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2007 Honda Fit Subcompact Hatchback Review : Road Test, Specs, Photos 2007 Honda Fit Road Test Review

by Bob Plunkett

On Maryland's winding blacktop Route 77, the Foxville Road which traces southern boundaries of Catoctin Mountain National Park, we're scooting along in something new and different from Honda.

2007 Honda Fit Subcompact Hatchback Review : Road Test, Specs, Photos

It's the Fit, an itsy-bitsy econo-car conformed as a five-door hatchback with rakish lines and a fuel-efficient Honda engine tucked below the streamlined prow. Rising high and stretching long, little Fit looks sleek with a quick-sloped windshield and hood capped by a body-colored grille separating vast headlamp clusters mounted on front corners.

On each side, vertical lines tip slightly inward as sharp corners fade into rounded edges to disguise an otherwise boxy form. Flanks are relatively flat with flares around wheelwells filled by tire rubber. Sporty ground effects wrap around the Fit, with front fascia housing a broad air intake port. At the tail, the liftgate stretches down to the back bumper, its bottom edge aligning with the floor of a rear cargo bay.

Derived from Honda's global urban car, the Fit lands in North America as a small-scale city car with surprising cabin space and affordable price points.

Out of the box as the entry edition, the 2007 Fit five-door hatchback with a zippy four-cylinder engine and manual five-speed transmission shows a bottom-line MSRP of $13,850. Or select an electronically controlled five-speed automatic and the MSRP bumps up by $800 to $14,650.

Pick the Sport trim -- it brings a roofline spoiler, aero body kit, foglamps, larger wheels plus upgraded audio equipment -- and the MSRP still holds below $16,000.

With its pint-size stature and featherweight 1.25-ton curb weight, the Fit also racks up high fuel economy figures. Through independent testing by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Fit equipped with the manual shifter comes up with frugal fuel consumption numbers like 33 miles per gallon for city driving and as much as 38 mpg on a highway. With the optional automatic aboard, fuel economy scores are the same -- 33 mpg in town and 38 on the road.

Anyone who contends with a daily commute to work or school could earn a pocketbook advantage with high fuel economy figures like these. But what kind of car will $14,000 bring you at Honda?

Actually, it's rock-solid and a substantial product that's quite comfortable and rather fun to drive.

Underpinnings are comparable to Honda's global small car sold in more than 70 countries and called Jazz in European markets.

The suspension design is compact to carve out more space for the passenger compartment and forge a low floor for easy entry. Honda installs independent MacPherson struts in front with stabilizer bar and an H-shaped torsion beam with stabilizer in back.

The steering system adds electric power assistance, which eliminates a load of hydraulic equipment and contributes to the efficiency of the small engine.

Brakes utilize front ventilated discs and rear drums. For predictable straight-line stopping, Honda adds a standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD).

2007 Honda Fit Subcompact Hatchback Exterior - New Car Re2007 Honda Fit Subcompact Hatchback Review : Road Test, Specs, Photos

Fit's front-wheel-drive (FWD) powertrain consists of a thrifty four-cylinder engine linked to either manual or automatic transmission. The single-cam 1.5-liter in-line-four is made from aluminum with a drive-by-wire throttle and Honda's VTEC (Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control) valve control technology. It produces 109 hp at 5800 rpm plus torque of 105 lb-ft at 4800 rpm.

Transmission choices for manual or automatic shifting draw from five-gear systems. The five-speed manual is a lightweight unit with a firm shifter stick. The computer-controlled electronic automatic enhances acceleration in the first four gears and boosts fuel economy in the overdrive fifth gear.

Pick Fit Sport trim and you'll get paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel for hands-on control of the transmission.

Designers counterbalanced spatial confinements of a small car by raising the roof and lengthening the wheelbase to fashion a cabin that seems spacious and brings cargo capacity near 42 cubic feet.

A clean and efficient layout for the cockpit sets the instrument panel below a rounded bonnet. Circular analog instruments in white-on-black fields include a large speedometer and tachometer.

Seat plan amounts to twin bolstered sport buckets in front of a bench with 60/40 split. Honda calls the bench a "Magic Seat" as seatbacks dive down and bottom sections flip up to vary configurations for passengers and cargo. The rear seatbacks can fold away to form a virtually flat cargo floor or the front seats will recline flush with rear seat bottoms to make a long and flat cushioned area like a bed.

2007 Honda Fit Subcompact Hatchback Review : Road Test, Specs, Photos

Air bags are poised around the passenger compartment. The standard issue includes frontal air bags for front seats plus front torso side air bags, and there are curtain-style air bags tucked into roof rails above side windows for front and back seats.

Fit also provides lots of standard features. The list ranges from air conditioning and power controls for windows and door locks and mirrors to an audio system with AM/FM/CD and four speakers.

Fit Sport adds a security system with keyless entry, cruise control with illuminated tabs on the steering wheel, 200-watt AM/FM/CD audio gear with six speakers and MP3/WMA playback capability plus an auxiliary audio jack to tie into any portable music player.

2007 Honda Fit Hatchback
Subcompact 5-door hatchback
Model options:

Fit, Fit Sport






Electric power rack and pinion


Braking Power disc/drum

Fuel Economy:

M/5: 33/38 mpg
A/5: 33/38 mpg


$13,850 to $17,000