2013 Honda Fit Sport Hatchback (1.5L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)
Driven On 4/1/2014
Though showing its age, the Fit offers unrivaled flexibility and utility. It's a little miracle of packaging. On the driving dynamics side it has some room for improvement, but in this class of vehicle practicality generally trumps all, which is why it garners an "A" rating overall.
PerformanceThe Fit is tossable with quick handling reflexes, even if its absolute limits are low. Steering and throttle behavior could benefit from a trip to finishing school. Even though its 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine only makes 117 horsepower, the Fit's low weight makes it a nippy commuter.
Nobody's going to call the Fit "quick," although its 0-60 mph time of 8.9 sec. isn't exactly slow. It's happy to rev and the 5-speed manual transmission is slick. Noticeably less pep on the freeway due to the big rev drop from 4th-5th.
Good modulation around town, easy to place the car during routine braking maneuvers. Panic-brake characteristics and fade resistance, as with most Hondas, could be better. The 60-0 panic-stop distance of 131 feet is rather long.
Though quick and precise, the Fit's steering requires constant corrections around center in freeway driving. This nonlinear response is irritating, making the Fit feel unstable. It feels like old-school electric assist...because it is.
Nimble and tossable, even if its limits aren't all that high. The Fit is quick on its feet when it comes to changing directions, making it fun to snake it around the cones on our slalom course.
Sluggish throttle response and limited torque mar the Fit's driveability. Otherwise its tidy dimensions and outstanding visibility pay dividends in being able to place the car. The manual transmission's clutch takeup is intuitive.
ComfortGreat seats and a ride quality that never beats you up. It does feel a bit thin when it comes to isolation from road noise, however.
Seat comfort is very good, with bolsters that land in all the right places for long-trip comfort. The driver has a high seating position, as if you're sitting on something else. You are: The fuel tank is below the front seats.
Honda has managed to finesse an agreeable ride quality out of the Fit's relatively basic suspension underpinnings. It avoids choppiness, and the rear axle does a good job of masking its humble twist-beam origins even on bad pavement.
Plenty of road noise finds its way into the cabin. This is one area where you're reminded of the Fit's price point. Its competition is generally better in this regard.
InteriorThe Fit nails the fundamentals of packaging. For a small car there is a surprising amount of useful space, from bins and nooks to the flexibility of its backseat and cargo area. Its outward visibility is a breath of fresh air, thanks to its low cowl and expansive glass area.
Outstanding access to cabin controls, and their locations make total sense. This is low-effort car. The control efforts are light and everything is simple and where you expect it to be.
Large front door apertures and a low step-in height faciltate entry. The seats aren't very low, so it's only a short drop into the cabin. Rear seat access isn't quite as easy, but it still isn't bad.
For a subcompact car the Fit boasts miraculous space. Its command of packaging has the measure of the segment, with lots of head and leg room room up front. The rear seat can fit two adults in reasonable comfort for short trips.
Huge windshield, a low beltline and a low cowl imbue the Fit with a panoramic outward view.
Nothing in the Fit's class can touch the size and configurability of its cargo area. The rear seatback folds flat or the bottom cushion can swing. There's 20.3 cubic-feet behind the seats, a whopping 57.3 cu-ft with rear seats folded.
ValueIt's not the star fuel sipper, nor does it offer all the features of its competition. Instead the Fit relies heavily on functionality, most specifically the size of its cargo area and the ingenious folding backseat that allows a level of versatility otherwise absent in this class.
Build Quality (vs. $)
The cabin interfaces and appointments are substantial-feeling, and the panel gaps appear tight and consistent.
Notable items missing from the options list are a backup camera and sunroof. However, the Fit's fundamental feature is the cleverness of its packaging, which is something you won't find on an options list.
Competitively priced in its class. It's not the barest-bottom price tag in the segment, but for the utility it offers there is little that can touch it. Our Fit Sport tester had zero options with an as-tested price of $17,950.
With EPA ratings of 29 mpg Combined (27 City/33 Highway), the Fit's fuel economy doesn't stand out in its class.
The Fit's 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties are typical for the segment.
The 2013 Fit has neither standard roadside assistance nor any kind of free maintenance program.
Fun To DriveThe Fit isn't a star performer, but it's so easy to drive and see out of that you can place it with the utmost confidence. It's spry and spunky, encouraging drivers to use every bit of available power and grip.
Light, nimble and whippy, the Fit is a user-friendly car. All of the controls are effortless and precise, from the steering to the gearchange to the clutch.
The Fit's eagerness to help you with virtually any task makes it a standout in the class. It's so incredibly versatile, yet it carries a compact footprint. It's a must-shop choice in the segment.
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