, neither does the Fit.

    The fit has side airbags, a useable center console. The Xb has unuseable for larger drinks cupholders and the dash near the driver is incapable of actually securely storing anything in those little 2-3 inch deep indents.

    The Xb also has a deal-breaker for me. No rear cupholders, console, A/C vents - nothing. It's completely sparse and vacant, and none of the options fix this. It reminds me of the rear of an extended cab pickup truck - the jumpseats are just that - a seat. nothing more.

    Oh, and while it also does tall and refresh modes(or simmilar), the Fit's rear seats go back a second notch so as to actually be comfortable.

    Problems with the Fit(to be fair-we know most of the Xbs already):
    - No locking gas cover
    - Dead pedal area is strangely curved, so you can't rest your foot on the floor, even.
    - No maplights/garage door opener buttons.
    - No traction or stability control.
    - rear seats are reversed. In the XB, the wider seat is behind the passenger. In the Fit, they still have it set up for the Japanese market - with the wider seat behind the driver, who usually sits much farther back than the front passenger does. OOPS.
    - visors are also reversed. No mirror on the passenger side but one on the driver's side? OOPS.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... The gas mileage is about 27 in town, 32 higway....horrendous for such a lightweight, small vehcile. "

    At 2,200 miles with a manual transmission, my worst tank during break-in on rural roads with constant speed variation (wasteful acceleration and deceleration) was 33 mpg. My best tank after break-in was 40.5 mpg, which took some concentration to acheive. In normal driving keeping up with traffic around my city of Louisville, I consistently get 35 mpg.
  • johnnyb11johnnyb11 Posts: 50
    "At 2,200 miles with a manual transmission, my worst tank during break-in on rural roads with constant speed variation (wasteful acceleration and deceleration) was 33 mpg. My best tank after break-in was 40.5 mpg, which took some concentration to acheive. In normal driving keeping up with traffic around my city of Louisville, I consistently get 35 mpg."

    Congrats, because in my xB, I also averaged 27, mixed driving, and not "spirited" driving. REALLY disappointing.
  • malachy72malachy72 Posts: 325
    It's making mine look more common.
  • protosporkprotospork Posts: 2
    I would love to know if anyone has a sense of how the air conditioning compares in the Fit. I test drove the Fit on a cool foggy day ,so I didn't feel how it performed.

    On my Scion xB the a/c is sub par; if you are in the front you make out okay but, the back never gets cool.

    Also, does anyone know the 0 to 60 performance specs on the Fit? For the xB it is 11.4. I find the xB a bit poky and not a good choice for a long highway trip. I like the Fit a lot, but, don't want another around the town car.
  • vivivivi Posts: 1
    I'm considering an xB purchase, but the current xB does not accelerate well. So I thought I'll wait for the 2007 model.
    Does anyone know any specs yet for the xb 2007? Colours?
    Thanks
    VV
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    The Xb'x engine gets terrible mileage considering its almost Geo Metro like acceleration. That and the lack of ANY back seat amenities/cupholders/unhappy kid back there... Those were deal-breakers.
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