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Addressing the Fit's shortcomings

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited April 2014 in Honda


  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    No armrest?
    No bodyside molding?
    No cargo cover?

    OK, so Honda omits the bodyside molding on many of it's cars, however, there is not even an optional accessory.

    No armrest and no cargo cover on a $16,500 subcompact is Honda being CHEAP.
  • Does Fit have break-away side mirrors? Hope so, because my '96 VW does and they are handy in tight garages, etc.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Folding, not break-away.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Just came from the dealership with my 2005 Mazda 3i to trade in as they had the Fit 5spd Meteor Silver I was looking for. Before seeing the internet manager, I decided to just sit in the Fit for a bit to get a true feel as a driver. Found a few issues I know I will be bothered with since I drive 600 miles a week. I'll list the cons first since this is what broke the deal for me.

    1. No adjustable lower back support. I have a really bad lower back and the support is like sitting on a plane seat. I don't think I would like to compensate by buying those back pillows. The side support is great though, like recaro seats
    2. No seat height adjustment. I'm not that tall and I felt I couldn't see over the hood. =)
    2. No armrest/compartment. I actually tried to note how often I rest my arm on it and found when I'm stuck in traffic or cruising, I do.
    3. No locking gas cap. I'm from NYC so I'm paranoid.
    4. Cargo cover not standard. For a top of the line model?
    5. No dead pedal. Again, I drive alot and this would help.

    1. First class gauge cluster. I loved it!
    2. Stereo is growing on me. Lights match gauge cluster which is great. Although for 200 watts, do you get bass with those speakers?
    3. Finally figured out the Magic Seats after someone posted. You just lift up!
    4. Of course, the gas mileage
    5. Smooth 5spd shifter
  • Yup, if the seat height isn't good for you, the car's not for you. But for others reading this thread...

    I don't understand when people complain about things that "should" be included like a cargo cover and a locking gas cap, or similar complaints about other small items that can easily be added. In this case, for example, you can buy those things for $150. For the sake of argument, let's say the car was $150 more but included those things. The question is then, would you be happy? Or would you say that the car was now over-priced by $150?

    Personally, I've taken the cargo cover out of every car I've had that has come with one, I have no need for it, it just gets in my way. And I don't care about a locking gas cap. (And I drive in NYC!) So I don't care that these things aren't included, and would be glad to not have to pay for them.

    Not that I wouldn't have my own wish list. Unfortunately, the things I find lacking in the Fit aren't available as add-ons either. I like climate control, steering wheel stereo controls, stability control, traction control. I guess I'm a control freak! I wish it were possible to get a better stereo in the base (whether from Honda or aftermarket). Some fancy things like leather and sunroof probably are or will be available aftermarket, if one wants to splurge on an economy car. I'm kind of surprised it doesn't have a trip computer that calculates current and average fuel economy. Not that it's essential, but I think it's something a Fit owner would appreciate! On the cars that have had them, I've always used the compass (which one can get separately), and more often than I care to admit, the "distance to empty."
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Wow! You go without a cargo cover and a locking gas cap? Talk about faith in humankind! :surprise: I don't suppose you would have much use for security systems either. :P
  • Cargo cover: How often are people stowing stuff back there that would be tempting if someone saw it? In my case, the times I carry stuff of value are also almost always the times I have to put the seats down, so then the cargo cover is useless anyway. And, as I said, more often actually in my way. But for people carrying things of value with the seats up, or carrying things that they want to protect somewhat from the light/heat of the sun, sure, I'm glad they can buy a cargo cover. The few times I may find myself in that situation, I'll toss a sweater over the stuff. When I first got a car with a cargo cover, I kept working around it until the day I accidentally knocked it out and said, "Oh! This comes out! Cool!"

    Locking fuel cap: The issues are vandalism and siphoning. In the first case, I don't park on the streets in bad areas (and if one must, I think one is more likely to suffer a keying or broken window than a contaminated gas tank, which requires preparation). And I just don't think siphoning is a real issue either. Again, I'm rarely in bad areas. But even then, gas siphoning is hard to do inconspicuously or quickly, and there's not much payoff for someone to do it. Since we're talking about being in New York, most people don't even have cars, they use the subways, so what would they even want with the gas? It's not like they can bring it to pawn shops or hawk 5-gallon cannisters out of their coats on street corners. If I hear news reports of a mad rash of siphoning, I may reconsider.

    And as long as you mentioned it, I don't really care about alarm systems either. At this point, when most people hear car alarms, they completely ignore them, and I'm sure the thieves know that too. So I don't know if they really do much good. And it's actually much harder to get into locked cars these days, by design, so that's good. And if the car is stolen, it will be replaced by insurance. And as I said, I generally travel in relatively safe areas anyway. But if someone sometimes keeps valuable things in the car unattended, then there would be some value to having an alarm which, if set off, will prompt the culprit to leave rather than linger. It looks like you can get some pretty cheap ones online, and you do get an insurance discount for having one, so... maybe.
  • sd_driversd_driver Posts: 49
    No seat height adjustment:
    Neither of my last two Civics have had seat height adjustments. Makes no difference to me. But if you really need more height, buy memory foam wedge and put it under your rear. Not only will you gain height, but it will be very comfortable.

    No center armrest:
    My last Civic didn't have one either. Never even noticed.
    I guess someone will come up with something aftermarket if it really bothers you.

    No locking gas cap:
    It’s not needed.
    I posted about this earlier. Siphoning gas is a high risk / low reward activity. Why would any criminal bother?
    Similarly, if someone really wants to sugar your gas tank, a screwdriver and three seconds is all it would take to defeat a locking gas door—probably wouldn’t even leave a mark. Add another five seconds to defeat a locking gas cap.

    No cargo cover:
    Yes. An annoyance. But you can get one for 118.00 at College Hills Honda web site. And, No, you don’t need to be a mechanic to “install” it. You’ll be taking it in and out anyway when you carry cargo.

    No Fuel Consumption Calculator:
    Big deal. Here’s a course on driving to save gas.
    1) Keep engine off. Biggest gas saver of all.
    2) Accelerate very, very slowly always.
    3) Shift before 2500 rpm.
    4) Coast whenever possible.
    5) Keep tires inflated properly.
    6) Keep car maintained.
    7) Get rid of the junk in yo trunk. Saves weight.

    No Rear discs:
    Okay. Now you’re talking. This would have been nice. It’s not a deal killer, but it would have been nice.

    Finally, the one and only semi-serious flaw I’ve found in my Fit:
    No 6th gear.
    It’s a shame, too, because I think that with a 6-speed transmission, the Fit would be the most awesome inexpensive, practical sports car ever made or shipped to the USA.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    1. Buy Honda Fit Sport for $16,520 MSRP
    2. Purchase Memory Foam Wedge
    3. Purchase locking gas cap from Honda.
    4. Purchase Cargo Cover from Honda
    5. Import armrest from Europe that is available for the Jazz.

    Uh...hold on...wait a minute...Why not just buy a Civic LX auto for $16,700 market price?

    Or Nissan Sentra 1.8 S SE with Rockford Fosgate 300W stereo with subwoofer, side airbags and ABS, Sunroof, Armrest, distance to empty display, outside air temp. display, mpg display, 8 way adjustable drivers seat, mudguards, bodyside moldings, floor mats and trunk mat, for $14,595. :surprise:

    The Sentra is an outdated design soon to be replaced, however, being nickel and dime'd adding equipment after the sale that Honda neglected to include is not choice.

    At 40,000 units Honda will be have greater demand than supply for the Fit. If Honda imports the Fit at Civic levels they need to step it up a notch on the details.

    Fit is amazing in it's packaging of space. The magic seats are very impressive and Honda has created another example to it's competitors of "why didn't I think of that".
  • I test drove a Sentra SE-R a few years ago, liked it a lot. And it's a good deal with it's $2500 rebate. And yeah, on bang-for-the-buck, it's hard to compare a a new model that is going for full sticker with a heavily discounted end-of-life model. But of course it doesn't have near the Fit's cargo capacity or fuel economy, either. Which also answers your question about why not just buy the Civic. There may be some overlap, some buyers who could be happy with either, but for many people, I think the Fit would serve a purpose that the Civic can't fill, since it has no 5-door config. I need cargo space, so for me, it's apples and oranges.
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Posts: 678
    The list I made earlier, I couldn't care less about. I was just listing some things that were absent from the US market Fit.

    Gas lock I would like, but after 4 days of ownership and all of those other cars without them, I don't even think about it anymore.

    Fuel consumption calculators are only good for the average. I drive a car for work sometimes, and it has a calculator onboard. About as useless as it can be. It either shows 4 mpg when I accelerate or 24 when I'm coasting. I just divide miles traveled by gallons used when I fill up. Not the most accurate, but it does its job.

    On the topic of seats, I actually find the seats of the Fit/Jazz to be perfect...for me. The height and the distance between the pedals/steering wheel are fine.

    None of my cars in the past have had height adjusters, fuel consumption calculators, or rear disc brakes, so for me I didn't lose anything with the Fit.
  • carrmancarrman Posts: 20
    I thought the Fit was going to be priced in the 12k - 14k range. 16k seems to be a bit much when the civic lx auto is in the same price range. Must say if I were in the market for a economy honda with an under 17k budget I'd have to go with the civic. If I really needed enclosed space to haul something I'd just a base element.
  • reddroverrreddroverr Posts: 509
    Yes, the cargo cover probably has a cost of $!0. To pay $150 or a little less for it is annoying.

    You can grab an off brand locking gas cap for a few bucks, or will be able to soon. On the other hand since the euro and japan models apparently have the locking door, it is annoying as well.

    But, if you like the car...waddayagonnado?
  • Im a Realtor in San Diego. Today I showed property in my Fit for the first time. I was kinda nervous to see how it would do running around town, people getting in and out of it all day long and going into strange driveway/parking situations. I have to say, I was pretty impressed. There were three large men on board. One was me @ 6'2" 225lbs, one was 280lbs @ 6' and the other was 300lbs and 6'6". The Fit never missed a beat. In fact, it made running around city streets and back alleys a real breeze! I never felt it needed more power or was laboring. I did notice there was a little more suspension bounce when hitting bumps, but it was never harsh. I can only imagine how we all looked getting out of this tiny car.. must of looked like a clown act at the circus! What a great little car, Im impressed more each day.

    Ive shown property in $70K Mercededs/BMW's, Full size SUV's, Mini Vans, etc., but in the end, this little car was as good if not better and I still had 3/4 of a tank of gas left! Im tired of expensive cars to own, these cars make sense. Im glad I didnt buy a civic sedan like I origionally planed. It would of been much harder for anyone of any size to get in and out of it all day long.

    Sure, I could find things Id change about it and I did in the first day of ownership. One just has to remember this is a cheap car. Even the very high ends cars Ive owned had obvious faults to them but at least I didnt pay some crazy amount for this car like I have for status cars. Geez, at $16K, give the poor little car a break you guys.
  • > If I really needed enclosed space to haul something I'd just a base element.

    A base element is a good $3000+ more than a base Fit, its EPA fuel economy estimate is 21/25 so your gas bills will be 50% higher each month, and it's not nearly as fun to drive. As long as I could manage to fit what I needed to carry into the Fit, why would I buy a base Element?
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    Believe me, I really love the car (been waiting for it since Dec 2004) but it got to a point I'm "compensating" too much for the sake of getting the car.

    All the things "without" I expected if I was buying the BASE FIT but for the higher end SPORT model, I expect without excuse all the little basic things mentioned. Other cars are offering it. Honda is the leader, there is no excuse for them to go cheap.
  • I'm wondering about body side molding. One can certainly add it aftermarket, but where would one put it on the Fit? I think the point that most protrudes is in line with the door handles. But depending on the shape of the door that someone bangs into it, I'm not sure that's the most likely spot for it to hit. Plus, I think molding along that line would be kinda ugly. Aesthetically, molding looks better on the lower half of a door. (I guess that's a good argument for choosing a black car, you can put molding anywhere and pretty much not see it.)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Short list.

    Things to add:
    - Armrest. Put the cupholders there.
    - Needs an aux jack in the glovebox or armrest - someplace where your player isn't in plain view of thiefs. Armrest, again, would solve this.
    - Needs an overhead bin/console up near the review mirror. At least a place to store your garage door opener.
    - Adjustable seat height.
    - Locking gas door. The mechanism is there, just not enabled? ?QUE?
    - Make the dealers aware of the 14 inch Civic alloys.

    Glitches/real problems that need to be fixed NOW - while it is in production:
    - NEED TO REVERSE THE VISORS. The Driver's side is the only one that has a mirror. In Japan, that side IS the passenger. But not in the U.S. - obvious goof-up by Honda.
    *note - there is no passenger-side vanity mirror - only a driver's side one
    - NEED TO REVERSE THE REAR SEATS. The same L/R Japan/U.S problem. The large side is behind the driver. It's the more comfortable rear seat and is not closest to the curb. Also, since many drivers have their seat farther back than the front passenger does, the best rear seat also has the worst legroom as a result. Cargo - the largest "tall mode" space with one seat still useable is facing traffic(curb in Japan, as it shoudl be).

    A simple L/R swap would address this.

    - DIPSTICK NEEDS TO BE ROTATED 90 DEGREES. It's incredibly easy to hit your finger on the red-hot manifold trying to check the oil in an emergency.
    *note - it's placed 2 inches from it and the hole you stick your finger through is *parallel* to the engine.

    In the dark - you gotta put your finger around or through it and I have small fingers. Mine missed the manifold by less than an inch. A 90 degree rotation would fix it.
  • moggydotmoggydot Posts: 1
    I too thought I was going to buy a Fit, but I had one instead when I realized that I had to buy fancy wheels, fancy mats and spoilers on everything just to get the one feature I require - -cruise control! What goofball made the decision not to include cruise control as standard on base and sport? I've never owned a Honda and I probably never will. I checked out the Yaris too and discovered that many options were standard on the sport model but alas! the sport is only available on the sedan! what is wrong with these people? Hello out there! Not all of your potential drives are 17-year-olds who love inchng through urban traffic with those cool spoilers. Some of us are fussy old boomers who need cargo space for whatever reason (I transport paintings) and don't even like the look of fancy doodads.

    My "unreliable" (as consumer magazines always say) Golf TDI looks better and better.

    Sayonara Honda. Next time find out what real people really want.
  • Buy a base Fit, add an aftermarket cruise control for a couple of hundred dollars, done!

    As for what people want, personally, I never use cc, and would be glad to not be paying for it. You can always add it if you want it.
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    >No Fuel Consumption Calculator:

    My china model has one that calculates average consumption in L/100 km (so good for me). but it is not very precise as there can be up to 10% inprecision.

    Can't believe it it is not implemented in the US Version. There must be a mistake somewhere.

    China models has some accessories/fitting not included in US models :
    14" alloy Rims, Power Sunroof, Locking gas door, CVT Transmission. All for 15,620 USD including leather, mudguards+ side protection an solar film on windows

    No Mp3 connector though. Radio setup is very average.

    Cargocover sell for about 120 USD here. My worse shortcoming was that only one key came with remote
  • godisgodis Posts: 2
    I was hoping I might be able to get some advice. I just bought a Black FIT Sport, and am debating on the Environmental Protection option -- it includes the clear coating to protect the finish, and undercoating to prevent rust, and sound insulation. It's an extra $600, but the car will be stored outside in Chicago. Is it worth it? I'm already planning to get the Cargo cover and MusicLink.

    In response to previous posts -- I do think the car is a little pricey, but I test drove both the Scion XA and the Yaris, and I feel like the Fit is a much better car and worth the extra cost. For such a little car, it really drives well and has a lot of power. It's a perfect city car.
  • kagedudekagedude Posts: 407
    I would not advise it. These add ons are just another way for the dealer to make more money off you.

    Got this article...
    "rustproofing and paint protection: All new cars are built with rust-resistant galvanized steel (or aluminum or fiberglass) and treated with a rustproofing agent at the factory. Experts say dealer-applied rustproofing is unnecessary, at best. Paint "sealant" is a similar story: factory paint is sealed and durable and can be protected effectively with a coat of wax you apply yourself."
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Definately decline this nonsense. As for storing outside - a nice car cover works wonders. Just make sure it's a good one that breathes/lets moisture out.

    As for protective sealants/waxes on the car, I use either pure carnuba(no abraseives) or this stuff:
    EDIT: No grit is critical with new paint - it should be pure liquid like beeswax or parafix wax if warmed up. 95% of car waxes aren't close to this and have a considerable amount of grit in them.


    This stuff actually was designed to work on pinball playfields(specifically the clearcoat covered ones) and fiberglass boats. It is amazing and really works. It also will keep your plastic lenses on the Fit from ever getting yellow. It says plastic. It works on clearcoat finishes as well, though they don't market it as car wax. It's made for industry use and so they don't spend a dime on marketing the stuff. Basically, it's the only stuff professionals use on their clearcoat-covered pinball machines. But it's still clearcoat polish :)

    #1 has no grit at all. Won't scratch brand new plastic glasses "no grit". Amazing for a brand new car, though - probably the mildest stuff on the market.
    #2 is comparable to most car waxes - small grit level - good as a very mild polishing compound.
    #3 is polishing compound, essentially. Use with care.

    It's about $6-8 a bottle. I personally only use #2 for scratches/repairs and #1 99% of the time. It also works great for glass - much better than Rain-X, and it's not toxic.

    If you have a faided out clearcoat(zillions of microscopic scratches) that shines up like new when you get it wet, but then fades when dry(common for black cars) - #1 does an amazing job of filling those little hairline scratches in. It's the only stuff that I know of that actually is a clearcoat filler compound. And it dissapears, unlike many of those things you see on TV - no residue or yellowing.

    It won't make an old car "look like new", nothing does - but it will make an old car look like an old car with faded but no longer scratched paint ;)
  • reddroverrreddroverr Posts: 509
    I remember reading somewhere that it only costs them like $20 or something ridiculous to spray the car. That is why the will often not worry about it is you see the car on the lot and say you don't want to pay for that option.
  • This will probably sound trivial, but the owner's manual for my Fit Sport manual doesn't explain where the tranny fluid tank is located. I know it's under the car but haven't crawled around to look for it yet. The diagram in the owner's manual shows the tank's cap, surrounded by a bunch of nondescript structures with no verbal description of where to find it. I used to have to top off the tranny fluid in our Ford Explorer regularly, so I know what to look for, but I feel bad for first-time owners who may be hesitant to unscrew the cap without knowing for certain they've found what they're looking for.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    From the photos it looks more like a sub $10K car. Are they really charging $16,520 for this strange looking mini-van car thing? Wow, that is amazing. Why not get a real car like a Hyundai with a 10 year warranty, if a person needs a car on the cheap? I agree, if you want a Honda, the Civic makes more sense. The Civic Coupe' is pretty cool looking too!
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Posts: 678
    "From the photos it looks more like a sub $10K car."
    Then maybe you should actually look at the car in person.

    "Why not get a real car like a Hyundai..."
  • napafitnapafit Posts: 1
    Cruise control is the only thing the basic doesn't have that I want. It's saved me many a ticket. If I can add it aftermarket, I'm a happy camper.

    Geez, I was looking at a Matrix. The electric windows were extra. Okay, I can do that, but then I wanted cruise control and ABS, which came only with the spoilers and moon roof in spite of the fact they were listed as individual options and not a package. I didn't want either of them so I got pissed and started looking again. By that time the info on the Fit was out. Waited a month and a half for the little puppy to come in. Got the third one.
  • johnnyvjjohnnyvj Posts: 112
    "From the photos it looks more like a sub $10K car. Are they really charging $16,520 for this strange looking mini-van car thing? Wow, that is amazing. Why not get a real car like a Hyundai with a 10 year warranty, if a person needs a car on the cheap?"

    Why not read the May issue of Car and Driver instead?

    In their subcompact comparo, the Fit soundly thrashed the 'real car' Hyundai in its class. It wasn't even close. :shades:

    Point taken on the Fit vaguely resembling the $10K Aveo, but in person the Fit looks quite a lot better than an Aveo.
This discussion has been closed.