These days, Honda stakes its name on practicality; sensible cars with sensible features at sensible prices. The 2019 Honda Fit stays on-message. For the price, it offers versatile cargo and seating in a package that gets the job done. There are even a few bonuses like available safety features, though for those who fondly remember the Fit as a spirited driver, this new generation may be a bit of a bore.

Best Value

At a starting price of $17,085, a bare-bones Fit is a tempting value on its own. It gets all the important features: Honda’s second-row “Magic” seats (which are surprisingly practical), an available continuously variable transmission (CVT), and the Honda Sensing suite of safety tech as an option.

To get Honda Sensing requires a price bump of $1,800, which means you may as well opt for the $19,055 Fit EX. In addition to including all the safety technology of Honda Sensing as standard, the EX gets a power moonroof, push-button start, a larger seven-inch infotainment screen, automatic high beams, and smartphone compatibility. That’s good value.

Trim aside, there aren’t many options to choose from on the Fit. We’d leave ours at that:

  • Model: 2019 Honda Fit EX
  • Engine: 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder
  • Output: 130 hp / 114 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 31 City / 36 Hwy
  • Options: None
  • Base Price: $19,055 (including an $895 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $19,055

Performance

Honda Fit

The Fit’s 1.5-liter engine is adequate, and the available CVT helps smooth out the rough patches. Fuel economy is excellent – with the smaller rims, the Fit achieves up to an EPA-estimated 40 miles per gallon on the highway. The handling is better than average for the segment, though perhaps not as spry as it was in previous years.

Still, you won’t see a Fit in a Fast & Furious movie anytime soon. The powertrain feels less zippy in this generation, and the car is less responsive overall than it once was. Unlike many compact hatchbacks, there's no performance version. Even the Sport trim, which adds large wheels and exterior tweaks, sees no changes to the powertrain.

Style

The Fit looks like a pint-sized minivan, which isn’t entirely a bad thing. The squat shape and sweeping lines help to mask what is, for the segment, a deceptively tall profile. The design is typical Honda: clean and workmanlike, with a few flourishes to make sure it stands out on the road. The real star of the show is the cargo space, which is plentiful and easy to configure in multiple arrangements.

The Fit won’t go winning any awards for style. It’s inoffensive but uninspiring, and the interior is on the busy side. Thinly padded front seats may be uncomfortable on long journeys, hampered more by awkward footwells. The utility is there, but the comfort doesn’t quite match.

The Best and Worst Things

This much storage space in a car this size feels like a trick out of Mary Poppins. We just wish Honda could have preserved some of the earlier Fit’s verve.

Right For? Wrong For?

Honda Fit

The 2019 Honda Fit is good for budget-minded buyers who have cargo (or friends) to move. It’s a surprisingly capable little adventure vehicle. You could easily stuff gear for a week in the back, or even a mountain bike or two. Young buyers seeking a practical and efficient vehicle will find a strong contender here.

The Fit is wrong for those who expect personality with their practicality. Plenty of brands have shown that subcompact cars can still be fun, and sporty offerings from brands like Ford and Mini have cult followings of their own. The Fit never conjures the same sense of joy.

The Bottom Line

Even with its shortcomings, the 2019 Honda Fit is among the more tempting subcompact cars on the market. It means fewer compromises on cargo space and practicality, while maintaining efficiency and an enticing price point. If Honda could bring back just a little bit of zip, the Fit would be a slam dunk.