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.
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