The Honda Fit first entered the U.S. marketplace as a 2007 model, after being introduced in Japan six years earlier in 2001. The Fit also won instant popularity and acclaim in European markets. The spunky little car has made great strides over its lifespan, conquering new ground on the subcompact battlefield.
The Fit was completely redesigned for the 2009 model year, with a higher level of refinement than ever before, while it continued to provide ultra-adaptable functionality. The Fit literally returned Honda to the company’s small car roots on the North American continent, adding premium features and delivering a sportier nature, thanks to improved suspension, increased body rigidity and steering enhancements, an improved rear Magic Seat® and an elevated level of safety equipment as standard issue. Also introduced was a new, more powerful 1.5-liter SOHC, 16-valve i-VTEC in-line four-cylinder engine that delivered 117 horsepower and 106 pound feet of torque.
Moving up to 2011, the Fit continued to be offered in two fuel-efficient five-door trim levels: Base and Sport. Two transmission versions were available in each model as well: a 5-speed manual gearbox, or a 5-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters for the Sport model). The Honda Fit provides even more value for the 2011 model year in what was already a versatile, fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient five-door package. All models included Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) as standard fare, along with more comfort and convenience features. New features on the 2011 base model Fit included: cruise control; remote entry; as well as a USB audio interface and VSA.
Now entering its third generation, the Honda Fit for the 2018 model year; regardless of trim level, will still scoot down the road courtesy of a more efficient 1.5-liter SOHC 16-valve VTEC inline 4-cylinder engine with its motive energy driving the front wheels via a drive-by-wire throttle. The interior is capable of accommodating up to 52.7 cubic feet of cargo with the unique 60/40 split, Magic Seat® rear seats folded flat. The reconfigurable seats allow seating for four or five occupants or provide varying cargo-carrying modes: tall object mode, long object mode, utility mode and the basic five-passenger configuration. Passenger volume totals 95.7 cubic feet.
Significant 2018 updates include: a fresh sportier styling, a more dynamic and refined driving experience, new Sport trim, and substantially upgraded technology and premium features. In a first for Fit, the Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver assistive technologies such as Collision Mitigation Braking™ and Road Departure Mitigation are available on all Fit models and standard on EX and above trims, making Fit the most affordable car in America with such a robust offering of safety and driver-assistive features.
In terms of its exterior visual appeal, the five-door (hatchback), subcompact Fit Is available in four levels of trim: the base LX, Sport, EX and EX-L. All take to the road courtesy of a 1.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder engine with GDI, drive-by-wire throttle system and Eco Assist system. The transversely mounted front engine drives the front wheels, delivering 130 horsepower at 6,600 rpm along with 114 pound feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. Motive energy is geared to the driving wheels via either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with G-Shift Control. Both horsepower and torque figures are slightly less with the CVT.
The Sport version returns and comes with a lowered appearance thanks to a ground effects body kit, rear liftgate spoiler and larger 16-inch alloy wheels. . Overall length of the 2018 Fit increases to 161.4 inches (+1.4) for LX, EX and EX-L models while the Sport version’s unique aero kit adds an additional 0.4 inches (161.8).
The new Fit Sport trim features a more aggressive and sporty look with aero form features at the front, sides and rear, integrated fog lights, and a low and sharp front splitter highlighted in bright orange. An exclusive gloss-black finish on the 16-inch alloy wheels further adds to the sporty look. At the rear, a three-strake diffuser with bright orange upper trim line, chrome exhaust finisher and Sport badge complete the Fit Sport’s distinct exterior styling.
Inside the cabin, the Honda Fit Sport displays a black interior with unique cross-hatched fabric for the seats and door trim. The exterior’s orange accent theme continues inside with bright orange stitching on the seats, console-mounted armrest, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The 2018 Honda Fit features a long list of active and passive safety features as standard issue, including: Vehicle Stability Assist™ with traction control, driver and passenger front and side airbags, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist and Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ body structure. The Fit is designed to achieve a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All models feature a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines.
A 180-watt stereo (with two additional speakers) is available, remote entry and cruise control are also integrated into the Sport model’s refined and well-finished interior. Connectivity features include: a 7” display audio with high resolution WVGA (800×480) Electrostatic Touchscreen, Apple CarPlay; Android Auto; HondaLink; Pandora compatibility; SMS Text Message Function; USB Audio Interface and USB smartphone/Audio interface.
My Honda Fit test vehicle was in Sport trim, with the six-speed manual gearbox and Honda’s Navigation system. The base price of my Lunar Silver metallic finished Fit Sport with Black and Charcoal interior was set at $17,500., with the final sticker totaling $18,390. After factoring in the Destination and Handling charge. Standard Fit Sport features and equipment included: air conditioning; dual front, front side and side curtain airbags; anti-lock braking system (ABS); power windows, mirrors and door locks; an AM/FM/CD audio system; tire-pressure monitoring system; fog lights; multi-reflector halogen headlamps with body-colored bezels; tinted glass; adjustable steering column; power windows with driver’s auto-down feature; power door locks; second row fold-flat 60/40 Magic Seat®, which allows seat backs to fold down or the seat bottoms to flip up, offering five distinct seating and/or cargo carrying configurations; cruise control; and cargo area light. There’s actually lots more, but space here is limited.
SUMMARY: The 2018 Honda Fit Sport may well be more than enough vehicle for many consumers, providing everything that most will ever want or need. The diminutive ride provides sporty handling characteristics, a very form, but comfortable ride quality and adequate acceleration response, with pleasing fuel economy (29/36 city/highway EPA mpg estimates), all at an affordable price. Steering is positive and highly responsive thanks to Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion Steering The Honda Fit Sport is an ideal entry vehicle for the first time buyer with 100K+ Mile and No Scheduled Tune-ups warranty program (Does not apply to fluid and filter changes). The engine is noticeably “buzzy” when prodded with gusto.
The Fit seats five non-NBA adults comfortably while providing an ideal base for the aspiring neuvo Pacific-Rim street-rodder, as there happens to be a plethora of aftermarket parts and accessories readily available to improve both the appearance and performance in the interest of personalization and Individuality– enough to perhaps require taking on a second job to support perpetual projects.
In the final analysis, a totally custom, tricked out ride may be had for within the $20,000. Range. The choice is yours — a cool, affordable, stock Fit, or a really cool, fast, custom Fit in either base trim or Sport trim. Quality, function and fun still live in the Honda Fit Sport, offering proof positive that good things really do come in small packages.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Honda Fit Sport 5-Door
Base Price: $17,500.
Price as Tested: $18,930.
Engine Type and Size: 1.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder with GDI, drive-by-wire throttle system and Eco Assist system
Horsepower (bhp): 130 @ 6,600 rpm (128 w/CVT)
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 114 @ 4,600 rpm (113 w/CVT)
ransmission: Six-speed manual
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / FWD.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with stabilizer bar.
Rear – Torsion beam.
Brakes: Power-assisted front vented discs, rear drum with ABS, EBD, BA and VSA with Traction Control.
Tires: Firestone FR740 185/55 R16 83H M&S mounted on 5-“Tri-spoke” black allow wheels.
Wheelbase: 99.6 inches
Length Overall: 161.8 inches
Width: 67.0 inches
Height: 60.0 inches
Curb Weight: 2,522 lbs.
Turning Circle: 35.07 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 10.6 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 29 mpg city / 36-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.