Class: Subcompact Car
Miles driven: 517
Fuel used: 16.2 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 31.9 mpg
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||A-|
|Power and Performance||C+|
|Fit and Finish||B|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 31/36/33 (city, highway, combined)
Base price: $21,520 (not including $890 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: None
Price as tested: $22,410
The great: Outstanding cargo room for the class, crisp handling
The good: Pleasant interior trim in EX-L models
The not so good: Firm ride, engine is noisy when accelerating
There are all kinds of metrics for measuring things, but here’s one we’re pretty sure you haven’t heard before:
With its second-row seats up, the 2018 Honda Fit has a 42-cupcake cargo capacity.
When this reviewer and his official test spouse picked up an order of king-size cupcakes for a party, the goodies came packed in a mix of four- and six-hole carriers. Laid side by side in a single layer, the containers fully covered the Fit’s load floor.
Consumer Guide® considers the Fit to be the most space-efficient, cargo-versatile vehicle in the subcompact-car class. It is refreshed for ’18 with styling alterations that suggest a wider look, a retuned suspension, and added sound insulation for a quieter interior. The Honda Sensing package of safety technologies is available on all models (that’s autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning and mitigation, road-departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control), and there’s a new 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system that now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Given Honda’s seeming aversion to options, CG tested what passes for a “fully loaded” Fit, an EX-L with Navigation. It’s at the EX-L level that the little hatchback gets leather upholstery, heated front seats, and heated exterior mirrors. An additional $1000 buys an EX-L with a satellite-linked, voice-receptive navigation system; HD radio and digital traffic alerts; and a compass and turn-by-turn directions in the driver-information display. With the $875 destination fee, the EX-L/Nav is a $22,395 car.
All Fits count on a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 128 horsepower when combined with the continuously variable transmission (CVT), or 130 horsepower with a 6-speed manual transmission (available only on the entry-level LX, new Sport, or midlevel EX). Acceleration with the automatic CVT is leisurely—maximum torque is just 113 lb-ft, and it doesn’t reach that level until 4600 rpm—and it will do a passable job of merging or overtaking on the highway. Compared to previous test Fits, the 2018 car seemed quieter at cruising speed, so the steps Honda took to stanch noise have apparently helped a bit. Still, like most class competitors, the Fit’s engine can make quite a bit of racket when accelerating.
Sports, EXes, and EX-Ls with the CVT are rated by the EPA for 31 mpg in the city, 36 on the highway, and 33 mpg combined. (The best mileage comes from the LX with CVT: 33/40/36, respectively. The manual is rated at 29/36/31.) CVT-equipped cars are equipped with an “Econ” mode that changes fuel delivery but tempers power output. It’s best left for in-town driving. This driver’s stint in the test car covered 98 miles, 60 percent of that in city-type driving, but averaged out to just 29.6 mpg.
The Fit continues to be rather firm in the ride department. Serious road-surface blemishes will register in the cabin. Standard wheel sizes are 15 inches on the LX and 16 inches on all others. It’s harder to fault the Fit’s handling. A small footprint and responsive electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering make it a pretty nimble handler, albeit with some body lean in cornering.
In case our new American Cupcake Standard does not catch on as an industry-accepted unit of measurement, know that the Fit holds 16.6 cubic feet of pastry or what have you behind the rear seats. The hatch opening is wide (relative to the car’s tidy dimensions), but cargo has to clear a small lip. Some small-item storage exists in a foam bin under the load floor. Dropping the backs of the rear seats, which are split 60/40, exposes a total of 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The seats don’t fold completely flat, but built-in covering panels smooth the transition from one surface to the other.
Passenger room is very good for a subcompact. Really long-limbed front passengers might track back far enough to make legroom a little close for an adult in the back seat, but more average-sized occupants should be comfortable in either row. Two adults or three youngsters will fit across the back seat. Headroom is good front and rear; the area taken up by the test car’s standard sunroof ended ahead of where rear passengers would sit. Vision is excellent to practically any direction. If the rear headrests are raised, they cut into the view out the wide back window.
Occupants may have to travel light. The glove box is pretty large. Not so the narrow, “L”-shaped covered console box with a USB port and power point inside. There are two open cup holders in the console, and one convenient to the driver at the left end of dash. A couple of small open spaces exist in the console, including one under the dash near additional USB and power ports. There are small pockets in all four doors, and a storage pouch on the back of the front passenger seat.
Audio and navigation functions are managed through the touchscreen—for better or for worse. It takes a lot of repetitive tapping on the screen to tune to radio stations you wish to save, and then when you press to save a station, there’s a bit of a wait before it takes. At least the screen display is big and legible. Climate controls consist of extremely convenient individual dials for temperature, fan speed, and mode; the only buttons are on/off switches for the air conditioner and rear defogger. Even in top-line EX-Ls, soft surfaces are few: just small areas in the center of the door panels, and on the face of the dash ahead of the right-front passenger.
The freshened-up 2018 Honda Fit delivers a goodly amount of utility and features for the dollar. In the competition for subcompact-segment customers, it’s no cupcake.