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PaleMelanesian 01-28-2013 03:15 PM

PaleMelanesian's 2009 Honda Fit
3 Attachment(s)
After years of mumbling about it, I finally upgraded to a new ride.

2009 Honda Fit Sport
44,000 miles
OEM wheels have been painted black. I like the look.

Things I gained:
  • AC (especially the defrost function)
  • Radio w/ Ipod support
  • Side airbags front and rear
  • ABS
  • Hatchback!
  • electric power steering that works in EOC
  • quicker steering ration (2.5 vs 3.2) for sportier feel
  • timing chain that doesn't wear out
  • tachometer. No more shifting by feel and sound.

Things I lost:
  • years of memories. With the old car I graduated college, got married, honeymooned, bought a house, brought home three babies, etc.
  • Gear ratios: 5th is 2800 rpm at 60 mph, a bit worse than my old 2500, which was already bad.
  • lost some horizontal cargo space. That's in exchange for double the volume, and a full hatchback-sized fold-flat 2nd row.
  • gained 200 lb of vehicle weight (now 2500), but that's mainly safety gear. I'll take it.
  • 2 MPG epa, but I know it's capable of plenty. And I gained a lot of utility for that.

Things that are the same:
  • 1.5 liter Honda engine vs the old 1.6
  • 5-spd manual transmission
  • White
  • power-to-weight is nearly identical, and so is performance (slow )
  • bought from the same Chevrolet dealer as the old one.

Some cell phone shots:

PaleMelanesian 01-28-2013 03:17 PM

Mods done so far:
  • DRL delete (pull fuse)
  • Defrost AC disable. AC is no longer forced to run in the defrost position. I can turn it on or off at will, just like in the other positions.
  • License plate relocate - from the bumper down into the grille. Compare the first and third photos.
  • Tires up to pressure. ;)

MetroMPG 01-28-2013 03:35 PM

Neat! Those still look like little space shuttles to me - especially in that stark white/black.

Was this a planned purchase, or opportunity knocked and you answered?

I've only driven one Fit - a 5-speed - and I was reasonably impressed. It's not a great highway cruiser (gearing/aero), but it can do really well in sub/urban use. I demonstrated 41 MPG in an "ecodriving coaching session" using plain vanilla techniques - no engine off, no P&G.


Congrats on the purchase. I'm sure you did your homework first.

PaleMelanesian 01-28-2013 04:28 PM

I was looking at time needed to keep the Civic going and really didn't want to. I could spend money for someone else to work on it, but didn't really want that either. I was really wanting the utility of a hatchback.

I looked at Vibes and Matrixes (matrices?) over the holiday but didn't find any good ones. Apparently my criteria makes a rare combination (stickshift (but not GT), price, condition, miles). Then this popped up here in town. I looked at it and saw it was just about as big inside as the Matrix, despite being smaller outside.

It'll displace some Odyssey miles, saving a good amount of gas there.

First tank, half highway, came in at 54 mpg. Not what I hoped. It falls on its face at higher speeds.

RedDevil 01-28-2013 05:53 PM

I only have driven a Fit once, on a test drive, but I was impressed.
Coming off the highway at a double lane stop turning right, waiting for the lights, a BMW X3 stopped beside me with engine roaring.
On green, planning to test the acceleration anyway, I gave it about 80% throttle, and the CVT geared me up to say 30 mpg in seconds. I heard a big howl from the left as the BMW swerved around in first gear, pulling right up until he (I did not look but assume he was a he) had to shift. I saw no reason to lift so went on accelerating. Another howl, the BMW pulled up beside me again in second gear, but had to shift again.
And then he gave up. Apparently he did not like to race a humble Fit and only be able to win if it takes effort or going past the speed limit big time.

I was happy with that Fit and would have bought it if the Insight I could get wasn't such a good deal.

Another winner is the extra storage space under the rear bench. You don't expect that in a hybrid, very clever. But the Insight has its own party piece; the boot floor can sink 4 inches into in the empty spare wheel well.

brucepick 01-28-2013 08:18 PM

Nice car!
And very smart turning the license plate into an instant grill block.

Best of luck with it!

PaleMelanesian 01-29-2013 09:25 AM

52 mpg / 25 miles round trip to dinner with the family last night. (5 of us) It's down a couple mpg from my average, but easily double what the Odyssey would do on the same trip. 1/2 gallon and $1.60 saved.

Yes, the Fit has the same space under the rear seat. Nice. The gas tank is under the front seat instead, that's the rear under-seat space is open.

niky 01-29-2013 10:58 AM

22 km/l? That's pretty fantastic. Shame we don't get the manual 1.5 GE here, the AT sucks compared to the previous CVT in terms of economy.

The fuel tank layout is terrific. It leaves lots of space under the rear seat and in the trunk (with that gigantic square bin where the spare goes) for a propane tank or battery packs. The possibilities in terms of Frankenstein-level eco-modding are endless.

MetroMPG 01-29-2013 11:40 AM


Originally Posted by PaleMelanesian (Post 353628)
easily double what the Odyssey would do on the same trip. 1/2 gallon and $1.60 saved.

You would have gone in van instead of the the Civic?

PaleMelanesian 01-29-2013 12:18 PM

Yep. The Civic's rear seat is more contoured and bucket-like, making it really hard to fit more than two car seats. The sides angle forward near the doors, so the car seats have to sit ~4 inches inboard. That leaves only a hand width between them in the middle.

The Fit's flat bench-style seat fits my three ok. Just barely, but it's doable. Despite being officially an inch narrower, the Fit is a better family car. That's the second reason for this trade.

We've been using the Ody for family driving for several years because of this - since #3 joined us.

That, and in Texas summer, with no AC, only I could tolerate the heat. :p

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