Honda Fit vs. Ford Fiesta

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - February 2, 2016

Regardless of the new classes of vehicles that seem to pop up about every day, the subcompact class is one that has become a staple in the American market. Honda joined the ranks of subcompact builders in 2007, when it introduced the tiny and thrifty Fit to the United States.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Fit & Fiesta »

Ford, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the segment, as prior to the Fiesta hitting the market in 2011, its last dip into the subcompact pool took place in 1997 with the Kia-in-a-Ford-suit Aspire. So, can the newcomer in the form of the Fiesta overtake the relative veteran in the Fit?

What the Fit Does Right

When shopping for subcompacts, it's the little things that make the difference. For starters, the massive glasshouse that surrounds the Fit's cabin makes for great visibility. Its base 15-inch wheels, keyless entry, power accessories and air conditioning are things that you wouldn't expect from an entry-level hatchback. Additionally, the 60/40 split rear seat folds flat, making room for up to 52.7 cubic feet of cargo.

The Fit's 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is more than competent at 130 horsepower and sprints the tiny hatchback to 60 mph in as little as eight seconds. Up to 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, when equipped with a continuously variable transmission, makes the Fit plenty thrifty.

What the Fiesta Does Right

The Fiesta starts off with something that most econo-hatchbacks ignore: style. The shapely hood and aggressive body lines definitely set it apart in the sea of vanilla that is the subcompact world. The base Fiesta is very well-equipped for its low base price, as it comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, power locks and mirrors, and air conditioning.

Under the hood, the Fiesta has more options than the Fit. It's base 1.6-liter engine is underpowered relative to the Fit, but the 120-horsepower 1-liter three-cylinder betters the Fit in fuel economy at 31 mpg highway and 43 mph highway. The Fiesta has one more trick up its sleeve, and that is is ST variant, which comes with a 197-horsepower 1.6-liter engine that turns the tiny hatchback into a rocket.

Why Buy the Honda Fit?

The Honda Fit, despite its shortcomings, does deserve some attention. First and foremost, as a Honda, the Fit's reliability is unmatched. Additionally, if you tend to haul a lot of cargo or have dogs you like to shuttle around in the hatch, the Fit crushes the Fiesta’s paltry 26 cubic feet of cargo space with seats folded. Without a performance model, however, Honda is leaving a rabid group of buyers looking elsewhere for their subcompact hot-hatch.

Verdict: Honda Fit

When buyers are shopping for a subcompact, value comes first, and the Fit's peppier engine, solid construction and massive cargo capacity make it a better value than the Fiesta.

Take a closer look at the Honda Fit »

Take a closer look at the Ford Fiesta »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter | Website