The 2018 Honda Fit has no time for “hybrid” or “hot hatch” or any hashtags that shade other economy cars. It’s happy to simply be a great car for people who don’t want to spend a lot on new wheels.
With the Fit, Honda has assembled great space and gas mileage and sprinkled it with reasonably entertaining handling. This year, the Fit also has a slew of safety tech that overcomes one of its few weak spots.
Honda sells a Fit LX, a Fit Sport, a Fit EX, and a Fit EX-L. There’s something here for anyone who might spend under $20,000, but the Fit LX is an exceptional bargain.
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Overall, we score the 2018 Fit at 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Fit’s a tall hatchback, nearly as tall as the HR-V crossover Honda spins from some of the same hardware. Yet the Fit has a minivan-like shape that makes the most of its footprint. A crease here, a fold there, the Fit’s shape does nothing foul or exceedingly fair. The cabin seems a bit busy, but functions well enough. Our biggest complaint is the durable stuff Honda uses to cover the dash and doors.
Power for the Fit comes in the form of a 130-horsepower 4-cylinder, which will hit 60 mph in about 10 seconds if you’re firm on the throttle. You’ll know when it’s happening; the inline-4 makes plenty of noise when it’s at full crank. Honda sells a lovely 6-speed manual to Fit buyers, but most of you will end up with a CVT because gas mileage is higher, operation is forget-about-it smooth, and on some models, it comes with shift paddles that in econoboxes like this, act more like fidget spinners than speed controls.
The Fit’s more about fuel economy; numbers have been recalculated downward this year, but 33 mpg combined ratings still apply to the most popular versions.
The Fit’s suspension absorbs bumps better than before, and steering gets retuned this year. The current Fit doesn’t quite have the handling magic of the first generation car, but it’s a pleasant way to weave through traffic.
Seating and flexibility are the Fit’s claim to fame. The seats are unspectacular, but they’re surrounded by vast interior space, with excellent head room. Honda’s flip-folding second-row seats can recline, can fold up to open up a tall cargo space behind the front seats, and can fold down so the Fit can carry ladders and surfboards and the like.
The Fit hasn’t scored perfect grades on the IIHS crash-test regimen, but Honda now makes forward-collision warnings and automatic emergency braking standard on nearly every model. Other standard features include power features, Bluetooth audio streaming, a USB port, and air conditioning. Top models get navigation and leather and a side-view camera, but the Fit LX is our pick for the most rational buy of the lineup.