Used Vehicle Review: Honda Fit, 2007 2008  used car reviews honda
2007 Honda Fit LX. Click image to enlarge

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Honda Canada

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Review by Chris Chase; photos by Greg Wilson

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2007 Honda Fit

The first car Honda sold here was the original Civic hatchback. It was one tiny car, but despite being far smaller than any of the subcompacts you could buy today, it was a surprisingly roomy car. I still remember being a kid and helping my dad load luggage into the back of his blue 1978 model for road trips (he was a brave man for driving that car on Ontario’s Highway 401): it seemed, as he said, that you could “fit anything in a Honda.”

In 2007, that slogan of my dad’s could have been adapted to the company’s then-newest small car, the Fit: a tiny car into which almost anything could be made to, er, fit. (The name, of course, lends itself to countless puns and silly plays on the word “fit.” I will attempt, with no promises, to spare you from the worst of these.)

Though it’s been on sale in Japan (where it’s known as the Jazz) since 2001, we didn’t get it here until 2007. It’s gained a lot of fans in a short time for many reasons, but mostly for its flexible cargo hold, which will fit – er, accommodate – items that logically shouldn’t fit (see what I mean?) into a subcompact. A fully-redesigned, second-generation Fit was introduced in late 2008 for the 2009 model year. For the moment, though, let’s see how the first-gen car has held up since its introduction in North America.

The Fit’s 1.5-litre, 109-horsepower engine is about average for the class. So is the standard five-speed manual transmission, but the optional five-speed automatic is a nice touch in a segment where four speeds is still de rigueur.

Used Vehicle Review: Honda Fit, 2007 2008  used car reviews honda
2007 Honda Fit LX. Click image to enlarge

Fuel consumption is low: Natural Resources Canada’s ratings for the 2007 Fit were 7.3 L/100 km (city) and 5.8 L/100 km (highway); these numbers improved slightly to 7.1/5.7 (city/highway) in 2008. The forums at FitFreak.net offer a fuel economy section for drivers who keep track of fuel consumption.

The Fit’s relatively long life cycle – by the end of its run in 2008, it was more than eight years old, despite only being sold here for the last two – means that any early model issues have apparently been worked out, but there are still a couple of minor things to look out for.

Some owners complain of paint peeling off the front and rear bumpers. Also, bug splatter on the front bumper can cause paint chips.

In the U.S., a technical service bulletin was issued to address excessive wind noise from the top of the windshield. “Variations in windshield placement” is listed as the cause. The relatively simple fix – filling the channel above the upper windshield moulding with silicone sealant – is covered under the factory warranty in the U.S., but it’s not clear if the same applies in Canada.

Used Vehicle Review: Honda Fit, 2007 2008  used car reviews honda
Used Vehicle Review: Honda Fit, 2007 2008  used car reviews honda
2007 Honda Fit LX. Click image to enlarge

Here’s a discussion on Honda’s practice of wiring the climate control system to always run the air conditioning compressor when defrost mode is selected, and how that could affect fuel consumption.

A few posters in the Fit forum at Edmunds.com note poor radio reception.

Consumer Reports gives the Fit a “much better than average” used car reliability rating, noting no trouble spots – a rarity, for sure. Certainly the fact that the oldest Fit is still relatively new has something to do with this, but I have a feeling that your biggest worries as a used Fit buyer will be replacing wear-and-tear items, like brakes, clutches and alternators (for examples) when their times come.

The Fit has fared well in crash safety tests, earning “good” ratings for occupant protection in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) offset frontal and side impact tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2007 model five stars for driver and front passenger protection in frontal impacts, and five and three stars, respectively, for front and rear occupant protection in side impacts. All Fits came standard with front seat-mounted side and head curtain airbags.

Used Vehicle Review: Honda Fit, 2007 2008  used car reviews honda
Used Vehicle Review: Honda Fit, 2007 2008  used car reviews honda
2007 Honda Fit LX; bottom photo by Chris Chase. Click image to enlarge

You won’t be surprised to learn that the Fit’s resale values are higher than those of Korean-built competitors like the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. It says something, too, about the first-gen Fit’s desirability that it has held onto resale value better than the Toyota Yaris.

According to Canadian Red Book, used Fit values range from $11,175 for a 2007 DX to $16,575 for a 2008 Sport model. A used Yaris four-door hatch runs between $10,975 for a 2007 LE and $15,200 for a 2008 RS. Of the Accent and Rio, the four-door Rio is the closer competitor; it comes in with the lowest values, ranging from $7,650 for a 2007 EX to $12,400 for a 2008 EX Sport.

If you’re looking for a cheap way to get into a Fit, don’t hold your breath. The DX model was something of a loss-leader: Honda didn’t import many, so the mid-level LX, with its standard air conditioning and power accessories will be much more common.

The Fit is a great little car, but I’d suggest that paying the premium for it is only worth it if you think you’ll make regular use of its exceptional cargo space. If all you want is basic transportation, then consider the cheaper Yaris or an Accent or Rio. The Koreans came with a generous warranty, so while their reliability (actually quite good since a 2006 redesign) isn’t quite a match for that of the Fit or Yaris, you’ll make out okay considering the lower purchase price and the extra warranty coverage.

Just a thought to help you find the used car that’s the best – ahem – fit.

Pricing

Red Book Pricing (avg. retail) March 2009:

Year
Model
Price today
Price new
2008
Fit LX
$14,575
$17,380
2007
Fit LX
$12,725
$17,180

Online resources
  • There is a veritable whack of sites that dedicate bandwidth to the Fit. I’d start with FitFreak.net for its Fit-centricity. There is also FitOwners.com, but the forums here were down at the time of this writing. HondaUnited.com has a Fit section, but keep in mind this is a UK-based site. ClubHondaFitQuebec.com’s URL is pretty self-explanatory. There’s a fair bit of activity here too, considering how specific it is in its scope, being aimed at Francophone Honda Fit owners in Quebec. HondaFitForums.com is pretty quiet, and JazzFitForum.com is even more so. And don’t forget the Fit forums at popular Honda sites, like Honda-Tech.com and the Temple of VTEC.

    Recalls
  • Transport Canada Recall Number: 2007388; Units affected: 25,780
    2007-2008: On certain vehicles, the wire harness for the Occupant Detection System (ODS) and the Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) is routed underneath the carpet on the driver’s side floorboard. In areas where road salt is used, salt from the snow on the driver’s shoes will melt and may penetrate the carpet and leak into the wire harness. If the harness is exposed to salt brine, corrosion may occur and the wire may break causing the Safety Restraint System (SRS) indicator light to illuminate. A failure of the ODS and OPDS may not detect the presence of a child seat or an out-of-position passenger and deployment of both the front seat passenger’s frontal and side airbags will not be suppressed. In the event of a crash, a deploying front passenger airbag or front passenger’s side airbag will increase the risk of injury to small or out-of-position occupants. Correction: Dealers will inspect the wire harness. If there is no corrosion, the harness will be re-insulated; if corrosion is evident, the wire harness will be replaced.

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

    Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.

    For information on recalls, see Transport Canada’s web-site, www.tc.gc.ca, or the U.S. National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA)web-site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.