Hiiro-chan

I read over on Bonzai Aphrodite the other day that she was given the chance to review the Ford Escape Hybrid. I think she gave a very good review of the SUV. After reading it I got to thinking about my car.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a red 2008 Honda Fit base model. I call her Hiiro-chan, Japanese for “Little Scarlet” (I apologize if this is wrong, we looked it up online). It’s known as the Jazz in countries other than North America, South America, Japan, and China. I call her Hiiro-chan not just because she’s small and red, but she was completely manufactured in Japan. So I thought she should have a Japanese name. I’d never named anything like this before, but after driving my fiancé’s car, Desdemona or Dez for short, for so long and referring to her by name, I found myself needing a name for my car.
Anyway. I love my car to pieces. I’m probably going to be like my dad and own her until she falls apart. My dad has a Honda Civic hatchback that he has been driving for over twenty years now. This is part of why I went with a Honda. He couldn’t have traded it in with the “Cash for Clunkers” deal because it still gets great gas mileage.
Hiiro-chan is still running strong. I bought her brand new in March of 2008. Until then, I didn’t own a car. I would either use my mom’s car or my fiancé’s car. When we moved to Columbus in the fall of 2007, our schedules worked out so he could drop me off at work and one of the friends we live with would pick me up. Eventually she went back to school and wouldn’t be able to drop me off anymore. So I finally had to get a car. I started out looking at used cars at CarMax. I was trying to find something in my price range that had less than 60,000 miles on it and was either a wagon or hatchback. I grew up with the Civic and station wagons. I didn’t want a sedan. Let me tell you, there wasn’t much. So I finally, just out of curiosity, looked at the Fit’s page. I was floored that I could get a brand new car for the same price at the used ones I was seeing. So after much paperwork and signing my life away, I was the proud owner of a manual Honda Fit base model.
Yes. My car is not an automatic. Again, my dad’s Civic is a manual as well. I had to learn to drive it to get to a retreat one time and it proved to be very useful, as I later worked at the same place as he did and needed to drive the car sometimes. So many people think it’s harder to drive a manual than an automatic. Yes, it’s more involved driving it and there’s more to learn on how to drive it. But driving it becomes automatic! But that’s not why I picked it. There are two reasons: 1) it is more fuel efficient and 2) it is cheaper. And it’s not just cheaper to buy, it is cheaper to maintain. Manual transmissions have fewer parts and are easier to work with.
Officially she gets 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for an average of 31 mpg. I tend to get around 36 mpg average. If I’ve got long car trips involved (both our parents live 2 hours away) that gets bumped up to 40 mpg. And she doesn’t have cruise control.
The other thing that sold her to me was the room. They’re not kidding when they talk about how roomy this car is. I’ve got friends who call it a clown car, a toy car, and even my fiancé calls her fugly (at which point he gets smacked). But, being 5’10”, she fits me perfectly. I’ve yet to drive a car so well proportioned to my height. There’s more than enough leg room. Four adults can comfortably fit in her. We’ve even squeezed in a car seat, but it wasn’t that bad. And the wonderful back seat. Unlike most cars, these seats can not only fold forward, but they can fold up. That not only gives you much more options for space and where to put large items, it gives you more storage when the seats are being used. You can simply store your ice scraper and brush and whatever else is on the back seat of your car under the seats. It’s great!

I guess what I’m trying to say here, aside from my ramblings on about my wonderful car, is that Bonzai Aphrodite is right, you don’t need an SUV. So many people don’t buy a car based on what they need. They base it off of what they can afford and what they want. I needed a car that was low on miles, affordable, and could fit myself and three friends comfortably (which she does really well). The next time you need a car that’s new to you, think about what you need. Not just what you want.

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