Why A Honda Fit, Mark?
So, Why A Honda Fit?
I don’t get asked often, but from time to time people wonder how I came to choose a Honda Fit. “Gas prices are low… why don’t you get something bigger (or faster, or nicer, or what it turns out to be generally thirstier)?
Well, I bought my Honda with the cash I had on hand. I haven’t made a car payment since 1997 and I didn’t feel like starting with this car. I just didn’t see the need. At around $22,000 the Fit was a comfortable, well, fit for my needs at the time as a commuter car for just myself with an occasional runabout for groceries or lunch some light shopping or something like that.
More than a year on I have less than 7,000 miles on the little guy so fuel economy alone wasn’t going to be enough of a factor. If I’d bought a big V-12 engined luxury barge that got 9mpg the expenses would still be not all that different. But I am something of a tree-hugger. I was raised on that crying Indian, old Iron Eyes Cody, who was sad because people were littering. To me, it’s always been a good idea to do the most you can with the least you need. And besides, if I can spend $20 on gasoline instead of $60, then that leaves me $40 for something else. I don’t have children to leave this world to. In another generation, unless I cure a major disease or shoot someone incredibly famous nobody will remember I was even here at all. So I could say “Screw it!” and buy a big-assed V8 and drink up two or three times as many gallons of gas as I need to, but that just isn’t me. I rarely go anywhere with more than me in the car. I rarely go farther than three or five miles at a time. I don’t really like the feeling of being in the middle of my own metal ZIP-code. I’d rather know where all of my corners are and be able to have a little fun now and again.
It’s Kind of Like a Tardis
I got the smallest Honda they bring to this country. But I got the loaded-est-up-ed-est one they make. I don’t want for features in this car and it has things on it that I have never had in any other car I’ve ever own. I have tilt steering, sure. I have cruise control, of course. I have air conditioning—that’s a must. I have the toaster-oven rear window. I have a digital radio that can tune in a station exactly by its frequency. No more wondering if I’m on 92.3 or 92.5. In 1976 I put all of those features down in a notebook as must-have features of a dream car, my Some Day Mobile. Anything else is just gravy, right? Here’s the gravy, then.
The car has a sunroof. The car is an automatic (actually a Continuously Variable Transmission, but it’s been trained to act like an automatic), so Kathie can drive it if she has to. It has paddle shifters so I can exercise my F1 fantasies if I want to have a little fun. It has a rear window wiper (Yes, my car wipes its own butt!). It has a cavernous amount of space if we fold away the rear seats. It has a leather interior which still smells great on the right days and feels wonderful all of the time. It has integrated telephone in the dash via BlueTooth. I can motor along and take calls without taking my hands from the wheel.
It has AM and FM stations and will program seemingly dozens of each. It will respond to text messages for me. It has more video cameras than KDUH-TV in Alliance, Nebraska had in the late 1970s. I can see the lane I’m about to move into, I can see multiple views of what I’m about to back into and more. I can tune the radio or select other inputs without taking my hands from the wheel. The car has heated seats, which are terrific in the winter! It has computer read-outs of the instant MPG and average MPG for this trip, the expected range and even the outside temperature.
A Honda Fit isn’t for everyone, I understand. But for my typical mission profile, and for my needs at the time it was just about perfect.