<strong>Months in fleet: Six
Mileage to date: 13,319
Since our last update, warm weather and the open road have provided Automobile Magazine's editors the opportunity to stretch our Four Seasons <a href="http://www.automobilemag.com/am/2012/honda/fit/index.html">Honda Fit</a>'s legs enough to pile on nearly 2500 miles since the beginning of the summer. In addition to a trip to New York at the end of June, the Fit has been used regularly as a commuter and a grocery hauler, and it recently completed an 1100-mile Lake Michigan Circle Tour.
All that time on the road, however, has given us a chance to reevaluate some of our previous insight on how the Fit fits into our lives.
"On the way home, I rowed through the gears and was astounded that anybody would call the gearbox notchy," writes associate editor Eric Tingwall, whose girlfriend loves her slushbox Fit Sport. "Then this morning on my drive in, I finally discovered notchy--the distinct grab moving the shifter from second to third and third to second. I concede that the shifter isn't flawlessly smooth, but I feel like notchy is a word reserved for gearboxes far more crude than this."
"Thankfully the driver's side floor has a plastic/rubber cover below the pedal," writes road test coordinator Mike Ofiara. "Otherwise, I'm afraid we would've worn through the carpet and down to the floor boards. Still, the clutch pedal still has plenty of travel and the brakes have good bite. Aside from a couple of exterior blemishes, I'd say our lil' Fit is holding up pretty well."
During my tenure as Automobile Magazine's editorial intern, I've accumulated nearly one-third of the Fit's total miles, and overall I've been quite a fan. Considering that I, as a college student, am in the Fit's target audience, that's high praise. But my perceptions of the Fit changed after I hustled from Ann Arbor to Chicago via the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After returning from an East Coast odyssey, I gushed over the Fit's all-around performance, but a battle with the elements tested the little <a href="http://www.automobilemag.com/new_cars/01/honda/index.html">Honda</a>'s composure in the UP. As I drove across the mighty Mackinac Bridge's grated center lane through a torrential rainstorm, I was keenly aware of the Fit's tiny, skinny tires and its susceptibility to crosswinds. As much as I respect the Fit for its in-town abilities, it's just not a great road tripper. The wind pushes it all over the highway, and its lack of passing power was painfully apparent when I craved it most on the two-lanes of the Upper Peninsula.
But would I like to take the Fit back to New York University with me this fall? You betcha, so long as someone else pays for my parking spot. The Fit's panoramic windshield and broad side windows would make it easy to maneuver around taxis and to spot wayward pedestrians in the swirl of Manhattan traffic, and it has plenty of room for hauling my laundry home to my parents, house in the 'burbs on weekends, or for jaunts to IKEA to furnish my next apartment.
<a href="http://www.automobilemag.com/am/2009/honda/fit/index.html">2009 Honda Fit</a> Sport
Miles to Date: 7335
Average MPG: 35.5 mpg
Base price (with dest.): $16,930
Price as tested: $18,780
Body Style: 4-door hatchback
Construction: Steel unibody
Engine: i-VTEC 16-valve SOHC I-4
Displacement: 1.5 liters
Power: 117 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque: 106 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Fuel economy: 27/33/29 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
Steering: Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turns lock-to-lock: 2.5
Turning Circle: 34.4 ft
Suspension, Front: MacPherson strut
Suspension, Rear: Torsion beam
Brakes F/R: Power-assisted ventilated disc/drum; ABS
Wheels: 15-in aluminum alloy
Tires: Dunlop SP Sport (all-season)
Tire Size: 185/55 R16 83H
Headroom F/R: 40.4 / 39.0 in
Legroom F/R: 41.3 / 34.5 in
Shoulder Room F/R: 52.7 / 51.3 in
Wheelbase: 98.4 in
Track F/R: 58.1 / 57.4 in
L x W x H: 161.6 x 66.7 x 60.0 in
Cargo Capacity: 20.6 / 57.3 cu ft (rear/with seats folded)
Weight: 2534 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 62 / 38%
Fuel Capacity: 10.6 gal
Est. Range: 315 miles
Fuel Grade: 87 octane
Front, side and side curtain airbags
Tire pressure monitoring system
Power windows, locks, and remote start
Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
MP3 jack, USB interface