Although it debuted in Canada in 2007, the Fit wasn’t exactly a brand-new model. It had actually been in Japan since 2001, and was sold throughout the world, where it was and is known as the Jazz. In Japan, it’s been one of the most successful models the company has ever put forward.
Available in four-door hatch configuration only, the ’07 Fit was powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder that featured Honda’s VTEC variable valve arrangement. It developed 109 hp at 5,800 rpm and could be had with either a five-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic with an optional manual shift feature that allowed you to change gears via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. This set up made the Fit unique in this market.
But more to the point, perhaps, the Fit returned very competitive fuel consumption: 7.3 L/100 km in town and a miserly 5.8 L/100 on the highway.
Compared to rivals such as the Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio, the Fit had a much higher level of refinement, and was very driver-friendly and easy-to-get-along-with.
Interestingly, it was actually larger than the original first generation of Honda Civic – by a considerable margin. With all the seats folded flat, there was 1,186 litres of storage space back there and it was very similar in concept and size to the old Honda Civic Wagon, which was on the market in the mid-1980s.
As Honda executives were quick to point out at the time, it also had more interior headroom and cargo volume than the Toyota Yaris, thanks to a rear floor layout that was 170 mm lower. Honda designers did some fuel tank repositioning to accomplish this, and the Fit was easy to get in and out of.
You can fold the second row of seats flat individually or together, and Honda claimed that a bicycle would fit upright in the back. There are also various other combinations that allowed you to fully recline the seats and have a snooze, carry odd-shaped cargo or whatever. It may have technically been a four-door hatchback, but in some ways, the Fit is kind of a mini-minivan.
In 2007, it came in three trim levels: DX, LX, and Sport, and standard equipment level was pretty generous. Power windows, adjustable steering, drive-by-wire throttle, ABS and a decent stereo with MP3 capability all come with the base DX. Various other modcons, like air conditioning, power door locks, larger 15-inch wheels and tires and driving lights were available as you went up the trim levels. The top of the line Sport had the aforementioned paddle shifters as well as cruise control, upgraded stereo, and an underbody spoiler kit. This latter feature was strictly for show, as there was no performance upgrade with the Sport model.
Consumer Reports seems to love the ’07 Fit. Aside from some minor issues with the electrical system, it receives this organizations top marks for “used-car prediction” and feedback from owners is, by and large, positive. Some comments: “hard to read the electronics screen.” “purrs like a kitten, drives like a tiger.” and “ride is a bit stiff, wanders a bit on uneven highway surfaces.”
Market research company J.D. Power is generally positive about the 2007 Fit. There seem to be some issues with powertrain quality and style, but most other areas of the car are “about average” or better.
Overall mechanical quality gets a top rating, as do features accessories quality. As a result, J.D. Power bestows a “most dependable subcompact car” title on the 2007 Fit as well as “most appealing subcompact” in a three-way tie with the Toyota Yaris and VW Jetta.
Either way, the Fit has held its value remarkably well. These days, you can expect to pay at least $11,000-$13,000 for a three-year-old model. Considering that its base price in ’07 was under $15,000, that’s pretty decent residual value.
- Source: Globe and Mail
- Author: Ted Laturnus
- Date Posted: April 22, 2010