- Surprisingly spacious cabin for a subcompact
- Unique rear seat design offers unmatched cargo versatility
- Excellent fuel economy ratings
- Touchscreen interface isn't always very intuitive too frustrating
- Weak braking performance compared to the rest of its competitors
- Fewer smartphone integration options for Android users
The 2017 Honda Fit marks the 10th anniversary for Honda's pint-sized pack mule, and its longevity shouldn't surprise anyone. With impressive fuel economy, loads of passenger room and unmatched cargo versatility, the Fit made subcompact cars a mainstream consideration. Today's Fit continues to offer those winning traits while adding cutting-edge technology and creature comforts such as leather upholstery and keyless ignition.
One of the Fit's standout features is its Magic Seat, a unique rear seat that includes a flip-up cushion that opens a large cargo space behind the front seatbacks. Alternatively, you can leave that seat bottom down and fold the rear seatbacks forward, yielding a cargo hold that rivals those of some small crossovers. Add in a fold-flat front seat, and there's not a lot that the Fit can't haul or handle.
The Fit isn't just a big box to carry your things, though. Even the most fuel-thirsty trim level returns more than 30 mpg, and its diminutive footprint makes for easy maneuvering and parking in dense metro areas. Its touchscreen technology interface enables the latest smartphone integration (with a caveat to Android users), and its nimble handling and excellent visibility remain core qualities.
There's nothing else quite like the Fit, but there are other subcompact hatchbacks with specific strengths. The funky Kia Soul, for example, actually has more cargo capacity, but its fuel economy is inferior. The Ford Fiesta hatchback is fuel-efficient and shares the same sharp handling as the Fit, but its backseat and cargo area are both pretty tight. The four-door version of the Toyota Yaris hatchback compares well on many fronts, but its cargo capacity just isn't in the same league.
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2017
The Fit is unchanged for 2017.
TRIMS & EQUIPMENT
The 2017 Honda Fit comes in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and EX-L with Navi.
Standard equipment on LX models includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, LED brake lights, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5-inch central display screen, a rearview camera, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.
EX models add 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a 7-inch touchscreen display, an upgraded rearview camera, Honda's LaneWatch blind-spot display, a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports, Siri Eyes Free functionality for enhanced iPhone voice control, HondaLink smartphone app integration, and an HDMI input (required for certain HondaLink features, most notably an optional navigation app).
Going with the EX-L gets you heated body-color side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
The EX-L with Navi adds, not surprisingly, a navigation system (with voice recognition) as well as HD and satellite radio.
INTERIOR & SAFETY
The 2017 Honda Fit should prove comfortable for most drivers, although taller drivers might wish for more legroom and steering wheel extension. Inside, the Fit is a spartan affair, but it's got what you need. Most of the infotainment functions live inside a crisp touchscreen display, and you'll find only a handful of gauges and dials. The touchscreen's response time and swipe-and-pinch functionality are great, but the touch-operated volume control is maddening. You might find yourself wishing for an old-fashioned volume knob.
That larger touchscreen on EX and EX-L models comes bundled with the HondaLink system, which adds apps such as iHeartRadio and Aha internet radio streams, points-of-interest search (gas stations, restaurants), and on the EX, an optional $60 navigation app that can run from an iPhone wired into the Fit's HDMI port. We've found the EX-L's integrated nav system is faster, however, and it includes voice commands. The HondaLink menu is a little cumbersome, and it doesn't do anything better than your iPhone already does. It's also not compatible with Android phones.
The Fit has always had offered exceptional rear passenger room for a car of its size. There's actually more legroom back there than in the Honda Accord, which translates to comfortable space for two adults and easy installation of rear-facing car seats.
The clever 60/40-split Magic rear seat — featuring a flip-up seat cushion that opens floor-to-roof clearance for tall items — continues to set the Fit apart. Folding both rear seatbacks down yields a flat load floor and 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room, about as much as some small crossovers have. Finally, the Fit's front passenger seat also folds flat to accommodate items nearly 8 feet long front to back.
Every 2017 Honda Fit comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints.
The LaneWatch blind-spot system, standard on the EX trim and above, includes a camera in the passenger-side mirror housing that provides a low and wide view of the blind spot when the right turn signal is engaged.
In Edmunds brake testing, an EX-L with Navi stopped from 60 mph in 127 feet, about 5 feet longer than average for this class.
In government crash testing, the 2017 Honda Fit earned a top five-star overall rating, broken down into five stars for front-crash protection, five stars for side-crash protection and four stars for rollover protection.
In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fit earned the highest rating of Good in the moderate-overlap front-impact crash, side-impact crash and roof strength tests. In the small-overlap front-impact test, the Fit was rated Acceptable (the second-best rating). The Fit's seat/head restraint design was rated Good for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
The 2017 Honda Fit features a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. LX and EX models come with a six-speed manual transmission, but a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. A CVT is the only transmission available for the EX-L and EX-L with Navi trims.
In Edmunds testing, an EX-L with Navi accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, a quicker than average sprint for the subcompact segment.
A Fit with the manual transmission returns an EPA-estimated 32 mpg combined (29 city/36 highway). CVT models deliver even more at 34 mpg combined (32 city/37 highway), although the entry-level LX model is the champ, returning 36 mpg combined (33 city/40 highway).
The current Honda Fit is more composed at highway speeds than its pre-2015 predecessors, something to keep in mind if considering a used Fit. Today's Fit is more directionally stable, meaning you won't need to be as busy at the wheel to keep the car in its lane. Road noise is still significant, but it's acceptable among the crop of subcompacts. On winding roads, the Fit feels light and athletic. Even within its modest power limits, and particularly with a manual transmission, the Fit can transform into the slow car you like to drive fast.
Around town, the Fit feels snappy enough, but if you floor the gas pedal for highway passing or merging, the CVT causes the engine to drone loudly. This transmission is a slick unit compared to others of its ilk, however, swiftly delivering high rpm when called upon but otherwise remaining unobtrusive. The six-speed manual is a pleasure to operate if you like to shift your own gears, but it does exact a penalty at the pump.
A roomy interior, massive-for-its-size cargo capacity and strong fuel economy make the 2017 Honda Fit a top choice among subcompact hatchbacks.