Looking at a 2009 Honda Fit to buy, but Consumer Reports says the headlights are inadequate. Anyone have experience with a Fit and find this to be true? If so, about how much does it cost to get them upgraded?
You can’t “upgrade” your headlights without blinding oncoming motorists and/or violating state statutes regarding headlight illumination.
You need to decide for yourself–by test driving a Fit at night on a dark road–if the headlights are sufficient for your use. If not, then the only solutions are to install auxiliary driving lights or to buy a different car.
You might try changing out the bulbs first with Europe-spec bulbs. From the FitFreak forum:
“Get Osram Silverstars, but DON"T get the Sylvania Silverstars, there is a difference. The Sylvanias don’t last very long and are not as bright as the Osrams. The Sylvanias are blue tinted which gives them a bright appearance, but they are actually dimmer. The Osrams are made for Europe and are not DOT approved (still great lights though), so they are not available in most parts stores, but are easy to find online.”
And yes - you technically will be breaking the law, since the DOT didn’t get their hands on them. But - you might be able to see better and be safer. You make the call, I know what side I always land on.
There may also be Euro-spec headlight assemblies that are different than the US ones, but I didn’t find any in a quick search.
I have an '08 Fit and the headlights are fine.
I have a 2007 Fit and I have no problem with the headlights either.
The OP should be aware that CR frequently criticizes the low beams or the high beams of headlights on new cars. In fact, I would venture to say that they probably have a critical comment of some kind or other regarding the headlights of at least 30% of the cars being sold.
This does not mean that the headlights are actually inadequate, but that they could be improved–like most things on cars and in everyday life. This is not something that should prevent you from buying a particular car, as evidenced by the positive comments in this thread by a few owners of this model.
If you like almost everything else about this car, you should buy it. After all, if the headlights were truly inadequate, would CR have named the Fit as their top-rated small economy car?
This test can’t be run now, unless it’s a rainy day; and extremely dark at that. The sun is up too long. Maybe you could borrow a friend’s car or take a Fit home overnight.
To add to VDC’s last post, the OP should also know that all vehicles sold in the U.S. have to meet DOT requirements for their headlights. The requirements include output (in lumens), beam pattern, and even height from the pavement.
If you like the Fit, go for it. It’s a great choice.