2008 Honda Fit Reviews

The Fit — yes, it's called the Fit — is Honda's entry in the growing class of shrinking cars. Two things are behind this unlikely downsizing of American vehicles. One is that the Chevrolet Aveo and two Scion models have succeeded recently in exploiting the market previously cornered by the likes of the Hyundai Accent and Suzuki Esteem. When automakers see pie, they want their slice.

The second is simple: gas mileage. During last summer's gas-price spikes — or plateaus, is more like it — interest in smaller cars soared among cars.com visitors. Between July and August, searches increased as much as 53 percent for used versions of the Chevrolet Aveo and Metro, the Ford Festiva, the Toyota Echo and the Scion xA.

You can obsess all you want about hybrids and other technology, but the simplest, quickest and most affordable way to improve your fuel economy substantially is to buy a smaller vehicle. Note that I said smaller, not necessarily as small as the Fit. Now, if you can figure out how to classify today's cars according to size, you're smarter than we are. By small, do you mean from bumper to bumper? The interior? Both? These aspects no longer seem to be related as closely as they once were. For the rest of this review I'll refer to the Civic, previously Honda's smallest five-seater, as a compact and to the Fit and its competitors, priced at roughly $10,000 to $14,000, as subcompacts. Otherwise things are going to get tedious for both of us. Below is a gas mileage comparison of several subcompacts, with the Honda Civic added for perspective.

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