By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.4
Having temporarily abandoned the subcompact car genre that helped established the brand, Honda has recently rejoined the game with its five-door Fit. The Fit represents a return to Honda's roots, a car that mimics the attitude and determination of the first Honda Civic but with modern day comfort and safety features unimaginable in the Civic's early years. Cute, frugal, fun-to-drive and above all else notoriously reliable, the Fit exists to challenge new entries such as Scion, Hyundai and MINI, as well as Toyota's Yaris Sedan. Although the Fit is priced a bit higher than most of its competitors, Honda offers a substantial number of standard features, plus one attribute you won't find on any option list: Outstanding resale value.
Finding a compact car that can "fit" four full-size adults is not always easy, but the Fit can do just that and more. The 35-mpg Fit offers good fuel economy, excellent resale and reliability ratings and legendary Honda build quality.
The Fit is cute, but it ain't cheap. If your starting point is in the $12-13K range and you don't care about the hatchback aspect, you'll probably want to start with the Nissan Versa, Chevrolet Aveo or Kia Rio. All three cars offer better highway fuel economy, while the Kia comes with a longer standard warranty.
For 2011, Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is included in the Fit's standard equipment, as are cruise control, remote keyless entry and a USB audio interface. The Fit Sport gains carpeted floor mats and four new colors are added to the car's color palate.
Driving Impressions Though we didn't expect the Fit to handle like a sports car, we were pleasantly surprised by its agile handling, precise steering and limited body roll and lean. The feeling...behind the Fit's wheel gets even better when driving the Sport trim, which adds larger wheels and tires and a rear stabilizer bar. On the open road, the Fit's meager horsepower and torque have it struggling somewhat on moderate inclines, but the car proves eager when it comes to accelerating on the freeway or darting across intersections. Sport models outfitted with the automatic transmission feature paddle shifters that make downshifting for passing a snap. But, for all-around driving fun we still prefer the short throw five-speed manual transmission. In-cabin noise is fairly subdued for a subcompact and, overall, we found the Fit to be comfortable, with adequately bolstered seating and easy-to-reach climate and audio controls. Compared to many of its competitors, the Fit's driving dynamics feel more refined and confident.
The available touch-screen navigation system includes a voice recognition feature that allows you to speak rather than type in commands. Without ever removing your hands from the wheel, you can control the navigation, locate the nearest gas station, even find restaurant by genre.
With this universally accepted connection, the Fit can accommodate portable audio players and USB storage devices which can be controlled via the car's audio system.
Where some recent Honda vehicles have been criticized for their conservative interiors, the Fit earns no such censure. From its super cool dash and blue-lit instrument cluster to the deeply sculpted door panels and seats, the 2011 Honda Fit offers a fun and functional interior. Honda engineers have loaded their little car with all sorts of storage areas, including places to stash everything from breath mints to cell phones to coffee cups. Overall interior space is impressive for this class, with ample headroom and legroom, both front and rear. Fold the Fit's rear seat flat, and the interior offers up a respectable 57.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity, more than either the Nissan Versa or Kia Rio5. Honda's "Magic Seat" may take some liberties in its name, but we must admit it's a pretty neat trick for the rear seat to fold flush without having to remove the headrest. For maximum cargo hauling, the Fit's front seat can be folded flat, providing enough space for items up to seven feet, nine-inches long.Exterior
The 2011 Honda Fit draws inspiration from a number of sources, but to our eyes it is the clear descendent of the late '80s Honda Civic wagon, a car that has an almost cult-like following among Honda fanatics. The tall roof line and doors make it easy for tall folk to climb in and out, and the ample use of glass, especially forward of the front door, gives everyone inside a clear, unobstructed view. The Fit's long wheelbase provides maximum interior room, as well as a more stable and comfortable ride. With large, sharply angled headlamps, an aggressively styled lower air dam and a super cab-forward design, the Fit's styling is eye-catching enough to have mass appeal beyond its intended 20-something demographic. Toss in the Sport trim's 16-inch alloy wheels, color-key lower body kit and rear spoiler, and the economically minded Fit looks anything but a boring sub compact.
The base 2011 Honda Fit includes a five-speed manual transmission, power door locks and windows, power mirrors, a rear wiper/washer, 15-inch wheels with full covers, 60/40-split second-row Magic Seat with under-seat storage, cruise control, remote keyless entry, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with four speakers, a USB audio interface, and an auxiliary audio input jack. Safety features include dual front airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, electronic traction and stability control (VSA), anti-lock brakes, and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD).
One trim up is the Sport, which includes a security system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, color-key side mirrors, chrome exhaust finishers, a six-speaker sound system and, with the automatic transmission, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Exterior upgrades include an underbody kit, a roofline spoiler, fog lights, rear stabilizer bar and 16-inch alloy wheels. The Sport trim can also be ordered with Honda's satellite-linked navigation with voice recognition software. An automatic transmission is available for both trims.
The 2011 Honda Fit has a 1.5-liter engine equipped with Honda's advanced i-VTEC system. The i-VTEC varies the intake and exhaust valve events, which in turn enhances performance while still achieving good fuel economy and low emissions. The Fit comes in two different flavors: Manual and automatic. The automatic version uses a three-mode system: a normal drive mode; a sport mode, which holds off shifting gears for maximum performance; and a manual mode, which allows the driver to shift gears with the paddle shifters.
1.5-liter in-line four
117 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
106 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 (manual, Sport automatic), 28/35 (automatic)
By polishedmetal on Thursday, February 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great little car!"
Cons: "Not a lot of power to get up hills."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I am the original owner of a 2012 Honda Fit - non sport version. I researched so many cars and finally had to decide between the Mazda 3 hatchback and the Fit. The Fit won out because with the seats down I could fit an 8 foot surfboard in the car. I've really enjoyed the Fit and love all the different seat configurations. It gets good mileage. It's inexpensive to maintain. It's just a really simple, bare bones, reliable car. It gets me where I need to go and I'm able to park in all the tiny parking spots, which is great."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By sandy on Saturday, January 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great little car, gas great milage"
Cons: "Bad black cloth interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Comfort and mileage great. Its those cloth seats. Constantly dirty looking, everything on them shows. Can't keep clean looking. Hate them. Only reason I am trading for new car 2015 with leather. They should offer better color inside than black."
12 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Pete on Sunday, January 18, 2015
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Crashed it
Pros: "Value, exterior design, interior flexibility"
Cons: "Road Noise, Interior fabric materials"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought an 09 Fit Sport new in 2008 and put 128K miles on it till I crashed it (my fault) in December 2014. 10 for reliability as I only changed oil, tires, brakes (twice). Had to add Freon a few times as cooling system had flaw in this year. Factory tire size is goofy and hard to come by so buy a close match and ask your tire dealer. Also be advised this car has a timing chain not belt (yes!). Resale value is a 10 as used fit's are hot and sell well. Exterior design and interior flexibility are awesome. Road noise is pronounced so I hope you like the radio loud. Interior fabric is very cheap and the biggest negative I have on the car. Overall a very reliable, cool looking, great value car."
20 people out of 37 found this review helpful
By Sallie50 on Tuesday, January 06, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After 18 years of Accords I wanted a car that was taller, narrower, and shorter. The Fit really fits. Plus it is comfy, versatile, and oh so cute."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By mike on Saturday, January 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "great gas mileage, great utility usage of space,"
Cons: "service problems, paint fading"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I thought that this would be my last car to purchase knowing that Hondas are reliable or that's what we are told. I have enjoyed this car until recently. After 5 years and only 27000 miles, I have had several repairs. The most notworthy was the ac fan motor had to be replaced last year. However, now the paint is fading on the hood and top, even with the sealant which was purchased. I do keep it in garage. I have had to replace the tires and battery. It is having rattle issues of late. It does bottom out very easily and you have to be careful at low spots. It has a lot of road noise, I cannot hear the phone. This is not the car's fault, but I have had several near collisions, side swipes, lately. I am not sure if the car cannot be seen,it is red, because of the small size or if folks are not paying attention. However very good gas mileage, better than advertised. Very good utility useage of space. I do like those features. I am sorry to say I would not buy this car again."
4 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By alfagirl on Monday, December 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good space usage, fairly decent mileage for size"
Cons: "Needs a few amenities"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"When the Fit was first introduced, I thought "that's my next car". A year ago, I purchased a used 2011, in a bit of a hurry as I was in a state of need. It does everything it needs to, has excellent space usability, is pretty comfortable - even on long road trips, and gets fairly good gas mileage. It has been decent in snow, and I have only put snow tires on the front, thus far. I like the narrow wheels!! There are a few disappointments, for me. This vehicle, at its weight, with standard transmission should be getting much better gas mileage. My 2004 Hyundai Elantra with 150K was still getting 32-33 mpg when I gave it up; Honda with this engine should be getting 40 mph regularly (with same driving style.) After two Hyundais - one basic, one GT - I found a few amenities missing in the Honda. Understanding that the Fit is an entry-level vehicle, I still expected slightly more from a basic Honda: better seat adjustment (fore-and-aft driver's seat height adjustment, at minimum. While the vehicle is very narrow, some sort of console would be helpful, even though it does have two glove boxes. Would prefer a key fob, vs. key with locks/emergency button - it's ridiculous to spend $85 - $100 to get an extra key cut and programmed; understand this is the "wave," but it stinks. Visibility is good, but those silly extra windows in front are pointless- they're unnecessary on a car this size. Interior lighting is lacking - there is only a middle ceiling light, linked to the doors; map lights over windshield would be very helpful. A light in rear storage area would be helpful, too. Trip meter/odometer has some unnecessary features - I don't need the mileage gauge, or percentage of oil life features, but since it is entry-level, perhaps those are designed for less experienced drivers. A slightly larger oil sump and oil filter would make me happier, and the 0-20 weight oil gives me some concern. The star of this vehicle is the stowage and rear-seat versatility. The many ways to configure the back seat, and the underseat storage when it is in regular seating position is great. Best part: when lowered, rear seat back is flat with rear storage area floor - that is how it should be! Worst part, for me - it is simply ugly! I like a vehicle to be pleasing to view as I approach it; this ugly little duckling simply is not. Not even really ugly-funky-cute. But, the entire current Honda family is ugly; can't believe those aerodynamics are really necessary at speeds up to 85 mph; it certainly isn't reflected in fuel mileage. Also, those aerodynamics do nothing to help stability in wind; I have driven small cars for much of my life and have never driven anything so badly affected by wind on the road. But, again, it does what it needs to, is reasonably energy efficient, and will hold an amazing amount of stuff."
17 people out of 21 found this review helpful