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Feels like my 2009 Honda Fit Sport has no suspension (clueless about cars)

Hi all,

Admittedly, I’m not a car person, but I thought I did my research when I bought a certified 2009 honda fit sport. While there are many flaws I failed to notice while I was in the process of test-driving, etc., the biggest problem has been that the car seems like it has no suspension. It is terribly bumpy and the smallest divot or crack in the road sends the car into convulsions. Seriously, it rides like a wooden box on top of a skateboard. There’s no give at all, period. I didn’t really notice it till I started to drive more frequently around the city (instead of the areas where the salesman took me for a test drive), and where I live bumps, potholes, and busted-up roads are the norm. The off-road feel of the ride is something I imagine I’ll get used to (I mean, I already am) but I’m wondering if anyone knows whether this is normal (because the car is small, etc.) or whether they know or have experienced a similar problem? I mean, on smoother roads the problem isn’t so apparent. But it’s a 2009, isn’t it? Shouldn’t the engineering account for roads that aren’t perfectly flat and smooth. And, oh yeah, I’m getting between 20 and 23/23 mpgs in the city – sometimes less. Which is not exactly what I was bargaining for. Anyway, does anyone know if this problem is a real problem, or if I’m just expecting too much? Is there something I’m missing/not doing?

Any and all help would be appreciated; as I said, I’m pretty clueless about cars.

A lot of econoboxes ride like rocks. And it’s in the design, there’s nothing you can do about it other than to verify that the tires aren’t over inflated.

I made my own mistake in 2005. I bought a brand new Corolla. The seat dn the suspension were too hard and it was killing my back. I ended up trading it in for my tC after only two months. It was a $4500 lesson. The lesson I learned was to take nice, long test drives over terrain that you plan to use it on.

It sounds like you made the exact same mistake. Perhaps the only solution will be to trade the vehicle…for one in which you’ve taken your own test drive on your own terrain.

Interesting. Wouldn’t be the first mistake I’ve made, that’s for sure. I guess this is a live-and-learn kind of moment. Thanks for the feedback.

I bought a 2009 Toyota Yaris back in March. My last car was a Jetta so it was an adjustment for me. It feels the same way. Most of those small boxy cars do. I got used to it and find it kind of fun now. I do lots of highway driving and I find it to be small and easy to maneuver now.

The Fit Sports do ride hard, because they handle like a go cart. They use low profile tires, and the suspension is set firm… I have driven them and while they are no luxury car, they are not that bad over the bumps. If yours is “THAT” bad you may want to have someone look at your shocks/struts to make sure they are not seized up.

If Tire Rack’s web site is correct, your car has 185/55-16 tires but the base car has 175/65-15 tires. You can probably switch to the base tires and wheels, which should give a softer ride, although you need to double-check that with your dealer to make sure there are no issues with the brake hardware. If you’re lucky, maybe you can find someone on Craigslist hoping to go the opposite direction and work out a trade of your tires and wheels.

Also, whether you keep your current wheels or switch, take a look at the reviews of your current tires on Tire Rack’s web site. Possibly yours are known for a harsh ride and you can find ones that are softer.

Maybe it’s a matter of perception based on the type of car you were used to driving before buying the Honda.
Going from a cushy ride on one type of vehicle to something a bit firmer just makes the problem seem worse than it actually is.

There’s also the issue of driving around in an older car with aged struts and shocks which can weaken over time with the driver becoming acclimated to it. Once behind the wheel of a vehicle with perfectly good shocks and struts the ride may come across as harsh.

I have customers with a 99 Civic that I service. The Civic is nearing 200,000 miles so 2 years ago they bought a Fit to use as the primary car given the age and miles of the Civic. The Fit rides so poorly that they still use the old Civic for road trips and most of their driving. I think that says something given the road noise in a 99 Civic.

I’ve heard others complain about the harsh ride in the Fit.

Hi, I’ve had my 67 Honda FIT since summer of 66 and love the way it rides and handles on city streets and Florida back roads and park roads, with and w/o loads in the car. Fine on highways too but I’m usually on the others. I get an av of 28 mpg in city/parks. I have a bad back; the ride and ease of getting in/out were critical to my decision to buy/keep.

“I’ve had my 67 Honda FIT since summer of 66 .”

Huh?
The Honda Fit (known in Europe and some other regions as the Honda Jazz) was first produced in 2001.

Honda did use the “Fit” name previously on one of the trim levels of the old Honda City car, but even that use of the “Fit” name only dates back to 1986, and the Honda City was never sold in The US.

How could someone living in the US own a 1967 model year Honda Fit???

I have the same feeling EVERYTIME I jump into my wife’s RaV after driving my4Runner. Make sure the tire pressure is correct, the tires are rated better for a smooth ride and are newer. As the rubber wears, the ride will worsen. Other then that, ride in a compact 4 wheel drive pick up for an hour, jump back into your’s and it won’t seem so bad. As drivers, we can adapt.

Most small cars these days have stiff suspensions. This is supposed to make them more sporty. To make matters worse, you have the “sport” version of the Fit.

Honda dealerships really know what they are doing. When I bought my Civic in 1999, I was only allowed to drive it on city streets. If I had been allowed to take it on the highway, and I’d gotten an ear-full of how noisy it is at high speeds, I probably would have chosen a different vehicle. The next time I buy a vehicle, I will take it on a mroe extensive test drive.

I went on a test drive once with a young lady salesperson who would only let me drive on the “approved” test drive route. I chuckled and commented that how was I supposed to find out iif the car would work for me if I couldn’t drive it on streets similar to my own? She got nervous, so I drove it back to the dealership. And walked away. I was gone. No potential sale. Six months later, the dealership was gone too. I had the last laugh.

“How could someone living in the US own a 1967 model year Honda Fit???”

She’s using the Madagascar calendar.

Hondas ride firmer than most cars, and Fits ride firmer than most Hondas, and Fit Sports ride firmer than regular Fits, so…

Your options (as others have said) are

  1. check tire pressure with a good gauge and that there’s nothing wrong with the suspension;
  2. consider a smoother-riding tire (how much tread is left on the current tires?);
  3. consider going to the non-Sport tire/wheel size, with smooth riding tires (Tire Rack will be able to help with this); and (last resort)
  4. trade for something you like better.

For people who want a better ride and don’t appreciate the sacrifice necessary for good handling, a Toyota Corolla is a good option (boring but smoother). A dealer would give you a decent trade on for a used one.

Riding comfort is a matter of taste. I used to share rides to a weekly band rehearsal. One woman had a big Cadillac DeVille and one woman had a Ford Escort. I preferred the harder ride of the Ford Escort to the Cadillac’s soft, floating ride. I just might like the ride of the Honda Fit.

When I bought my 2007 Fit, the salesman warned me that unlike my other Hondas, the Fit does not have independent suspension on all four wheels. I think he said they had to use a wishbone suspension on the back two wheels.

Yep, it’s a ‘torsion beam’ axle, but that doesn’t cause a rough ride:

Why would a car that small not have independent rear suspension? Why would Honda want you to feel every bump on both sides?

I always thought beam suspensions were used on heavy vehicles because the weight made them necessary.