Honda made its name by building great small cars. In fact, they still do. Right? I've spent enough time behind the wheel of my father's 2015 Fit to know enough about just how good or bad a small car it really is.
(Full Disclosure: Honda wanted me to drive the 2015 Fit so badly that my dad bought one and let me drive it. I didn't get any fancy hotels or buffet tickets or anything like that. I'm also not being paid to write this, which I believe is the evil doing of For Sweden.)
Since the Civic is now a bloated mess, the Fit became one of Honda's smartest moves. In essence, the Fit is what the Civic used to be: a small, compact economy car, and from the looks of it, quite the looker. My father was the first person in the entire state of Washington to buy a 3rd gen Fit. The dealership took his picture and everything. He traded in his 2012 Civic coupe for it.
Exterior - 8/10
It's certainly not a bad-looking car. In fact, I think it looks rather good. However, the grille is a problem for me. There's that big plastic piece covering most of it and there's that chrome bar on the back of it. It's not going to win any style awards, but overall it really complements Honda's new corporate design. Easily one of the best-looking cars in its segment.
Interior - 7/10
Surprisingly spacious. For a 6' individual such as myself, I do not feel cramped in it [I have less space in a Mazda3]. However, there is one strange issue with the interior: it generates its own climate. Sometimes, while we're driving it, the windows will start to fog up on the inside. This is something my dad and I have never seen in a car before. It's not that annoying, just an abnormality that shouldn't happen.
Acceleration - 5/10
It has a surprisingly low amount of oomph, even for such a small car. 130HP just isn't enough. It would really benefit from the 1.6 in the Civic. Also, no torque, and by no torque, I mean there's more torque in a goldfish. The engine screams and screams for five straight hours, and by then you've gone from 50 to 60.
Braking - 7/10
It's got disks in the front, and drums in the rear. It has pretty good braking power. Nothing too special.
Ride - 7/10
Honestly a great ride. You hear a lot of bumps, but feel them you rarely. But it's not completely avoidable. Hondas typically have firm suspension, so the bigger bumps you will feel.
Handling - 9/10
Fits are known for great handling. This one is no exception. Of course, you can't really escape the inevitable understeer on a track, but it's not a track car [*COUGH FIT SI COUGH*]. Taking it on the winding Oregon backroads, it was a real gem. It was an absolute blast to drive. Easily one of the best things about the car.
Gearbox - 2/10
IT'S. A. CVT.
(You can get it with a manual transmission. Do it.)
Toys - 3/10
It's got plenty of toys, but they're all so stupid. The smartphone integration is half-assed. If you want your phone's GPS to play through the car's speakers, you have to have music playing through your phone. Otherwise, it won't play anything. Also, the cameras (Rear/left/right) aren't well thought out, and the software that controls them is buggy, like it would sometimes display the wrong camera or it wouldn't show it at all. Honda says there's not software update for that, and that they can't replicate the issue. I'm very disappointed by this.
Audio - 5/10
It has an audio. Yep, it sure does. Ummm, the engine sounds like it's being thrashed all the time, thanks to the CVT. It's a nice little growl, but it gets old quickly.
Value - 7/10
Hey, it's a Fit. For less than $16,000, it's a great deal for an economy car with plenty of bells and whistles, a nice interior, and great handling. However... I would not recommend one. Honestly, if you want a compact economy car, get a 1.6 Civic, or splurge for the Si variant for more power. The third-gen Fit is a disappointment. It could have been much better, it could have been, but it just isn't. The software for the infotainment system is trash, and Honda isn't providing good service in those regards.
When I was very little, before we got a Honda Odyssey, we had a VW Eurovan. I don't remember it at all, but I'm told the car was built with a "personality." When the car wasn't running, the horn wouldn't work, but the cigarette lighter would. That [and other related issues] was why we traded it in for the Odyssey. This is the same with the Fit. It was built with a "personality," and it just isn't acceptable.
Total - 60/100
Engine: 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC I4
Power: 130HP @ 6600 RPM, 114 lb-ft torque @4600 RPM
0-60 Time: 8 seconds
Top Speed: 118 MPH
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Curb Weight: 2513 lbs.
Seating: 5 people
MPG: 29 city/37 highway
MSRP: $15,650 base ($19,437 as tested)