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Is the Honda a good Fit?

I’m getting ready to replace my beloved 1997 Saturn SL1 and have been doing a lot of research, but can’t find a lot of info on winter performance. My front-wheel Saturn has handled the Colorado mountain winters OK (just OK), but everyone seems to think I need at least an AWD. Purchase price, safety, and fuel mileage are my most important issues.

So: Fit or something else?

If your Saturn has worked in fwd, why change. Your driving habits don’t require you to test the elements too severely, no need for AWD. We have it on all our cars but travel every day in the winter over snow/ice. Unless you do as well, good witer prep will get you by. AWD is ALWAYS superior in the snow country overall, but not worth the expense IMO. I will say if you ultimately get AWD, your winter driving habits will change. Snow storms will no longer keep you from keep you from driving, though sometimes they should…again, always prepare them as you would any fwd car for winter.
THEY ARE SAFER if you drive within their limits, but you sac. economy of FWD,esp, a Fit

Does everyone in your section of the Rockies use AWD or 4WD? If so, you should consider it. If you don’t need to drive when it is snowing heavily, you probably don’t need AWD or 4WD. It’s not so much that it’s slick as that the snow is deep enough to rub the bottom of the car and prevent good traction. Extra ground clearance and more than 2 drive wheels can both help with that.

If you really convince yourself you need one…my first recomendation would be a Subaru Impresa.(sp)

If your concerned about winter purchase 4 dedicated winter tires mounted on steel rims and you will be amazed at the peformance of the vehicle in adverse conditions no matter FWD, RWD or AWD.

You should go this route first. a place like will sell you rims and tires and ship them already mounted and balanced to a shop close to you.

Well, there are lots of 4WDs up here, but either for a) ranchers, b) people who live on unpaved county roads, or b) second-home owners who think they need 4WD to brave the interstate on snowy ski weekends. (Two words on the latter: natural selection.) There are also a LOT of Subaru Legacy wagons – my sister calls them the Mountain Woman Midlife Crisis Cars – but I wasn’t sure if they were

I guess my question re AWD vs FWD is that the Fit seems lighter than my old Saturn, so I wasn’t sure if the Fit would handle the occasional snow-packed driving that I face. I bought the Saturn in the SF Bay Area where it wasn’t even a consideration, and since moving to CO I haven’t even tried driving when conditions were questionable. But if I’m buying a new car, it seemed prudent to address the issue.

I looked at the Impreza, but am not sure if the difference in gas mileage was worth it. According to the Fit gets 27 city/33 highway but the Impreza only gets 19/24.

I was in Boulder last fall during a snow storm and had a Jeep Wrangler as a rental. I never needed the 4WD; the heavy tread on the tires was all I needed to retain good traction. Of course, Boulder is pretty flat. But the suggestion about winter tires is good, and the weight shouldn’t be much of an issue. The Fit is over 2400 pounds.

Agree with bscar and andrew j, but you should consider a Civic instead of a Fit, it gets better mileage on the highway. If you liked your Saturn (I like mine) you will love the Civic. If you want 4wd or AWD, look at the Matrix. It gets a little better mileage than the Subaru’s, 21/26, but no 4WD since the Tercel 4wd wagon has delivered decent gas mileage.

Great gas milage and awd only exist in hybrids…do you really want to spend $30+ for a car. Suzuki makes a cheap and economical for awd car. But ub proven reliability. Rav 4 4cyl is 24 overall. but $$$$$ to save. 2wd with winter snows still looks most cost effective.

The Impreza actually gets 20/27 not 19/24. The 19/24 is very high performance Subaru (Impreza) WRX version. Still its basically a 7 mpg loss but two very different cars that are not comparable.

I’m with you on the tires – I switched from all-weather to winter tires this year and was very pleased with the difference.

Based on everyone’s suggestions I’m feeling a lot better about the Fit. Now, if I could just find one to test-drive! They can’t seem to keep them in the lots in Denver long enough for me to get down and try one.

(As an aside, has anyone tried the new “Saturn” Astra? The now-discontinued Ion was on my list of contenders, and although I trust Saturn I just can’t see the Astra as a Saturn!)