The Honda Fit starts at $16,390.
It is one of the most versatile subcompact cars in the segment.
It also offers one of the roomiest cabins in its segment.
Honda, like Toyota, Nissan and Mazda elbowed their way into the North American market with small cars. The rivalry among small car makers took place between Honda and Toyota and while the latter excelled at building near-immortal appliances, Honda arguably built the better drivers. The Honda Fit is the last of these volume Honda cars (the Type R is exempt) and happens to be excellent in nearly every other aspect as well.
If we removed the wholly subjective design aspect, the Honda Fit is perfect with one unfortunate exception. As far as styling goes, the first two generations were elegant but by 2015, the Fit’s body got too busy for such a small car. The car was facelifted in 2017 although the changes were minor. What has never changed is the car’s built-in utility, versatility and extremely satisfying overall ownership experience.
The Fit’s cabin remains one of the roomiest in the segment, matching many compact cars. The standard 2nd-row Magic Seat creates an incredibly useful “compartment” in the second row when the lower cushion is flipped up. With the seatback in place, the boot delivers 470 litres of very useable volume – this rating seems conservative. When the rear bench is stowed, trunk volume rises to 1,492 litres, or more than the Passport’s standard cargo volume behind the second row.
Occupants are treated to plenty of space as well. At $16,390, the 2020 Honda Fit DX is short on features compared to a $14,095 2020 Chevrolet Spark LS. In order to match the Spark’s 7-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, one must move up to the $19,790 LX trim. Frustratingly, Honda’s habit to limit actual colour options to higher range models means that you need to select the $21,090 LX-Honda Sensing if you want red instead of black, grey or white.
As the other end of the trim ladder is the EX-L Navi. The $25,190 model is a decent deal over the others. With leather seats, integrated navigation, automatic climate control, and satellite radio, it is well-appointed. The $23,090 EX, minus the mentioned features, is the best bang-for-the-buck in the Fit’s lineup.
No matter what trim is selected, however, the Fit is powered by a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 130-horsepower (128 with the available CVT) and 114 lb.-ft. of torque (113 with the CVT). A 6-speed manual is standard on the first two trims. It is replaced by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the upper trims.
The subcompact car segment is slowly dying at the hand of the increasingly expanding small SUV segment. Having said that, it continues to compete with the Toyota Yaris hatchback, Kia Rio, the Spark, and for only a very short while longer, the Nissan Micra.
As noted, it now competes with small SUVs like the Hyundai Venue (more or less replaces the Accent), Nissan Kicks (more or less replaces the Versa and Micra), and a number of others. Honda revealed an all-new 4th generation Fit at last fall’s Tokyo Motor Show. As far as we can tell, it won’t be sold here so 2020 or 2021 may be the last chance to buy one.
What the 2020 Honda Fit Does Well
- The Fit’s 1.5-litre is plenty of fun and loves to rev. The 6-speed manual transmission is equally pleasing with a light clutch and easy shifter throws.
- The Fit’s biggest advantage in the segment is its cabin configuration and 2nd row Magic seat. Despite being a subcompact car, it’s roomier than most small SUVs.
- Mush like the engine and transmission, the Honda Fit is nimble, extremely agile and a joy to drive hard, or easy.
- In the segment, and among the smaller SUVs, the Fit is one of the most non-electrified fuel-efficient vehicles.
- Like the Honda Passport, although pricing is a downside (see below), the limited number of Fits sold ensures an extremely strong resale value.
What 2020 Honda Fit Doesn’t Do So Well
- While the Fit DX’s base price seems reasonable, the fact that the car is essentially bare-bones, it’s not an attractive option.
- At nearly $20,000, the better-equipped LX fails to deliver sufficient value to detract attention from the plethora of like-priced small SUVs.
- Despite being a pleasure to drive, the current car has lost some of the built-in dynamism from the previous 2nd generation car.
- Honda’s game to get you to pay more money for actual colour is immensely vexing.
What We Tell Our Friends
Since it arrived for the 2007 model year, the Honda Fit’s been one of, if not our favorite small car. We’ve shown the Nissan Micra more love in large part for its pricing and supremely tossable chassis. The Fit however remains the best of the best.
Sadly, Honda long ago decide it did not want to sell the Fit. With historically terrible financing and lease rates, no incentives and non-competitive pricing, the car is too expensive – compare with a well-equipped Civic and you’ll understand. Despite this, if you can find your own financing or pay cash, the Fit will serve you for a long time and you’ll be impressed with its value once you’re done with the car.