Looking for a hatchback with a roomy interior, massive-for-its-size cargo capacity and strong fuel economy? The 2017 Honda Fit might be worth checking out. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi. And here's an Expert Rundown with the 2017 Honda Fit. There is a lot to like about the Honda Fit. it gets great fuel economy, handles surprisingly well, and is pretty fun to drive for an economy hatchback. Some drawbacks, however, is its lack of power, weak braking performance, and noticeable road noise. It may seem small on the outside, but it's surprisingly spacious inside. In terms of cargo capacity, it's huge for the class, rivaling that of crossover SUVs. Adding to that the unique flip-up magic rear seat provides a floor-to-ceiling cargo space. And the full [? flat ?] front seat allows for items up to eight feet long. Honda's frustrating touchscreen interface is one of the few drawbacks. But it's probably not a deal-breaker. Its closest competitors are the Kia Soul, Ford Fiesta, and the Ford or Toyota Yaris. But the bottom line is, you can't beat the Fit for versatility on a budget.
The 2017 Honda Fit is the smallest car Honda sells in North America and the most efficient one that isn't a hybrid. This isn't a car that's built upon advanced technology or exotic materials, but a cleverly engineered small machine that doesn't feel compromised by its small size.
Going into 2017, the front-wheel-drive Fit is in its 10th year in America. But its heritage actually stretches back to 2001 when it was introduced in Japan. The current Fit is actually in its third generation here in the States, and the current iteration was introduced for the 2015 model year. An all-electric version was offered during 2014, but so far one has not returned to the line.
There are three basic things at which the Fit excels. It gets great fuel mileage, it has plenty of room for passengers, and there's also room for their stuff. The cleverness comes most obviously in the form of the "Magic Seat" feature. That's the rear seat that uses a flip-up bottom cushion to provide a flat cargo space from hatch to front seats that's bigger than that in some of the small crossovers. If the Fit can't haul it, maybe it should just be left where it is.
All Fit models — LX, EX and leather upholstered EX-L — are powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 130 horsepower. The base LX is available with a slick six-speed manual, but most customers will opt for the continuously variable automatic transmission that's standard in all the other models. Even in a car as small and feathery as the Fit, 130 hp isn't a lot. So no one will be intimidated by its acceleration.
But almost everyone can appreciate the Fit's fuel economy. The stingiest is equipped with the CVT transmission and is EPA-rated at 33 mpg in the city and a full 40 mpg on the highway with the combined rating coming at 36 mpg. The manual transmission version drops to 29 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg combined. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a vehicle that can seat five.
As straightforward as the Fit is, the process of buying a new car can still be a daunting adventure. So use the tools here on Edmunds.com to make the purchasing decisions that are right for you, have a happy buying experience and get a great deal.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.