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2008 Honda Fit ReviewThe Good
The '08 Fit says “bring it on” to higher gas prices while zipping through city traffic with ease, style, and a smug sense of efficiency.The Bad
The Fit will never offer face-melting acceleration or high-end luxuries, but that’s not what it aims to do.
The CarGurus View
The Fit brings everything you need into a small space and still somehow feels roomy. So throw a bike in the back, a friend in the front, and enjoy a fun and practical ride. Just don’t expect to stop for gas often.
At a Glance
The subcompact Honda Fit celebrates its second birthday in the U.S. market with no changes from the 2007 model beyond a now-standard tire pressure monitor. Aside from the Base trim, the Fit also comes in a Sport trim, which boasts an array of added amenities - most notable are 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a rear spoiler, and an improved sound system. The Fit is a highly maneuverable subcompact that, with gas prices where they are, is changing the way the U.S. market treats small hatchbacks.
Despite its diminutive stature, the Fit has a surprisingly roomy interior, and with fold-down rear seats, it's very functional for a car of its size. With front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder, 109-hp engine, the Fit is very drivable and offers spunky acceleration and handling at lower speeds due to its low weight-to-horsepower ratio. The Fit should catch the eye of anyone looking for a practical, fun vehicle that will lower their carbon footprint.
Both the Base and Sport trims come equipped with a four-cylinder, 16-valve SOHC VTEC® engine and 5-speed transmission. This 1.5-liter engine offers 105 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm, and reaches its maximum horsepower of 109 at 5,800 rpm. Both trims come with the option of a manual or automatic transmission, while the Sport trim offers paddle shifters for manual control on the steering wheel of automatic versions.
The EPA estimates the 5-speed automatic Fit sips gas at 27 mpg in city driving and 34 mpg on the highway, with a 30 mpg combined estimate. The Sport (automatic) gets 27 city as well, but loses 1 mpg for highway and combined driving. The manual transmission for both trims gets 28/34/31 mpg. Honda recommends regular unleaded fuel for the Fit’s 10.8-gallon tank.
The base model comes with 14-inch full-cover steel wheels, while the Sport model splurges on 15-inch alloys. Its 2,500-pound curb weight makes for relatively quick acceleration, and the Sport can hit 0-60 in 9 seconds.
Ride & Handling
The Honda Fit consistently rates as one of the top city cars of 2008. What impresses most, aside from its spacious cargo room, is the Fit's handling and feel for the road. It's got grip in the turns and zip on the gas, making it a fun and exciting ride, while still appealing to penny-pinchers. To create all that cabin room, Honda went higher instead of wider, and some reviews find the ride slightly top-heavy when cornering, but in general, the consensus is that the Fit "corners on its door handles." If you prefer an automatic transmission, you can still get the racecar spirit with the paddle shifters available on the Sport trim. Drivers report engine noise at highway speeds, but for a car of its size and build, that's to be expected.
Cabin & Comfort
What Honda does, it does well, but it is sure never to over-reach itself. The result is a very simple, modern, but elegant interior that fits four adults comfortably. What makes the Fit stand out is its 60/40 fold-down rear seats that turn a small car into a mini-minivan. Its 41.9 cubic feet of cargo area is spacious enough to carry two large bicycles with ease. The six-speaker, 200-watt stereo system in the Sport trim looks as good as it sounds, but if you're looking for block-rocking beats, the Honda factory controls limit the output to speaker-safe levels. The base trim has only four speakers, and the CD player does not play Window Media Files (WMA) or have a MP3 input jack like the one in the upgraded Sport trim. The overall interior design is highly praised for being well thought out and functional. The driver’s seat positioning is unique, however, and it's recommended that any potential buyer test drive the Fit to make sure he or she does, in fact, fit.
The 2008 Fit comes standard with ABS brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Honda Fit earned a five star (out of five) government rating for front-passenger protection in front and side crash tests, with rear passengers getting three stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Fit its highest possible “good” rating in frontal offset and side impact tests.
What Owners Think
Most CarGurus Fit drivers are very happy with their purchase and boast about its interior room, driving enjoyment, and gas mileage. The only common complaint is the absence of a center console or armrest.
User reviews elsewhere indicate Fit drivers are happy with its interior room and lack of noise, as well as the Fit’s driving pep. Complaints usually center on the suspension, and some gripe that the car offers a “hard ride,” so watch out for potholes. The Fit comes across as a fun car to drive that gets great gas mileage - even higher, one reviewer boasts, than the EPA’s estimate.
by Ollie Garrison
What's your take on the 2008 Honda Fit?
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