2012 Honda Fit Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Honda Fit Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Honda Fit Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 117 hp @ 6600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 28/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Honda Fit

  • The 2012 Honda Fit is no longer the only choice for a fun-to-drive, well-rounded subcompact, but it remains the hands-down utility champ.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Impressive cargo room and cabin versatility; spacious backseat; fun to drive; excellent visibility.

  • Cons

    Sluggish acceleration with automatic transmission; no height adjustment for driver seat; not as fuel-efficient as other top competitors.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Honda Fit Sport gets minor styling updates, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and an upgraded Bluetooth system that now offers streaming audio capabilities. All Fits receive additional sound insulation for a quieter cabin.

Full 2012 Honda Fit Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Honda Fit Sport gets minor styling updates, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and an upgraded Bluetooth system that now offers streaming audio capabilities. All Fits receive additional sound insulation for a quieter cabin.


When you think of affordable subcompact cars, the last things that probably come to mind are eye-catching styling, a spacious interior and a fun-to-drive personality. Yet this is exactly why the 2012 Honda Fit is such a pleasant surprise.

In fact, this distinctive-looking four-door hatchback defies a number of common expectations about small cars. For starters, its interior offers as much cargo room as some small crossover SUVs. The space is flexible as well, with a fold-flat front passenger seat and a 60/40-split rear seat with bottom cushions that you can fold up to make room for especially tall cargo, or seatbacks that you can fold down to create a perfectly flat load floor.

Thankfully, its utility doesn't mean the Fit is a snooze to drive. Its 117-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and nicely tuned suspension give this hatch a zippy quality that actually makes errand-running kind of fun. The fact that this powertrain manages to be fairly frugal with a gallon of gas is also a plus.

Some new standard features were added to the Fit last year including stability control, keyless entry, cruise control and an iPod/USB audio input. For 2012 there are a few more small improvements, including freshened styling inside and out, additional sound insulation and a new Bluetooth system that adds streaming audio capability.

The recent introduction of several appealing new hatchbacks means buyers now have a number of very good choices, and the Fit's upgrades help it remain current. Two impressive rivals are the Chevy Sonic and Ford Fiesta. Both offer a better ride, improved fuel economy and a quieter cabin, but they're not as roomy. We'd also suggest having a look at the new Hyundai Accent, as it offers better fuel economy and a more stylish interior. Overall, though, the 2012 Honda Fit continues to be one of our favorites and will likely surprise you with its mix of practicality, frugality and fun.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Honda Fit is a subcompact four-door hatchback that's offered in two trim levels.

The base model comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, cruise control, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio input jack and an iPod/USB interface.

The Fit Sport adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, a sport body kit with chrome exhaust tip, foglights, a driver seat armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, shift paddles (automatic transmission only) and two additional speakers for the sound system. A navigation system with touchscreen interface, voice controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a digital audio card reader is available as an option on Sport models.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Honda Fit is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder good for 117 hp and 106 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles is available as an option.

In Edmunds performance testing, a Fit Sport with the manual went from zero to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds. A base Fit with the automatic took a more leisurely 11 seconds in the same test.

The manual-transmission Fit returns an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. The Fit Sport with the automatic returns the same. More conservative throttle programming on the automatic-equipped base model helps it achieve 28/35/31 (at the expense of quicker acceleration). These numbers are good, but quite a few other subcompacts are even better.


Every 2012 Honda Fit comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), front-seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags that cover both rows and active front head restraints.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Fit Sport screeched to a halt from 60 mph in 134 feet, which makes the car's braking performance only adequate for this segment.

In government crash testing, the Fit received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for overall frontal impact protection and four stars for overall side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Fit a top mark of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests, and a second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the roof-strength test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Fit's passenger cabin gets points for stylish design, though the quality of the materials is just so-so. Seating comfort is good all around, including a rear seat that can accommodate two adults with nary a complaint. The fact that the driver seat lacks a height adjustment may present a problem for shorter drivers, but the steering wheel's tilt-and-telescoping adjustability helps fine-tune the driving position. Though the off-center placement of some controls is a bit unconventional, everything is easy to see and operate.

What really sets the Fit's interior apart, though, is the cleverly designed 60/40-split "Magic" rear seat. Folding the seat bottoms up creates a tall narrow opening that accommodates taller items that would not otherwise fit, and reveals a handy underseat storage compartment. Fold both rear seatbacks down and you have a flat load floor with 57.3 cubic feet of cargo room. If that's not enough, the Fit's front seat also folds flat to allow you to squeeze in items nearly 8 feet long.

Driving Impressions

Light weight, a lively four-cylinder engine and responsive steering combine to make the 2012 Honda Fit an enjoyable car to drive. Manual-transmission-equipped models are the most entertaining, though the paddle-shift automatic is a passable alternative. The base model's automatic trades off some performance for slightly better fuel economy. This year's addition of more soundproofing should help minimize the wind, engine and tire noise that plagued earlier models.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Great hatchback, perfect car

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Honda Fit Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5A)

I've had this car for 2 years now. It's best habit is the city and the burbs. I use mine for work and it's great for piling full of equipment and also the occasional creature that needs a ride. On the weekends it can haul camping gear or stuff from home depot. It's not a -powerful- car, but the engine is capable if you gear it properly, the engine needs to kept in it's proper power band, the paddles help do that. It is a very lively driving experience, but remember to gear down to 4/3 to have enough torque so you don't get stuck, ex merging/passing, etc. The hatch is the perfect height to keep me dry when rooting through the cargo area, I'm 5-11 and I fit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The perfect small car

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Fit 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

Flawless reliability 3 years in. Not sure why some people get disappointing MPG. Maybe they drive like a maniac, have upgraded to wide tires, and carry a lot of weight... I get an avg of 39 MPG from this awesome car! The manual trany shifting and the clutch are both super light and easy and smooth. But I'd prefer a lower ratio for 5th gear so not to waste gas when going over 70 (and to quiet the engine) The interior loudness is less than in previous years. The cargo space is incredible, including under the rear seats. The gas tank being under the front seat means you can't adjust height, but I'm now happier sitting higher than I used to--better visibility, except the wide front left pillar

Great little car!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Honda Fit Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5A)

I've had my Fit for almost 2yrs and love. Get about 25mpg city and high 30's on the road. My wife is more of a lead foot, so she gets about 2-3 mpg less. I installed a K & N air filter to help it breathe a bit better, otherwise all stock. Make sure you use a Top Tier gas as Honda recommends and you'll have no problems. Don't have to use anything but regular, but make sure it is Top Tier. I've known some that have used really cheap quality gas, and have had problems. Yes, this vehicle won't ride like a Lexus or Cadillac, but suits my needs fine. I also use a synthetic oil (Mobil 1) since the first oil change.

Wow, the engine

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Fit Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5A)

I went from a 2010 Scion XD with a 1.8 to this 1.5. I hate the engine. I seems that it is in 2.5 to 3 rpms most of the time. The engine is very loud. I didn't realize that I would miss an engine or that it would even be a big deal. The combined mpg of my Scion ended up being 36.5 on a regular basis. I get 30.1 in the Fit and terribly upset. Furthermore, I just went to go try to trade it in, only having it for two months and they said I am already upside down and never have any hope of overturning my situation but they could offer me a 30,000 car. PS don't buy a bunch of warranties, it makes it hard to get your next loan! Lessen learned, horrible!

1 of 15 people found this review helpful

Nice car, pricey, terrible gas

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Fit Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5A)

This is a good and reliable car, with lots of security features, comfortable for its size, looks very good inside and outside (especially steering wheel and rims), reliable and well assembled. I use it to commute from my home to the metro station, and for that purpose is fantastic. On the weekends we use my wifeís car which is more spacious. The gas millage is horrible for a compact car and considering the price and the trim (sport) it is way under equipped. It is very pricey compared to other brandís similar cars.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

2nd fit purchased new

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda Fit Sport 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

The wife and myself owned a 2008 Fit while living abroad in Europe. When we moved back to the States, we purchased another Fit. For a compact car, Honda really managed to cram a whole lot into this vehicle without making it seem over-done. Fit and finish is quite nice, along with the overall design. This car works, it's practical, very lively to drive (with the stick) and very fuel efficient 36 highway and 33 in town. I am 6'6" 210 lbs and fit very very well in this car. My knees don't hit anything on the way in or out. Loading height is great whether you're 5'2, like my wife, or my size. I would buy a 3rd fit if I ever felt so inclined to get another family member in one.

Talk About The 2012 Fit

Gas Mileage


  • 28
  • cty
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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