GoFaster wrote: I look forward to reading about the driving experience, especially how it is to cut between lanes to keep moving in traffic, does it have enough power to zing into the next lane if you keep the RPMs up, how is the blind spot to deal with, how is the braking (really undercovered issue IMO, because that can save you from crunching sounds), does it burn regular grade gasoline, how is the mileage going 80mph with light traffic, what are the RPMs in sixth at 80mph, how is the car at speed around corners...
I am a 17 year MX-5 veteran, but am looking for a replacement and would be smart to get my skin out of the sun. For what its worth my 2001 Miata, recommends premium fuel, pings a bit with regular, averages about 28mpg, is excellent to weave through traffic because the engine is very happy at high revs, the size is perfect, and gas to engine must be mechanical because there is no delay in getting power, the car corners very nicely with no understeer, is terrible in the rain, has a big blind spot with the roof up and is very noisy, good brakes, and revving at 3800 rpm at 80 mph in 6th gear is why the MPG are not better. I do love driving it.
I wanted to reply but have been pretty busy. I'll be brief but might cover more when I write something for my site. It's got plenty of zing with the revs up, but if you look at the power/torque curve, you'll see that the sweet spot is lower than the redline.
IMO, brakes are as good as the tires allow. They are optimized more for fuel economy and probably limit how much force the tires can put to the pavement. At least this has 4 wheel discs vs. drums for the Fit.
The car burns regular gas. We don't drive 80 MPH here in Honolulu so I couldn't tell you what RPM its pulling. Your Miata has 142 hp on the old HP rating scale, so it's probably similarly powered, though the Miata is certainly lighter. The big advantage is that the IMA motor is adding 58 lbs of torque at 1000 rpm. This gives the car a pretty hefty and flat torque curve.
The Honda will understeer as all FWD cars will, but many owners find that you can get the back to rotate if you try hard. I'd suggest that this will be more softly suspended than a Miata, but also has a better ride. As always, trade offs. Visibility out of the rear quarter is probably no worse than a Miata (or S2000) with the top up. The car is so short that by the time a car is out of the rear view mirror, its in the side window. The car is relatively quiet, several orders quieter than the 2006 RSX I'm driving.