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Cars We Miss - 2007 - 2020 Honda Fit

The Honda Fit is presently off the market in the U.S. If we could bring back one small car this would be the one.

The Honda Fit is a global success that we here in the United States enjoyed from 2006 until it was discontinued in the American market in 2020. The Fit was among the smallest and most affordable cars of its time, and being built by a brand with a long-standing and much-deserved reputation for quality and driving satisfaction, it was a big hit among its targeted audience. 

The Fit is called Jazz in other markets, and we love that name a lot more than Fit! If the vehicle ever returns, perhaps as an EV, we hope the Jazz name will be applied. 

Image of Honda Fit by John GorehamHonda Fit - Official City Car Of New England
Here in New England, the Fit is everywhere in cities and the nearby suburbs. Torque News contributor Dr. Hande Tuncer, a former Fit owner, and I joke that it should be dubbed the “official city car of New England.” They are literally everywhere, and 90% of them seem to be either silver or gray, which makes sense given our winter salt-encrusted environs. 

Image of Honda Fit by John GorehamThe Big Little Car - What Made the Honda Fit So Special?
One reason the Honda Fit is so popular among owners is that it is a surprisingly large car inside. Yes, it was one of the smallest vehicles on the market when it sold new, but that’s just if you consider its footprint. Inside, the Fit was very roomy for the driver, and four passengers could fit comfortably—five in a pinch. The 2020 Honda Fit LX and Sport have a whopping 95.7 cubic foot passenger volume. Consider that a Chevy Bolt has just 94 cu ft, and a “much larger” Toyota RAV4 has 98.9 cu ft!

“I used the Fit with a rear-facing and forward-facing car seat for many years without difficulty,” said Dr. Tuncer about her time owning the Fit. In addition to having space for kids, the Fit makes a great weekend adventure vehicle. Sure, our top-of-page image shows a Fit being challenged with a massive kayak-sort-of-thing, but the Fit was a superb urban bike transport vehicle. Its rear seats would move out of the way and a bike could be placed inside. We know, because we did this multiple times ourselves with our own Fit. Chris Naughton, Honda & Acura Public Relations representative for the Northeast, offered his own comment, saying, “With its folding magic seat, and generous cargo capacity the Honda Fit embodied some of Honda’s best packaging. It really lived up to the small on the outside, and big on the inside, that many vehicles aspire to.”

Related Story: How We Sold Our Used Honda On Craigslist In 87 Minutes Start to Finish

The Fit Game
There are so many Fits in Metro Boston that when I drive with my youngest child, we play the “Fit Game.” If she can get 20 points on our drive, I give her a dollar for her piggy bank. Silver Fits earn 5 points, and all others 1 point. On any drive longer than 30 minutes, she almost always wins the game. Often the five-point silver Fits put her ahead by many points. 

Honda Fit U.S. Sales History
After the ramp-up of U.S. Fit sales, the model achieved a high mark of about 80,000 units around 2009. A slow decline in sales occurred over the coming years according to the best data we could find. Honda delivered just under 36,000 Fits in the U.S. market in 2020. So, roughly 3,000 per month. That was down from about 33,000 in 2019. These dates overlap the global supply chain fiasco, so take them with a grain of salt. Here’s one way to look at the Fit’s sales. Other than the Tesla Model 3 and Y, no battery electric vehicle has had two back-to-back years of 36,000-unit deliveries. In other words, if the Fit had been an EV, EVangelists would have been listing it among the “Top-sellers” during its last year of sales. Sales are always relative, but Honda canceling the Fit must have had more reasons than sales alone. 

Related Story: Real-World Maintenance and Repair Costs of a 2007 Honda Fit Sport - And What We Learned

Image of Honda Fit EV by John Goreham


We Drove the Electric Fit and Were Impressed
During a 2013 International Motor Press Association event held in New York, your author had a chance to drive an all-electric Honda Fit. My memory of the Fit EV was that it had way more torque than it needed, was the sportiest small affordable car I had ever experienced, and it was only available to the media members for an hour or two before its battery was used up and it had to be put away for the rest of the event. If ever a vehicle deserved a decent electric powertrain it was the Fit. 

Related Topic: Restoring Cloudy Yellow Headlights On A Honda Fit Is Easy - How To Do It Right Under $25

Honda Fit Plus - Affordable Tire Maintenence
A little-known factoid about vehicle maintenance is that tires and tire maintenance make up the largest single cost over a vehicle’s lifetime. The Fit shined here since it was two-wheel drive and had small tire sizes. All-wheel drive cars often need four tires when one is damaged and the tread is more than half worn on the others. Front-wheel drive Fits can replace just the damaged one, saving big bucks.

However, it is the size that makes Fit tires truly affordable. Consider that the Base 2007 Fit had 14-inch diameter tires and you can understand why they are so affordable. The least expensive 2007 Fit tire listed by Tire Rack is just $77. Tire Rack lists eight different tire models for under $125 for the 2010 Base Fit with 17” tires.  One tire model from Riken costs just $87!  If you own a crossover with 19 or 20-inch tires and have bought four after one was damaged you know how painful that charge can be. The Fit was built to survive in a world where potholes eat tires.

“Bang Bang! I hit a monster hole near Brown University in Providence one rainy night,” says Dr. Tuncer. “Two tires were destroyed and I was freaked out. I needed two tires pronto, and my local shop got them the same day for about $300 total installed,” she added. “By contrast, when my BMW X3 needed one tire, I had to wait days for it to be available and it was over $400.” 

Some Common Fit Repair Challenges - The Hatch, AC Compressor, and the Valves
The Fit proved to be a reliable model over its lifetime. The Fit never earned less than ⅗ score for reliability at Consumer Reports over its lifetime in the U.S. market. The group rated the last year, 2020, a 73/100, which is well above average. Consider that the Mazda3, only earned a 30/100 score!

There were some trouble areas. Early Fits would throw a lot of codes if the valves were not properly adjusted. This could be tricky to diagnose, even for good mechanics. Another common failure point was the AC system, but this is no surprise to Honda owners. Finally, the latch on the rear hatch was finicky. Here is how to fix the hatch.

Great Used Honda Fits Are Available In Abundance
We searched Car Gurus for Honda Fits within 25 miles of our location in Metro West Boston and found 55 available. Hey, look, most of them are silver!  The Fit is a car that a person with a $5K to $10K budget can find without any difficulty. Our Honda Contact, Chris suggested, "For those who admire all the Fit has to offer, they’re available on the used car market, with even more peace of mind as a Honda Certified Used Car."

Honda Fit Safety
The 2009, 2013, and 2015 Honda Fit was named a Top Safety Pick by IIHS. Let us not deceive you. Small cars are not as safe in multi-vehicle accidents as larger cars and crossovers. So, if safety is your primary concern, shopping for a car the size of a Fit is not wise. However, it is good to know that the Fit was as safe as any vehicle its size could be. 

Image of Honda Fit by John GorehamHonda Fit - Ergonomics and Visibility
The Honda Fit had two things going for it that many Hondas do. First, everything just worked. The controls, seats, doors, lights, audio, and all that jazz were simple to understand and operate. All the switchgear felt of high quality. Second, the Fit had amazing visibility. There were no blind spots in the Fit if you knew how to use mirrors and could look over your shoulder. The glass area of the Fit was remarkable. Only the Subaru Forester has an equally good greenhouse in terms of outward visibility. 

Honda Fit - The Drive
If the Fit was a dud to drive we would not be writing this story. The truth is, Fits are fun. They are not going to dust any Tesla Model 3s at stoplights, but they are quick, nimble, and zippy in urban stop-and-go traffic. The Fit is a perfect example of a “point and shoot” car that can slot into any gap in traffic. If you have trouble parking, a Fit is your salvation. There is simply no car that is easier to park than a Fit.

Honda Fit - Will It Return?
Our Honda contact, like all of our media contacts, is smart enough never to “comment on future products.” So we didn’t push him to do so. However, we can hope. The Honda Fit (Jazz) is a vehicle that seems to make sense in a world that wants to live smaller, more responsibly, and suffering from high inflation. If the Fit does return, we hope it will be offered as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery-electric version. We know it can be done. After all, we drove a Fit EV eleven years ago. 

John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can connect with John on Linkedin and follow his work at our X channel. Please note that stories carrying John's by-line are never AI-generated, but he does employ Grammarly grammar and punctuation software when proofreading. 

Images of Honda Fit by John Goreham.