By KBB.com Editors
2014 is set to be a big year for the Honda Fit, but ironically it's not because there is a 2014 Honda Fit. In fact, the regular Fit is sitting out the 2014 model year as it transitions from the current 2nd-generation iteration to the all-new, 3rd-generation 2015 Honda Fit. While that new hatchback is slated to arrive in spring, 2013-model Honda Fits are expected to be available until then. To add one more twist to the Honda Fit's tale, there actually is a 2014 Fit EV, which is an all-electric version of Honda's appealing subcompact. Unlike the regular model, the Honda Fit EV is limited in both production and availability. But as with its gas-powered sibling, the electrified Fit abounds with versatility and value.
The Honda Fit is a small car with an exceptional array of interior versatility thanks to seats that fold, flip and tumble, and it has a starting price of around $16,000. The Fit EV has much of the same flexibility but runs on electricity with an EPA range of 82 miles.
The Fit has long boasted value, reliability and high fuel economy, but competition has arrived in the Kia Rio 5-Door, Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic and Fiat 500L, which all offer some combination of those same traits and fresher hardware and software.
With the 2015 Honda Fit arriving in spring, there is no 2014 Honda Fit except for the limited-production EV. The Fit EV is unchanged and available only for a 3-year lease in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island.
Driving Impressions Regular gasoline-powered models of the Honda Fit are surprisingly fun to drive despite their tame pony count. With just 117 horsepower sent to the front wheels, one needs to wring...... out a Fit to get the most out of it, but optimists will see that as part of the little Honda's charm. This is especially true for models with the 5-speed manual transmission. The 2014 Honda Fit EV, on the other hand, has surprising acceleration from the moment you press the accelerator pedal. This is instantly apparent in Sport mode, which makes the most of the EV's 123 horsepower and 189 lb-ft of torque. In Eco mode, however, the Fit EV's throttle response is noticeably muted and not recommended for passing situations. Whether powered by petroleum or electrons, the Honda Fit is nimble in corners and has precise steering.
LOWER-PRICED LEASE DEAL
For those who live in a state where the Fit EV is leased, Honda has made getting one a more attractive proposition. It lowered the monthly lease price from $389 to $259, and moreover that cost includes unlimited mileage, routine maintenance and collision insurance.
The Fit's name is also one of its main objectives. And it lives up to that moniker with one of the most flexible interiors available (see below).
It would be difficult to find a car with an interior more functional than that of the 5-passenger Honda Fit. Even more impressive is how much the Fit can pack in considering its subcompact exterior dimensions. The Fit's recipe for roominess is a combination of a tall cabin shape and seats that fold and flip. The rear seats, for instance, can fold flat or flip up in sections to accommodate cargo long or tall. Even the front-passenger seat can fold, allowing you to haul items up to 7 feet, 9 inches long. The Fit EV loses some capacity due to its under-floor battery pack, but not much.Exterior
The Honda Fit is a small wedge of a car with a tall roof and doors, and a low floor that make entering and exiting a snap. Large expanses of glass equate to great visibility, while a long wheelbase enables the Fit to have a smooth ride quality and generous passenger legroom. The Fit EV stands out from its gasoline sibling with its charging port on the front driver's side, unique solid grille treatment, lack of a tailpipe and the fact that it's only available in one color: Reflection Blue Pearl.
If you choose to nab a holdover Honda Fit before the next-gen version goes on sale, you'll still get a standout hatchback with cruise control, Bluetooth wireless communication, power windows, tilt/telescope steering wheel for a better fit, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with USB input. The 2014 Honda Fit EV is only available in one well-equipped trim with navigation system, automatic climate control and earth-friendly seating material. Part of the EV's tempting lease also includes a 240-volt in-home Leviton charging station. For that, you pay the installation cost but get to keep the equipment.
For regular, gasoline-powered Honda Fit models still being sold, two higher trims are available: Sport, and Sport with Navigation. The Sport trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, upgraded audio system with six speakers instead of the standard four, fog lights, underbody spoilers and a chrome exhaust tip. The Sport with Navigation model adds – you guessed it – a nav system and additional controls for it in the steering wheel. A remote engine-start system is also available, which allows you to turn on the car and warm it up remotely.
The soon-to-be previous version of the Honda Fit that is acting as a placeholder until the 2015 model arrives has a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine equipped with Honda's advanced i-VTEC system that enhances performance yet enables good fuel economy and low emissions. Transmissions come in two 5-speed flavors: manual and automatic. The automatic features 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 via paddles. The all-electric Fit EV uses a permanent magnet electric motor that pushes a stout 189 lb-ft of peak torque through a single-speed gearbox. Once power is depleted from the EV's lithium-ion battery pack, a full recharge on a 120-volt power supply takes roughly 15 hours, while a 240-volt source 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
EPA city/highway fuel economy equivalent: 132/105 mpge
The 2014 Honda Fit EV is available as a 3-year lease in California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland and Rhode Island. The lease price has been reduced to $259 a month to better compete with the roughly $200/month rates of the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Spark EV. Those electric rivals, however, can also be purchased. Still, the Fit EV's lease is tempting, especially considering it includes unlimited miles, routine maintenance, collision coverage and a 220-volt home charger. But the Fit EV is limited in geographic availability and quantity, with just 1,100 slated to be made over two years. Still available until the 2015 Honda Fit arrives is the carryover gasoline model, with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $16,215. Before buying, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers in your area are paying for the Fit. As for resale value, the Honda Fit has a history of excellent retention.