Friday, August 9, 2013

First Drive: 2013 Honda Fit

In 2001, Honda released a five-door subcompact hatchback. In the European, Oceanic, Middle East, Austrailian, and most of the Asian markets, the hatchback is known as the Honda Jazz. For the Chinese, Japanese, and the American markets, the hatchback is known as the Honda Fit. The Honda Fit comes with a front-engine, front-wheel drive layout. The first generation Honda Fit was in production from 2011 to 2008. At the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda debuted the second generation Honda Fit. The second generation Fit is longer and wider than the previous generation Fit. The American version of the Fit is slightly longer due to the longer front fascia. Production of the second generation started in 2007 and is currently still in production. The Honda Fit is a very common site on the Houston Roads and Highways. During one Saturday in March 2013, I made a visit to the local Honda dealership and took one out for a test drive. I drove the Honda Fit with the sport trim level. I drove one with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual paddle shifters, a $850 option. The Fit comes with a five-speed manual transmission as standard. The Japanese can get a Honda Fit with a CVT automatic transmission.

On the exterior, it is just a standard hatchback design. There is nothing special about its design. As part of the sport trim package, the Honda Fit comes with a rear spoiler, a body kit, and chrome exhaust tips.1. The interior is nothing special. It comes with cruise control, power windows, power locks, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel. The interior for the Honda Fit with the sport trim comes only in black with cloth seats. The base trim level comes with a grey interior. But there is one feature that saves the Honda Fit from having a bland interior. The rear seats not only fold down, but the seat bottoms fold up, allowing for better access and more storage space for items behind the front passenger and driver seats. Behind the wheel, I had good headroom and legroom. The driver seat was comfortable to be in. But the interior is just so bland and boring.

The Honda Fit is powered by a 1.5L I4 engine that produces 117 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 113 mph. The Honda Fit is a slow car. Also, the performance of the engine is underwhelming. For a car with a sport trim level, it did not feel sporty. But without the power and performance, the Honda Fit was smooth and and quiet. But there is not much excitement behind the wheel of the Honda Fit. Prices for the Honda Fit start at $16,215, including a $790 destination fee. The automatic Honda Fit Sport starts at $18,800, including a $790 destination fee. That is reasonable for what you get with the Honda Fit.

Overall, the Honda Fit is a boring, yet practical car. It lacks in the power and performance departments. It has a few redeeming qualities. The bottom of the rear seats fold up to allow for more storage space behind the driver and front passenger seats. The Fit has a smooth ride. It is comfortable behind the wheel. The one issue I really have is that the Fit does not give a fun driving experience. The problem with the Honda Fit is that there is not a lot of options with the Honda Fit. There are two trim levels, basic and sport. Honda has a few engine options with the Civic. For those who want a high performance version of the Civic, there is the Honda Civic Si. What Honda should have done is make a high performance of the Honda Fit. This could give consumers a chance to buy a Honda Fit with some performance, maybe a Honda Fit Si. The exterior is nothing special. Other than the rear seats that fold up, there is nothing special about the interior. But there is a market for the Honda Fit. If you want excitement, look elsewhere. But if you want a small, practical hatchback for under$20,000 and do not care for excitement, then give the Honda Fit a test drive.

Photo was taken by a camera phone.
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