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Honda Fit vs. Scion xA vs. Toyota Matrix

bennettsongsbennettsongs Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Honda
Time to buy my daughter her first car. Must be a hatchback. She's moving to either north of NYC or to San Francisco. Priorities are of course good combo of price, affordability, safety, ease of maintenance, mileage, looks, reality. We've narrowed down to these three. Yes, I know Matrix is more expensive (and larger) than Fit or xA but we might buy a young used one if this makes sense. Would appreciate your feedback, advice, warnings, encouragement, etc. Thanx in advance!!


  • dreed9dreed9 Posts: 1
    Make sure your daughter will be able to get used to the xA's idiotic speedometer location. I still can't get used to it. Also note that the hatch area of the xA is rather shallow and folding the rear seat to make more space is infinitely less flexible than the Fit's. I haven't driven a Fit, but the xA's rear suspension is rather stiff. All that said, my wife loves our xA - but then she married me, so how refined can her tastes be?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    a poor man's BMW Mini-Cooper, because it handles remarkably well and from what I hear steers into and out of a parking spot remarkably well. Makes sense considering it's small size. I may go test drive one today if the dealer in Idaho Falls has any xA's in stock. Their online Scion department is devoid of any information so I don't know if they have any Scion's in yet. I saw a billboard up in Idaho Falls that reads 'Teton Toyota-Scion', so, who knows? Nice day out, so I'm gonna go (pack up the two Pomeranians to go with me)check it out! :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,445
    xA is a great "city car" above all else. Not the best long distance commuter but it'll do the job without too much hassle. Unlike the Mini, with 4 doors you can load from the side if the hatch is blocked by the cargo net, tote bag option and the cargo blind. I've stuffed a mountain bike and a dining room table in there, (not at the same time, and the table was knocked down).

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  • scallscall Posts: 1
    For the size/price you're looking at, the Fit, forgiving the pun, looks to be a good Fit. If you're looking at the larger Matrix class stuff, also check out the Pontiac Vibe. My sister and her husband bought one of these during the GM "Employee Price" promotion for around $15k. It's build with the same frame, engine, and powertrain as the Matrix, with slightly different body styling.
  • I'm trying to choose between these three as well, funny. I'm also throwing in the Mazda3, just to make it even harder. XA cuz it's small, Matrix for the bigger cargo, and the Mazda for sportiness. What I've somewhat decided is that while I like the smallness of the XA it's way too small in the back (will my laundry basket even fit?), the Matrix is roomier but bigger than I wanted, ditto for the Mazda so I'm gonna hold out and go for the Fit. I've had 4 Hondas so I guess I'm a fan (although I was really trying for a Toyota this time, I swear!) and I can count on them. Let's hope they look as good in real life as they do on the website and that they are as reliable as all my Civics.

    P.S. If your daughter is moving to SF though and she has to have a car there (you don't really but it is nice)I'd recommend the XA primarily because of the parking hell. :mad:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,445
    The xA has split rear seats...just knock one down and you have the whole rear passenger compartment.

    Will your laundry basket fit it? No, not without dropping a seat...but a bag of laundry will fit in behind the seats...

    I drove the Mazda3 and I didn't find it any more sporty than an xA or a's not a very reassuring car if you charge into a turn at high speeds, I'll tell you that...

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  • what about the toyota yaris... those are really the closest to the fit... Im looking at the Yaris and Fit... cant wait to test drive them both :D
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    A top-of-the-line Yaris is very close in price to a Fit Sport in Canada. Subjectively, I think the Yaris looks sportier, funkier, and dare I say it...cuter! But the Fit has side and curtain airbags, and 5-sp auto, which tip the scale in its favour, for me anyway. Now, if only its styling is a little less dorky.... :cry:
  • jonniedeejonniedee Posts: 111
    Plus according to April Car and Driver Fit will spank the Yaris all over the road!
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    fwd (stock)cars are never reassuring when you throw it into a corner.
  • sclairesclaire Posts: 3
    i personally was very disappointed with the yaris. it is supposed to be the cheap toyota subcompact, but i didn't know it would look that cheap on the interior. almost nothing comes standard, plus it is just a tiny little car.
    i vote fit. :)
  • cdoccdoc Posts: 41
    Have you tried the Scion xA? It's small, but certainly not cheap: it comes loaded as a base model. It also drives very well, it looks great, and it has plenty of room for four adults. Of course, it lacks the luggage space of a fit, so it depends what you need it for. But it does have split-folding rear seats. Also, it has the same engine as the Yaris (and Echo). I've had mine for almost two weeks now, and I'm already getting 35 mpg average.
  • i was interested in buying a matrix base or XR with FWD until i learned that no dealership within toyota's gulf states region i'm in has one equipped with anti-lock brakes! i just assumed ABS either came standard or was readily available as an option. when i asked the dealer why that was the case, they said toyota's tests had shown that lighter-weight cars such as the matrix and corolla do not need ABS as other heaviers like camry do. would i be crazy to buy one w/o them? i live in north texas where we rarely have wet or slippery conditions; but when we do, they're fairly wet&slippery (i.e. ice). i'm an assertive driver that's used to the ABS on my Accord coupe. my driving is in-town during the week & highway on the weekends.
    i've considered comparable vehicles but find them all to rate lower in usually two or more of the following categories: reliability, customer satisfaction, safety, gas mileage, resale value, unique body styling, etc.
    welcome your thoughts. thanks
  • cdoccdoc Posts: 41
    My new xA is the first car I've had with ABS. I have to keep reminding myself that I now have to use the brakes in a completely different manner, keeping the pedal pushed instead of pumping, letting the ABS do the work. If you went to a car without ABS, you'd have to go in the other direction, and I imagine this would take just as much practice. You could learn in a hurry, after a rainstorm or icestorm, by practicing in an empty parking lot. It's the best way to figure out how your car handles.

    We looked at the Matrix, too, and liked it very much. But it was considerable larger than what we ended up getting, and a little outside of our price range. Still, we liked it very much.

    Have you looked into the Pontiac Vibe? It's essentially the same car as the Matrix, and you may be able to find what you want.
  • yes, i'm looking to 'sit up' a bit more off the road, but want a fuel economic car. and i'm a honda&toyota driver, so that's a limitation i've set.
    so, sounds re-training myself would be necessary if i make the purchase... ?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    if 2007 Golf should be added to this comparison, since a number of us are comparing the Golf to the Fit in the main Fit thread?
  • cdoccdoc Posts: 41
    Have you testdriven the Scion xA? It's made by Toyota, and although it's a small car, once inside you feel like it's bigger than it really is. And it comes with ABS standard. We didn't set out to buy one, but we saw it and drove it and liked it.
  • I had been anticipating the Fit's arrival since August, and for our needs and preferences, my wife and I were comparing it to the xA and Matrix. I never thought I'd consider the XB, but I'd argue the XB - particularly if you're going for storage space - is a more appropriate comparison... form-factor aside. What's more, they're very close in price - you can get a loaded XB (like the Xa) for less than a similarly equipped Fit, and customize it to your liking.

    Here are some stats I ran on various interior measurements in cubic ft.:

    1. Passenger Volume -

    Fit - 90
    XB - 90
    Matrix - 96
    Civic - 84

    2. Cargo volume (regular-hatch)

    Fit - 21.3
    XB - 21.2
    Matrix - 21.8

    3. Cargo volume w/ seats folded

    Fit - 41.9
    XB - 43.4
    Matrix - 53.2

    Conclusion: The Fit and the XB are identical in terms of cargo volume and passenger volume (makes sense given that they're almost exactly the same dimensions, though the XB is much taller). The XB has a tiny bit more cargo volume with the seats folded down :)



    Length 157.4 " (2 inches longer than XB)
    Width 66.2 " (identical width)
    Height 60 " (XB is 6 inches taller!)

    Front Headroom 40.6 (XB has 6 inches more headroom)
    Rear Headroom 38.6 (XB has 8 inches more headroom!)

    Front Legroom 41.9 (XB has 3.4 inches more front legroom)
    Rear Legroom 33.7 (XB has 6 inches more rear legroom!)

    Front Shoulderoom 52.8 (The FIT has 4+ more inches here)
    Rear Shoulderoom 50.6 (identical)

    Front Hiproom 51.2 (+1 inch for the Fit)
    Rear Hiproom 51.0 ( "" )


    Length 155.3 "
    Width 66.5 "
    Height 64.6 "

    Front Headroom 46.1 "
    Rear Headroom 45.7 "

    Front Legroom 45.3 "
    Rear Legroom 38.0 "

    Front Shoulder Room 48.6 "
    Rear Shoulder Room 50.0 "

    Front Hiproom 50.6 "
    Rear Hiproom 50.6 "


    To my knowledge, the Fit is not equipped with electronic stability control - a safety feature often found only on more expensive cars. The XB has it - the XA may as well?

    On fuel economy, I was attracted to the 37/38 highway ratings on the Fit but realized when you look at the combined or city only, the Fit doesn't maintain much of an edge (this wouldn't have been the case if Honda didn't add a more powerful engine, etc.) The XB's 30 city is very competitive with the FIt's 31... and I think the XA may be higher.

    The Matrix is a great car, and I was particularly interested in the fact you can get 4WD for winter up here in the Northeast. But, at that trim model, you're looking at about $20,000! What amazes me most is that the Matrix's fuel economy is so poor. I don't recall what it is exactly but want to say it's 27-30 city, 30-32 or maybe as low as 29 highway...
  • cdoccdoc Posts: 41
    I purchased my new '06 xA is just over three weeks ago. For the first tank of gas, I had an overal mpg of 35. For my second tank of gas, I had an overall mpg of 37. I couldn't be happier, especially now that the price per gallon is going up again. I'm the one laughing at the pump.

    Looking at the Yaris on the Toyota website, and what does (and doesn't come) standard, and looking at the price of the Fit and the wait time now involoved, I'm thrilled with the choice I made.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The amazing thing is, I am getting the same mpg on my new 2006 Cobalt! (I had a Scion xA about 4 cars ago, for 12,000 miles, and easily and steadily hit 35 mpg, a little lower.) I presume we both have manual transmissions and spend a lot of time on the freeway, little time on city streets....
  • cdoccdoc Posts: 41
    I drive mostly on back country roads where I cruise at 50 or 60 mph. No traffic, no traffic lights, just the occasional depressed and now poor gambler leaving the casino and contemplating suicide, whom I overtake quite nicely with my peppy xA.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    LOL...there are seemingly more and more gambling and casino's, aren't there? You and your Scion xA ought to fly right by them, they're lost in thought of how they can score some more greenbacks to throw away!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • reddroverrreddroverr Posts: 509
    I had a Scion xA about 4 cars ago,

    Wow, scion hasn't been around all that long. You go though cars like budduh!
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    a car tester, or conisseur, so to speak. He has lots of advice on the Scion xA if anyone has any questions.

    He does rip through the rigs pretty quickly!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I've been called a car 'ho. But I specialize in economy cars. I don't know if that's good or bad. Really, I ask myself sometimes, are cars REALLY that different within a certain classification?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    I'm taking a hankering to the new 2007 Toyota Yaris sedan.
    What'd'ya think of the sedan and/or Yaris hatchback? I can't believe Toyota has actually designed a small car that I like to look at! I am not tiring of looking at the Yaris sedan and I love it's simple, sporty look. I'm gonna have to at least test drive it.

    Do you like the Yaris, or Versa, or Fit, any of 'em for that matter? The 34 city and 40 highway mpg's speak to me regarding the Yaris, too.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • I've test driven both the xA and Matrix - I liked the Matrix better because it feels a little more high end and the all wheel drive is definately a plus for winter driving. The xA didn't have enough get up but I really liked the way the seat makes you feel like your driving a bigger car, the fuel economy and size. When I read the information about the Fit I thought, this is it - everything I liked about the xA but with more power! The only thing I am concerned about is how it will handle in snowy conditions and will it make it up to the mountains without really having to push it. Any ideas? Thanks
  • hmarhmar Posts: 15
    I rented one (a hatchback) while in Europe about 3 1/2 years ago and I rather liked it. It handled well and was no nonsense. I remember thinking that if they ever made it available here in the States that I'd consider buying one. I just purchased a Matrix because I need a little more room and 4 doors these days, but if they haven't fundamentally changed it since '02, it's a pretty neat little car.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,234
    it's real-world responses from every day drivers(even if you were just renting the rig)that almost mean more to me than reviewers opinions. It sounds like a pretty decent little car.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I haven't driven the Yaris, Fit, or Versa; haven't even seen the Fit or Versa, or the Yaris liftback, so it's too early to comment meaningfully.

    I'd Google for reviews, they are starting to come out.

    My personal recommendations, fwiw, would be a Scion xA or Fit over the Yaris, since Toyota did a very poor job of marketing and supporting the Echo, its predecessor, and the odd option packages etc. aren't convincing most of us that they have figured out how to sell the Yaris. That having been said, I like the pictures of the liftback Yaris better than any of the others, but how well they will execute (upscale Scion, or tacky Tercel?) makes all the difference in the world.

    If you can wait until the fall, I think the Yaris 5 door liftback will be sold here as the new Scion you'll get the benefits of the latest generation thinking, and the superb resale and standardized, upscale features of the Scion line.
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