Hatchbacks used to be the go-to option for people searching for compact and practical city cars. Thanks to the rise of the compact crossover, that’s no longer the case. Still, the segment isn’t entirely dead, and there are a few hatchbacks capable of giving compact crossovers a serious scare. One of those is the 2018 Honda Fit.
If you’re in the market for a hatchback here’s everything you need to know about Honda’s compact edition.
What’s New For 2018
The Honda Fit was given a refresh for 2018 consisting mostly of aesthetic upgrades. The front end features a new two-piece chrome grille and a new front bumper complete with a small splitter. The rear bumper has also been redesigned and the taillights have a new look. Overall the exterior upgrades give the hatchback a wider and lower look, making it look less like a value subcompact car and more like something resembling a hot(ish) hatch. While the outside was redone, Honda made only one big change to the interior – it added a volume knob to the touchscreen infotainment center. Other than that, the cabin remains identical to that of the 2017 Fit.
The biggest addition to the 2018 Honda Fit comes in the form of available tech, namely the Honda Sensing suite of driver safety and assistance aids. All Fits can now be optioned with Honda Sensing, with EX and EX-L models receiving the package as a standard feature. Honda Sensing consists of adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and road departure mitigation. These features aren’t staples in the subcompact class. Heck, they can sometimes be tough to find on more expensive sedans and crossovers.
Honda also added a new trim level to the Fit lineup for 2018, the Sport, which sits above the entry-level LX trim. The Sport features a trim-exclusive chrome exhaust tip, front underbody spoiler and rear diffuser, side skirts, 16-inch gloss black wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob complete with orange stitching. The Sport trim also features an upgraded interior highlighted by an upgraded sound system and 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment center complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What’s Under the Hood
The Honda Fit is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and is available with both a six-speed manual transmission or CVT. When optioned with the manual, the Fit’s engine makes 130 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. With the CVT those numbers drop slightly to 128 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. As you might have guessed, the Honda Fit is no speed demon. Car and Driver clocked the hatch’s 0 to 60 mph time at 8.2 seconds and its quarter-mile time at 16.4 seconds. If you have an airport’s worth of runway the Fit will hit a top speed of 118 mph.
The Fit wasn’t designed with performance in mind, although the automaker is planning to release a Honda Factory Performance (HFP) package for the car in the near future. This package, which was made available in fall 2017, won’t boost the engine power of the Fit. Like with the new Sport trim, the HFP package will focus mostly on visual upgrades, with new features including a tailgate spoiler, new 16-inch black alloy wheels and a titanium shift knob. The most notable performance upgrade is a sport-tuned suspension to increase handling. Honda has not released pricing info for the Fit HFP package.
What the Fit lacks in performance credentials it more than makes up for with its fuel economy numbers. With the manual, the Fit returns 29/36/31 mpg (city, highway, combined). With the CVT the Fit gets better fuel economy. The LX Fit equipped with a CVT returns 33/40/36 mpg, with the Sport, EX and EX-L posting slightly lower numbers at 31/36/33 mpg.
In addition to stellar gas mileage, the 2018 Honda Fit is also pretty safe for being such a small car. The Fit has a five-star crash safety rating from the NHTSA. The hatch was awarded five stars in every single test except for the rollover crash test where it was awarded four stars.
Pricing and Trim Levels
The 2018 Honda Fit is available in four different trim levels. The entry-level LX trim starts at $16,190. The Sport is the next trim and has an MSRP of $17,500. The Fit EX starts at $18,160 and comes standard with Honda Sensing and a power moonroof. The Fit EX-L is the top trim level and is priced at $20,250. The EX-L features a leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats, and paddle shifters. The EX-L is the only trim level that satellite navigation is offered on.
All Fits come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, except for the EX-L which is only offered with a CVT. On the EX, Sport and, EX-L a CVT can be optioned for $800. Honda Sensing, which is standard on the EX and EX-L trims, costs $1,000 to option on the LX and Sport trims.
Of the four trims, the Sport is the best buy. It looks less bland than the other three trims and offers the same standard tech found in the pricier EX trim. Even if you optioned Honda Sensing for an extra $1,000, the Fit Sport would still only be $340 more expensive than the EX. If you don’t like the look of the Sport, then your best bet is to opt for the EX. The EX-L is certainly nice but paying over $20,000 for a Fit is asking a bit much.
One thing worth noting is that all Fits come with a second row of seats Honda refers to as “magic seats.” The second row of seats folds fully flat into the floor to provide extra cargo space; the seat bottoms also fold up to increase the floor cargo space. With the rear seats up, the Fit offers 16.6 cubic feet of storage space. That figure balloons to an incredible 52.7 cubic feet of space when the rear seats are folded into the floor.
How it Stacks up Against the Competition
The 2018 Honda Fit competes with cars like the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic, and Volkswagen Golf. Except for the Yaris, the Fit won’t be able to beat any of its main competitors in a drag race. That being said, reviewers have praised the Fit for being surprisingly fun to drive, and Honda’s six-speed manual is one of the industry’s best. Still, if you’re in the market for a truly hot hatch then the Fiesta ST and Golf GTI are your best bets.
Where the Fit truly shines is in the practicality department. That’s not a very sexy trait to advertise, but it’s what gives Honda the edge over the competition. Simply put, the Fit is a lot of car in a small and affordable package. It features almost as much interior storage space as a Honda HR-V, advanced safety tech uncommon in the subcompact class, and is priced very reasonably.
The Honda Fit definitely isn’t for everyone. Enthusiasts will be hungry for more power and the car’s styling isn’t as sexy as some of its competitors. However, if you’re looking for an affordable, practical, and safe car that gets great gas mileage, the 2018 Honda Fit deserves serious consideration.