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spitfirebill MegaDork
4/23/21 5:49 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

1st generation had a manufacturing defect in the taillight area of the shell that would let water in.

I would prefer a 1st generation for looks and a 3rd generation for performance.  They're all good cars, though.

Thanks.  I prefer the Gen 1 looks too.  

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/23/21 6:04 p.m.

Regarding the preference for the 2nd gen, they're just slightly longer than the 1st gen. So as mentioned about the rear seats, it just gives you more cargo space without sacrificing front seat leg room.

The extra cupholders are definitely awesome, as is the 2nd glove box - we really miss both those features in our 3rd gen. The engine/trans combo in both 09s just feels smoother & more refined than in the 07, but maybe that's just our cars?

Snrub Dork
4/23/21 6:36 p.m.

So why 2nd gen over 3rd gen, other than the extra glove box? (Just asking out of interest)

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/23/21 8:37 p.m.
Snrub said:

So why 2nd gen over 3rd gen, other than the extra glove box? (Just asking out of interest)

The 3rd gen has a CVT instead of a Honda automatic (essentially a manual trans with a torque converter, which is why they have that straight cut whirr in Reverse) which a lot of people don't like, but I kinda do.  2nd gen Sports (look for the little winglet/spoiler thing on the roof) have steering wheel mounted shifters that work quite well. None of this is relevant if you desire a manual, of course.

They are also kinda fugly to some eyes, and look bulky, even though they are roughly the same size as the previous generations. Actually a tad smaller than the 2nd gen, but the numbers for all three are basically splitting hairs.

If it weren't for the cupholders, I'd prefer a 1st gen, myself.  Literally the only bad quality is how some of them were built kinda wrong at the factory.  Also possibly more difficult to get parts for because IIRC it was only sold in the US for 2008 model year, maybe some 2007s.

The 3rd gen does have the nice direct injected DOHC engine, though...

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/23/21 9:00 p.m.

In reply to Snrub :

The 3rd gen engine is noticeably more powerful then the 2nd gen, but our mileage is nowhere near as good. In our 2nd gen it wasn't even a challenge to hit 40+ mpg in mostly highway driving. We're lucky to see mid-30's in our 3rd gen(and honestly I drove our 2nd gen harder). Neither cars are manuals. 

The 2nd gen also has a right armrest on the driver's seat, while the 3rd gen has none. I find I can only drive our 3rd gen about an hour before it starts straining my arms/wrists/shoulders. There is an add-on arm rest that attaches to the top of the center console, but I've never seen one in person to know if it would help out. 

Driven5 UltraDork
4/24/21 12:21 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

That's a bummer.  The drivers inboard arm rest was a great comfort and convenience feature!


Once the price is factored in, the main reason I would consider a 3rd gen over a 2nd gen, is if rear facing car seats are in your present/future. 

Probably my biggest grip with my 2nd gen was that the rear drums had a tendency to self-energize if you give the brake pedal too quick and firm of a poke, and not release at the same rate as the pedal, leading to occasional unexpected over-braking. Unintentional brake checking on the highway is not a very pleasant 'feature'. Also, in the snow the traction control (and Conti DWS) did good at slowly chugging up a slick grade, but cut power too much on initial lesser slippage which quickly bled speed and prevented (useful) momentum from being carried into the grade... Which can lead to numerous unhappy people who become SOL once their their momentum is lost due to following the Fit. And if too many shenanigans are pulled in the snow with the traction control 'off', the computer will turn it back give you nothing more than a few quick flashes of the TC-off light to politely say 'berkeley off' every subsequent time you try to disable it again.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/24/21 1:13 a.m.

In reply to Driven5 :

Weird. I'm glad ours doesn't have traction control. It did do really well in the snow on the Conti DWS though.

I did notice on our 2nd gen that if I rolled through a stop & accelerated somewhat quickly that the DBW throttle would take an instant to respond. 

Erich UberDork
4/24/21 7:52 a.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) said:

2nd gen headrests didn't need to be removed to engage magic mode on the rear seat, unlike the 1st gen.

I had a base 09. Still lots of easily scraped front overhang. My only complaint was I went through two locksets in less than 100k miles. Might've been a first year thing. 

Mine was a stick-consistently 10 mpg up on a buddy's 10 Sport auto (non paddle shift dissapointment device).

I've heard this before, and on the first gen, you don't have to remove the rear headrests to fold the seats flat believe it or not - the headrests are precisely shaped to fit under the front seats. 

First, you slide the front seats forward using the lever conveniently on the top of the front seat. Next fold the rear seats flat (headrest attached) and then slide the front seat back again, on top of the rear seat's headrests. The magic seats are so incredibly well thought-out.

We have much "nicer" cars to drive now but my wife still talks about that wonderful little Fit sometimes. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/24/21 8:53 a.m.

I did an Autotrader search not terribly long ago.... was seeing 1st gen Fits with 120k with $9000 asking prices.


Love to have a Fit, but apparently so does everyone else.  They're just plain damned good cars, that just work, and do everything well, and don't break. 

Well, the 2nd gens have a recall out for axle failure, they rust out under the harmonic damper.  Honda will pay out if this has already happened to you.  Replaced probably 4 sets last year, including on Cool Aunt's '09, which she admitted she was doing 25-over on I-90 about ten minutes before the axle broke 1/8 mile from home. 

Breaking at home or very close to it is another sign of a good car.  Getting you home is its job, and it did everything it could to DO that job.  Good car, good car, you deserve a little rest.

flatlander937 HalfDork
4/24/21 9:04 a.m.

If you want a beater/track toy there is one for sale in the Sundae Cup/ex-Spec Fit Facebook group:



bobzilla MegaDork
4/24/21 9:32 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

This (and my forever love of all things Korean) steered me to where I am. For $5k you can get a rusty, 200k mile Fit or you can have an Accent or Rio5 with under 100k miles. and newer. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/24/21 9:42 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Fits generally don't rust.  That's the other scary part.

I mean, they DO rust, because they aren't Audis or Volvos,  but they don't rust audibly like Mazdas and Nissans and Toyotas  (in that order).  I did control arms on an '08 last week and didn't need torches to get the bolts to come out of the chassis, for example.  Four loooong bolts, per control arm, that thread directly into the shell, through the subframe.  And they came out.


Freakin' awesome cars.


I mean, yeah, they'll lose the rear quarter panels,  but that isn't anything important, just cosmetic.   Still a $5-6k car.   What are you gonna do,  buy a NEW car?  Nobody sells new cars anymore, just trucks.

bobzilla MegaDork
4/24/21 9:52 a.m.

I was gonna say.... I have seen a lot of rusty as hell fits rolling around here in the salt belt. Rear bumpers held on with hopes and dreams because the quarters and hatch area gone.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/24/21 9:58 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Never seen that.  I live where people buy cars from Michigan because they don't salt up there.

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
4/24/21 10:35 a.m.

We need some pictures for motivation.  

bobzilla MegaDork
4/24/21 10:45 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I mean, everything here rusts. I have seen 2-3 year olddurangos with rear hatches rusted through, all makes of trucks with thebeds rusted through in under 5 years and every FWD car made rusted in the rockers, quartes and fenders.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/24/21 10:56 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Dodge is incapable of making something that doesn't rust.  This is historic, and probably why Fiat bought Chrysler as they saw a kindred spirit.  Decades back, at my first job at the bike shop working for Old Car Guys, one of them joked that Chrysler didn't dip their shells in rust protectant before paint on the assembly line, they dipped them in a salt water bath.

I really wanted an A-body.  REEEEEEALLY wanted an A-body.  But even in the mid 90s they were just too damned expensive, even for rusty ones, so I bought a Ford while lusting over Valiants and Volares.  (Yeah, Volares weren't A-bodies, didn't care)

eastsideTim PowerDork
4/24/21 1:13 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Love to have a Fit, but apparently so does everyone else.  They're just plain damned good cars, that just work, and do everything well, and don't break.

I would put Fits in the category of cars that have much higher demand used than new, if it weren't for the fact the for so many years, Honda kind of held the line on importing too many of them, so it was kind of hard to figure out actual demand, at least for the 1st and 2nd gen models.  It seems like the used market appreciates practicality far more than the new market.

LopRacer Dork
4/24/21 10:53 p.m.

We have three first gens in our family 2- 2007 and 1- 2008 all stick shift. Love them, change the oil and go.  I had to do coil packs at ~180k on two of them, but it takes 10 mins. I did control arms on one at 150k it was easy. The first gens do have some design flaws that are well documented online with leaks and how to fix them. Otherwise they are very entertaining for such a practical car. I do wish they had offered an Si version or something with more power but they are perfectly adequate as they sit.  I hear the 2nd gen a more refined, so there us that.

Justjim75 SuperDork
4/25/21 12:17 a.m.

I liked my 6 speed 1st gen a lot

dxman92 Dork
4/25/21 12:50 a.m.

I've had an 07 and now drive a 17. First gen had looks but not as comfortable as 3rd gen. SWMBO wasn't fond of 07 and thought it was too small and confined. She actually likes the 17 and finds it much more comfortable. 17 rides better and I have gotten over 40 mpg on a few tanks. I usually average mid to upper 30s mpg.

SanchinMiata Reader
4/25/21 9:10 a.m.

I had a first gen Fit with a manual and it was an amazing DD. Slow as hell, but eager and engaging all the time. I happily drove it for several years with nothing but oil changes and routine wear item replacement. No problems and only a couple annoyances, chiefly a lack of power and a lot of interior rattles in the dash. A bit noisy for long drives, but I often drove 5-6 hour trips happily.

I can also attest that it's a ridiculously strong little car. I had given the car to my son as the old family minivan had reached its end. One afternoon while running some errands he was t-boned by a full size Buick sedan at an intersection. The Buick was traveling at 55. All of the airbags deployed, the unit body distorted, buckling the floor pan and the roof. He walked away with a few mildly bruised ribs. That car saved his life.

I've even given some thought to whether I should sell my Miata and build a Fit for auto-x and back road smiles.

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/25/21 9:28 a.m.
spitfirebill said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

1st generation had a manufacturing defect in the taillight area of the shell that would let water in.

I would prefer a 1st generation for looks and a 3rd generation for performance.  They're all good cars, though.

Thanks.  I prefer the Gen 1 looks too.  

This and the increase in power are the primary reasons to get a Gen2.


mazdeuce - Seth said:

Do all the Fits have the million cup holders that the 2nd gen does? Because the dash cup holders alone are enough to make me want another one. Probalby the finest road trip car I've ever had. 

The first gen only has 3 cupholders and 2 rear door mounted bottle holders.

I highly recommend a 2nd gen fit, early 3rd gen cars have some direct injector issues and my good buddy and Fit guru has pushed me away from them in favor of the refreshed ones 2018+.

All Sport models will have have Cruise control.

The base model only got cruise and such as standard starting in 2012.

During the run of the 2nd gen Honda start incorporating TCS and stability control and the TPMS system is tied into them.

only somewhat DD relevant.. but worth mentioning.

Having owned both a 2nd gen and now bought the first Fit in my life off my parents.. their 2008 first gen GD3 that I drove in HS...

Get a 2nd Gen and get one with cruise control.

keithedwards Reader
4/25/21 12:15 p.m.

I have 2011 DX (or Base). Though we have only had it for a year, our daughter bought it new. We really like it in spite of it being an automatic. Daughter looked and looked and couldn't find an available stick-shift. She replaced it with a 2018 with more options (and a stick-shift).

It has been a very good car. The only modification is an Inno roof rack.

I also prefer the looks of a 1st gen. They seem to do OK in B-Spec.

KBB says the value has gone up by $1500 over the last year.

Erich UberDork
4/25/21 7:05 p.m.

I personally also love the looks of the first gen. It looks even better with the slimmed-down JDM front and rear clips:

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