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Honda's fit subcompact hatchback is nearly Civic-sized, and it's the brand's go-to choice for those looking for space without bulk.
Slotting into the Honda lineup in roughly the spot once held by the Civic Wagon, the Fit's convenient interior reconfiguration abilities maximize its utility within a small footprint. Gas mileage is generally excellent, and styling is pert and perky.
If anything, the Fit's sole downfall comes in features, where some common conveniences aren't even offered. Even so, as Honda's entry-level model, it covers the bases that the Civic used to; and it has a lot of the simple, smart Honda small-car charm that, frankly, is missing from the current Civic.
And really, thanks to a phenomenally good, space-efficient design, the smaller Fit manages to feel nearly as roomy thanks to its tall, upright body style and still-best-in-class 'Magic Seat' seat-folding arrangement. The function-over-form approach is obvious in the way that the 2013 Honda Fit interior tends to make much better design sense than its exterior. Just don't expect even a gram of sex appeal; from some angles, the Fit looks a bit like a scaled-down minivan on the outside. Inside, the Fit has an airier feel than in some other small cars, with a relatively low beltline and a vast expanse of dashboard ahead, due to the rakish windshield.
The Fit only offers 117 horsepower; yet it has a way of feeling surprisingly frisky when you're driving around town. One of the keys to that isn't its power output, but that the attention given to steering, handling, and maneuverability all help make the most of it. On tight streets and in places where precision matters, the Fit feels crisp and tossable. Take it out on the highway, and it's stable and secure, though a bit noisy.
Packaging, seating, and cargo versatility are phenomenally good in the 2013 Honda Fit. If you're cross-shopping many small cars, you'll have no problem picking out the Fit's key differences, in that it manages to fit (yes, the name's appropriate here) a lot more usable space into a parking footprint that's strictly subcompact. In back, there's enough headroom and legroom for two adults—or three kids—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. Factor in a low cargo floor, and even under-seat storage, and you get the sort of vertical space to fit the sorts of things, like loveseats, potted plants, or in some cases bikes.
The Fit isn't quite the highest-rated subcompact for safety, but it remains one of the better picks in its class and includes a respectable roster of safety features. It's been a top performer in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, although in federal NCAP testing it hasn't fared as well--with a four-star rating overall. Furthermore, the Fit achieved a worrisome 'poor' rating in the IIHS small overlap frontal test. That was enough of a blemish for that group to retract its Top Safety Pick designation for the Fit.
Whether or not the 2013 Honda Fit satisfies with respect to features could depend a lot on your expectations surrounding connectivity. On one hand, it's definitely no stripped-down small car, and you won't find manual windows or have to skip air conditioning. But on the other hand, you won't find satellite radio on offer at all, and Bluetooth connectivity is reserved for top Fit Sport models optioned with the navigation system--stickering over $20k.
- Responsiveness and maneuverability
- Space-efficient seating arrangement
- Cargo space
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- Minivan-like exterior
- No satellite radio
- Limited Bluetooth availability