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  1. #1
    CPS Technician smackeen's Avatar
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    2013 Fit vs Civic

    We may be in the market for a new car soon and wondering the pros and cons of the two in title.

    Chances of doing three across in either are slim as we also have a van. But understand the fit is smaller.
    Shalan - CRST - I
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    DS#3 5yr, 42in & 38lbs. FF in Radian Premier and Complete Air.

    Riding in a 2015 Caravan and a 2013 Corolla.

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician shellebelle's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    I have a 2010 Fit. It is absolutely smaller than a Civic, so much so that even average adults are cramped in the back seat. I've found the newer Civics to actually be quite comfortable, and there may even be enough room to get three narrow seats in the back.

    However, if this car isn't going to be for regular kid transport I wouldn't give the Fit a boot. Even with a heavy foot I get great gas mileage and the utility of it is fantastic - you can switch from hauling people to hauling stuff in seconds (and it holds A TON). Those were two very driving reasons for me getting one. The Civic, on the other hand, is pretty much a standard issue sedan but that will give you some room to bargain with the dealer. There should also be some good year-end deals on Civics this summer. Fits are still in demand so they rarely go on sale.

    Food for thought

  4. #3
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Yeah, I really like the Fit. However, if you look at the gas mileage, the Civic actually gets better gas mileage. And like shellebelle said, dealers tend to negotiate more on the Civic than the Fit, meaning you might pay less and/or get a better deal on a Civic than the Fit.

  5. #4
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    If you put on a lot of highway miles, the Civic HF is a nice choice and a little distinctive vs. regular Civic too.

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    If you want to be really distinctive you could look into a natural gas civic.
    2018 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda5, and 2001 Toyota Echo (we drive 'em forever)
    Kids aged 15-6, but none driving yet. Well, only golf carts.

  7. #6
    CPS Technician AK Dad's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Please read this before deciding on a small car period:
    http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr041409.html

    If you're interested in good fuel economy, I'd much rather have you buy a 2006 or later Jetta TDI, or some sort of hybrid if your commute is more stop and go traffic than highway.

    Again, since you're posting this in a "vehicle safety" section I thought you should be made fully aware of the compromises in safety you make with any "minicar" class vehicle.

  8. #7
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    Ak dad, I see that the article is from 09- do you know how the new '12 safety requirements for subcompacts effects their safety in comparison to larger vehicles now?

  9. #8
    CPS Technician AK Dad's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlh View Post
    Ak dad, I see that the article is from 09- do you know how the new '12 safety requirements for subcompacts effects their safety in comparison to larger vehicles now?
    That's a good question, and I'm not familiar with the new requirements you're mentioning - do you happen to have a link I could look at?

    Here's the IIHS's main page regarding vehicle size & weight:
    http://www.iihs.org/research/topics/size_weight.html

    The bottom line though is that all else being equal, a larger vehicle will provide better protection. You can do a lot to mitigate the effects of the laws of physics, but you can't change the fact that we're dealing with kinetic energy and that's dependent upon just two factors: weight and velocity.

    It does become much more difficult to say which is safer though when we start talking large differences in technology. For instance, is a Smart ForTwo safer than an '88 Suburban? That's pretty difficult to figure out, and I honestly don't have an opinion on that particular (admittedly and intentionally random) comparison. IIHS did an interesting comparison though between hybrid and non-hybrid models of the same vehicle and found the hybrids to provide better protection simply because of their added mass. This is also the reason we let kids ride around without seatbelts or carseats in school buses - we're betting on the far greater mass of the bus to provide protection.

  10. #9
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Dad View Post
    It does become much more difficult to say which is safer though when we start talking large differences in technology. For instance, is a Smart ForTwo safer than an '88 Suburban? That's pretty difficult to figure out, and I honestly don't have an opinion on that particular (admittedly and intentionally random) comparison.
    This all depends on the type of crash.

    Added mass is generally only a significant advantage in a head-on crash with another vehicle, and even then the benefit diminishes at some point.

    In side impacts, mass is much less of a factor, though vehicle height can still be very important.

    Without question, I'd much rather be driving a '13 Honda Civic sedan than a full size SUV from even a decade ago.

    The Civic will clearly be punished in a head-on with a truck, no doubt. On the other hand, passengers in an older full size SUV would also be punished if struck by another one, or when striking a brick wall/pole. A rigid, truck-based chassis plus older restraint systems equals lots of energy transferred to the occupants:-(

    In just about any other situation, I'd rather be in a new Civic, personally. It gets very good crash tests all around and has a wide array of advanced safety features. It's much less massive and given the same driver, offers the potential of better handling and braking than a full-size truck. It's also much less likely to rollover, a type of crash that causes a disproportionate number of injuries for the largest vehicles, especially older ones without stability control.

    I'm not a big fan of the sub-compacts in general as far as crashworthiness, but the Fit is one of the better options of those available. I'd much rather drive a top-rated, used midsize sedan from a few years ago than a brand new sub-compact, at least in terms of safety. Granted, I'd also generally prefer to be in a newer midsize crossover or minivan if I had a choice, but we also own a Prius and I have no issues putting the whole family into it on a daily basis.

  11. #10
    CPS Technician AK Dad's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Here's a very cool video showing a great comparison and is exactly what we're discussing:
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emtLLvXrrFs"]Fifth Gear - Renault Modus vs Volvo 940 crash test - YouTube[/ame]

    I've gotta say, I was surprised at the result!

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy
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    I'm enjoying this thread. We took this into consideration when we bought our newest car in 2007. We didn't make the decision lightly (former emergency response personnel in the house!) but decided to go with a mazda5 over a larger car. We didn't feel comfortable joining the "big car arms race" of buying larger and larger vehicles.
    2018 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda5, and 2001 Toyota Echo (we drive 'em forever)
    Kids aged 15-6, but none driving yet. Well, only golf carts.

  13. #12
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Quote Originally Posted by teekadog View Post
    If you want to be really distinctive you could look into a natural gas civic.
    DH looked at one of those at the auto show and it costs about the same as a mid-range Prius liftback model, around $26K MSRP IIRC, quite a bit more $ than a standard Civic or Honda Fit. At a glance it looks just like a regular Civic sedan. While there actually is a public natural gas fueling station near us (there's a special natural gas pump at a regular gas station), it's one of just two we were told in the entire state, and the next closest one is in Chicago beyond the car's range for us according to the Honda rep, so I steered DH away from the natural gas Civic due to the scarcity of public fueling stations and associated range anxiety for longer road trips. The Honda rep indicated they mainly sell it as a commercial fleet vehicle to companies or municipal organizations with their own natural gas infrastructure for refueling rather than to private/personal owners with fewer to no public refueling options in place to date.
    Regards,
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  14. #13
    CPS Technician AK Dad's Avatar
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Quote Originally Posted by teekadog View Post
    We didn't feel comfortable joining the "big car arms race" of buying larger and larger vehicles.
    Yep, and I always just try to make sure people are assessing the "threat" in their particular area when making a choice. Driving a Smart ForTwo around city traffic in SanFrancisco is a lot different than driving one around Anchorage! We have a very high percentage of huge trucks, many of them driving around with snowplows 6-months out of the year. Around here an F-150 is considered a small truck!

    Again though, size alone certainly doesn't predict all outcomes. We actually just had a terrible reminder of that recently when an F-450 towing a trailer went head-on into an F-550 towing an F-150. It was fatal for both drivers ...
    http://www.adn.com/2013/04/07/285606...ses-parks.html

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeanum View Post

    DH looked at one of those at the auto show and it costs about the same as a mid-range Prius liftback model, around $26K MSRP IIRC, quite a bit more $ than a standard Civic or Honda Fit. At a glance it looks just like a regular Civic sedan. While there actually is a public natural gas fueling station near us (there's a special natural gas pump at a regular gas station), it's one of just two we were told in the entire state, and the next closest one is in Chicago beyond the car's range for us according to the Honda rep, so I steered DH away from the natural gas Civic due to the scarcity of public fueling stations and associated range anxiety for longer road trips. The Honda rep indicated they mainly sell it as a commercial fleet vehicle to companies or municipal organizations with their own natural gas infrastructure for refueling rather than to private/personal owners with fewer to no public refueling options in place to date.
    Natural gas is booming in our area as oil is drying up so there's a big local push for ng. It makes me laugh, but I do think pursuing ng as an option will open more doors to TRUE sustainability in the future.
    2018 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda5, and 2001 Toyota Echo (we drive 'em forever)
    Kids aged 15-6, but none driving yet. Well, only golf carts.

  16. #15
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    Re: 2013 Fit vs Civic

    Quote Originally Posted by teekadog View Post
    I'm enjoying this thread. We took this into consideration when we bought our newest car in 2007. We didn't make the decision lightly (former emergency response personnel in the house!) but decided to go with a mazda5 over a larger car. We didn't feel comfortable joining the "big car arms race" of buying larger and larger vehicles.
    The arms race point is certainly one to keep in mind. It's also interesting when you consider how in a number of countries (e.g., Japan, the UK), the death rates are much lower, even though the cars are, on average, smaller.

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