Even as we work toward our home on wheels we expect our 2013 Honda Fit will remain an important part of our nomadic life. Since 2013, when Katy and I began our lives together, this little car has put up with everything we have thrown at it and continues to amaze us with every cross-country mile. I don’t think the Fit was intended for this purpose, road tripping across large swaths of North American deserts or crossing ice covered stretches of highway in the Midwest, and yet so far the car has performed excellently.
Honda designed the Fit as a daily-driver for urban commuters and as a solid starter car for young motorists. Still, some of the same features that make it an ideal city transporter make the Fit an ideal cross-country trekker. Its gas mileage yields 28 miles to the gallon in the city and 35 in the highway. Those are respectable numbers for its class. Admittedly, the Toyota Yaris could get a couple more miles to the gallon, and a Prius could get a lot more, but the Fit was much less expensive than the Prius and better looking than the Yaris. However, the Fit can only carry 10.6 gallons in its fuel tank which means that for any long road trip through the Southwestern United States, or across the Canadian West, it may be best to carry a extra 5 gallons of gas.
The Honda Fit was also designed with a mono-box architecture which rendered the entire car interior into a single shared space that allowed the engineers greater flexibility in the seating configurations. Think of it less as a hatchback and more like a mini-minivan. The editors of TopSpeed.com described the space in this manner:
“…the interior of the Honda Fit provides a surprisingly large passenger and cargo space for both maximum comfort and utility. At the foundation is the Fit’s Magic Seat(TM), an innovative 60/40 split rear seat that allows the seatbacks to fold down or the seat bottoms to flip up, providing four distinct seating and cargo carrying configurations (refresh mode, tall object mode, long object mode and utility mode) in addition to the standard five passenger mode. With all seats in the upright position, passenger volume measures 90.1 cubic feet (slightly less than an Accord’s passenger volume) with 21.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row (slightly less than an Element’s cargo volume behind the second row). In order to help maximize Fit’s useable interior space, Honda located the fuel tank in a central location towards the middle of the vehicle. This allows the cargo floor in the rear of Fit to be relatively low, thus increasing the interior volume.”
Safety, however, is what most people ask about. Is it safe to drive around the country in the midst of semi-trucks at highway speeds in such a small car? Well, no, but its not marginally unsafer than in any other car. In fact, the Honda Fit received great ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in every category tested. Including 5 stars awarded in Front and Side impact crashes. This of course does not make road tripping inherently safe, it just makes it safer than in another car, and that’s what counts.
So we love this car. It has been good to us. And I suspect that as long as we remain good to it, it will remain good to us.