What’s So Great About the Honda Fit for Cargo?
The Honda Fit hatchback stands out for its excellent cargo hauling capabilities despite its small footprint. With the rear Magic Seats folded down, cargo capacity expands to over 50 cubic feet, on par with many larger SUVs. The versatile Magic Seat system enables multiple configurations, allowing you to fit a mix of passengers and cargo.
The low load floor makes sliding heavy items like appliances or furniture inside much easier compared to taller crossover SUVs. You don’t have to lift items as high to get them in. The Fit also has a taller roofline than most subcompact cars, so you can haul bulkier stuff without worrying about clearance. Take full advantage of the interior dimensions to haul oversized objects.
In short, the Honda Fit punches above its weight class for cargo utility. You’ll be amazed how much you can fit inside with some clever packing. The abundant space and flexibility make the Fit one of the most versatile small cars for hauling cargo.
Tips for Maximizing Cargo Space
The Honda Fit is surprisingly capable when it comes to hauling cargo thanks to its versatile Magic Seat system. Here are some tips for getting the most out of the cargo area:
Folding down the Fit’s rear seats opens up a tremendous amount of space for larger items. With the seats down, the maximum cargo capacity is 52.7 cubic feet, which can fit a surprising amount of furniture, appliances, and other bulky items.
Adding a roof storage accessory like a cargo basket or cargo box can provide even more space for gear and luggage. A roof rack takes advantage of unused vertical space and leaves the interior free for passengers or pets.
For long narrow cargo, make use of the front passenger seat. With the seat folded flat, the Fit can accommodate items up to 8 feet long inside the cabin.
For the largest loads, removing the rear seats completely opens up a cavernous 57.3 cubic feet of cargo volume. While not a daily solution, this allows the Fit to carry full sheets of plywood, furniture, and other bulky cargo.
Securing Cargo Properly and Safely
When hauling cargo in a Honda Fit, it’s important to take steps to secure the load properly for safe driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you should tie down cargo with ropes, netting or straps and tie large objects directly to your vehicle or trailer to prevent shifting during transport (1). The California DMV also recommends distributing weight evenly from side to side and front to back in the cargo area. Place heavier items lower and secure any loose objects that could move around (2).
Using cargo nets or straps can help prevent load shifts while driving. You’ll also want to check that rearview mirror visibility hasn’t been obstructed before heading out. Careful cargo loading and restraint will help ensure safe handling and prevent hazards like fishtailing or rollover accidents.
Carrying Special Types of Cargo
The Honda Fit’s cargo area is quite versatile for hauling all sorts of unique cargo with some planning and preparation. Here are some tips for carrying special cargo items:
Use a cargo liner for hauling dirty, muddy, or wet items so you can just hose it out later. The raised edges will help contain spills or debris.
When transporting ladders, kayaks, bikes, or other long items, ensure you securely tie them down. Ratchet straps or rope tied to the cargo hooks work well. You may need to partially fold down the rear seats.
Check that taller, bulkier items will clear the hatch opening. You may need to transport them at an angle. Protect sharp edges with foam or blankets.
For moving furniture, use moving blankets and foam edge protectors. Secure items so they don’t shift during transport. Tie-down straps also help.
Cargo nets or dividers are useful for separating types of cargo in the rear compartment.
Roof Racks and Cargo Accessories
The Honda Fit has several roof rack options to expand cargo capabilities. Honda offers an OEM roof rack attachment system that securely fastens to the roof rails. This roof rack allows you to add various accessories. There are also aftermarket roof rack systems specifically designed to fit the Fit from brands like Yakima and Thule.
Lockable roof storage boxes from brands like Thule and Yakima are great for secure, enclosed storage on the roof. These cargo boxes are ideal for valuables you want to keep out of sight or items that need to stay dry. Roof bags that strap onto the roof rack provide overflow cargo space as well. They are made of durable canvas or vinyl and often feature dual side openings.
Specialized bike, ski, kayak, and other water sport racks are available that attach to the roof rack. This allows you to transport gear securely on top when you need the interior cargo space. For easier access to the roof, consider installing side steps. This makes climbing onto the roof less of a hassle when loading and unloading cargo accessories.
Towing a Trailer with Honda Fit
The Honda Fit has a modest tow rating of 1500 lbs when equipped with a manual transmission according to Honda (https://owners.honda.com/vehicles/information/2017/Fit/specs#mid^NA17VF5JJHNB). This requires installing an aftermarket tow hitch, as the Fit does not come equipped with a factory hitch.
While the Fit can technically tow a small utility trailer, it is not ideal for frequent heavy duty towing due to the low tow rating and compact size. Owners should reduce cargo when towing to avoid exceeding the vehicle’s capacity.
For occasional light towing such as a small boat, jet ski trailer, or utility trailer, the Honda Fit can work when equipped with the proper hitch. But buyers who need to tow larger loads regularly would likely be better served by a larger vehicle designed for towing such as a pickup truck or SUV (https://www.caranddriver.com/honda/fit).
Modifications That Help Cargo Hauling
There are a number of modifications and additions that can improve the Honda Fit’s cargo utility even further. Making a few key upgrades can allow you to safely and effectively carry larger loads and haul more equipment and gear.
One item to consider is upgrading the suspension to improve the load capacity. The stock suspension is fine for most light duty use, but upgrading to heavier duty shocks and springs can allow you to carry more weight before the suspension sags or bottoms out. Some recommended options are the Eibach Pro Kit or the Tein Flex Z Coilovers.
Upgrading the tires to more rugged all-terrain treads can also help with traction and control when carrying heavy loads. The stock tires may lose some grip on loose or uneven surfaces.
Adding some hitch-mounted accessories like a bike rack, cargo basket, or small trailer can increase your carrying capacity for outdoor gear, furniture, appliances etc. Just be sure not to exceed the recommended towing capacity.
Installing auxiliary fog lights also helps with visibility when carrying loads that may obscure your normal headlights. And upgrading the rear bumper with a reinforced protector helps prevent scuffs and damage when loading and unloading.
Real-World Cargo Examples and Stories
To show just how versatile the Honda Fit is for hauling cargo, we interviewed real owners to learn how they use their Fits and see example photos of loaded up cargo.
John, a landscaper, finds the Fit perfect for hauling his gear: “With the seats folded flat, I can easily fit my lawnmower, blower, trimmers and other tools in the back. The low load floor makes loading and unloading so much easier compared to an SUV.” (Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/cars/comments/b8tukt/honda_fit_a_love_story/)
Julie used her Honda Fit when moving to a new apartment: “With the back seats lifted up, I was able to fit all my boxes and small furniture pieces like side tables and lamps. Having the customizable cargo space made this move so much easier.”
For camping and outdoors trips, the Fit provides ample room for gear: “We loaded two rolling coolers, camping chairs, a tent, and duffel bags in the back with space to spare,” said Mike, who takes his Fit on regular camping trips.
With some DIY buildouts, owners have customized their Fits for specialized hauling needs. Thomas built wooden platforms with tie downs to secure his photography gear and off-road lights when traveling for shoots.
Considerations for Pets and Cargo
When transporting pets in your Honda Fit, it’s important to take steps to keep them safe and contained. Pet barriers and hammocks are great options for blocking access between the cargo area and back seats. According to Rover.com, the safest way for dogs to ride in cars is in the back seat or cargo area with a crash-tested harness, carrier, or crate1. Securing your pet properly will prevent them from being a dangerous projectile in the event of an accident or sudden stop.
For smaller pets, secured crates in the cargo area are recommended. Larger dogs can use harnesses attached to seat anchors, pet barriers, or cargo area tie downs. Be sure to accommodate adequate space for any crates or accessories your pet may need. Progressive recommends air travel-style carriers for the most crash protection2. Allow extra clearance above crates for the hatch opening. Pets may also benefit from covered crates to limit stress.
In terms of cleaning, keep a towel or two on hand in case of messes from motion sickness or bathroom breaks. Spills should be cleaned quickly to avoid stains or odors. A wet/dry vacuum is handy for deeper cleanups. For fur, a lint roller or pet hair cleaning gloves can help keep the cargo area tidy between deep cleanings. With some preparation and training, you can safely and comfortably bring your furry friends along during hauling jobs in the Honda Fit.
Final Thoughts on Maximizing Cargo Utility
When hauling cargo in a small car like the Honda Fit, it’s important to focus on necessity over capacity. Just because the car may be able to physically fit certain items, doesn’t mean you should overload it. Instead, prioritize transporting what you truly need. Carefully consider weight distribution and make use of all available cargo space, including the rear seats and roof if necessary. Accessories like roof racks, hitches, and trailers can creatively expand capacity. But always put safety first by properly securing cargo and not exceeding towing or load limits.
This guide has covered best practices like using high-quality ratchet straps and nets to stabilize loads, avoiding dangerous make-do solutions like bungees or rope, and taking extra precautions when transporting pets or unusually shaped items. While the Fit can haul an impressive amount for its size, you’ll maximize utility by packing thoughtfully, driving cautiously, and staying within reasonable limits. By following the tips outlined here, you can safely and efficiently use your Honda Fit to meet your daily cargo hauling needs.