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Octogenarian Los Angeles Professor loves 2015 Honda Fit

Not your run of the mill octogenarian, L.A. Trade Tech’s Gwen McCants commutes from Whittier to Downtown L.A. in a manual transmission 2009 Honda Fit. After a trial drive, We asked Gwen’s opinion of the 2015 Fit; she was very favorably impressed.

As they say: Now for the rest of the story. If 80 is the new 60, Gwen McCants of Whittier, California is the epitome of a re-born, re-invented female dynamo. Few can keep up with this 82 year professor of English at L.A’s downtown LATTC.

Mother of 11, grandmother to 27, great grandmother to 7, and teacher to countless, Gwen possesses a personal drive and energy level that rivals her young students.

As Gwen reminds me that she didn't begin teaching full time until her late 50s, and it’s still new and exciting; she also happily resides over Whittier's Art Association; I scan the walls of her charming Whittier bungalow.

Yes, it is covered with tasteful mementos of a resident artist with scholarly English overtones. As Gwen’s companion Zusky the Husky makes another position adjustment on the oak floor below Gwen’s office chair, we reminisce over Honda cars past owned. There’s been a few, starting with an Accord in the early 1980s. Gwen doesn't recall the mileage accumulated, but I do. When the Accord went to the bone-yard, it was showing 260,000 miles on the O.D.

To honor full disclosure, Gwen is also this automotive journalist’s mother, sometimes editor and greatest cheerleader. Gwen drives a 2009 Honda Fit with manual transmission. It’s as basic as a 5 door hatch can be, she likes it that way. With 60,000 miles on the O.D., she tells us that her Fit has been mechanically trouble-free, averages 37 mpg around town (40 on the freeway) and is easy to drive and park in the inner city where Prof. McCants practices her chosen profession.

Clipped by a minivan a few years back, Gwen painted the light silver Fit maroon red for higher street visibility.
Mom knows how to avoid freeway gridlock by taking the surface streets—often virtually carless—she likes to say only real Angelenos know those routes.
She tells Torque News that weekly swims at the local Y.M.C.A. and walks with her good dog Zusky, keep them both fit

I recall the day Gwen brought home her brand new 2009 Honda Fit manual. When asked why she special ordered a manual transmission equipped Fit, she replied that she likes the control of self shifting. She feels it keeps her more alert. Family members were hesitant to ride with her in the relatively new to U.S. Japanese built Honda Fit.

Brother Patrick, a factory trained Mercedes Benz tech informed Mom that she couldn't drive what he considered to be a micro-car on Los Angeles Freeways. Mom retorted with the story of a friend backing out of a driveway in her Fit, hit by a truck and turned over three times. Her friend walked a way without a scratch. These are safe cars, for 2015 Fit features the highest crash, impact rating in it’s segment.. On a recent trip to L.A. Torque News introduced Gwen to 2015 Honda Fit automated technology and comfort.
She agreed to take the wheel of a 2015 Fit EX-L with full tech.

The drive

Professor McCants is a bit vertically challenged, although she’s been respectfully designated O.G. ( that’s the Original Gangster to the rest of us) by her inner city students, Gwen stands at just 5’3;” that’s the magic of Honda Fit. This journalist, at 6’ 5 was as comfortable driving the Fit as Gwen was. After a quick adjustment of seat and power side mirrors, Gwen pulled away from her bungalow and headed east to the home of daughter and “Numerologist to the Stars,” Glynis McCants.

Personal note: Mom’s tendency to drift to the right when shifting her manual transmission Honda Fit and throttle oscillation, associated with senior drivers, had all but disappeared into a pleasant ride for this journalist. The best in class CVT, reduced brake pedal pressure and wider tracking of 2015 Fit was working its magic.

Within minutes, the die-hard manual shifting 80 something was talking about how nice the 2015 Fit was. She enjoyed Fit’s handling on rough surface streets and the comfortable perforated heated driver’s and passenger’s seats; we headed east. Asking me “What kind of music do you like?” Gwen intuitively reached over and selected Jazz on the touch screen. That’s the new 80!

When I introduced Gwen to the “Honda Lane Watch” and back-up camera feature, (dash cam comes alive with distance lines when transition from left to right or turning right) she was sold on the tech-rich attributes of Fit. “I know a lot of older drivers,”quipped mom,” many of them have anxiety about changing lanes. So many innovations are just window dressing. These new features really make sense “

Gwen admired the automotive art of 2015 Fit’s updated exterior; improved interior comfort and personal and often intuitive tech-connectivity. Mentioning more than once, during and following the drive how wonderful Fit is and that it compared favorably to the late model Mercedes, she had recently traveled in.

“What would be the benefit in paying more for a car?” she asked me. To us at Torque News, that’s the magic of Honda Fit. The Fit is fun to drive and affordable, and holds a cross-generational appeal while retaining one of the highest residual re-sale values in the industry.

Our special thanks to Professor Gwen McCants.


Wai (not verified)    October 5, 2014 - 5:34PM

I loved my honda fit also. Until it started leaking after every heavy rain from the back windows. After $500 of repairs it still leaks and the car smells like mildew. I have to suck out the water with rags after each rain. I'm not the only one and still no factory recall ! Google it there are thousands of owners with the same problem.

Katie1263 (not verified)    October 5, 2014 - 10:08PM

What a wonderful and inspiring story about your mother!! She sounds like she is sharp as a tack, and looks terrific in her Honda FIT car. Although I drive a Lexus, I am now thinking it would be wise to get my daighter a Honda Fit!
Thank you,
Katie Hickox

Parks McCants    October 6, 2014 - 12:56AM

In reply to by Katie1263 (not verified)

Thank you Katie. I enjoyed our visit. The 2015 Fit is the safest and most fuel efficient to date. I'll be spining a comprehensive review of my driving experience in the L.A. metro area. I was suprised by the larger car ride and handling experienced while driving Fit. Good luck and keep us posted on your family experience with Fit.