2012 Honda Fit
The Fit is very fun to drive, thanks to a 117-horsepower, 1.5L 4-cylinder engine that features Honda's i-VTEC variable valve timing system. The engine provides enough power even with the available automatic transmission, which has five speeds for better passing response and more relaxed highway cruising. A precise-shifting 5-speed manual is standard, but for those who want the best of both worlds, the Fit Sport model, when fitted with the automatic transmission, features paddle-shifters alongside the steering wheel.
With its front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam setup, the Fit's suspension utilizes a common layout, yet handles nimbly. Ride quality is firm but also absorbent. The rack-and-pinion electric power steering system is especially good, with crisp turn-in and a firm, direct feel of the road in tight corners.
Above all else, it's the Fit's interior that impresses the most. Front seats are ample for tall or large adults, an armrest is available in front and the back seat can actually seat adults, thanks to plenty of headroom all around and longer cushions than is customary for back seats. What's more, thanks to Honda's Magic Seat, the Fit's rear seat folds neatly down to create a flat floor with just one continuous motion, with no need to even remove the rear headrests. The steering wheel adjusts for tilt and telescope, and there's a footrest for the driver. There is also an abundance of convenient cup holders and cubbies.
Thanks to the versatile configuration, the Fit is surprisingly commodious for large cargo items. With the seats down, there is 57.3 cubic feet of space--enough for items like a big-screen TV or cumbersome sports equipment--and there's no tall edge to lift over when loading items.
Standard safety equipment on the Fit includes anti-lock brakes and active front headrests, along with front side and side-curtain airbags. Electronic stability control, a feature not usually seen on low-priced small cars, is standard on all Fits.
The Fit comes in two different models: Fit and Fit Sport. Even the base Fit includes a long list of features, such as air conditioning, power windows and power locks--but the Fit Sport adds a long list of the most popular features, like larger alloy wheels, remote entry, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a premium 160-watt sound system with USB input and MP3 capability. It's also dressed up a bit more, with aerodynamic spoilers and additional chrome trim outside, plus perforated leather trim for the steering wheel. Navigation is available on the Fit Sport, and includes Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and Honda's Satellite-Linked Navigation with voice recognition.
For 2012, the Honda Fit Sport features a new front fascia, revised wheels and body-colored mirrors. Base models now include a security system, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity has been added to Fit Sports with navigation. Blue Raspberry Metallic and Orangeburst Metallic are new additions to the exterior color palette.
The Fit appeals to frugal shoppers who want the most space and versatility in a very small, easy-to-park size. Thanks to its tall, upright body style and clever Magic Seat setup, the Fit is arguably the most space-efficient vehicle in its class and is one of the few vehicles its size with a back seat roomy enough for most adults. Performance is a step above its class, with nimble handling, a perky engine and an available 5-speed automatic. Safety is also a strong in the Fit, featuring standard anti-lock brakes, vehicle stability assist and traction control across the lineup.