Small. That's the trend in the North American automotive industry. And with the price of a gallon of gasoline quickly becoming worth its weight in gold, there seems to be no end in sight.
So, just how do these subcompact vehicles fit into the everyday life of most commuters? After a week, I can say the Honda Fit fits in quite well.
The Japanese car maker has outfitted the Fit with plenty of safety features, such as crush zones, airbags and antilock brakes. The Fit maneuvers rather well and was flat out fun to drive.
The Fit doesn't feel overly large from the driver's seat, but it offers plenty of space. Even the rear seat has ample room for passengers.
The 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine may not have super powers, but it's able to take the Fit down the road at prevailing traffic speeds. It also has plenty of grunt to get moving quickly from stops. With 109 horsepower and 105 pounds-feet of torque, the Fit accelerates well and responds to the throttle even at highway speeds. As a bonus, it sips not gulps gasoline, with an estimated EPA fuel economy rating of 33 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway.
Safety is always a major objective of Honda engineers. In planning a small car, safety must be a high priority. The Honda Fit is equipped with standard antilock brakes, driver and front passenger airbags and dual front side airbags.
The Fit is outfitted with the extra features you might associate with higher-priced models. Standard are air conditioning and power windows, door locks and outside mirrors along with Honda's Maintenance Minder system that signals the driver when maintenance is required.
All the features in the world don't mean a lot if the vehicle doesn't drive well. This is a car that will make an excellent addition to your life, while not taking a huge chunk out of your bank account. True, it isn't as fast as a sports car or packed with luxury features, but it will keep you safe and provide fun on the road.