Toward the end of June 2007 we realized that the AC had gone on our primary vehicle, a 2000 Ford Taurus. The gas mileage on the Taurus was…unsatisfactory, but certainly better than the other option available to us. So we started looking at cars, new and used. It came down to the Toyota Matrix, a well known model, and the brand-new Honda Fit. The Fit won due to better options for less money. At the time, the Prius was out of our price range, even with the cost of gas (at the time) factored in.
When we decided to buy the Fit, responses ranged from “I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those” to “Wasn’t there a recall on those?” But everyone who’s seen our little orange Fit has been charmed, or at least mollified, by the cute-as-a-bug hatchback.
My boss gets Consumer Reports and the latest cover showed an article on the most gas-efficient small sedans. The 2009 redesigned Toyota Corolla was the big winner, but too new to be recommended. In a sidebar on subcompacts, there was a notation on the Fit: it’s a Consumer Reports Best Buy, with one of the best fuel economies for a non-hybrid on the market. It also won a Car and Driver 10 Best award for 2008, its second in two years of American distribution.
All this is by way of saying that our little unknown car is suddenly getting more popular, and I feel good that our first real adult purchase is being validated by those in the know. And at $4.17 a gallon for gas in rural Oahu, you can’t beat filling the tank for under $40.