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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
Fit feels livelier with the manual
More fun to drive than a team of coked-up sled dogs
Car and Driver
Goes down the road and through the turns very well, almost eagerly
Although the 2010 Honda Fit isn’t astonishingly fast, it’s clear from reading a multitude of reviews that it has a livelier, more enthusiastic driving feel than most other small, fuel-efficient cars. While reviewers aren’t bowled over, they’re quite impressed with the Fit’s handling and maneuverability, too.
A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making 117 horsepower, is the only one offered in the 2010 Honda Fit lineup. Honda's little four-cylinder is capable, but it has to move a bit more Honda Fit than before, and reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that it doesn't offer quite as exciting a driving experience. ConsumerGuide notes that the Honda Fit is "adequate around town," but "highway passing takes patience." Jalopnik reviewers feel that the "adequetastic 1.5 liter" is "sufficient for its class." Motor Trend says the new engine offers "higher peak power and a much flatter torque curve," but Cars.com still finds that it delivers just "modest acceleration."
Whether you go for the five-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic, you’ll get impressive fuel economy. The EPA estimates that manual transmission Honda Fits and Honda Fit Sports with the automatic will get 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The base Honda Fit with the five-speed automatic fares slightly better, with EPA estimates of 28 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway.
Overall, though, reviewers are much happier with the manual transmission, even though, Edmunds adds, "on Fit Sports the automatic comes with manual shift control via steering-wheel-mounted paddles." Cars.com notes that the standard automatic "isn't apt to kick down unless you give the pedal a good jab—even when in Sport mode," which leads Jalopnik to term the transmission "merely decent." The manual gets much more love, however, as ConsumerGuide claims that "Fit feels livelier with the manual," and Cars.com comments that it "is well-matched to the new engine's power band."
Most reviewers note that the Honda Fit is quite enjoyable to drive and handles well. Edmunds calls the Honda Fit "highly maneuverable and a great urban runabout," but one Car and Driver reviewer notices himself "struggling to find that special something [he] used to love in flooring it, steering it, and halting it." On the positive side, Car and Driver praises the brakes, which "have lots of feel and never seem overwhelmed," and Cars.com mentions that "the electric power steering has decent feel."
The 2010 Honda Fit is much more fun to drive than most other subcompacts, while returning very impressive fuel economy.