2018 Honda Fit Sport styling hints at good things to come
Honda Fit is a “world car.” And as such, demands a rather conservative approach to “ sportiness.” This is what I walked away with after a day of introduction at Honda Racing's Santa Clarita based Honda Performance Development. (H.P.D.) True enough, the 2018 Honda Fit Sport (base MSRP $17,500) does come to market with an edgier attitude, race inspired body tweaks, an available (soon) Honda Factory Performance tuned suspension, and visual accessory option; cool enough!
But, what you won’t discover is more horsepower and torque under the hood -- Fit could use some. We’ve spent many happy hours behind the wheel of Honda Fit.
Where 2018 Honda shines is in total package value
Here’s the thing: As an auto review journalist, a new car or light truck, several of them competitors to the Honda brand, end up in my driveway. And, depending on the luck of the draw, one week I may be sitting behind the wheel of a high-output V6 or V8 rear-wheel-drive wonder, all-wheel-drive posh crossover, SUV or hybrid, that will readily blow the doors off of most everyday drivers -- Honda Fit does not compete like-for-like with the aforementioned -- yet is exceptional in its own right.
On any given day, 2018 Honda Fit is a very capable, fun to drive, 5-door subcompact hatchback; that when pushed to the limit, under most conditions, suffices as to verall drive performance.. Producing 128 horsepower, and 113 lb-ft -torque via an injected, fuel efficient, low emissions, 1.5 Liter, normally aspirated Earth Dreams ™ 4 cylinder gasoline engine, Fit is no tire burner. Yet, in town, Honda’s compact 5 passenger hatchback is hard to beat for maneuverability, parking prowess, and fuel efficiency. Honda takes a design cue or two from SEMA Show Las Vegas.
For 2018, Honda Fit is measurably improved in connectivity, ride comfort, and interior quiet
Honda takes Fit, the second best selling sub compact car in the U.S., to the next level in segment leading body design, personal electronics connectivity, ride comfort, and road to driver steering wheel feedback. We first reported on the 2018 Honda Fit Sport here.
What I first noticed on our 30 mile drive loop, was a much improved suspension, road noise to cabin isolation, reduced mirror generated wind noise, and a rather decent drivers seat fit and comfort. Fit’s fit and finish is exceptional in and out. However, Fit construction is plastic-rich, and the seats, while comfortable enough, are manually adjusted. It’s a price-point thing.
2018 Honda Fit is available with 2 transmission options. Although I do appreciate Honda’s manual transmission, in the case of Fit, the CVT with sequential paddle shift proved to work the best when paired with Fit’s relatively low output 4 cylinder engine.
I found on freeway ramp and passing speed to be adequate, with up-grade momentum maintained through a seamlessly transitioning CVT. (continuously variable transmission) For aggressive acceleration, I recommend paddle shifting, resulting in less CVT related engine revs. However, there is an annoying torque drop noted between first and second gear in the manual transmission -- I couldn't rev past it!
In both transmission options, I did discover a torque “sweet spot” in the mid-rpm range, resulting in near instantaneous acceleration. Remarkably, even while pushing Fit to its performance limit, the cabin remained reasonably quiet.
Fit will flip a U-turn on a two lane
Although Fit is front-wheel-drive, performing a sudden U-turn on a two lane residential street proved doable; parallel parking is a snap, and with the back-up cam, and right-hand lane-watch enguaged, easy! For 2018 Honda’s award winning Honda Watch ™ is now available on all trim levels, including those equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission. In short, you can now purchase the Honda brands portal car with state of the art adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and accident prevention brake mitigation.
Also, for connectivity, Honda now offers Apple Carplay and Android Auto hands-free options standard for greater personal electronic connectivity. While no hot rod, Fit Sport's new found attitude does lend itself to a bit of driving fun. For me, EX-L trim level package with CV-T presents the greatest value in the lineup. (MSRP $20,520+) Or, for those of you that wish for a sportier look, explore the 2018 Honda Fit bonline build platform. MY 2018 Honda Fit Sport equipped with Honda Sending ™ , and a goody or two, priced out at $19,859 with CVT.
What I like: Easy in-city handling, great utility, exception fuel efficiency, roomy cabin, quirky good looks, initial MSRP and high residual resale value.