- City-friendly steering and maneuverability
- Impressive crash-test protection
- Tremendously versatile backseat arrangement
- Tall, bulbous exterior puts function over form
- Where’s the Bluetooth?
Look beyond the appearance of the 2010 Honda Fit, which admittedly won’t quicken pulses. Honda nails the rest with the peppy, spacious, and frugal Fit.
To put together a comprehensive full review covering the 2010 Honda Fit, TheCarConnection.com’s experts looked at what’s been said by a number of other critical voices. The editors of TheCarConnection.com also assembled an overall description of the Fit, along with driving impressions and comparisons to rival models, in this Bottom Line.
The Honda Fit remains Honda’s most affordable model in the U.S. market. The Fit, which comes as only a five-door hatchback, was completely redesigned last year but remained about the same size. Although the 2010 Honda Fit is the smallest model in Honda’s lineup, it’s about the same length and width as the Honda Civic when it was last offered in the United States as a three-door hatchback (the 2000 model year). However, the five-door Fit is significantly roomier inside due to its tall, upright body style.
To those who value style, the tall proportions arguably make it look like a scaled-down minivan in some respects, but also gives it an extremely roomy interior. What the Fit doesn’t have in silhouette it makes up for partly in the finer points; with last year’s redesign the Fit got a more aerodynamic, better-detailed look, with small side windows just ahead of the front doors to aid visibility, and a pair of character lines that run from the snout through the grille and hood. Inside, the rakish windshield leave a vast expanse of dashboard ahead of the driver, lending an airier feel than some other small cars. The swoopy, two-tiered instrument panel employs textured and matte-metallic plastic surfaces, along with upholstery and trim that are simple but sturdy. Overall, it's easy to conclude that the Fit has a higher-quality interior than some of its rivals.
Space-efficient interior design is one of the Fit’s strengths; Honda actually allowed enough headroom and legroom for two adults—or three kids—in back, and the so-called Magic Seat folds flat by lifting a single lever and pushing the seatback forward, with no need to remove rear headrests in the process. The driving position affords a good view outward, and the steering wheel telescopes on all models. The cargo floor is especially low for easy loading, amassing an impressive 20.6 cubic feet of EPA cargo room. In addition, there are two glove compartments (upper and lower), plenty of cup holders, and many useful storage compartments and cubbies in the center console, dash, and doors.
The 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine in the 2010 Honda Fit makes 117 horsepower, but that’s plenty to move the Fit quite quickly with the manual transmission and adequately with the automatic. Fit Sports with the automatic get paddle shifters alongside the steering wheel to aid control on curvy roads, and fuel economy ratings are as high as 29 mpg city, 35 highway.
Overall, Honda just gets it, achieving a very responsive, tossable feel that makes the Fit seem almost sports-car nimble yet also quiet and refined enough for an interstate trip. Parking and maneuverability are strengths, and despite the tall body and rather light weight, the Fit cruises confidently and relatively quietly at 80 mph.
The 2010 Honda Fit is one of the best small cars for occupant protection, achieving five stars for front occupants in both frontal and side-impact tests from the federal government (four stars for side-impact and backseat passengers), and top good ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) across the board. It was the only "minicar," as the IIHS designates it, to be named a 2009 Top Safety Pick from the group. Although side airbags and side-curtain bags are standard, along with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control is optional—oddly, it’s only offered with the navigation system.
Two main models are offered: Fit and Fit Sport. Air conditioning; power windows, locks, and mirrors; and an MP3-compatible CD sound system are included with the base Fit. The Fit Sport gets larger 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, a security system, and USB connectivity for the sound system, along with sporty cues throughout. Offered only on Fit Sport models is a package adding the navigation system and electronic stability control.