3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Honda Fit

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Expert's Rating

4.9Excellent

MPG 27 City / 33 Highway
Pros
  • Excellent class-leading fuel economy
  • Excellent reliability history
  • Rear seats fold down flat to increase utility
  • Sporty handling and communicative steering feel
Cons
  • Drum Brakes in rear
  • Styling might not be for everyone
, Automotive Editor -
Fuel Efficiency, surprising spaciousness and a fun-to-drive quotient that add up to produce the best non-Hybrid daily driver you can buy.

Introduction

Deemed too small and funky when it was first introduced to the U.S. market, the Honda Fit offers a combination of size and space nearly every automaker is now trying to emulate. Available in two trims (base and Sport), the Fit comes in a single 5-door hatchback body-style aimed at providing plenty of room for five passengers and their cargo without the need of a gas-guzzling engine.

A 1.5L i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine attached to a five-speed manual transmission propels the Fit along. Though the Fit is not the fastest compact car available, it’s handling will keep you from falling asleep at the wheel, especially when equipped with a quick-shifting stick.

While the manual transmission does well on fuel-efficiency, the available five-speed automatic is better with 28/35 mpg city/highway. Where the Fit makes it’s money though is with the most versatile cargo area any hatchback has to offer. Not only can the 60/40 rear seats be flipped down to extend the cargo room, but the front-passenger seat can also be reclined completely flat to accommodate long objects like a surfboard. Another cool cargo feature is Honda’s Magic seat that gives a fold-function to the rear seat’s bottom cushion behind the driver. This opens up over 4-feet of space from the floor to headliner for tall objects such as a plant that cannot be laid down. However, the Honda Fit, like every automobile, is not without its’ faults. Among these are the interior noise observed from the tiny 4-cylinder and the lack of features relative to competing models.

Speaking of competitors, they have grown in number significantly in the recent past while bringing a new level of refinement as well. For example, the Ford Focus has not only one, but two infotainment systems available for equipment (although they can both be confusing). The Focus also is a much better driving experience than the Fit, with a range of powertrain options including one that is turbocharged. Furthermore, customers have a choice between sedan or hatchback with the Focus and the Mazda3 too. Plus, the Mazda3 gives drivers a whole new idea of what affordable small-car performance can be when compared to the Fit. On the other hand, the Mazda3 has a cramped second-row, smaller cargo space and less fuel-mileage in most trims than Honda’s hatchback.

For driver’s wanting the utility of a small SUV with the fuel-efficiency of a compact car, the Honda Fit will be hard to pass up.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Honda Fit
Starting price
$15,353
Shopper Popularity
68%

2013 Honda Fit Base

Most Popular
Recommended for: Drivers happy with the seemingly endless versatility of the base Fit.

Beginning with the exterior, the base Honda Fit has a strut front and torsion-beam rear suspension with an electric power-steering system directing the 15-inch, covered wheels. Daytime running lights and a standard security system mean the Fit is seen and safe. Along with the side mirrors, the windows and door locks are conveniently powered. The Cruise function can be managed through the steering wheel-mounted controls, which are illuminated as well. Though it only seats five, Honda includes 10 beverage holders in total plus a tilt/telescopic steering column. The above-mentioned Magic seat is a standard feature and comes with an underseat storage compartment as well. A USB interface, MP3/Auxiliar input, and AM/FM/CD player all feed into a 160-watt, 4-speaker audio system.

2013 Honda Fit
Starting price
$16,009
Shopper Popularity
20%

2013 Honda Fit Sport

Recommended for: Fit fans looking for an optional navigation system.

With options including the five-speed automatic transmission, the Fit Sport also adds available dual-mode paddle shifters. Standard 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and body-colored side skirts give the Sport a look deserving of the increased price. In the rear, a body-colored spoiler mounted across the hatchback’s roofline and chrome exhaust tips do nothing but help. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and has controls for audio management. While on the subject, audio is bumped up to six-speakers that can be used to hear information from the available navigation system. Packaged with voice recognition and Bluetooth capability, the satellite-linked system also equips phone and navigation controls on the steering wheel. Rounding out the Sport additions are overhead map lights and utility floor mats.

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