By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.1
Americans have a love/hate relationship with subcompact cars. When times are good, we seem to prefer big, gas thirsty beasts to fuel efficient cars like the 2012 Honda Fit subcompact. But these are not such good times, and a car like the economical Honda Fit makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. The Fit is a tall car, with plenty of head and legroom for tall occupants. It has a versatile 5-door configuration, so larger items like bikes, skis or surfboards can easily fit in the Fit. And, perhaps most importantly, the subcompact Honda Fit strikes a nice balance between fuel economy and driving fun. While there are only a handful of subcompacts to challenge the 2012 Honda Fit, few have the backing of one of the most trusted automotive companies in recent memory. Honda's 5-door Fit is more than just inexpensive transportation. It is frugal on fuel, big on comfort, has lots of cool features, and is darn cute to boot. With competitors such as the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio5, not to mention the newest subcompact challenger, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, Honda's plucky 5-door has its work cut out to keep pace. But, if you're looking for a proven commodity with a sterling reputation for quality, economy and resale, then the 2012 Honda Fit 5-door is the right subcompact at the right time.
If getting 35 miles per gallon (mpg) in a car that can fit four full-sized adults sounds like a dream come true, imagine it in a car that costs less than $16,000 and holds its value better than anything in its class. The 2012 Honda Fit 5-door subcompact can do all these things, plus is fun to drive and inexpensive to maintain.
If you're looking for maximum fuel economy at a minimal price, the 2012 Honda Fit isn't the right subcompact for you. If you can forego the 5-door layout, the sedan versions of the Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio cost less, as do the 5-door Chevy Sonic, Hyundai Accent and Nissan Versa.
For 2012, Honda's Fit subcompact receives a number of improvements. The Fit Sport model gets a front-end facelift, while the base Fit 5-door gains color-key exterior mirrors. Inside, minor updates are made to the Sport and base car's accents, while both trims receive more soundproofing to help quiet the cabin.
Driving Impressions If you're expecting the 2012 Honda Fit to handle like a miniature Civic Si, think again. However, we admit we were surprised how much fun this car is, especially considering...its subcompact status. We like the Fit's precise steering and its ability to keep its poise during hard cornering. The feeling gets even better when behind the Sport trim's steering wheel, which features paddle shifters on models equipped with the automatic transmission. The Honda Fit Sport is equipped with larger wheels and more aggressive tires, as well as a thick rear stabilizer bar, giving it a more playful attitude. With only 117-horsepower under the hood, the Honda Fit sometimes has to struggle on steep hills or when asked to overtake slower traffic. But in normal freeway driving the little Fit seems eager to please and has no problem merging from onramps or keeping up with fast-moving traffic. Of course, that's with one person in the driver's seat. Load the 5-door Honda Fit with additional passengers, however, and acceleration takes a noticeable turn toward the slower. The short-throw 5-speed manual transmission can help with quicker acceleration, however, and to our way of thinking it's just more fun to drive than the automatic.
The available touchscreen navigation system inside the 2012 Honda Fit includes a voice recognition feature that allows you to speak rather than type in commands. Without ever removing your hands from the steering wheel, you can control the navigation, locate the nearest gas station, even find restaurant by genre.
With this universally accepted connection, the 5-door Fit can accommodate portable audio players and USB storage devices which can be controlled via the car's audio system.
Where recent Honda interiors have been criticized for being too conservative, the 2012 Fit clearly didn't get the memo. Blue-lit gauges are surrounded by a curvaceous instrument panel flanked by equally elaborate door panels and seats. The Fit's interior is as fun as it is functional, with high seating positions both front and back, generous head, hip and legroom all around ,and convenient storage areas such as the cupholders built into the lower doors. When not carrying passengers, the 2012 Honda Fit's 5-door configuration can be utilized to load up all manner of gear. Just fold the rear seats flat and a respectable 57.3 cubic-feet of cargo space is ready for loading. That's more cargo room than in the Nissan Versa or Kia Rio5! Making the process even easier is a flat-folding front-passenger seat and Honda's rear "Magic Seat," which can be folded flush without having to remove the head restraints. OK, maybe it's not magic, but it is exactly the type of clever engineering people have come to expect from Honda.Exterior
The 2012 Honda fit 5-door subcompact is more wagon than hatchback, bearing strong similarities to the popular Honda Civic Wagon of the mid 1980s. Designed with Americans in mind, the Honda Fit's tall roof and doors make it easy to get into and out of, while the generous expanse of glass, including triangular mini windows ahead of the front doors, gives everyone inside a clear view out. A long wheelbase gives the 2012 Honda Fit a smooth ride and a more stable platform – it also greatly increases the amount of legroom available to rear-seat passengers. The Fit's styling is rather progressive for an inexpensive subcompact, but its youthful appeal isn't lost on the Fit's target audience. The Sport trim takes things as step further, with a color-keyed lower body kit and spoiler, black headlamp bezels and dark "machine-finished" 16-inch alloy wheels.
The base 2012 Honda Fit 5-door includes a 5-speed manual transmission, power door locks and windows, power mirrors, a rear-window 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, antilock brakes, and Electronic Brake Distribution.
One trim up is the Fit Sport, which includes a security system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, color-keyed side mirrors, chrome exhaust finishers, a 6-speaker sound system and, with the 5-speed automatic transmission, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Exterior upgrades include an underbody kit, a roofline spoiler, foglights, rear stabilizer bar and 16-inch dark "machine surface" finished alloy wheels. The Sport trim can also be ordered with Honda's satellite-linked navigation with voice recognition software. The automatic transmission is available for both trims.
The 2012 Honda Fit 5-door 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 enhances performance while still achieving good fuel economy and low emissions. The Fit transmissions come in two different 5-speed flavors: manual and automatic. The automatic version uses a 3-mode system: a "normal" drive mode, a "sport" mode that holds off shifting gears for maximum performance, and a "manual" mode, which allows the driver to shift gears with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
1.5-liter in-line 4
117 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm
106 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 (manual, Sport automatic), 28/35 (automatic)
By kgarner1973 on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, well-made, roomy, looks great!"
Cons: "Seats don't do much, MPG could be better."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have been driving my Fit Sport for about 8 months and it feels like I bought it yesterday! I am still in luv with my Fit and can't imagine driving anything else! It's fun and sporty (I like to drive again), comfortable, easy on the eyes in plum pearl metallic, great cargo space, well-built, reliable, and it's a Honda! I do have a couple of minor complaints: for the size and engine it could have better gas mileage; the seats hardly adjustable (even a hand crank to go up and down would be a big plus); and if it's windy my little Fit feels a bit unsteady (but, I don't drive on the freeway much). Still...you couldn't pry this car from my cold, dead hands. I luv it!"
By Digby on Monday, July 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,300overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fuel economy, price, comfort, head room, cute, A/C"
Cons: "color options, no Bluetooth base model"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great on gas. Love the MPG feature, helps you see in real time how your driving affects gas mileage. I can get 39 MPG easily if I drive 55 and take it easy. otherwise averages 33-37. Comfortable seats. Easy controls. Family friendly. Feels safe and responsive. Small visors, however, do not block sun coming in from the side if you are of shorter height."
By Dicky on Thursday, July 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,225overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Gas Mileage; Super Storage; Excellent Condit"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great on gas mileage (35+ MPG) Very zippy for small engine. 5th gear at 2800 RPM gets 60 MPH. Back seats fold flat (unlike another brand of small hatchback) giving plenty of storage space. Engine is efficient and quiet."
By sundownrio on Saturday, July 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Perfect size, road trips, great value"
Cons: "Road Noise, Mileage, Tire selection"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my Fit brand new in 2010. It has 52K miles on it as of writing this review. In that time, I have had literally ZERO problems. Besides general maintenance, such as break pads, oil changes, tires etc, I haven't had to replace or fix anything. So as far as value, it has been outstanding. The seats are comfortable enough, we've taken it on many 12 hour road trips and it is fine. The cup holders are conveniently placed and the split folding rear seats are extremely versatile and allow for the hauling of things that seem like they wouldn't fit. The stock speakers are decent enough and the AUX input and USB hookups are convenient for running music apps like Spotify and such. It has held its resale value great. For example, I paid just over 17k in 2010 and now private party value is about 12K, 4 years and 50,000 miles later, it still a great resale. Some of the cons of this car. The gas mileage leaves a little to be desired. Now, on road trips I average 40MPG, but around town I average 29MPG, to me that seems a little low. Also, there is a amazingly annoying wash board sound. Around town you don't really notice it, but on long drives it makes me feels like my brain is oozing out my ears. Researching forums, other owners have the same problem. Another thing, the 2010 Honda Fit Sport take a size 185-55R-16. This is an extremely hard tire to find. And good luck finding a used one. In four years owning this car, I have always had to special order the tires, no one carries them. Not really a big problem, but when i had a flat, I had to run one the donut for 2 days waiting on a tire. And the tires are expensive. All in all, I would recommend this vehicle. For the price, it is an extremely good value. The tires and soul crushing road noise aside."
By dj on Sunday, June 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "in expensive to drive 37mpg. $9000 cash"
Cons: "has 4 cup holders, and plenty of room for grocerie"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great little car, I'm looking for a used pick-up as I need the hauling space for my dogs.I have never had an ounce of trouble with it. roomy back seat."
3 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By ackpht on Saturday, June 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "practical, economical, well equipped, reliable"
Cons: "need place to put sunglasses, want sunroof"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"2011 base automatic bought new principally for commuting (30 miles each way). Average 35+ mpg. Original tires worn out at 40,000 miles, original battery replaced in 2014. Other than that, only oil changes. Excellent value, reliable, versatile, well-equipped, but with some quirks- there's a space in the console with cupholders and a tray for coins and whatnot, but it's too far forward to be of much use. Why no overhead storage for sunglasses, like minivans were doing 30 years ago? And I'd pay for a factory sunroof if they offered one. The carpet material by my right foot is wearing out. Can't complain too much, though- the car is amazingly well equipped for the price. It is smooth, quiet, easy to drive, easy to park, and can hold a lot of stuff when you fold the seats down. And the tall roofline means I don't bash my head getting in and out."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful