By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.2
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.
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.
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 Impressions 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.
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!Exterior
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.
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
The 2013 Honda Fit subcompact has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $16,000 with the 5-speed manual gearbox. Models equipped with the automatic add about $800 to the base price. The MSRP for the Fit Sport starts closer to $18,000 and a fully loaded model with navigation tops out just over the $20,500 mark. To make your best deal, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are currently paying for the Fit. As for resale values, we expect the 2013 Honda Fit to do slightly better than the 2013 Toyota Yaris and Scion xD, but better over time than the Chevrolet Sonic, Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio5.
By Nick (DE) on Wednesday, December 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Honda reliability"
Cons: "Cheap awful windshields"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I've owned this car for two years and am on my second windshield. Two months after buying it, a tiny stone hit the windshield and a crack developed. I replaced it this year and two months after, another stone hit it and now it's cracked again! I live in a normal suburban area and don't travel major highways often, the road conditions are normal. Dealer will do nothing for me and neither will Honda. I owned a Toyota for 12 years going up and down the major highway on the East Coast. Many stones hit that windshield and even left dings in it, it never cracked. Can I have my Toyota back again...pleeeeeease!?"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By mike (GA) on Friday, November 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good on gas, easy to park, it FITs"
Cons: "No auto climate control"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It will go 400 miles on less than 10 gallons of gas at 55 to 60 mph. The AC and heat needs more work to be right, always haveing to adjusting the temp up and down and there is a noticeable draft on the door panels when its cold out. I would still recommend this car"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Blondie (GA) on Sunday, October 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas Milage, Price, Handling, Cargo Space, Quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Marvelous small car with many of the attributes of larger ones. Good handling for size. Very stable and nimble. High speed on Interstate roads requires attention, but is not uncomfortable nor difficult. Small wheelbase makes handling in tight places easy. With rear seats down, has large cargo space for size. Great gas mileage. Comfortable front seats for normally sized people; rear seating OK for short trips. Thoughtful placement and number of cup holders and other convenience items. High quality of fit and finish throughout."
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Dave (FL) on Monday, September 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Space, visibility, fun to drive, gas millage."
Cons: "I little nervous above 70 mph."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"After driving a SUV I wanted something different and decided to go for the most "practical" car I could find. The Fit is very practical and is fun to drive. The visibility out of the car is excellent and the ability to haul stuff is also outstanding. Car handles very well and of course gets great gas millage. As for reliability, its a Honda. Drawbacks? There is a good amount of road noise and at high speeds the car has a tendency to "bounce" around. You could drive it across country but I would take a bigger heavier car. Around town and for day drives no problem."
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Arnie (VA) on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "gas mileage-cargo space"
Cons: "can't find any"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This has been the best small car we have ever owned. The gas mileage is superb. Plenty of room inside with the seats down, can carry a tremendous amout of cargo for a small car. Highly recommend this car and would definatley buy another."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Beth (NJ) on Sunday, September 08, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,134overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "solid car.no problems."
Cons: "interior is cheap cheap cheap"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"the interior material is horrible. Can't get dirt or dog hair off. Cheap. The rest of the car lives up to expectations of a Honda car."
7 people out of 9 found this review helpful