Armed with a 1330 CC engine, the Honda Fit is almost becoming as common as the Vitz was a few years ago.
However, while the Vitz was the butt of many small cars jokes the Honda Fit seems to have generally avoided that classification. This does not make it immune from being called a dudu (insect car). But there is a reason it is called The Fit.
Space and where to hide a body
It is objectively bigger in sitting and carrying space. The luggage space of the 2009 fit is 1.6 times larger than the Vitz from the same year, despite being nearly the same size, structurally.
As a result, the fit tends to be compared to the bigger Nissan Note while Vitz and the Mazda Demio are categorised together as superminis. The legroom for the driver is surprisingly big. Anyone under 6 feet will drive with their legs almost fully straight if they want and there can still accommodate a back-seat passenger.
Speaking of space, the rear seats and the front passenger sits fold forward or upwards and there is no better car to hide a body. If you are a serial killer or governor or something. Comparatively, a Honda Fit is a more comfortable car to ride in and is roomier than the Suzuki Jimmy or Pajero IO. It is a bold claim comparing a baby car with a small 4 by 4 but all you have to do is try to drive any of those two cars for more than 2 hours and then join the back of the queue to admit you were wrong. Off-road which is probably why the 2 were invented to start with, the Honda Fit is as useful as an anti-corruption memo to the traffic police.
Then again, people buy cars for different uses. Bonus. This car has 10 cupholders. You heard right! You can have 6 cups of coffee and four bottles of water with on clutter. Best part, the driver and passenger main cupholders are located next to the AC. This means you can keep your soda cold by releasing just a bit of overhead cold air.
Occasionally, when you are overtaking a wannabe Carl Tundo in a Fielder who thinks they are driving an Audi Quatro and they accelerate when you are halfway through, you slide it to S.
Under the hood and drinking consumption
Under the hood is where the car gets interesting. While there are some sports models with 1500 cc. The majority of the Fits on the road are packing a 1330 cc IVitec powerhouse. This engine is surprisingly good in endurance and performance. It will not hold court with the “Toyota made” Impreza but given the cars low weight and stability, it will stand up to a fielder any day of the week (stock fielder). The car manages to give an incredible performance for very little fuel. On the highway, say between Nairobi to someplace as far as Nanyuki, you can get 17 to 20 Km per liter if you drive without flooring the accelerator too much.
However, if like this writer you like opening the taps, you can expect 14 to 16Km per liter. For most drivers and cars, achieving 14-15Km per liter on the highway requires some serious light-footedness. In the Fit, only drivers skilled or foolish enough to push the car upwards of 100 whenever they have a chance will manage to do below this. Yep, it pretty hard to make this car drink and given a liter of petrol is costing the same as 12 Barclays Bank shares at the NSE, who would not enjoy that.
Performance and Vroom
The car's engine holds its revs well enough and you will rarely see it above 3500rpms. Even when you go up the notorious Kangochi hill near Karatina. That hill is supposedly so tough that Mugithi musicians have paid homage to it in their songs. You can go up at 120-130 without redlining the car. This means you can blast past the cars “Catching themselves bones” as they huff and puff their way up (This will, however, mean that your fuel gauge will go in the same direction as your speedometer).
The car will do 140-150 without any noticeable vibration unless you open the windows in which case you might take off. The auto engine has the option of L, S, and of course D. Naturally you drive on D. Occasionally, when you are overtaking a wannabe Carl Tundo in a Fielder who thinks they are driving an Audi Quatro and they accelerate when you are halfway through, you slide it to S.
Here things get a bit interesting but you must be ready to floor the accelerator or your bonnet will end up on the upholstery of the oncoming Noah. S downshifts the car to 3rd or 2nd depending on how fast you were going and the gradient. The car gets your point instantaneously and with a throaty hum. Almost a roar picks up speed giving a nice boost. People like to ask the distances it can handle. Well, the longest trip I have done with one was from Moshi Town in Tanzania to Nanyuki. I hardly stopped anywhere save for fueling and restroom breaks, I stopped only once in Karatina. There is no such thing as a car getting tired because it has a small engine and people who say things like that should sit down to or stop talking out of their… you get my point.
I have had one for over 2 years and the only time I have had to but anything was when I broke something by hitting the car on walls and other cars. Never changed the sparks and only changed brake pads once. This is despite putting around 32,000 Kms on it. The parts are a bit harder to get than say a fielder but with auto express and Honda having dealers all over the country, you will not ground your car because it is missing a spare part. In any Case, spares were are easier to get now than they were 2 years ago and will be even easier next week.
As far as small cars go, the only cars that can compete with the Fit are RS versions or the Mitsubishi, Honda, Vitz and a few other pocket rockets hatchbacks. (Not including VW hatches which will eat anything from Japan and excrete drops of water).