3.12.2007

Sassy Car Review: Honda Fit

My very first car was a 1994 Acura Integra. My second car was a 1996 Honda Accord. I had a trifecta in mind when I was looking at the Honda Fit. It was at the very top of my short list pre-test driving. It was fuel efficient, roomy, the price was pretty good, and the reviews were great. My test drive confirmed what everyone was saying: this car does not drive like a subcompact. It accelerated smoothly, it changed gears without any fuss, it had very responsive handling. It even had a tiptronic-style transmission that lets you change gears (similar to a manual transmission) for sorty driving. So what was wrong? A list:

1. I am easily offended.
I only had two less-than-stellar experiences while looking for a car, and they both happened at Honda car lots: one in Santa Monica and one in Carson. In Santa Monica, there was only 1 Fit left and it was in the showroom: I was told that I would pretty much have to guarantee I was buying the car to even test drive it. Neveryoumind how that defeats the purpose of a test drive. The sales person was also very condescending and rude.

I was finally able to test drive the car in Carson, and the person helping me was very gracious and informative. However, as I was waiting for his business card, someone else started giving me the hard sell! Um, ew! I was immediately defensive and probably more than a little rude to Hard-Sell guy, but I really really really didn't like him. And he made me really really really unwilling to purchase a Honda Fit.

2. I am cheap.
The Honda Fit performs exceptionally well in its class. Its MSRP made the Honda Fit a bargain. If I could have gotten the car at MSRP, it would have been a serious contender. If I could get it at invoice, I probably would have driven home in a Fit. Why on earth would a car lot put a $2000 premium on a car for which one of its selling points is incredible value for the dollar?!

People who buy subcompacts buy them because they are cheap cars. The premium made the Honda Fit financially comparable to cars in a higher class. Honda dealerships managed to alienate the frugally minded people that would consider the car by hiking the price, while failing to add enough extra oomph to lure in those more inclined to spend a little more on their ride. Boo on you Honda. Boo on you.

3. I am shallow.
The Honda Fit was at the top of my short list. However, my short list was still pretty considerable. Why did I keep looking for other cars to test drive, if I thought the Honda Fit was going to be the car for me? Honestly? It's a little ug. It's like a mini-minivan, but without the Rockwellian charm. It's got high bits to compensate for short bits and it's got a beaky front and a bulky backend. Sure I would have fun driving it, but would I want to show it off to people I know? Would I want to keep my car a secret from everyone? I don't want a "just friends" car. It wouldn't be fair to the car, and it wouldn't be fair to me. Give me something I'd want to be seen in. A trophy car, if you will.

The Fit was an OK car. On a different day, on a different lot, things may have been different. If we lived life like stories, then rule of three would dictate that I buy this car. I'm glad I didn't. The trifecta will have to wait.

4 comments:

michael golamco said...

What I want to relate here is the fact that I was with you at Carson Honda, and in the time it took for me to go to the bathroom and come back, that sales dude had appeared and pestered you enough for you to have gotten angry (SASSY?) enough to snap at him massively... Just as I returned! And I only had to #1!!!

I was like, "Whoa whoa whoa -- what happened?" Things were going so well! He went from zero to nearly being bitchslapped in 6.5 seconds. It was surreal and quite enjoyable to witness. Thank you!

sasstastic said...

I did get sass all over him! You walked in on the "me verbally ass punching him" bit- you missed the part where he harrased me into a corner.

I can't shake the feeling that he did it because he thought I was meek and he could intimidate me into buying a car. I wish I punched him and yelled "Not So Easy to Push Around, huh? Bitch!" over his writhing body.

Simon said...

Looks like a certain honda dealership of southern california radio spokesperson owes you an apology. And maybe assistance building furniture from ikea.

Manuela said...

You write very well.