Should I Buy a Used Honda Fit?

Should I Buy a Used Honda Fit?

Overview

The Honda Fit serves as the spiritual successor to the Civic Hatchback in North America, and hit the market in the U.S. in 2006 as a 2007 model year. With a small economical engine and the convenience of a hatchback, the Fit attracted all sorts of buyers who wanted a small practical vehicle.

These traits carry on today, as the Fit is the most spacious subcompact car on the market, at least with the rear seats folded down. Thanks to its design, which is officially classified as a small station wagon by the EPA, the Fit offers easy access for tall passengers, great sight lines, and loads of cargo space.

It offered 56.8 cubic feet when it was released, though a 2009 redesign took that number up to 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space, enough to dwarf its entire subcompact category. But it wasn’t just the interior dimensions that grew. The 2009 facelift saw the Fit stretch its wheelbase by two inches, from 96.5 to 98.4 inches, overall length grew from 157.4 inches to 161.6, and the car got half an inch wider, up to 66.7 inches.

A 1.5-liter inline four cylinder does duty in all Fits, making 109 hp and 105 lb-ft of torque in the 2007 and 2008 Fit, sent through a five-speed automatic transmission. In 2009, those power figures were both increased, up to 117 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque.

The Fit also offers solid fuel economy, rated at 27 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway with an automatic transmission in 2007 and 2008. From 2009 on, the Fit not only get more power but also saw its fuel economy increase 28 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway for a combined 31 mpg.

2007-honda-fit

Trim Packages

Just two trim levels were available on the Fit, either the base model or the Fit Sport. The base Fit was offered with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a telescoping steering wheel as standard equipment, while the bump up to the Sport model brings larger 16-inch alloys, cruise control, keyless entry, a security system, USB connectivity and some sport exterior additions.

An upgraded infotainment system complete with navigation was available on Fit Sport models as an optional upgrade.

2009-Honda-Fit-12.jpgTop 3 Reasons to Buy

1. Incredible Cargo Space – The rear seats can fold flat, or the bottoms can fold up, and thanks to the Fit’s small square design, it is incredibly spacious for such a small car.

2. Easy to drive – The tall seating position makes the Fit incredibly easy to maneuver, and the fairly tight steering allows a great connection between the driver and the car.

3. Resale Value – From 2009 through 2013, the Honda Fit had the best value retention in the entire subcompact class according to ALG.

Top 3 Reasons to Avoid

1. Uncomfortable Seats- Many Fit owners complain about the lack of support offered by the seats in the Fit, which are wrapped in upholstery and are quite flat. The seating position is also rather high for such a small car.

2009-Honda-Fit-3.jpg

2. Unrefined – Complaints come from many Fit owners about road noise at highway speeds along with a harsh ride, especially over rough or broken concrete.

3. Power steering issues – The majority of complaints about the fit allege that the power steering can fail, sometimes intermittently. This makes it more challenging as many owners complain that the dealer cant diagnose the issues, because it won’t replicate.

Before You Buy

From this generation, the 2007 model year Fit experienced the most issues, the majority of which are over the power steering. Customers allege that the power steering stops working intermittently, which causes by a faulty power steering control unit. A TSB has been issued over this problem, so taking your car into a Honda dealership with this problem will result in them changing the EPS control unit.

The 2007 and 2008 Fit also have a few recalls that you should look into before purchasing the car, the largest of which can result in a door fire. The recall affected about 144,000 vehicles, and was caused by water that could leak into the doors, causing a short circuit and possibly a fire. The car was also recalled over the lowbeam headlights not operating, and Fits were called back in certain States that use road salt in the winter time for a fault with the occupant detection system that causes the airbags to deploy even when there is a light passenger or no passenger in the front passenger seat.

If you go for a 2009 through 2014 model, there are three different recalls to watch out for. On the 2009 and 2010 model, Honda recalled the car because the engines variable valve timing system can fail, causing the engine to stall. The 2012 and 2013 cars were called back over an issue with the electronic stability control system, which will allow the Fit to have excessive yaw. Finally, 2013 Fits equipped with manual transmissions were brought back in because the driveshaft can fracture, causing the engine power to not make it to the wheels.

2007-Honda-Fit-5.jpg

Best Bang For Your Buck

Those looking for a Fit are probably interested in fuel economy and cargo space, and for both of those reasons you should opt for a 2009 through 2013 model, as the redesign brought with it more power, more space and better fuel economy. On top of that, the 2007 and 2008 cars have more complaints in the NHTSA database than the later Fits, and the early model year cars also have more recalls.

When the Fit was brand new, it was always slightly more expensive than its competition, and thanks to its great residual value, the same goes for the used Fit. Thanks to that price retention, the smartest buy will be a base-model Fit. You miss out on some of the amenities like 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a USB port, a driver armrest and some style enhancements, but you still get the key components of this car, namely the great cargo storage and economical engine, all for less money.

Recall and Crash Test Database

2007 Honda Fit NHTSA Crash Test Results

2007 Honda Fit IIHS Crash Test Results

2007 Honda Fit NHTSA Recalls

2008 Honda Fit NHTSA Crash Test Results

2008 Honda Fit IIHS Crash Test Results

2009 Honda Fit NHTSA Crash Test Results

2009 Honda Fit IIHS Crash Test Results

2010 Honda Fit NHTSA Crash Test Results

2010 Honda Fit IIHS Crash Test Results

2011 Honda Fit NHTSA Crash Test Results

2011 Honda Fit IIHS Crash Test Results

2012 Honda Fit NHTSA Crash Test Results

2012 Honda Fit IIHS Crash Test Results

2013 Honda Fit NHTSA Crash Test Results

2013 Honda Fit IIHS Crash Test Results

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