Buy/Drive/Burn: Compact Five-door Hatchbacks From 2007

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
buy drive burn compact five door hatchbacks from 2007

Our Buy/Drive/Burn today is yet another reader suggested trio, this time from SoCalMikester. Mike wants to take a look a three quite affordable compact hatchbacks from 2007. Honda, Nissan, and Scion are all on offer today, but which one’s worth your limited number of 2007 dollars?

Note: Though 2006 was the model year suggested, the Fit was first available in North America in 2007. We’ll also play the leftovers game with the xA.

Honda Fit

Honda introduced the “new” Fit to North America this year, though the first-generation model has been on sale since 2002 elsewhere, and is due for replacement. Available only as a hatchback, all North American Fits are also front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is available in the Japanese market.) Honda offers two trims this year: Base, and Sport. We’ll opt for a manual transmission Sport today, but the trim is also available as an automatic. One-hundred and nine horsepower are generated by the 1.5-liter inline-four, and travel through the front wheels via the five-speed. Fit asks $15,170.

Nissan Versa

The Versa is also new to North America for the 2007 model year, but has been on sale in Japan since 2004. Unlike the Fit, Versa is offered in hatchback or sedan guises. All-wheel-drive versions are offered outside North America, though Nissan brings only front-drivers here. Trims are limited to the base S or upmarket SL, with sedans and hatches at both levels, as well as manual and automatic transmissions. Our choice today is the SL hatchback with a five-speed manual, which is priced at $14,550. Interestingly, Nissan asks the same money whether a buyer chooses the hatch or sedan, and the CVT adds another $1,000. All cars are powered by the same 122-horse 1.8-liter inline-four.

Scion xA

Scion is in between small hatches in 2007: The xA was officially finished last year, and its replacement the xD is not available until model year 2008. xA was imported through December 2006, so we’ll be buying a leftover today. xA was offered from 2004, and the five-door hatch shared a platform with the unpopular Toyota Echo (2000-2005). In its final year, xA was available in one trim, an unnamed base version. All examples were powered by the same 1.5-liter inline-four from the Echo, which produced 103 horses. A five-speed manual or four-speed auto were available – we’ll go with the manual today. The bargain of our trio, xA asks just $12,780.

Three discount Japanese hatchbacks for the economy-minded buyer. Which one goes home with you?

If you have a B/D/B trio you’d like to see, leave it in the comments!

[Images: Honda, Nissan, Scion]

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2 of 46 comments
  • BSttac BSttac on Nov 30, 2021

    I loved this first generation of Honda Fit. Wish Honda made a fun, small hatchback still. Definetly would buy and drive that one

  • Theonlydt Theonlydt on Nov 30, 2021

    Easy. Buy - Honda Fit - drove well, reliable as anything, many still on the road today. Any built in Swindon or Japan were the best of the Fits, Japan especially. Drive - Scion, by process of elimination. Burn - The Versa. I test drove one of these. I thought it'd be a winner, lots of space, 1.8 looks good on paper, and drove it with the six speed manual because that's what I wanted. It was utter shite. Coarse, the gearbox felt like the very worst of French gearboxes (very imprecise), handling is extremely poor. I'd hoped it'd be soft and comfortable, instead it was floaty and poorly resolved. It's a shame as the car was roomy, and a fuel efficientish engine with a 6 speed as a hatchback it had potential. Instead it can burn merrily on the pyre and good riddance.