- Great steering and maneuverability
- Space-maximizing backseat arrangement
- Substantial driving feel
- Safety features and ratings
- Bulbous, vanlike silhouette
- No Bluetooth or satellite radio
The 2011 Honda Fit is like a mini-minivan in some respects, with an incredibly space-efficient design; yet it's peppy, frugal, and fun to drive.
The 2011 Honda Fit comes only a five-door hatchback and is Honda's lowest-priced car for the U.S. market. Although the Fit is also the smallest model in the Honda 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 (back in 2000). However, the five-door Fit is significantly roomier inside due to its tall, upright body style.
Even at first glance, it's easy to pick out the 2011 Honda Fit as prioritizing function over form. It's difficult to make a super-practical, small, tall hatchback like the 2011 Fit look even vaguely sexy, and to those who value style, the tall proportions arguably make it look like a scaled-down minivan in some respects. Inside, the rakish windshield leaves 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.
The 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine in the 2011 Honda Fit doesn't move it quickly in any case, but it's relatively fun to drive with the manual gearbox. A five-speed automatic is also offered and comes with paddle-shifters in Fit Sport trims. While the Fit might not be astonishingly fast, its handling and maneuverability is impressive. The Fit has a very responsive, tossable feel that makes it feel almost sports-car nimble yet also adequately refined and settled for highway cruising. Relative to other cars its size, the Fit feels remarkably comfortable at 80 mph.
The 2011 Honda Fit will likely have you stepping back out and doing a double-take the first time you get inside. More than almost any other vehicle's design, the Fit makes the most out of a small space, for both passengers and cargo. 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—as well as under the back seat.
The 2011 Honda Fit offers an especially strong body structure, along with a long list of safety features including front seat side airbags, full-length side-curtain bags, and anti-lock brakes. And for 2011 you no longer have to get the navigation system in order to get stability control; ESC (or, as Honda terms it, VSA) is standard for 2011.
The 2011 Honda Fit isn't a stripped-down small car; both the Fit and Fit Sport models include a pretty generous list of features. 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. For 2011, cruise control, a USB sound-system input, and keyless entry have been made standard all Fit models.