2013 Honda Fit Review
By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
What's New for 2013
More people are discovering you don't have to pay a lot to get a lot of car. Such is the case with the 2013 Honda Fit, a subcompact 5-door that is surprisingly roomy, loaded with cool features, and pretty darn cute to boot. Taller than most cars its size, the Fit offers upright seating with ample headroom and legroom both front and rear. And, because it's a Honda, the Fit naturally gets great gas mileage while concurrently delivering a high level of fun-to-drive. For those who would rather wave goodbye to gasoline altogether, there's the new all-electric Fit EV. Granted, competitors like Ford's Fiesta, Chevy's Sonic and Kia's Rio5 are equally attractive, but Honda has been in the small car game a lot longer, and that carries some weight.
You'll Like This Car If...
If finding a small car that can comfortably fit four adults for around $16,000 seems like a pipe dream, its time to wake up. The Honda Fit not only qualifies, it also gets around 35 mpg on the highway and holds its value better than just about anything in its class.
You May Not Like This Car If...
While its fuel economy figures are not bad, they pale compared to the 40-mpg numbers posted by cars like the Kia Rio5, Ford Fiesta and Chevy Sonic. Also, the sedan versions of those cars cost less than the 5-door only Honda Fit.
Joining the lineup for 2013, the new battery-electric Fit EV represents Honda's first attempt at a modern electric car in the U.S. market. Given its $37,000-plus sticker price (final cost after the 36-month lease, incentives included), only 1,100 copies will be produced over the next three years, with availability limited to all but a handful of states.
Driving the Fit
If you're expecting the 2013 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.
The available touchscreen navigation system inside the 2013 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, and even find restaurants 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.
2013 Honda Fit Details
Where recent Honda interiors have been criticized for being too conservative, the 2013 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, and generous headroom and legroom all around. When not carrying passengers, the rear seats fold flat to create a respectable 57.3 cubic-feet of cargo space. That's more cargo room than in the Nissan Versa or Kia Rio5!
Designed with Americans in mind, the 2013 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 Fit a smooth ride and a more stable platform – it also increases the amount of legroom available to rear-seat passengers. 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 Honda Fit hatchback for 2013 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 with under-seat storage, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping 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 side-curtain airbags, electronic traction and stability control, and antilock brakes with 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, fog lights, 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, but requires the automatic transmission.
Under the Hood
The 2013 Honda Fit 5-door has a 1.5-liter engine equipped with Honda's advanced i-VTEC system. The i-VTEC setup varies the intake and exhaust valve actuation to enhance 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. From zero rpm, the Fit EV's permanent magnet electric motor pushes a whopping 189 lb-ft of peak torque through a single-speed gearbox. Once the battery is depleted, a full recharge using the standard 120-volt power supply takes roughly 15 hours, while a 240-volt source (not included) requires only three.
117 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm
106 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/33 mpg (manual, Sport automatic), 28/35 mpg (automatic)
AC synchronous electric motor
20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack
92 kW/123 horsepower @ 3,695-10,320 rpm (sport mode)
189 lb-ft of torque @ 0-3,056 rpm
EPA-estimated range: 82 miles
To compare current market prices, check out KBB.com's car classifieds to view the new and used
Honda Fit vehicles for sale near you.