Driven And Reviewed: The Honda Fit Is The Best Economy Hatchback
A full review of the 2018 Honda Fit LX.
As you might have seen last week, we took the 2018 Honda Fit LX on a road trip to see what $18,000 can buy. If you haven't read that yet, click here to do so. While reading this review, please bear in mind that it's an $18,000 car, not a $100,000 Mercedes S-Class. But first a little history, why does the Fit exist?
The Fit was first sold in Japan for the 2001 model year, and was marketed in Europe as the Jazz in early 2002. After over 5 years, the Fit finally arrived in the U.S and Canada, and wowed consumers with its economical design. One of the most attractive features was the Fit's fuel tank placement, which was under the front seats. This and the compact rear suspension allowed the rear seats to fold more than just flat. This unique feature carries over to the current generation Fit, which was first introduced in 2015, with the Magic Seat, a super helpful feature that will be explained later.
Powertrain and Drivetrain
A peppy 1.5 L 4-cylinder is equipped on all Fit models and works with either a 6-speed manual or CV(T) transmission to deliver all 128 (Manual)/130 (CVT) horsepower to the front wheels. This particular Fit is equipped with the CV(T) transmission which, while not as fun as the manual, gets the job done in a reasonably smooth manner. In addition, sport mode is selectable but, let's be honest, doesn't do much. Sport mode gives the engine a little bit of a kick by changing the shifting pattern slightly. The Fit isn't fast, and never was, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun. The Fit is zippy and fun to drive, meaning it isn't your average economy hatchback. The modern day Mazda 3 hatchback is equally fun to drive, but comes at a way higher price.
Fuel Economy and Real World Efficiency
Fuel efficiency is a strong point for the Fit. When driving in the city, 33 mpg is the EPA estimate, however 30 is more likely, depending on how you drive, traffic, and other variable factors. Highway driving permits an EPA estimated 40 mpg, but 41-42 is entirely possible. Eco mode is also fitted on this LX, and will limit air conditioning usage as well as assist you in driving more efficiently.
We've driven the Fit on all the surfaces we could find: Gravel, pavement, grass, sidewal-...Needless to say, we've had experience, maybe even too much, driving the Fit on many different terrains, so our opinion has backing. While driving under 45 mph road noise is minimal and bumps aren't backbreaking, meaning that city trips are manageable. Pushing the Fit even slightly over that 45 mph mark will cause an abundance of road noise to make its way into the cabin. For an economical hatchback designed to get you where you need to go, it isn't awful, especially compared to the likes of the Toyota Yaris and Fiat 500.
Moving into the cockpit, the amount of plastic will instantaneously become apparent. From the dashboard to the trim, the door handles to the center console, the Fit's interior is full of plastic. This plastic, however, is durable and therefore economical, which proves the Fit's loyalty to practicality. The silver trim, constructed with plastic, of course, adds a little character to the Fit's bland interior, but isn't noticeable in an "Oh, that looks nice!" way. And, as you will soon find out, the features onboard don't make up for its lackluster interior.
Interior Features and Comfort
Nowadays, when entering the cabin of a vehicle, one's eyes will drift toward the infotainment screen, mainly because it's probably bigger than a TV. In the Fit, you'll look at the infotainment screen and immediately think "Yeah, this is an $18,000 car." The 2018 Fit's 5-inch infotainment is a disappointing sight, and when you go to reach for the screen you'll realize that it isn't controllable by touching. Despite the price, it should have a better infotainment screen. Upper trim levels get 7-inch touchscreens, which is at the brink of unacceptable.
Its audio system is also disgraceful, with only 4 speakers and awful quality. That said, it isn't all bad, the rear Magic Seat is very useful for loading cargo, the climate control system is very intuitive, cargo space is massive, rear legroom is more than decent, and thigh support is fairly good on the rear and front seats. Speaking of legroom and space, the Fit has north of 52 cubic ft of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, and over 16 cubic ft with them up!
Honda is known for their safety package, Honda Sensing, which includes lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, a blind spot information system with cross-traffic monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and auto high-beam headlights. Unfortunately, this package isn't standard on the LX trim level, so the only safety features equipped are airbags. As far as ratings, the IIHS gave the Fit a G (Good, highest) rating for all physical tests (Moderate overlap front, Side, Roof Strength, and Head Restraints and Seats), but noted the headlights as P (Poor, lowest). These great safety ratings make it the perfect vehicle for a new driver, with the pricing also allowing for this.
As you probably know by now, this 2018 Fit LX carries an $18,000 price tag, and is one of the most basic cars you can buy, with the only fitted option being a CV(T) transmission. Other trims start at $18,555 (Sport), $20,015 (EX), and $21,575 (EX-L), when fees are added. But, as we've said before, don't buy new! Plenty of used ones are out there, for example, we found this 2015 LX model with a manual transmission and only 68,116 miles on it for just $7,500! Click here to go to the listing. Higher trim levels can also be found a little above this price point very easily. Overall, Fit models are priced very well both when new and used.
Why Would You Want A Honda Fit?
1.) Impeccable fuel economy.
2.) Best-in-class cargo capacity.
3.) Fun to drive nature.
4.) Stylish exterior looks.
5.) Durable interior materials.
6.) Fantastic price.
Why Wouldn't You Want A Honda Fit?
1.) Ride quality is terrible.
2.) Road noise is detectable.
3.) Interior is dull.
4.) Features are lacking.
The 2018 Honda Fit LX gets you more than just where you need to go. It's fun, uber practical, looks great, and has an outstanding price. If you can bear the road noise over certain speeds, its cheap interior and lacking features, the Honda Fit LX is the car for you. Due to the low prices and high availability of higher trim level Fit's, even if you can't live with the lacking features and cheap interior there's an option. The Fit makes up for its noisy, featureless interior with its practicality, likability, and price.