2011 Honda Fit Review

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2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
November 29, 2010

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.

Review continues below

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.

6

2011 Honda Fit

Styling

The shape of the 2011 Honda Fit is hardly sexy, let alone inspiring, but it redeems itself in the details.

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.

What the Fit doesn't have in silhouette it makes up for partly in the finer points. With its last redesign for 2009, 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 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. Overall, it's easy to conclude that the Fit has a higher-quality interior than some of its rivals.

Review continues below
8

2011 Honda Fit

Performance

The 2011 Honda Fit is much more fun to drive than most other subcompacts in its price range.

The 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine in the 2011 Honda Fit makes 117 horsepower, but that's plenty to move the Fit quite quickly with the manual transmission and adequately with the automatic. The Fit's engine is especially responsive in the middle of the rev band, which makes it better-suited to the automatic than some other models, and Fit Sport models with automatic get steering-wheel paddle-shifters. Yet overall the Fit is considerably more fun with the manual.

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.

Review continues below
10

2011 Honda Fit

Comfort & Quality

It's all good here; the 2011 Honda Fit has so much interior and cargo space that you might forget you're in such a small car.

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.

Ride quality certainly can't be described as luxurious, but it's one of the most comfortable-riding cars in its class, with a firm but compliant suspension. Road and engine noise aren't always well muted, but the look and feel of the cabin appointments—including switchgear—is one of high quality.

Review continues below
8

2011 Honda Fit

Safety

The 2011 Honda Fit has an impressive crash-test record and a good set of standard safety features.

The 2011 Honda Fit is one of the safer small-car picks you could make. Its occupant protection record is strong, with the Fit achieving top good ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in frontal offset and side categories—though its roof-strength result was a step down, at 'acceptable.'

The Fit hasn't yet been rated by the federal government, with its revised 2011 test methods and ratings system; however, last year's model achieved five stars for front occupants in both frontal and side-impact tests.

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.

Outward visibility is considerably better than in most other small cars, thanks to a nice, low beltline with extra front and rear quarter-windows to help.

Review continues below
8

2011 Honda Fit

Features

The 2011 Honda Fit comes with a great set of standard features, but the lack of items like Bluetooth and satellite radio could be frustrating to constantly-connected types.

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.

The down side to the Fit is that it costs considerably more than most of its competitors; but shoppers likely won't feel the need to add many options.

Review continues below
8

2011 Honda Fit

Fuel Economy

The 2011 Honda Fit isn't the greenest offering in its class, but it's still very fuel-efficient.

Whether you go for the five-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic, you'll get decent—though not great, for its class—fuel economy in the 2011 Honda Fit. 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.
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January 24, 2016
2011 Honda Fit 5-Door HB Automatic

I'll purchase another Honda.

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Absolutely no problems with the Honda Fit. Overall performance is superior to any previous owned car.
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Styling 6
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 10
Safety 8
Features 8
Fuel Economy 8
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