always get what you want. Instead, you settle for something else.
You may want
to live in an oceanfront villa or mountain cabin; your bank balance
assigns you to residing in a townhouse, one of 340 identical units.
Feeling hungry? No doubt you’d love up to make reservations at a
restaurant with artisanal cuisine and a killer bar scene. Too bad
your wallet opted for Applebee’s. And getting there required
driving a fabulous sports car or lavish SUV. But reality dictates
that you arrive in a 2018 Honda Fit. And while opting for Applebee’s
may have some questioning your taste, arriving in a Honda Fit will
reassure them of your sensible nature.
The Fit has
never been a glamour queen; it’s a pocket-sized, athletic
workhorse with astonishing space efficiency that precludes any
possibility of sexiness. But the Fit’s practicality is its sex
appeal. For 2018, the Fit gets a modest facelift with a revised
front and rear appearance, along with a new two-piece chrome and
piano black grille, along with revised wheels. Left unchanged are
its best attributes.
ascending LX, Sport, EX and EX-L trims, its diminutive exterior
belies its bountiful interior. There’s room for 16.6 cubic feet of
family supplies and, if you don’t need the rear seats, an
additional 36.1 cubic feet of space. That’s quite astonishing
given that the Fit is a very small car. At 161.4 inches long, it’s
more than 30 inches shorter than a Honda Accord. Yet it has nearly
as much cargo space and can carry five corn-fed Americans — if
they’re friendly — while returning north of 30 mpg. There’s
adequate head and legroom, although the seats aren’t comfortable
enough to encourage long-distance drives and taller drivers will
find the driving position cramped.
All Fits come
with a rearview camera, tailgate spoiler, auto on-off headlights,
LED brake lights, Bluetooth, intermittent wipers, tilt/telescopic
steering wheel, power windows/locks/mirrors, 12-volt power outlets,
air-conditioning a center storage console with armrest, and a
redesigned instrument cluster. The test car, a top-of-the-line EX-L,
was opulently equipped with push button start, one-touch
locking/unlocking doors, power moonroof, leather-trimmed heated
seats, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and
navigation, which is part of Honda’s 7-inch touchscreen interface
with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It worked most of
the time, although its lack of buttons and cumbersome interface
proved as frustrating as ever. However, the 180-watt six-speaker
audio system delivered decent sound.
All Fits come
with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual
transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission.
Horsepower is now rated at 130 with the six-speed manual and 128
horsepower with the automatic. Unfortunately, the CVT transmission
robs this car’s energetic feel even as it generates noise.
Shifting manually changes this car’s persona noticeably. That
said, select the CVT if you prefer fuel economy more than driving
dynamics. The EPA rates the Fit LX with a manual transmission at 29
mpg city, 36 highway. Adding the CVT increases that to 33 city, 40
highway. Other models return 31 city, 36 highway with the CVT; 29
city, 36 highway with the manual. All Fits use regular unleaded
remains one of this car’s strong points, with quick, direct
steering, a nimble feel and a very firm ride. Engine and road noise
are noticeable, especially with the CVT transmission, although that’s
not unusual for the class. Uniquely for any car these days, the view
is good in all directions.
concerned about safety, Honda provides the expected technology,
including anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution,
front airbags, side curtain airbag, stability control, traction
control and a rearview camera. More importantly, the Honda Sensing
suite of drive assistance features, including adaptive cruise
control, collision mitigation brake braking system, forward
collision warning, lane keeping assist system and road departure
mitigation with lane departure warning, is standard on EX and EX-L
trim levels and optional on lower trim levels with the CVT
While the 2018
Honda Fit isn’t the perfect gem it once was, it remains a small
wonder, a nimble Lilliputian with an astonishing amount of space,
two attributes that make it ideal for city dwellers, or those for
whom the price is right.
though you had to settle for a 2018 Honda Fit, you’ll come to
appreciate its abilities, even as you really wanted an Acura NSX.
And who could blame you?
economy (city/highway): 31/36 mpg
capacity: 16.6-52.7 cubic feet
rating: 5 stars