Honda has been releasing their Fit models since 2007, and after ten years the results are pretty good reading, for Honda designers and stockholders alike. The Fit has been flying off the forecourts of dealerships all over the country and has ranked highly in comparison tests from several different car magazines. In fact, it’s also been in the likes of Car and Driver’s Top 10 Cars of the Year list for seven consecutive years.
However, in recent years, the Fit has not performed quite so well, with lots of issues concerning a lack of dynamism and the user-friendliness that made the car so popular in its earlier carnations. So, with the 2018 version of the successful car out now, what does the Fit look like and, more importantly – drive like now? Let’s take a look at everything you can expect from the 2018 Honda Fit.
The Big Differences
While Honda has kept most of their best advancements for other models, it’s good to see the Fit getting a good going over. And it’s fair to say everything new works well. It’s still a subcompact that is perfect for driving around busy cities, as well as the freeway, but after consulting customers, Honda has used the feedback to create a few exciting changes. The exterior is completely updated, and there’s new suspension to enjoy which features extra chassis bracing for better solidity and a little damper tuning.
Honda is going big on automatic controls, too, and the 2018 Fit is the first in the line to receive the Honda Sensing Suite. This clever bit of tech has a whole bunch of safety features, including collision mitigation and lane-keeping assistance. If you choose the Sports trim version, you can also expect a sleek looking sculpted shape, some tremendous black alloys, and some extra comfort for the interior.
A quick look over at Don Wessel Honda reveals the new Fit is available in four different models. The standard LX models get a 1.5-liter DOHC i VTEC motor that can push out 130 bhp and 114 lb/ft of torque. You can expect LED taillights, Bluetooth functionality, a rearview camera and a choice of automatic or six-speed manual transmission. If you decide to upgrade to the Sports edition, you will have premium audio installed, as well as a 7-inch touchscreen. The Sport also includes fabric covers for your seats, and leather covering for your steering wheel and shift knob.
The next level is the EX. You’ll get all of Honda’s Sensing Suite included, with a push-button start and a sunroof, while the EX-L model features all the above with heated leather seats thrown in for good measure. Finally, you can choose to upgrade this model to the EX-L Navi, which has the additions of navigation and an HD radio tuner.
OK, so it’s clear that a 1.5-liter engine isn’t going to win any awards for zip and speed – but then if you wanted that, you wouldn’t be buying a Fit. It is, however, a nippy little car, and Honda’s record for producing long-lasting and highly durable engines means you will likely be driving this car for many years to come. Getting anywhere near top speed in the Fit can cause a little turbulence, although reviewers suggest that this is compensated for in the Sports version – which is worth considering if you demand a smooth ride.
In terms of fuel economy, the Fit does OK. You can expect between 29-31 mpg, whether you are in the city or driving long distances, which makes it a good option for people seeking a happy mix between the two. Unsurprisingly, the Honda – famed for their safety record in virtually all their models – gets a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for collision testing.
Comfort and space
Let’s be honest – the Fit has never looked like a big car. But you can comfortably fit three people in the back, and still, have plenty of legroom for driver and front passenger. There’s a reasonable amount of storage available, too, far more than you might think at first glance. It’s not the best vehicle for people with large families, for sure, but for two adults and two children, it’s certainly an option.
WIth regards to comfort, well, it’s pretty standard for a car in this price point. The Fit is built for using regularly, and while it isn’t particularly stylish or luxurious, there are no real complaints. Overall, there’s a spacious, clean feel that is slightly let down by the amount of plastic dash. However, if you really struggle with the comfort side of things, a simple upgrade to the EX-L trim will give you a lot more leather and, of course, the joys of heating in your seats.
Cost and value
Honda’s Fit starts at around $17,065 for the LX models, and you can pay up to $21,395 for the EX-L version. It’s also worth pointing out that you can make minor upgrades on virtually every model. Everything from a $100 sticker improvement through to an $800 CVT automatic upgrade is available, as is Honda Sensing for an extra $1,000.
So, the big question is – should you go for a Honda Fit? Indeed, if you are looking for a car you can take on the city streets and highways in equal measure, it’s a great little utility car. The first versions of the Fit were highly successful, and although the 2018 version isn’t quite as joyful to drive, it’s comfortable, safe, and fantastic value. Ultimately, there is a lot on offer here for the vast majority of car drivers, and even the odd enthusiast will have a fun time driving around in this nippy little vehicle.
To conclude, there’s nothing game-changing happening with the Honda Fit – but the little tweaks here and there put it back in the big leagues when it comes to mainstream, popular vehicles. Expect to see the Fit flying off the forecourts for the foreseeable future – and, quite possibly, beyond.
** THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED ON 1-3-2018