A Decade Long Review: 2010 Honda Fit
This car is a very simple riot
Most reviews happen pretty quickly. The journalist gets in the car, plays around with all the quirks and features, drives it briefly, and gives it back before proceeding to lock himself in a room with a laptop while downing triple shot espressos while writing the review. Other reviews known as "long-term" reviews might last for up to a year (as is the case with Car and Driver). My review is going to be based on a slightly longer time than that. Okay, maybe slightly is an understatement.
But First, a Bit of History
The year was 2009. The housing bubble had crashed not much more than a year before, triggering possibly the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. This left my father, a young(ish) business executive in the city, in a bit of a predicament. He had just dropped a considerable amount of money on a new house that needed a bit of work, work that would push the total cost of the place from being a small fortune to a large one. Our old house still was technically ours, so he was left paying two mortgages. Plus, all the executives at his company had agreed to take salary cuts to minimize the need for layoffs. Prior to the crash, he'd been shopping for Audi R8s and my mom had been due for a new car as well. He'd planned on waiting until the then-rumored R8 5.2 V10 debuted and then picking one up for himself. Sounds like a plan, right? Nope! My father is usually pretty frugal, and reverted to form once the crisis hit. Gone were his R8 dreams, but he still needed a new car. So, what did he start looking for? Econoboxes! Of those econoboxes, he narrowed it down to just two: the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Fit. Ultimately, he decided on the Fit due to the fact that I, just 7 years old at the time, barely had room in the back of the Fiesta. My mom, meanwhile, got a black A4. So I guess my father did manage to get an Audi in the end.
I remember the day we went to the dealership to pick it up. A shiny metallic silver, base trim Honda Fit was there to greet us, and I was absolutely smitten with it. The back seats were able to fold down completely flat, the car had a hatch (which is something our cars prior to this had never had), and had a rear windshield wiper (ahhh yes, it's amazing what seven year olds find fascinating). I affectionately named it the "potato car" because its shape reminded me of the potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil that we got at the country club.
Let's Talk Versatility
Well, as the name implies, the Honda Fit is in fact very versatile. The amount of things that we've put into the car over the year is astounding. Plywood? Yup. Golf clubs? Yup. A dinghy (deflated, of course)? Yup. A keg of...water? I can neither confirm nor deny any knowledge of such operations, although the car looked slammed during the trip home...from the water store. I might hav even fit up to seven people in the Fit for a short ride back to their cars, but again, I can neither confirm nor deny any details of such operations. You name it, and the Fit can probably swallow it. I think we even carried a dining room table in it.
Let's Talk Driving
Ok, with 117 hp, a 5 speed slushmatic, and a grinning idiot behind the wheel (that would be Yours Truly), the Fit is not very fast. In fact, on the highway, it can be terrifyingly unstable. At 60, it starts to shake. At 70, you feel like you're at death's door. At 80, you wonder how you're NOT dead. 90 never comes. I was trying to pass a Cadillac CTS that was having very...GM like behavior on the highway, and I went to overtake him, forgetting how slow the Fit was (I'd just driven our BMW for like the past week). Needless to say, some poo came out. But, when it comes to just driving at normal speeds, the Fit is incredibly fun. The car revs to 7000 RPMs before upshifting (at least the way I drive it), and has something else of note: steering feel. Yes, steering feel. This is a dying characteristic as a result of the advent of the electric steering rack. But the Fit has hydraulic steering, meaning I get bumps and vibrations in the wheel as the car goes over it. Younger Drivetribers might not understand why this is so important, but I assure you that it is in fact essential. The car does understeer a bit, but it is manageable. I learned to drive on this car, and it couldn't have been easier. I absolutely adore it.
Fast Forward to the Present
However, after all this time, my dad is contemplating whether or not he should sell it...to me. I think he should, as long as the price is fair!