Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 130 Posts

·
Tree Hugger
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy a new car. I currently have a Ford F-150 4x4 and have enjoyed it's spacious size and versatility for 11 years. I regularly haul 5 riders and bikes up to the trails, and can camp for weeks out of it. I can haul landscape supplies, wood, etc. However, it's also my daily commuter, and more commonly, my solo or 2 man mtb vehicle.

I plan on keeping the truck as a 2nd vehicle, but with gas prices rising, more city driving, and less big ass camping trips, I am looking to buy a small and economical car.

There are a few demands I have for my new car.

First, I need to be able to haul my dog around in comfort.

Second, I need to be able to fit 2 bikes, gear, and 2 people in it. (I will probably get a rack at some point, but I need the security of locking the bikes inside, where they can't be stolen.)

So after spending a few months online researching cars, I am looking at the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe and the Honda Fit. The Honda Fit seems better in every category except style, but both cars are pretty ugly (Eye of the Beholder) and the Fit seems like a much better bike hauler, and maybe even possible to sleep inside laying flat!! The Fit gets 33/38mpg, and has tons of space for a small car, due to flat folding seats, and a few special tricks that the seats can pull.

Not sure if you know much about the Fit, so here's a link to Edmunds.com, and to the Honda website. The Fit has been sold for 5 or so years internationally as the Honda Jazz, and was just brought to the US in 2006.

http://www.edmunds.com/new/2007/honda/fit/100692874/researchlanding.html

http://automobiles.honda.com/models/fit_modes.asp?ModelName=Fit

Check out the "magic seats" on the Honda page. In "Tall mode" the back seats fold up like stadium chairs, and you can supposedly put bikes in the back seat with the front wheels off. You still have lotsa room in the back to put your gear.

In "Long mode" you can lay the passenger seats down flat, and make a 7'10" sleeping platform, or haul wood, surfboards, etc.

So the problem is that the Fit is a new car, and hard to find still. My local dealer (small town Oregon) has only seen 4 of them in 6 months, so if I want it, i have to drive 100 miles to test one.

Does anyone have one? Can you verify how well bikes fit in them? I have searched long and far, and found only one pic of a bike (on Honda's webpage, interior gallery) and the bike looks like it barely fits, and it may be a kids bike!
If 2 bikes won't fit, then no Fit for me, so I hope someone has experience with one already. I found Jisch on MTBR has one, and I've emailed him for info, so if I get the answer, I'll post it here.

Thanks, and feel free to throw out other ideas, or opinions.
 

·
Old school BMXer
Joined
·
2,695 Posts
If I were to get a compact car, it would be a Fit. A couple friends have them, and they are nice. Unfortunately, they're not mountain biking friends. I did put two bikes in the back once, but I can't remember if I had to take the front wheels off. I may have also had to lower the seat on one of the bikes.

I test drove a Fit and a Scion Xa on the same day (actually within a few minutes of eachother), and the Fit made the Xa feel like a 10 year-old POS (it was a nearly new demo, too!).

As the Honda ad slogan says, "The Fit Is Go!"

Oh, and get the Sport with the automatic transmission. Those paddle shifters are fun!
 

·
Bike Breaker.
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
I,ve had my Honda Jazz for a couple of years and it is great, I slept in the back once waiting for my bike to be built up, I had a towhitch fitted and use a Thule carrier. It's great when the seats are down in the back. In the UK it's not the one people use for MTB's though. They tend to get Citroen Berlingo's.
 

·
Old school BMXer
Joined
·
2,695 Posts
For those that don't know, the Jazz is the name of the Fit in other countries. But although the body styling appears the same, the US Fit is significantly different than the Jazz.
 

·
Tree Hugger
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Blaster1200 said:
As the Honda ad slogan says, "The Fit Is Go!"

Oh, and get the Sport with the automatic transmission. Those paddle shifters are fun!
Yeah, I definitely want the paddle shifters. "Best of both worlds" but really, as lazy as I am, it will only come in handy on big hills, and when passing on narrow roads.

Still waiting for verification of the actual interior bike holding capacity. I'll try to hunt down Jisch.
 

·
Bike Breaker.
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
Blaster1200 said:
For those that don't know, the Jazz is the name of the Fit in other countries. But although the body styling appears the same, the US Fit is significantly different than the Jazz.
Same car just diferent specs.

Although its big enough you could get two side by side in the back diferent ends in firsta and watch the bars are protected from the glass windows.
 

·
Old school BMXer
Joined
·
2,695 Posts
catnash said:
Same car just diferent specs.
I can assure you that the US Fit has a significantly revised transmission, engine, engine controls system, along with many other systems when compared with the Jazz....so says the R&D team at HGT in Japan. :thumbsup: The prior Jazz was a good vehicle, but the Fit is even better. :D
 

·
Old school BMXer
Joined
·
2,695 Posts
You have a PM. :thumbsup:

Yes, the second gen Jazz is very different than the more commonly known Jazz.

BTW, do you get the all-wheel drive Jazz in the UK? How about the one with navigation?
 

·
Bike Breaker.
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
I will take a picture for you, I'm having a round trip of 300 miles soon and I'm sticking my enduro in the back rather than on my rack on the towhitch, I'll get 56mpg then instead of 46 with the hitch.
 

·
Tree Hugger
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, I guess yall get better quality gas than us. 46 mpg is more than the US Fit can get. I'm jealous!!

Looking froward to seeing the pics. Thanks
 

·
Tree Hugger
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
catnash said:
It's only the base 1.2 version, more money then on my bike...mortgage etc etc.
That makes sense. Too bad they were afraid to offer a 1.2 version in the US. They must have been worried it wouldn't be able to keep up with all the leadfoot drivers on US roads.
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Fit...

I own a Fit (Sasquatch - I didn't get (or deleted) your email - it probably didn't get through my filter, sorry about that).

I have a Fit and an Odyssey. I have taken only one bike trip with the Fit as it is easier to transport bikes inside the van. I'm probably not going to be the wealth of information you had hoped I would be.

The one trip I took with the Fit worked out well. I just put the rear seats down, and took the front wheel off. The bike fit perfectly standing up with the saddle all the way down. If I remember correctly I had to move the passenger seat forward a bit, but I was solo on that trip. I think a bike would also fit laying down, but I haven't tried it out.

With the rear seats down and the front tire off I think you could put a few bikes side by side in back, but I don't know if you could fit two bikes and two people in there. I do not think a bike would fit in "tall" mode. Certainly my "big" bike wouldn't fit in there.

I can say I love the car! I have a Sport automatic. The paddles are cool, perhaps I'm lazy, but I rarely use them. Its a zippy little thing. I bought this car considering that my kids are getting close to driving age, but I'm not sure that this is a good "first car" given how peppy it is and how quickly it turns.

I don't drive conservatively and I get MPG in the low 30's on the highway, high 20's around town.

John
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
More info...

Funny how this stuff works out. I got home from a business trip last night and as I walked past the Fit, I noticed there was a bike in the back. My wife had picked up my son and his bike. He has a medium Cannondale Jeckyll and it fits fine upright with the front tire off and the seat pushed down. Its in there diagonally across with the one of the back seats folded down (the larger one). Another bike would easily fit next to his bike. I'll try and get down there and get a picture today.

Net/Net - two bikes, riders and gear would easily fit inside. A big hit bike (i.e. long wheelbase) may present more of a challenge...

John
 

·
Tree Hugger
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Jisch said:
Net/Net - two bikes, riders and gear would easily fit inside. A big hit bike (i.e. long wheelbase) may present more of a challenge...

John
Thanks for the update. I'd love to see pics if you get a chance. I don't have any big hit bikes, so no worries about supertall forks. I

t's funny, I caught so excited about the idea of putting the bikes in front of the back seats, that I never even considered the fact that you could put the bikes in the "normal way" loading from the hatchback with the rear seats folded flat. The floor to roof distance must be pretty tall to allow bikes easily without lowering the seats.

Anyways, if anyone can post pics, I'd love to see real mountain bikes inside a Fit/Jazz.
 

·
Loser
Joined
·
5,536 Posts
Yes

Sasquatch said:
I don't have any big hit bikes, so no worries about supertall forks. .... The floor to roof distance must be pretty tall to allow bikes easily without lowering the seats....Anyways, if anyone can post pics, I'd love to see real mountain bikes inside a Fit/Jazz.
I'll get some pics. I ran down just now to take some forgetting my wife had the car out (she loves that car!).

The issue with bikes in Tall mode is not the height, but the wheelbase. I think only a short wheelbase bike would fit in there (i.e. small XC bike). Even my Large Titus RX100 won't fit in Tall mode.

I read somewhere that the dimensions of the Fit are exactly the same as the old Civics, but 9" more headroom. The extra headroom really adds a lot of space on the interior making it seem bigger than it is when you're sitting in it.

I'll get those pics tonight as I'll need to take my son's bike out of there anyway.

John
 

·
Tree Hugger
Joined
·
2,946 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Isaac Sibson said:
Helps that our gallons are bigger.
Really?? I wondered that, but I mean come on, why would the same term, gallon mean two different things in 2 countries. I figured that with liters and such, you wouldn't bother to use the term gallon at all. How much is a UK gallon, 4 liters?

Alright, i went and looked it up. How silly, a UK gallon is 4.5 liters. Also pints and quarts aren't the same in US vs UK.

Here is a cut and paste regarding the measurement of liquid in UK vs US

Most American weights and measures are the same as those in the UK, but there are a few notable exceptions. The one that most people know is the gallon, which means that other liquid measures (pint, fluid ounce etc) are also different. But the ton and the hundredweight are also different, as are the dry measures, such as the bushel.

However, some believe that American distances are also different - in fact American measures of distance/length are the same as the British.

Measuring volumes
At one time, the British gallon differed depending on what you were measuring and where you were measuring it. But, by the 19th century, two definitions had survived: the Queen Anne (or Wine) gallon, which was 231 cubic inches, and the Winchester (or Ale) gallon, of 282 cu in.

In 1824, the British abandoned both the Ale and the Wine gallons in favour of the Imperial gallon, based on the volume of 10 pounds of water (which works out at 277.41945 cu in). America, by this time, had already standardised on the Wine Gallon of 231 cubic inches (strictly speaking, this was defined as the volume of a cylinder 6 inches long and 7 inches in diamete, or, using the old approximation for pi, 231 cubic inches).

The result is that the US gallon is 83.267% of the British gallon. In more usable terms, the British gallon is about a fifth greater than the US gallon, and the US gallon is about 5/6 of the British gallon (or a little under 7 British pints)

And, yes, this has a knock-on to other liquid measures - like Britain, the US has 4 quarts, 8 pints or 32 gills in a gallon, so these measures are also smaller than in the UK. On the other hand, the Americans have 16 fluid ounces in their pint, whereas the British have 20.

The reason for his is that, in the British system, a gallon of water weighs 10lbs, or 160 ounces, and so there are 160 fluid ounces in a gallon, and 20 fluid ounces in a pint - from this, it follows that a fluid ounce of water does actually weigh an ounce.

Therefore, an American fluid ounce is greater than the British fluid ounce by about 4%, and an American flluid ounce of water doesn't weight an ounce.

Measuring dry volumes
Of course it isn't just liquids that are measured by volume. While the Imperial system allows gallons to be used as both liquid or dry measures (8 gallons = 1 bushel), the US system keeps them separate. The Americans adopted the old British Winchester Bushel for their dry measures, and this is defined as 2150.42 cu in (equivalent to 0.97 British Bushels). Like the gallon, this was not an arbitrary volume, but was based on the volume of a container of 18.5 inches diameter, and 8 inches in height.

Like the Imperial bushel, the US bushel is divided into 4 pecks, 8 gallons, 32 quarts or 64 pints - so that the US dry volumes are different in size to their liquid volumes, even though the names are the same.

So, not only are gallons different, but so are bushels, pints, and fluid ounces - and each by a different factor!
 
1 - 20 of 130 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top