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2012 Honda Fit

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2012 Honda Fit Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 the Fit

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.

Satellite Navigation
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.

USB Connectivity
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.

2012 Honda Fit Details
2012 Honda Fit photo Interior

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
2012 Honda Fit photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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)

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2012 Honda Fit Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 294 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Fabulous car for the money

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive-very roomy, great interior features."

Cons: "10.5 gallon fuel tank."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great value and room for this type of vehicle. Minor issues are the torque curve of the engine needs some modification as the tranny downshifts much too easily which tends to decrease overall gas mileage. This has been addressed in 2015/16 Fits with engine "tweaks" and the cvt tranny. The other "issue" is the small fuel tank (ie. 10.5 gal). Would really be great if fuel capacity was larger, like the civic (13 gal). We start looking for fuel at 200 miles with the smaller tank in the 2013 Fit. These are really minor issues!! Great car for everything and Honda's reputation for quality and reliability. Cost is a bit more than competition, but worth every penny!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Fun to drive! Roomy & comfortable! Easy maintenanc

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price; good gas milage; fun to drive"

Cons: "4 cylinder. Harder to accelerate especially uphill"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Ive had this car for a year and a half, and I have made many trips to beaches & mountains. Fun to drive and holds a lot of stuff! I also feel safe in this car even though its a small hatchback. I would totally get another Fit!!"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

If you think your VIBE is a monster, try the FIT.

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Million cup holders. Great for family trips"

Cons: "Wished it had a better seating material"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I was so much worried when i had to let my 2004 Pontiac Vibe go around $5800. It was a good deal for me and i the money needed so i sold it. A month late, i bought an Accident 2009 Honda Fit sports Manual Transmission. At the beginning, i was shocked how expensive the headlight and the glass cost and was disappointed. Long Story Short, i bought the car $1900 and spent $800 to fix. It only had 75000 miles. The fun started the first time i drove to Troy, Ohio for Salvage inspection, as small as the car was, it did 90 miles per hour at lease, at some point i let go of the wheel for almost a minute and it kept going straight. The Aux is awesome and the speakers are great. I get 34-36 mpg on high and 32-34 in the city. As much as i drive between 2 jobs, i only spend the max of $25 to fill the gas every 2 weeks. I love the oil monitor that tells you what percentage the oil is. The manual shift so smooth that you cant even tell from the rear seat that the gear has been switched. I have made multiple trips across ohio (Cinnati, Cleveland, and Dayton) and this monster have never let me down. After putting 2000 miles on it within a month purposely, I'm overly impressed and excited to have a perfect replacement for my Vibe. Now my Flashy Camry can take a vacation during the week and be used for special occasions. Will buy again, again and again."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Highly recommended. My third Honda.

By on Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. Wonderful town car, easy to park, very comfortable not only for the driver but also back seat passengers. Outstanding gas mileage. This is my third Honda (previously two were Accords) and I was not disappointed in the Fit."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Fun car to drive

By on Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reasonable price, great value, fun to drive"

Cons: "Needs a 300cc larger engine"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Little brother to our other Honda, a 2006 Pilot

"I bought this car as a one year old used vehicle off the dealer's lot. I needed a car that was economical for my daily 25 mile one way commute to work. I wanted a manual transmission thinking that I wanted to be in control of what gear I was in given the small engine size. This car fit the bill perfectly, plus it was bright red (the better to be seen). It has been on a couple of 2,500 mile round trip visits to see family in Texas while attaining 35mpg at 70+ mph on the Interstate. The ride is a little stiffer than a Cadillac, but it handles like a go-kart due to the lower & wider profile tires I had installed on it. It is a fun car to drive, especially in the twisties."

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

Little brother to our other Honda, a 2006 Pilot

I have never been more satisfied with a car.

By on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "outstanding value when new and outstanding value now"

Cons: "a bit light for highway driving at 65 mph"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"In 57 years of driving this is my favorite car. In the 67K I have driven since new I have replaced brakes once and tires twice. I don't smoke nor allow anyone to in the car, so it smells fine. I have had work done on AC system twice, minor each time. I have kept records of gas mileage which has exceeded the epa estimates. I have changed the oil and filters every 5k and always used full synthetic oil. My only regret has been that I did not buy more options on the car. I rarely do, so it surprised no one that it is a basic car. I may sell it to someone and I may not depending on what I am offered."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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