2018 Honda Fit

It fits!



  • 박재승 (james@koreatimes.net) --
  • 03 Jan 2018

By James Park


   Formidable challengers like the all new Kia Rio and the Hyundai Accent are closing in fast, but the Honda Fit, to this writer’s mind anyway, is still the leader in the North America’s sub-compact segment.

   The car is stylish, roomy, versatile, fuel-efficient and sufficiently powerful. It also handles like a sports car.

 

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   The second-generation Fit made its debut in 2014 as a 2015 model. Honda recently introduced the mid-term refreshed 2018 iteration that has undergone a slight face-lift. The overall design remains unchanged, but the car is aging very well.

   Honda provided this writer with the ‘Sport’ model, which looks suitably more belligerent than its siblings with the tasteful aero kit (not overdone) and the blacked-out 16’ alloy wheels.

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   The Fit is little pricier than its competitors with the base DX model starting from $15,190. The LX, Sport and the EX progressively get more expensive with the top-of-the-line EX-L demanding $23,990 to start the Loonie count.

   The mid-level Sport starts from $19,590 with manual transmission and goes up to $20,890 when optioned with the CVT. The auto tranny is bundled with the squadron of electronic nannies called the ‘Honda Sensing.’ This system includes the much hyped rear-view camera incorporated into the right-hand side-mirror.

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   The only engine available is the direct-injected and naturally aspirated 1.5 litre four-cylinder. This peppy little motor generates healthy 130 ponies and 114 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough to propel the 1,161 kg (2,560 lb) car with some authority.

   Unfortunately for the Sport model, Honda engineers do not bless it with more power. However, it does benefit from firmer suspension and more rigid steering. The small car is agile and keeps its poise through fast corners.

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   The last manual equipped Fit this writer drove had only five forward gears. The 2018 model gets one more gear, which helps to calm things down a smidge on highways. Even in sixth, though, the car’s engine is still bit frenetic, but that’s probably true with most small engines. Thanks to better sound insulation, the Fit is noticeably quieter inside than before.

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   As for the six-speed manual, it is a slight improvement from the previous five-speed. The clutch action is light and progressive, but the stick is rubbery and throws are relatively long. It does have the Hill-Holder feature, so the newbies won’t be overly anxious stopping on a slope.

   As mentioned, the manual-equipped car is less expensive but its option list is relatively short as well. There are no leather seats, sunroof, push-button ignition or the Honda Sensing. Then again, people who drive a stick don’t need all that fancy-schmancy stuff, anyway, right?

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The base Sport model, however, comes with comfortable heated cloth seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and decent enough sound system. The rest of instrument cluster is easy to understand and all the switches, dials and buttons are simple to use. Thanks again Honda for bringing back the volume knob.

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   As before, the Fit’s interior is unexpectedly roomy and the seats fold up and down to make space for unusually shaped cargo. The gas tank resides under the front seats to free up useful space in the rear. But because of this, drivers who are taller than 185 cm or so may feel constrained.

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Befitting a sub-compact car, the Fit officially consumes 8.1 litres of regular gas per 100 km in city and 6.6 litres on highway, which is quite competitive.

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   Overall, the Fit is practical and capable little vehicle with many talents. The lemmings – sorry, the consumers – are all gaga for crossovers nowadays, but when they really think about things, many would come to conclusion that small cars like the Fit would ‘fit’ their situation much better. (James Park is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.)

 

2018 Honda Fit Sport

Price: $19,590

Engine: 1.5 litre four

Power: 130 hp/114 lb-ft

Transmission: 6MT

Drive: FWD

Fuel: 8.1 litres per 100km (city), 6.6 litres (highway)

Best: versatility, agility

Worst: rubbery shifter

Competition: Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa Note, Ford Fiesta

 

 

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