- Exceptionally versatile interior
- Great fuel economy
- Well-equipped, even in base trim
- Cheerful and full of personality
- Front seats aren't the most comfortable
- Busy interior trim
- Not as fun to drive as before
- Lacks automatic emergency braking
The 2017 Honda Fit gives up some fun-to-drive spunk for unparalleled interior space and flexibility.
The 2017 Honda Fit is a five-door hatchback, the smallest Honda model offered to Americans, and it is one of the best fuel-efficient cars on the road today.
Essentially devoid of buzzwords, the Fit isn't a hot hatch, a hybrid, or anything vaguely coupe-like. Instead, it is an exceptionally well-packaged hatchback that's largely traditional and particularly good at what it—and Honda as a whole—has always done well. Available in LX, EX, and EX-L trims, the Fit offers something for just about every subcompact buyer.
Overall, the 2017 Honda Fit is rated at a 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Honda Fit styling and performance
The Fit was most recently redesigned for 2015 and it retains a small footprint that manages to deliver a versatile, flexible interior and excellent fuel economy. Last year, the Fit begat a small crossover based on its platform called the HR-V.
Visually, the Fit is pragmatic but attractive, looking less like a scaled-down minivan than before. It still appears more like a tall wagon than a squat hatchback, but that's because it stands about 5 inches higher than Honda's conventional Civic sedan. Deep side creases and a shoulder line that accentuates its wedge-centric shape give it a leaner, tauter stance. Its stubby and short hood combine with its long roofline to draw out its lengthened body and its glass area is better balanced than before. Upsized wheels and tires, available in 15- and 16-inch diameters, also fit it better before. Its only awkward note its the enormous chrome bar that stretches across its tailgate.
We wish that simplicity to the Fit's exterior carried over inside, but at least this little hatchback provides excellent space for humans and cargo. Its dashboard is complex and composed of many angles that work fine but feel a little less uniform than we've come to expect from Honda. The automaker's current Civic reflects a more modern design language that we think works better inside.
This latest Fit isn't as zippy as its predecessor, but it is more refined. Underhood is a direct-injected 1.5-liter inline-4 engine that cranks out 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. A slick-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, but most Fits you will encounter on dealer lots utilize a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that maximizes fuel efficiency to EPA ratings of 33 mpg city, 41 highway, 36 combined. Those are stellar numbers, but those less interested in sipping fuel will appreciate the separate Sport mode and paddle shifters that will let you tap seven "gears."
Honda's CVT doesn't represent our favorite way of letting the transmission sort through gears automatically, but it certainly bests rival Nissan's unit. And it adds to the Fit's refinement; road noise is quelled to a comfortable level, although we wish that Honda had paid more attention to the occasionally raspy and uncouth noises coming from underhood. On the other hand, the Fit's suspension absorbs bumps better than before even though it has lost a little of its handling magic.
Honda Fit comfort, safety, and features
Honda's "Magic Seat" rear seat setup might not be sorcery, but it sure seems close. The setup delivers a split folding rear bench that can not only flip forward, it can also flip back and upward. This allows four unique modes that cater to specific types of oversized cargo—including a Tall mode and a futon-esque Refresh mode. Those rear seats will keep tall passengers comfortable, too—the lankier members of our staff prefer riding in the Fit to many cars a segment or two larger. Front seat passengers will find more ordinary accommodations with basic cushioning and subpar rearward travel.
Both the IIHS and the NHTSA applaud the Fit's safety, but it doesn't offer any kind of automatic emergency braking. While that's still a relatively rare feature in this class, Toyota has made it standard equipment in its two subcompacts.
Picking a 2017 Honda Fit is about as easy as selecting a color. There's a base Fit LX, a better-equipped EX, and a leather-lined EX-L. Keyless entry, cruise control, a rearview camera, and air conditioning are standard on all. Stepping up to the EX nets push-button start, upgraded infotainment, and Honda's impressive LaneWatch wide-angle lane-change aid. The Fit EX-L heaps on leather and more luxury and offers the Fit's only option—navigation.
The combination of the inline-4 and the 6-speed gearbox is pegged at 29 mpg city, 37 highway, 32 combined, whether it's the LX or EX model. With the CVT, the Fit's fuel economy is several miles per gallon better. It's rated at 33/41/36 mpg combined in LX trim; because of added equipment and weight, EX and EX-L models are rated at 32/38/35 mpg.
2017 Honda Fit
More conventional, but still a little weird, the Honda Fit won't have you doing double takes.
It may lack the graceful lines of the Ford Fiesta, but the Honda Fit is attractive, polished, and largely cohesive. It dropped most of its old scaled-down minivan looks for a more conventional hatchback shape. The Fit is among the tallest subcompacts at 60 inches, but what awkwardness remains certainly pays off in interior packaging.
The Honda Fit isn't the kind of design you'll lust over, but it is pleasant and largely inoffensive, meriting it 5 out of 10 points for styling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Fit's stance is leaner and more shapely than before thanks in part to a deep crease low on its side that emphasizes its overall length. The steep rake to the subcompact's windshield is nearly the same angle as its short, stubby hood, which gives it an almost "one box" shape amplified by relatively small wheels and tires. Fit LXs ride on 15-inch wheels with hubcaps, while the EX and EX-L up that to a still-modest 16-inch setup with swankier alloy wheels.
At the rear, the Fit channels some of Volvo's design thanks to larger tail lamps than drape down from the top of its tailgate and slope into its bumpers. Only the large, matte chrome bar that runs across its tailgate seems a little incongruous.
The relative restraint that Honda's designers kept to for its exterior was mostly thrown away inside, where things are a little too ambitious. An ultra-busy instrument panel is loaded with shapes, pieces, trims, bezels, and surfaces that can feel a little haphazard. While nothing looks and feels especially low-rent, the Fit pales in comparison to the simpler look offered by the Honda HR-V, a small crossover derived from the Fit.
2017 Honda Fit
The Fit remains dynamically impressive, but it lost some of the sporty edge seen in its predecessor.
Though the latest Honda Fit doesn't exactly capture the same entertaining road manners and precise feel of its predecessors, it makes up for that downfall with improved fuel economy and better acceleration.
We liked driving the old Fit more, but this latest model is refined and reasonably peppy, which merits a 5 out of 10 for performance. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Fit draws its power from a small, but sophisticated 1.5-liter inline-4 gas engine. Rated at 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque, it delivers more power and torque than before thanks to new tech like direct injection and weight savings measures applied to its crankshaft and intake manifold.
On the transmission front, buyers can pick between a precise 6-speed manual that boasts among the best shift lever action we've ever encountered or an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). As in the current Honda Accord, the Fit's CVT works well, always modulating its gear ratio as it quickly moves through the power band without any undue surging or shift shocking. CVTs in general require a little acclimation to those used to an automatic, but Honda's effort is largely transparent.
The 6-speed manual comes standard on the LX and EX, while the CVT is optional on those two trims and standard on the EX-L. The EX and EX-L's CVT also has paddle shifters and a Sport mode that delivers a zippier throttle response (but doesn't actually make the Fit any faster).
Push the Fit a little out of its comfort zone and it's not quite as pleasant as it used to be. The engine stays in its acceleration sweet spot around 4,000 rpm (its peak torque comes on at 4,600 rpm). After that, there's simply not all that much more acceleration remaining. Because of the CVT's design to keep the vehicle within its power band, there isn't much more than noise at full throttle, which reveals the car's rather thin noise insulation.
Despite its gruffness, the Fit remains fun to drive. Its front suspension was redesigned for 2015 and utilizes front struts and an upsized, hollow stabilizer bar. Out back, a more conventional H-type torsion beam setup with shorter trailing arms delivers a well-controlled ride that smothers road imperfections better now than ever before. The Fit's relatively short wheelbase, at least up against compact and midsize cars, delivers some ride choppiness, but overall it is at the top of its class.
Where the Fit falls down compared to its sprightly predecessor is on a curvy road. The old model was a delight to hustle through a canyon road, but the new model leans more into corners and its steering, while still fast, delivers a little less information from the road. Additionally, the Fit dives more when braking, although its pedal is precise and easy to mete out.
2017 Honda Fit
Comfort & Quality
Tremendous cargo flexibility is, unfortunately, somewhat canceled out by subpar front seat comfort and a busy dashboard.
The Honda Fit casts a small shadow and doesn't impress with the way its interior looks and feels, but its passenger and cargo space flexibility is unrivaled. In many ways, the Fit is the versatility benchmark for the entire car industry.
The Fit is much roomier inside than it looks from the outside, but its interior can feel a little thrifty, which knocks it down to 6 out of 10 for comfort and quality. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Packaging is key here, and the wizards and sorcerers at Honda (or the engineers, perhaps) have created a brilliant system in which the Fit's rear bench seat can flip up to open a tall, highly useful cargo space behind the front seats while still leaving a cargo "bin" of sorts in the hatchback area. It's called Magic Seat and it also boasts a "tall" mode that locks the base cushion into a vertical base to allow you to tote home a tall object.
Then there's "long" mode that allows the Fit's front and rear passenger seats to lay nearly flat to create a space big enough for a surfboard or a ladder (or both, if you're an especially dexterous surfer). Finally, lunchtime nappers will appreciate the "refresh" mode that tilts the rear seat backrests for improved long distance comfort (or a catnap in the office parking lot).
Angled just right, a bike with both of its wheels kept on should fit in the Fit's cargo area with its second row folded, too—a rarity even among much larger crossovers.
The Fit doesn't just prioritize cargo space; it's very comfortable for rear seat passengers. Our tallest editors can sit in the Fit with enough leg and head space to be comfortable, something that's a struggle in most compact vehicles, let alone any other subcompact. The Fit's tall, full door cut lines also aid ingress and egress, although a long trip reveals that Magic Seat's compromise is the cushion's thin padding.
We love the Fit's flexibility, but its interior does have some compromises that drag it down in our ratings. Its front seats are just adequate; thin cushioning aside, they aren't nearly as roomy as the second row. An oddly angled curvature on the passenger side's footwell area forces a canted leg seating position that may prove fatiguing on a long drive. The Fit's interior materials are more durable than luxurious, especially the cheap carpeting and headliner.
And as far as refinement and noise go, the Fit is something of a mixed bag. On highway treks, we've noticed persistent wind noise around the big side mirrors and the windshield. Although the Fit is among the quieter in its class, this wind noise is a surprise.
2017 Honda Fit
Though it lacks automatic emergency braking, the Fit has performed well in crash tests.
Honda put in a quick fix during the 2015 model year after lower than expected crash test scores, and the 2017 carries over with those upgrades.
Even though it is only entering its third model year, the Fit is slightly behind a couple of rivals when it comes to collision avoidance tech, however, which drops it to 7 out of 10 points for safety. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Both the NHTSA and the IIHS give the Fit overall high marks. The government gives it five stars on all tests save for four stars in rollover resistance, while the IIHS calls it a Top Safety Pick—even though on its new small overlap test it earned an "Acceptable" rating, the agency's second highest.
All Fits carry the requisite airbags and electronic stability control. They also include hill-start assist and a standard rearview camera that adds dynamic guidelines that predict where the vehicle will go on EX and EX-L models. Those two higher trims also add Honda's excellent LaneWatch display system, which takes a wide-angle rearward view from a camera on the rearview mirror and shows it on the infotainment screen the moment the driver flicks the turn signal. This feature should be useful in tight urban environments and on the highway.
Still, the Fit lacks automatic emergency braking—something standard for 2017 in the Toyota Yaris—and even an impact warning sensor like the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic offers. Automatic emergency braking will eventually become a federal requirement, but it is quickly trickling down to subcompacts.
2017 Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is on the pricey end for a subcompact, but even the base model is nicely equipped.
Buyers concerned only about getting the cheapest thing with four wheels and a warranty would do well to avoid Honda showrooms, but for those looking for a well-equipped hatchback that's high on value toward the lower end.
You don't have many choices, but the Fits most buyers will take home, the LX and EX, offer a good combination of equipment and value, which nets them an 5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Honda offers the Fit in a trio of trims: LX, EX, and EX-L, the latter of which is available with navigation.
All Fits are remarkably well-equipped: Power windows and locks, air conditioning, keyless entry, a rearview camera, a USB port, cruise control, Bluetooth with audio streaming, and a height-adjustable driver's seat are standard on the $16,825 Fit LX.
That base Fit comes in at least $1,000 more than most rivals, but it comes well-equipped. If it's cheap you're after, the Nissan Versa Note can be found for almost $2,000 less—but you'll roll up your own windows for that money.
Step up to the Fit EX at $18,735 and you'll add a proximity key, a right-side LaneWatch camera system, a second USB port, upgraded infotainment with a 7-inch screen, a moonroof, upsized alloy wheels instead of hubcaps, and paddle shifters with the optional CVT. The EX-L tops the lineup with heated leather seats for $21,100, or $22,000 with navigation.
Audio and navigation systems used to be a real sore spot for Honda, but the latest systems—a 5.0-inch screen for LXs and a 7.0-incher for EX and EX-L—are far superior. Even Honda's navigation, which previously required excessive menu-shuffling is now simplified.
What Honda doesn't offer is a lot of customizability, which may be good for shoppers in a hurry. Pick a color and a trim level and then it's on to paperwork.
2017 Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is among the most fuel efficient non-hybrid cars on the market.
The EPA rates the Fit among the most fuel efficient non-hybrid cars on the market—and we've seen even better figures than the government test suggests.
It's because of this simple approach to excellent fuel economy that the Fit scores 8 out of 10 points for its eco-friendliness. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Be advised, however, that the Fit's fuel economy figures take a little figuring out. Opt for the LX or EX with the standard 6-speed gearbox and you'll see 29 mpg city, 37 highway, 32 combined. Lower gear ratios designed to improve acceleration are to blame for numbers off the pace of the CVT—which, although not the enthusiast's choice, is by far the most popular gearbox.
As for the CVT-equipped Fit, it's stellar. The LX trim, with its 15-inch wheels and lighter weight, checks in at 33/41/36 mpg. Slightly heavier EX and EX-Ls with different tires come in at 32/38/35 mpg.