Ray and I spent a good portion of the morning arguing over the suitability parameters of the 2009 Honda Fit Sport, culminating in him saying, “I iz the decider.” Here’s why he’s wrong.
As with any publication, when we put together a product review, the editorial staff collaborates to develop parts of the overall opinion of the car in question. The staff person driving the car takes an initial stab at the driving experience. Then I, as road test editor, take the lead in helping to refine their position into something resembling English. Often, when I'm driving the car, I'm deciding a lot of what Jalopnik's opinions are. As the head honcho, Ray gets to stick his head in when he feels I’m drastically wrong. To be fair, he’s actually pretty good about this, deferring to my far greater expertise in nearly every instance. This morning he didn’t.
I thought the Fit was a suitable car for both working stiffs and technogeeks; Ray disagreed, saying, “I don't think working stiffs will work with the Fit. And technogeeks? Also a "no" — is the ipod connector digital or just an aux-in jack? Frankly, a full-fledged iPod connector attachment should be the base level for almost any car these days.”
We define “working stiff” as an individual, typically a male, who uses his car for work. These are typically plumbers, construction worker or similar, so a vehicle like the Ford F-150 would be a good example of something suitable for a working stiff.
We define “technogeek” as Brian Lam.
While I’d agree that iPod integration should be included in all cars and isn’t a qualification for becoming a technogeek car, I think it’s the Fit’s lack of gadgets that makes it the perfect car for nerds. You see, the Fit doesn’t feature many gadgets because it doesn’t need them, it is a gadget.
My dictionary defines “gadget” as, “a small mechanical device or tool, especially an ingenious or novel one.” I think that also sums up the Fit. Its flexible interior is so incredibly useful and is wrapped up in a tiny, good-looking package that’s a pleasure to use. Driving the Fit, I get the same feeling that I get from using my SOG PowerAssist multi-tool or my iPod. It’s an ingeniously useful, fun product that defies categorization as just another subcompact.
But Ray doesn’t think so. Why? Bias. Both his own and the bias he assumes exists in the mind of mainstream Americans.
Historically, Americans struggle to perceive utility in small cars, assuming anything smaller than an Escalade is unsuitable for carrying any more than a single resident of San Francisco and possibly, in a pinch, his poodle. But, as the era of cheap gas and universal American affluence comes to an end while simultaneously most of us become city-dwellers, that perception is rapidly disappearing.
As the most progressive auto publication on the planet we need to anticipate changes like that and work to include them in our editorial. We should be telling people that they would probably be happier in a Fit than in a mid-size sedan. Its utility and efficiency also makes it appropriate for working stiffs that don’t have enormous pieces of material to cart around. For that and many other reasons, I felt the Fit deserved five stars. Ray didn’t. He’s wrong.
Wert Is Wrong is a new weekly feature designed to help Jalopnik editorial staff deal better with Der Werter's oppressive OCD control on content, and will rotate between Jalopnik’s editorial staff. Ray will have an opportunity to respond to the criticism in the comments below, just like you have an opportunity to expound on just how wrong he is. He will keep his editing of this feature to a minimum. Mostly just looking for spelling errors that make us look silly.