2018 Honda Fit Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide
Honda is back with a mid-gen upgrade to its best-selling subcompact car, and boy, is it exciting! The new 2018 Honda Fit proves that a hatchback can be so much more, and that size doesn't matter as long as you know how to use yours (lucky for so many of us!).
Fit's new sporty design and the magical tricks it has up its sleeve (magic car seats, to be precise) push Fit further from the traditional hatchback mold. Although there are cheaper options like Ford Fiesta out there, Fit continues to deliver value for money in every field.
Honda Fit starts at $16,190 and has 4 trim levels to offer, which go up to $ 20,000. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard throughout the trims which produce 128 hp when equipped with the CVT automatic transmission. It may not be the most power generating engine, but it definitely is one of the most fuel efficient, giving a highway mileage of almost 40.
8.4/10 Fuel Economy
2018 Honda Fit Features
There are 4 trim levels available for Honda Fit. The standard setup has a 1.5-liter inline-4 engine paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The EX-L trim only has a CVT, while it is optional on all other trim levels. Even the base trims come packed with features like 2nd-row magic seats, Honda Sensing, and a multi-angle rearview camera. And the features just keep getting better as you climb up the trim tree.
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera
All features of LX
All features of LX
All features of EX
6 Speed Manual Transmission
Front, Side, and Rear Underbody Spoilers
CVT with Paddle Shifters
2nd Row Magic Seat
16 inch Black Alloy Wheels
One-Touch Power Moonroof
Available Honda Sensing
7-inch Display Audio Touchscreen
Heated Front Seats
Available Paddle Shifters
Available Navigation System
Which Fit fits my needs?
If you are willing to spend an extra couple of thousand dollars, then the EX trim seems to lie in the value-for-money sweet spot. It adds extra features like an upgraded infotainment system, standard Honda Sensing, and better connectivity through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also adds a smart lock that automatically locks the car when you walk away from it. For those who prefer a leather interior, the EX-L trim is the trim for you.
2018 Honda Fit Engine
“There’s only one engine, a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder unit making 130 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. It’s not going to break any land-speed records, but still does better than the 2017 Ford Fiesta (120 or 123 hp) and the 2017 Nissan Versa Note (109 hp), though not as well as the 2017 Kia Rio (138 hp)” – Autotrader
An inline-4 engine with a displacement of 1.5 liters powers the 2018 Honda Fit across all its trims. The engine provides Fit with 128 hp with CVT, and 130 hp when paired with a manual transmission. Now these may not be hair-raising numbers, and revving the engine might produce more noise than acceleration, but once you compare these numbers with some key competitors, it’s easy to see that Fit’s engine is comfortably ahead of the competition.
Regular Unleaded I-4 1.5 L/91
Regular Unleaded I-4 1.6 L/97
Regular Unleaded I-4 1.5 L/91
Regular Unleaded I-4 1.6 L/98
128 @ 6600
120 @ 6350
106 @ 6000
109 @ 6000
113 @ 4600
112 @ 5000
103 @ 4200
107 @ 4400
One of the reasons Fit’s 4 cylinder engine provides with more power than other company’s I-4s is because it uses Honda’s i-VTEC and Variable Timing Control (VTC) technology. This allows the engine to produce more power at high speeds, and at low speeds, it re-tunes for a better fuel economy. The engine powers the front wheels of Honda Fit, through a six-speed manual or a CVT.
Thanks to Honda’s i-VTEC and VTC, Fit has one of the best acceleration in its class. And yet, the acceleration feels lazy, and merging on the highway tends to take a while. If you opt for the CVT, you may hear a droning sound under heavy acceleration. And if you think the noise would be accompanied with equally large increases in speed, you haven’t been paying attention. With that been said, Fit rewards those who can compromise with some noise (or are just hard of hearing!) with some of the best mileage ratings in its class.
0 – 60 MPH
Ford Fiesta goes neck to neck with Fit when it comes to acceleration, and both display equal numbers in the 0 – 60 mph test and the quarter-mile test. Fiesta is also cheaper, by almost 3 grands. But Fiesta’s advantage fades once the criteria is expanded beyond price and acceleration. Honda retains its edge with all that it has to offer for that extra cost.
Handling and Steering
As far as subcompact hatchbacks go, the 2018 Honda Fit does well in the steering department. The drive is fun, thanks to the precise steering and sharp handling. The ride does feel a bit too firm for some drivers’ taste, but the suspension does well to absorb any bumps that come its way.
There is not much feel from the steering, although that is expected from cars this size. The CVT is good for everyday drives, but the manual is more fun. The clutch pedal could use a little work, as it lacks a decent uptake feel. And it’s not just the driving, parking the Fit is a bliss thanks to tiny overhangs and rear-view camera.
The Sport, EX, and EX-L models come equipped with 16 inch wheels and low profile tires that make the ride even better. On rough patches, though, the Fit struggles due to its short wheelbase.
The Honda Fit isn’t the quickest to come to a stop, but it does well to stop under 180 feet when travelling at 70 MPH, thanks to the large 10.3 inch brakes in the front. Competitors like Ford Fiesta perform better in the brake tests, but still the 2018 Honda Fit is better than most compact cars.
70 – 0 MPH
Brake Pads – Front (in)
Brake Pads – Rear (in)
The brake pedal is soft, just like the clutch. It is progressive and easy to modulate, making a stop-and-go drive in the city quite effortless.
2018 Honda Fit Fuel Economy
“Fuel economy is excellent, with a CVT-equipped LX getting up to 40 mpg on the highway. The engine powers the hatchback’s front wheels through either a slick 6-speed manual or a smooth continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which is standard on the EX-L trim” – KBB
Now this is where the Fit shines the brighter than a supernova on steroids. the 2018 Honda Fit provides unmatched fuel economy for its class. It travels 33 miles for every gallon in the city and 39 miles on the highway. Pairing its efficient engine with CVT takes highway mileage even further to 40.
Nissan’s Versa comes quite close with its combined economy of 34.6 but has to settle for the second place as Honda Fit displays a rating of 36.16 combined economy with CVT.
2018 Honda Fit Interior
“The new Fit seats five and there’s room in back for tall adults. Soft-touch materials and silver accent trim definitely make it feel more expensive than its price. The front bucket seats are comfortable and there are myriad storage cubbies and cup holders” – KBB
The materials used for car seats in the new Fit struggles with the same problem its predecessors did. The interiors feel a little cheap. The padding on the armrest is not soft enough, and the armrest on the door side almost starts to hurt after a little while. The plastic used for the interiors feels cheap, and the seats seem to be made of the most dust and dirt prone material (except for the leather interiors in EX-L trim).
Passenger Volume (Ft.3)
Front Headroom (in)
Front Legroom (in)
Front Shoulder Room (in)
Front Hip Room (in)
Second Headroom (in)
Second Legroom (in)
Second Shoulder Room (in)
Second Hip Room (in)
The Honda has a decent ride quality, especially when you consider its simple suspension design and short wheelbase. The seats are roomy and comfortable, and the added sound insulation in this year’s Fit makes the cabin even more comfortable.
Although the front seats offer enough space for tall passengers, the back seats have slightly less headroom. Legroom would never be a problem in the Fit, but taller passengers may want to stick to the front seats.
The base trim is, well, pretty basic. It features a multi-view rear-view camera, a 5-inch display screen, four speakers, Bluetooth, and a USB port. All other trims get an upgraded infotainment system featuring a 7-inch screen, better connectivity options, and six speakers.
There are also a ton of optional upgrades, like moon-roof, a navigation system (with voice recognition), satellite radio, HD Radio, push-button start, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a collision mitigation braking system, a road departure mitigation system, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, Honda LaneWatch, and a proximity key with walk-away auto lock.
The base trim includes a 5-inch display screen and four speakers. All higher trims have a 7-inch touch screen which has better connectivity through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Pandora compatibility, and HondaLink (for additional smartphone integration). All trims except the base trim have 6 speakers.
A great sigh of relief for many is the return of the volume knob. Handling a touchscreen while driving is a big problem as it forces you to take your eyes off the road, which is never a good idea unless you’re looking to put Honda’s safety features to a test. The volume knob is a bit too tiny for some people’s liking, but it does its job.
The Fit is a hit in storing your cargo. The name ‘Fit’ suits it perfectly due to its ability to provide maximum cargo space in its compact body. The normal cargo space behind the second row is 16.6 cubic feet, which isn’t that bad. But wait till the spell of Honda’s magic takes effect, and you get a whopping 52.7 cubic feet of storage capacity.
Cargo Volume – Seat Up (Ft.3)
Cargo Volume – Seat Down (Ft.3)
Honda’s Magic Seat allows either of the 60/40 split rear seat-backs to fold down flat in one easy step. There is no need to remove the head restraints, either. Another amazing feature that Fit has is the tall cargo mode, which allows either or both of the rear seat cushions to be folded upward and locked into place, providing room for tall items.
Just so you have a frame of reference to really appreciate Fit’s storage capacity, the Subaru Crosstrek’s maximum cargo hold is 51.9, and that’s a crossover! The C-HR, Toyota’s pride in compact crossovers, has a meager 36.4 cubic feet of cargo space. It’s almost unfair to compare its cargo efficiency with other cars of Fit’s class. Just take our word for it (and our numbers, too), when it comes to cargo space, Fit is a class apart.
2018 Honda Fit Exterior
“An attractive and polished hatchback, the Honda Fit has a cohesive look to its sheet metal that scales down a minivan outline to a city-friendly size. It manages to disguise its very tall profile.
We won’t lust over the details here, but the Fit’s inoffensive exterior suits it fine, and its busy interior doesn’t get in the way of its mission. We give it a 5 for styling” – Car Connection
Honda Fit is one of the most spacious subcompact cars in the market. It has a shorter wheelbase than most competitors, but Honda has used the available space so efficiently that a shorter wheelbase doesn’t become an issue.
Curb Weight (lbs.)
Ground Clearance (in)
Track Width – F/R (in)
58.3 / 58
57.7 / 57.7
58.5 / 57.9
58.3 / 58.5
The new Honda Fit has shed its slabby look for a leaner, more muscular design. Where the past Fits used to remind people of a small minivan, the new Fit impresses everyone with its chiseled shape. The body-lines and contours flow brilliantly into the headlights, which further merge with the grille and badging. This gives Fit an aerodynamic look.
In the back, its rooftop spoiler and intricate taillights give it a sporty new look. The upper trims get fog lights, alloy wheels, and an extra strip of chrome on the grille and liftgate. The Sport trim further adds black wheels, a front spoiler, rear diffuser, and a chrome-tipped exhaust.
2018 Honda Fit Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet released ratings for the 2018 model, but the 2017 model got a ‘good’ rating in every test, which is the best IIHS rating. So, the 2018 Fit has a reputation to maintain. It scores an overall 5 out of 5 stars in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety ratings thanks to its various safety features.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Safety Ratings (2017)
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Side Impact Test
Rear Crash Protection
Roof Strength Test
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Safety Ratings
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
4 out of 5
The rear-view camera is standard on every trim. Honda also made its Honda Sensing package standard on all higher trims, but available as an option even in entry-level trim. The package includes adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assistance, and road-departure mitigation.
In the EX trim, Honda has added Lane Watch, which is a camera under the door mirror on the passenger side to keep a watch on the upcoming traffic. As soon as you turn on the right turn indicator, the center screen shows the view on the right for better turns or merging.
2018 Honda Fit Competition
Honda Fit VS Ford Fiesta
Fiesta is one of the most affordable cars in this class. But this low price sticker doesn't come with compromised quality. Fiesta is fitted with premium materials on the inside with user friendly infotainment system. So overall, when you consider its cost and what it has to offer, Fiesta is a pretty good car.
But still, Fit is more spacious in every manner. Its name is apt for its ability to fit in not just cargo. And it might cost a few thousand dollars more than Fiesta, its excellent fuel economy is going to make up for it in the long run.
Honda Fit VS Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris is one of the most reliable small hatchbacks you can buy. It is compact, affordable, and comes with the reliability Toyota is famous for. In driving, it feels more dynamic than Honda Fit. Yaris also puts a lot of attention on safety, by adding features like pre-collision braking, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams standard on all trims.
But the Fit takes back its lead when you go inside the vehicle. The seats are more spacious and comfortable in the Fit. And the cargo options available in Honda Fit is way more advanced than Yaris.
Honda Fit VS Honda Versa
When it comes to interior space, both these hatchbacks do exceptionally well in providing enough room in front as well as the back. Both provide tons of standard as well as upgradable features for relatively little money. While Versa might be a viable option for many due to its low cost and great fuel economy, it hasn’t done enough to bring hatchbacks to a new level.
Versa’s 1.6-liter 4 cylinder engine is efficient but does send noticeable vibrations throughout the car. Honda Fit’s 1.5-liter 4 cylinder engine is much refined and delivers the same power that Versa’s engine does. Honda Fit gets the upper hand due to its versatility and cabin insulation.
2018 Honda Fit Final Verdict
The Honda Fit is a great car that can cater to all your daily needs. It does cost a little more than other subcompact cars, but it has so much more to offer. From roomy seats to unmatched cargo space, from great fuel economy to reassuring safety features, the Fit is, well, fit in all the categories.
Cars like the Nissan Versa seem tempting due to their low price and reasonably powerful engine, but in the long run Honda Fit covers its extra cost by giving a great mileage. The added features like Honda Sensing, Honda Magic Seats, which puts the cargo volume of compact SUVs to shame, a great design, and a sharp handling make Honda a clear winner.