I'm typically a believer that big things come in small packages, especially come Christmastime. I've always dreamed of waking up on Christmas morning only to be greeted by a coveted (and little) velvet box, just like on the commercials. I know what you're thinking, but that doesn't mean I should give up hope you heartless people!
Just think of all the possibilities small boxes hold: Something tiny, shiny and sparkly could only be an improvement from the way-too-big-to-fit-in-a-pocket pocket fishing rod my mother gave me one year. Tickets to a favorite show fit nicely in a little box, as does a gift card to the spa, a certificate for babysitting from Grandma and Grandpa or, better yet, a set of car keys belonging to Honda's new 2007 Fit and little-as-a-fiddle four-door hatchback.
The vehicle's tagline, "Impressively Big Smallness," is completely true. Just think of all the benefits to driving a car wrapped up in a nice little package: Great gas mileage (31/38 mpg in the Fit), incredibly easy parking (with enough room left over so children can actually exit through the intended side doors rather than climbing over the backseat and getting out through the cargo space), less surface area to keep clean (yes, I'm talking to you, Ms. Mommy with two years' worth of who-knows-what piling up under the car seat), a great excuse for why the gaggle of girls I don't approve of can't come home with us after school - and the list goes on and on.
Speaking of that gaggle of girls, my two fit nicely in booster seats installed in the outer seating positions. An occasional third wheel can squeeze into the center position with the use of a conveniently small five-point travel harness buckled into the center seat belt that extends from the ceiling. It's definitely a tight fit, but with a little sczuszching, everyone keeps each other toasty warm packed in the back. The kids have a slightly difficult time buckling their own seat belts, an inconvenience that's excusable since they can easily open their own doors and climb in and out independently.
For a base price of just more than $13,000, the Honda Fit throws in a bunch of airbags for not a lot of cost. Front dual stage airbags, front torso side airbags and side curtain airbags are all standard equipment. These all contribute to the Fit's five-star crash-test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the exception being the rear side-impact rating of three stars, which certainly brings up a concern for my children riding in the two rear outbound positions.
The amount of cargo space in this little hatchback is quite impressive. The rear "magic seats" (not that kind of magic) fold flat to stow something as long as 7-feet, 10-inches, split 60/40, and the seat bottom folds up, making for an impressive 4 feet of floor-to-ceiling storage space if needed. Someone at Honda has a snarky sense of humor, as this feature was demonstrated by photographing an Alpaca riding in the backseat.
Driving the Fit is more or less what I would expect - a fun, sporty ride with a bit of road and engine noise. The Sport model surprisingly comes equipped with paddle shifters (something seen more often in high-end cars). The racers in the family can indulge in their fast-and-furious fantasies by shifting the vehicle with a slight press of the levers behind the steering wheel.
Generally speaking, I had a great time zipping around town for short trips in the Fit - and attracting plenty of attention doing so. I even had a car-stalker follow me home after seeing me on the highway just to ask me about the car (turns out he was a very kind man, not at all scary. Seriously. Sir, if you're reading this and you know where I live, I'm sure you're quite kind, and, by the way, I keep my doors locked all the time and sleep with pepper spray under my pillow). For daily commuters, this would be a great little car that the kids could be loaded into on the weekends. For those of us spending more of our lives in our car than in our homes, I might suggest something with a few additional creature comforts, such as more storage bins.
*For more information on the Honda Fit and its safety features, visit www.cars.com. LET'S TALK NUMBERS
LATCH Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Puny-Fair
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair - Ample
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Good Times
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Joe Wiesenfelder||Cars.com National||April 11, 2006|
|Kevin Schweitzer||Cars.com National||February 1, 2006|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||September 29, 2007|
|Kristin Varela||Mother Proof||November 28, 2006|
|Bob Golfen||AZCentral.com||June 24, 2006|
|Warren Brown||washingtonpost.com||June 11, 2006|
|Steven Cole Smith||Orlando Sentinel||June 1, 2006|
|Anita And Paul Lienert||The Detroit Newspapers||May 24, 2006|
|Mark Glover||The Sacramento Bee||May 19, 2006|
|Royal Ford||Boston.com||April 30, 2006|
|Dan Neil||Los Angeles Times||April 5, 2006|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||April 2, 2006|
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