Overview of the Honda Fit
The Honda Fit, known as the Honda Jazz in Europe and other markets, is a subcompact car produced by Honda since 2001. It is designed to offer maximum interior space and versatility despite its small exterior footprint. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Fit, the Fit was intended by Honda to replace the Honda Today, an earlier subcompact model that was not sold in North America. The Fit occupies the smallest, most fuel efficient and lowest priced segment in the Honda lineup, positioned below the Civic compact car.
The Honda Fit was primarily designed for domestic Japanese and European markets where small, fuel-efficient cars are popular. According to https://www.cars-directory.net/history/honda/fit/, Honda sold over 33,000 units of the Fit in Japan in the first three months following its 2001 debut. The Fit was introduced to North America in 2006 for model year 2007, with Honda hoping to attract younger buyers seeking affordable, practical transportation as well as older customers looking to downsize. Its combination of a roomy interior, excellent fuel economy and versatile “Magic Seats” has made the Fit popular worldwide.
Generations and Redesigns
The Honda Fit has had three generations since it was first introduced to the North American market in 2006.
The first generation Honda Fit was produced from 2007 to 2008. This original Fit had a 1.5L i-VTEC engine producing 109 hp. It was offered in two trims: Fit and Fit Sport (Cars.com).
The second generation Honda Fit debuted in 2009 and was produced until 2014. This generation saw the introduction of the five-door hatchback style that the Fit is now known for. It had an updated 1.5L engine with 117 hp. There were four trims offered: Fit, Sport, Fit Sport, and Fit Sport with Navigation (CarBuzz).
The current and third generation Honda Fit entered the market in 2015. It retained the 1.5L 4-cylinder engine but introduced improvements in cargo space, rear legroom, and fuel efficiency. This generation received a facelift in 2018 with exterior and interior styling updates. There are now four trims: LX, EX, EX-L, and EX-L with Navigation (Wikipedia).
The Honda Fit has been available in several trim levels throughout its generations, offering a range of features and options.
First Generation (2007-2008)
The first generation Honda Fit was offered in two trim levels:
- Fit (base model)
The base Fit came standard with a 1.5L i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine producing 109 hp. The Sport trim upgraded to a 1.5L i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine producing 117 hp. The Sport also added extras like paddle shifters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Second Generation (2009-2014)
The second generation Honda Fit came in four trim levels:
- Fit (base model)
- Fit Sport
- Fit Sport with Navigation
The base Fit was powered by a 1.5L i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 117 hp. Moving up trims added features like a rear roofline spoiler, fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Fit Sport with Navigation had extras like a navigation system and USB audio interface.
Third Generation (2015-2020)
The third gen Honda Fit had four trims:
- EX-L with Navigation
The LX came with a 1.5L direct injection 4-cylinder engine with 130 hp. Higher trims added amenities like a moonroof, heated front seats, keyless entry, and more. The EX-L with Navigation had a navigation system and HD Radio.
Powertrains and Engines
The Honda Fit has offered several different powertrain options over its generations. The first-generation Fit (2007-2014) was powered by a 1.3L or 1.5L 4-cylinder engine producing between 109-117 hp. Transmission choices included a 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, or 5-speed CVT.
The second-generation Fit (2015-2020) came with a 1.5L 4-cylinder producing 130 hp. Transmissions were either a 6-speed manual or CVT. The Sport and EX trims could be equipped with paddle shifters on the CVT for manual shifting mode.
The third-generation Fit (2020-present) is still equipped with the 1.5L 4-cylinder but power has increased slightly to 137 hp. The 6-speed manual and CVT transmissions carry over. Honda also introduced a hybrid model for 2020 which uses a two-motor hybrid system paired with the 1.5L engine.
The Honda Fit offers excellent fuel efficiency, earning top marks in its class. The 2020 Fit is rated by the EPA at 33 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 36 mpg combined according to Fuel Economy of the 2020 Honda Fit – Fueleconomy.gov. This beats out other subcompact hatchbacks like the Toyota Yaris (30/36/33 mpg) and Hyundai Accent (33/41/36 mpg).
Real world fuel economy for the Fit is even higher than official ratings suggest. Owners report achieving over 40 mpg on average in combined driving based on fuelly.com data and redditor accounts of getting 45+ mpg according to 44.6 MPG?! They highly underrate these cars! : r/hondafit. The Fit’s efficient powertrain, aerodynamic shape, and low curb weight help contribute to its standout fuel economy.
Dimensions and Capacity
The Honda Fit offers excellent interior space and cargo capacity for a subcompact car. With the rear seats in place, the Fit has 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space1. Folding the rear Magic Seats down opens up 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo room2, allowing you to haul large and bulky items with ease. In terms of passenger space, the Fit seats up to 5 people comfortably thanks to its clever packaging and space-efficient design3.
With its high roofline and upright seating position, the Fit’s interior feels surprisingly spacious. Even tall passengers can stretch out in the front and rear seats. The generous headroom and legroom make the Fit’s cabin feel airy and open.
Standard and Available Features
The 2020 Honda Fit comes well equipped with many standard tech, comfort, safety, and convenience features. Even the base LX trim includes a 5-inch color LCD screen, Bluetooth, USB audio interface, 4-speaker 160-watt audio system, multi-angle rearview camera, height-adjustable driver’s seat, and power windows, locks and side mirrors.
Standard safety features across all trims include vehicle stability assist, anti-lock braking system, brake assist, daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring system, and hill start assist. Optional safety packages add lane departure warning, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and more.
Moving up to the Sport and EX trims adds a 7-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, Honda Sensing safety suite, one-touch power moonroof, heated front seats, and push button start. The range-topping EX-L trim further includes leather seating surfaces, an 8-way power driver’s seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and available navigation.
Optional packages allow buyers to add features likeHonda Sensing, a power moonroof, navigation, satellite radio, proximity key entry, leather seats, and alloy wheels. The 2020 Fit offers an impressive array of technology and amenities considering its affordable price point.
The Honda Fit has received positive reviews and recognition since it was introduced to the U.S. market in 2006. According to J.D. Power, the 2020 Honda Fit earned an overall 4 out of 5 rating, with consumers praising it for fuel efficiency, driving dynamics, and cargo space (J.D. Power). The 2018 Fit also earned high marks, with J.D. Power giving it an overall 4.5 out of 5 rating and noting its excellent fuel economy and abundance of cabin space (J.D. Power).
The Honda Fit has also won several awards over the years for providing good value. The 2013 model year was named “Best Subcompact Car for the Money” and “Best Hatchback for the Money” by U.S. News & World Report (Honda). More recently, the 2020 Fit won the “Best Subcompact Car for the Money” and “Best Hatchback for the Money” titles from U.S. News & World Report.
Pricing and Sales Figures
When it was first introduced in 2007, the base MSRP for the Honda Fit started at $13,850 for the base DX trim. The mid-level LX trim started at $15,170 and the EX trim started at $16,920 (Kelley Blue Book).
In the second generation introduced for the 2009 model year, Honda increased pricing slightly. The base DX trim now started at $14,550, the LX at $15,920, and the EX at $17,760. Additional Sport and Navigation packages were also available on the EX trim for $800 each (Edmunds).
When the third generation debuted for 2015, Honda simplified the trim lineup to just LX and EX models. Pricing now ranged from $15,525 for the base LX to $19,800 for a fully-loaded EX model. The 2019 models saw a slight bump to $16,190 for the LX and $20,520 for the EX (CARFAX).
In terms of sales, the Honda Fit has consistently been one of the top selling subcompact cars in the U.S. It peaked in 2008 with over 79,000 units sold. More recently, sales have declined to around 33,000-45,000 per year as consumer preferences have shifted towards small SUVs and crossovers (Kelley Blue Book). However, it still outsold most other subcompacts like the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, and Chevrolet Sonic.
The future of the Honda Fit in the U.S. market remains uncertain. Honda has not officially confirmed whether the redesigned 2023 Honda Fit will be sold in America. Many industry observers believe Honda will not bring the new Fit to the U.S., citing declining sales and consumer preference for SUVs and crossovers instead of small hatchbacks.
According to this CarScoops article, Honda sold just over 33,000 Fits in the U.S. in 2018, down from almost 80,000 in 2014. The subcompact hatchback segment as a whole has shrunk as buyers opt for small crossover SUVs like the Honda HR-V instead.
The 2023 Honda Fit unveiled for other markets packs new styling and technology in an affordable package. But with Honda prioritizing SUVs and crossovers for the U.S., the chances of seeing the redesigned Fit stateside seem slim. As noted in this Autopian article, it’s a shame Americans likely won’t get to experience the new Fit and its practicality, fuel efficiency and value.