The 2016 Honda Fit is one of those rare small cars that feels bigger inside than it really is. It does not provide the sensation of sitting inside a midsize sedan, but with so much glass surrounding the passenger compartment and comfortable seating for up to five occupants, I can’t help but consider the idea that maybe this is all the automobile anyone really needs. Could the needs of today’s driver really be this simple?
Power comes in the form of a 1.5-litre 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder gasoline-powered engine. Small and efficient, it offers a respectable 130 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 114 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. Matched to a CVT transmission, it delivers a combined fuel economy rating of 6.8 L/100 km on regular fuel. To save even more, an ECON button sits to the left of the steering wheel, allowing the Honda Fit to sip modest amounts of fuel with every kilometer driven.
Acceleration is not something you measure in the same way as the soon-to-be-unleashed, all-new Honda Civic Type-R. Rather, the 2016 Honda Fit eases itself into oncoming highway traffic with a modest amount of complaint, all the while working hard to achieve 100 km/h in a reasonable amount of time. You won’t be catching any sports cars or be the fastest out of the blocks, but you also shouldn’t shudder at the thought of having to pass a transport truck or scoot across a busy intersection.
Brakes are power-assisted front disc and rear drum. They feel secure as I press hard on the pedal to make a sudden stop in rush hour Toronto traffic. This is the time, and the only time for me, when I think autonomous driving might have value.
MacPherson strut front suspension and electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is easy on the body and hands, except when it comes to large potholes. Those you will feel all the way up your spine thanks to the short wheelbase and limited suspension travel. Our 2016 Honda Fit EX-L Navi test vehicle is equipped with 16” alloy wheels and P185/55 R16 tires, so the ride quality is somewhat improved over the standard 15” wheels found on the DX, LX and EX models.
Outside, the Honda Fit looks tight, well-crafted, sleek and dare I say fit. A wedge by any other name is still a wedge, but Honda does a nice job of providing the Fit with a little character to go along with its slippery shape. Wheel arches have a slightly muscular tone and a strong accent line runs down the side of the car from just in front of the door mirror all the way to the rear taillight. A high roofline and tall windows provide a greenhouse effect both inside and out.
Once inside, the slopped windshield, glass moonroof and large back window provide excellent outward visibility. Front seats are comfortable and offer very good support. The EX-L Navi comes standard with leather interior and it looks good on the Fit. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is equipped with volume and audio controls as well as cruise control activation. In the CVT model, we get the added bonus of steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters, thought I can’t quite bring myself to use them on a regular basis. I guess it’s the concept of racing and a Honda Fit that just doesn’t quite add up.
Power windows, mirrors, an excellent navigation system plus exceptional sound quality from the 180-watt AM/FM/CD audio system offer a luxury car experience more in line with the Honda Civic or Accord. SiriusXM is included, so too the option for text messaging. Two USB ports are standard.
Storage abounds in the center console and there is even a cool cupholder on the dash to the left of the steering wheel. The rear seat is big enough for 2 adults, 3 in a pinch for short trip. Head room is very good. Trunk space is excellent and the back seats fold flat in a 60/40 configuration for frequent trips to IKEA or to bring home that big screen TV for the holidays.
The 2016 Honda Fit is a well-rounded small car that acts bigger than it looks. It’s not the fastest or best looking car on the road, but it’s not pretending to be. Fully loaded, it tops $22,000, but then you do get a lot for the money. When all is said and done, this may be the perfect fit for most drivers, but it won’t stop me from longing for a test drive in the new Honda Civic Type-R or better yet, the new Acura NSX.
2016 Honda Fit
Trim level: EX-L Navi
Price as tested (before taxes): $22,890
Configuration: front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 1.5L 4-cylinder/ CVT
Power/torque: 130 hp/ 114 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): regular (40L)
Fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): city: 7.3, hwy: 6.1 L/100 Km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 6.8 L/100 km (450 km)
Warranties: 5-years/100,000 km (basic)
Competitors: Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris
- Interior space
- Fuel economy
- Pushes side-to-side in a stiff crosswind