Fit-ness

Survival of the “Fit”test

A lower price wasn’t the Fit’s only advantage over the Prius. While car shopping I rented a Prius for a one-day extended test drive, ending up with three specific complaints:

  1. Visibility through the rear window is poor;
  2. The console’s large, animated engine-performance display is dangerously distracting;
  3. The keyless engine-start button is (a) unsafe with small children around but (b) too cool to disable with the child-safety lock.

More than a year ago I replaced my 1998 Honda Civic hatchback with a new Honda Fit. Fuel efficiency was a key decision criterion for me, and naturally I considered the Toyota Prius; but the Prius gets its best gas mileage in city driving, and at the time of my purchase most of my driving was on the highway, where the Fit’s efficiency was close to that of the Prius, at a much lower price.

I’ve been tracking my Fit’s fuel consumption on a spreadsheet for several months now and the trend is clear: its efficiency is consistently in the 35 MPG range. Nothing to sneeze at, especially given the dismal fuel economy of almost all other cars on the market; but disappointingly it falls short of the mileage I was getting with my Civic at the end, which occasionally exceeded 40 MPG — with the previous decade’s engine technology!

You can see the mileage I’m getting, fill-up-by-fill-up, in my Google Docs spreadsheet.

One thought on “Fit-ness

  1. dkuznick

    the Prius gets its best gas mileage in city driving

    That’s actually a lie from Toyota. I get far better mileage from my Prius on the highway. Once the car is totally warmed up, and you can go at a steady speed, theoretically city driving is better, but in reality it almost never is. The newer models are somewhat better at keeping the engine off at slow speeds in the city, though. The previous models (i.e. mine) do better on the highway in real conditions.

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