By on April 26, 2017

2017 Honda Fit LX

Eight months ago, we took a sojourn through the build and price tool for the Honda Fit LX. Since then, Honda’s increased the price and added a paint option.

So far in 2017, the Fit has sold at a more rapid pace than last year, despite the addition of an HR-V that logically should have cannibalized some Fit sales. As we well know, logic has no place in the car business. Perhaps shoppers are being lured to Honda showrooms by the new HR-V, then flipped by an alert member of the sales staff to the more affordable Fit.

Let’s see what one gets for their extra Fit cash in 2017.

A slight increase in price to $16,090 for this model year means buyers will have to fit an extra $200 into the note of their new subcompact Honda, an insignificant amount in the grand scheme of things. For that not-so-princely sum, buyers will find a six-speed manual paired to a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The CVT is $800. Skip it and row your own. Prospective buyers would be wise to take the Fit on an extended test drive to ensure they can survive the Fit’s engine speed at highway velocities.

Unlike some bland boxes on sale at this end of the market, the Fit exhibits a modicum of style. More than a few of its competitors feature odd and unpleasant styling choices, making them look like an off-brand Beirut taxi. Slathered in a coat of tasty Milano Red, the Fit is not an embarrassment of economy. In fact, three real colours off the gray-scale are offered gratis, a pleasant departure from most manufacturers who choose to charge extra for something interesting. For 2017, Lunar Silver is available in place of Alabaster Silver. Alabaster is more fun to say.

A black cloth interior is the sole choice for out-of-doors trim. Fifteen-inch tires on steel rims keep a lid on costs come replacement time. Those rims come with full wheel covers that, for once, do not look like something hastily chosen from the AutoZone discount bin. LED brake lights jazz up the rear.

Economies of scale assure all Fit owners, including cheapskates who spring for the base model, the comfort of air conditioning, power windows, and cruise control. Power mirrors, a backup camera, and a tilt/telescope steering wheel are all standard. Honda now has an annoying habit of only offering SiriusXM radio on its highest trim level. Here, one can at least plug in their tunes through the available USB or AUX ports, and control them with the 5-inch color screen in the center stack. Bluetooth and streaming audio are on board in the base model, too.

Thanks to the unique packaging choices by Honda’s engineers, the second-row Magic Seats can be flipped in a manner to reveal nearly four vertical feet of space. This means one can haul upright items once reserved for pickups or the bizarre Envoy XUV. Small fridges, tall plants, and standing children will all fit, although TTAC and your local constabulary frown upon transporting youngsters in this fashion.

For an extra two hundred Simoleons, the Honda Fit definitely retains its spot on our Ace of Base list. Just don’t get the HR-V. Tim will yell at you.

Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options, sans destination fee, and is priced in Freedom Dollars. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

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69 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Fit LX...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I have neighbors down the street who have two Honda Fits. Based on my conversation with ’em, they love the cars for their utility and the amount of room in the back seats.

    One the woman sat in my Mini Clubman S, she stated “I like my Fit more! It has more space.”

    I replied – “But my car is more fun to drive.”

    Her: “I don’t care about that.”

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Fun to drive is debatable – let’s say differently fun. Hondas tend to have softer suspensions, but it’s more about compliance than lack of precision – set them in a corner, it leans a bit, and there’s nothing that can shake them loose. Their engines also like to rev, so put your boot in it and it’s “where have you been all my life”. Control your arc with the throttle (yes FWD is fun) and a good time s had by all. Even with a fridge stuffed in the back.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      //Her: “I don’t care about that.”

      Soul Sister!

    • 0 avatar
      Sketch

      Have you driven a Fit for comparison? Based on my experience renting a circa 2008 Cooper S convertible, I am skeptical that the even-heavier Clubman would be any more fun to drive than a Fit.

      Disclaimer: my daily beater at the time was a 91 Integra LS. Now that was a fun FWD car.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        I prefer the ’03-’06 Mini hardtops (first gen MINI) to the Clubman but with 172hp I’m pretty confident that my Clubman (especially since I don’t use runflats) could outrun a Fit in a mountain run. It isn’t that much heavier (~234pds? according to Car and Driver) than the hardtop MINI.

        Magazine testing also has the Clubman roughly a second faster in 0-60 and quarter mile versus the Fit. Roughly equal in the slalom – ? Add in the twin-scroll turbo and the Clubman has a lot of down low power to come out of corners.

        Note – I’m not wild about the Clubman as a daily and will be replacing it soon, but the car is no slouch in the handling department. It just feels a little numb compared to the first generation S, even with “sport mode” on. I blame the electric steering pump? Or perhaps the extra length/softer ride?

        • 0 avatar
          Sketch

          The Fit is definitely not fast, I have no doubt the Clubman S would outrun it. I’m just not sure it would be any more fun to drive while doing so.

          It’s really too bad there’s no Fit Si. Especially since the Fit is the closest thing Honda has to the Civic of old.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    I don’t care if the engine can handle it, 4,000 or so RPM at highway speeds is just too buzzy and uncomfortable. The CVT is better but enjoying the manual is half the point of getting a small car, to me at least.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Please can we get gearing for all manual transmissions that drop the RPMs to under 3,000 at 75 mph? Even if I can only use top gear on totally flat ground or going down hill – that would be worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        focus-ed

        Stop looking and get a Golf – 2000rpm at 65mph. Even GTI does 60mph at 2000rpm. So basically you can’t even reach 3000rpm (in the top gear) driving with legal speeds. Both will actually accelerate in this rpm range (regardless of the gear you’re in).

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        It is not high rpm, it is lack of refinement and noise insulation. My old BMW 325i was at 4k rpm in top gear at 75 mph and it was turbine smooth and VERY quiet.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        2.5l in the Outback/Legacy, at least back in ’09, was well above 3k at 70mph.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      This. I considered a Fit, and loved the way it looked, felt, and drove. I loved how utilitarian it was.

      But, man, even with a sixth (manual) gear, that thing was way too loud on the road. No sale.

    • 0 avatar
      slap

      My guess is that the manufacturers assume that the driver doesn’t want to have to downshift for hills when at highway speed, so they gear it this way for the smaller engines.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        My 5-cylinder VW was geared this way, ran at 3000 rpm at 70 mph. It took a substantial grade to require a downshift and it always felt responsive. That car actually had some real sound deadening, though, so unless you looked at the tachometer you wouldn’t know it was spinning that quickly.

        The Fit just isn’t meant for extended freeway travel.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          My 5spd ’12 Civic sat at 3k rpm at 70mph, felt perfect. Engine was never intrusive, and in a good place to accelerate to pass without a downshift. Also got really good MPG, regularly got tanks of 40-41 mpg in mostly highway driving in the summer.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I definitely prefer that setup to an automatic that drops the engine speed too low, resulting in dead throttle response and then gear shuffling any time you want to pick up speed.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I have a 2007 Honda Civic Si sedan. On the highway, I regularly cruise at close to 4K rpm. A week or two ago, I replaced the factory fill transmission oil with BG Syncro Shift II. Oh my. It’s like a new car. I can’t believe how much quieter it is at speed. I’m kicking myself for not having found this stuff a decade ago. 8,400 rpm shifts are improved too, and shifting from R to 3 during a snap spin at 35 mph is a cinch.

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      I came to post something like this, and concur with everyone else. A neighbor has a Fit. Gave me a lift to pick up my care when we first moved here and my car had to do the state inspection and registration.

      I have never driven a truly small car. I was surprised at the engine noise level and high rpms at 60-65 mph. Its one thing in a Mazda, which you’re supposed to I guess pretend is a sports car….but a Fit? The entire idea is to be economical, right? Wouldn’t lower rpms at cruising speed use less power and thus, less fuel? (I’m not an engineer,so I could be wrong here.)

      But it’s pretty comfy, has good visibility, spacious for its size, and has some cool features for the price.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “Wouldn’t lower rpms at cruising speed use less power and thus, less fuel? (I’m not an engineer,so I could be wrong here.)”

        It’s a compromise. Yes ultimately something like Honda’s old strategy with the HF CRXs and CX Civics was to gear them tall for insane 50+ mpg capability, at the expense of having to drop a gear or two to pass. Also, there is a balance between having the engine spinning faster and the load placed on it (how much gas the driver has to give to crest a small rise in the highway for example). If the driver in the taller geared low power car has to really open up the throttle because the engine is not making enough torque, that may in fact be less efficient than the engine sitting happily at a very efficient and more torque rich part of its powerband and the driver just needs to apply a bit more gas. I could be wrong on that, fuel use could be linearly tied to torque production for all I know.

        • 0 avatar
          vvk

          Wide open throttle is more efficient than partially open throttle due to reduced pumping losses. Unless you have a throttle-less engine, such as diesel or a gas engine that uses variable valve lift and duration (BMW Valvetronic, Fiat Multiair, Nissan VVEL.)

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Agreed, that’s what was giving me pause. But as I recall there is also such a thing as a point in the RPM range when the engine makes power most efficiently(?)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The general shape of the Fit makes me think they should all come painted blue with “Police Call Box” on the side.

  • avatar
    Michael Haz

    I’m inclined to like Hondas having driven the half-dozen I’ve owned for many hundreds of thousands of miles.

    I took a Fit out on a demo drive because it is time to retire one of my cars and I’d like something smaller. Did not like the Fit at all. Seriously underpowered, the manual transmission version I drove required that I wring the engine’s neck just to keep up with suburban traffic. It was a buzzy, noisy mess on the highway.

    For the same price I can buy a two-year-old CPO Civic or Accord, and get a much better car.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Another reason to get the base LX: the infotainment system has real buttons and knobs, versus the EX’s awful touchscreen. Same for the Civic.

    https://www.groovecar.com/media/stock/images/stills/2016/honda/fit/lx-4dr-hatchback-cvt/2016-honda-fit-lx-4dr-hatchback-cvt-059-large.jpg

    But either version sucks on the highway.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I get the impression in general that Fits are bought by an entirely different demographic than say a Versa, or Mirage, or Accent. These are folks that can more likely afford more car, but specifically want the utility. Sort of the same people going for Foresters/Outbacks in my observations. I really don’t care for this latest generation with its worse visibility, and reduced cargo room.

    My family’s first ever new car purchase was a base 5spd manual Fit in 2007, first year of the first generation, we drove out 4 hours to NJ to snag one at MSRP. It’s been a really solid runabout and commuter for my empty-nester folks, no issues to note in the 10 years they’ve owned it, aside from a heat shield on the exhaust that rusted enough to start rattling a year or so ago. Some tinges of rust starting to form on the insides of the wheelwells, and I’m certain the rear shocks could use a refreshing as the car gets used regularly on their hobby farm to haul beehives and various implements out in the sticks (mix dirt and poorly maintained paved roads). It can crack 41-43 mpg on 55-mph state highway drives up to the Adirondacks, gets 35mpg in hilly city driving in the summer. All in all a perfect little utilitarian runabout, but they’re seriously looking at compact trucks now with the farm and all.

  • avatar
    make_light

    I’m looking to downsize with my next purchase, and the Fit was on my list, but there are some horror stories about the seats. I haven’t personally sat in one yet, but that would be a deal breaker.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      My parents’ 07 is horrible for taller people (read: anyone over 5’10” or so), the lack of cruise control totally kills your right leg, as the throttle pedal is positioned relative to the seat in such a way that your muscles are in constant tension to maintain a particular throttle position. I think the key is not enough thigh support. Around town it is a non-issue, but get on the highway at steady speed for even 30 minutes and it sucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I bet the cruise control hardware’s there just short of a switch.

      • 0 avatar
        Netsy

        Yup, I seriously considered a Fit about a year ago until the test drive confirmed that my 5’11” frame did not… um, fit. Big disappointment because the Fit really checked all the other practicality boxes for me otherwise. The foldable Magic Seats in the back…! Next best thing to being able to just yank rear seats out entirely.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          The amount of space and yes those magic seats to fit tall stuff is incredible. My folks have theirs turned into full time trucklet mode with the rear seats down and a tarp laid out. If only someone made a FWD compact car based truck… (see Chevrolet Tornado, Fiat Toro, etc)

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Yeah I’m 6 ft and I found the lower seat cushion on the Fit, and HR-V, to be way too short. I’d imagine you’d really notice that on anything longer than around the town jaunts.

  • avatar
    Menloguy

    I’ve been considering the Fit as a replacement for my aging Accord. I’m curious as to how the CVT transmission performs up hills and if it is able to effectively keep up with 75 MPH traffic on the freeway. The 2.4 liter 4-cylinder in the Accord has done a good job of it. Some things that detract from this car are the rock-hard door armrests, stiff rotary climate control knobs and a small fuel tank capacity. I really like the Ace of Base series – keep them coming!

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      I use them via zip car – I was cruising between 85 and 90 mph before I realized it and pulled back a bit. One thing on the previous model was that you could feel the AC sucking some power. Didn’t test that on the new model.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I’ve always found out that no matter the Honda, until one gets used to the car, most people will catch themselves driving a heckuva lot faster than they intended.

        This was especially true back in the ’90s, but even on the current Accord, I had a few instances where I thought I was going around 20mph slower than what the speedometer indicated. Only in vehicles that were slightly underpowered, such as the last CR-V, does the speed always seem to match other cues as you drive. (I know that despite the looks, the latest Civic’s ride belies its size, but I haven’t driven one, so it’d be interesting to see if this Honda trait is present despite the turbo lag.)

    • 0 avatar
      JReed

      The CVT is the transmission to have, as much as both the author and myself don’t want it to be. It can keep the smaller engine at peak HP consistently, meaning it can be much more peppy than a traditional transmission. It will have no trouble with hills or the interstate, and will return a true 40+ MPG at around 70 MPH.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      While people on here like to complain about it not having enough power, it’s actually fine for what it is. Not everything needs 200 hp.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    My parents have a previous-generation base Fit, and it’s a great non-enthusiast and/or big-city daily-driver. Its high-speed engine/wind/general noise level and somewhat unsettled ride I suspect would make it suck for long-distance slogs. Oh, and it’s agonizingly slow, esp. w the (traditional) AT my parents’ has.
    Compared to my similar-sized 5dr Mini, it’s a wonder how BMW could design it to have SO little space inside.
    And the only repairs it’s needed in 8yrs is 1 loose ground screw and some Takata airbags.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    My wife’s daily driver is a 2016 Honda Fit EX-L Navi in Aegean Blue. That’s right, we took all the advice from Ace of Base, threw it out the window, and bought my wife a Fit loaded to the gills.

    It was also not easy to find since most Fits are stocked in greyscale and my wife absolutely wants a brightly colored car. So we waited a few weeks for ours to come in, during which time we used a loaner Fit EX, which was interesting because the EX got the cloth upholstery detailed in the article where our EX-L gets leather. The difference is night and day. I can also say with some certainty that the seat rails between the LX/EX and EX-L are different. Where I had to slide the EX’s seat all the way back to be able to drive, I set it about middle with the EX-L. And it’s not just the upholstery, but the seats between cloth and leather are shaped slightly different and the EX-L seats are much more comfortable. That fact alone made it worth the upgrade.

  • avatar
    Chan

    At my local dealer, I noticed that the Fit had rather poor fit and finish for a Honda. I wonder if this is due to the new Mexico plant.

    The car had white overspray on the window frame (the car was dark olive-green metallic). The paint job itself was horrid and appeared to lack any clear coat for gloss and depth (granted, Hondas are not known for durable or glossy paint). The interior smelled more chemical-y than the Civic next to it.

    My first impression was notably worse than the previous generation Fit.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Honda moved Fit production back to Japan after a year or two to make room for the HR-V.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Interesting…I checked out a HR-V for my girlfriend a while back and it didn’t feel up to typical Honda standards. Maybe their Mexican plant ain’t all that.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Wonder if it was damaged in transit and the dealer took it to MAaco.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        The overspray that I saw was only on one window frame, but the entire car was bathed in awful paint.

        Correction: The car was an HR-V, not a Fit. But definitely from the Mexico plant as indicated by the VIN and door jamb sticker.

        So perhaps the Fit is fine now, other than the ridiculously low gearing.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      The Fit pictured above has the same problem – the license paint has been oversprayed to match the rest of the car.

      (Yeah, yeah, it’s been photoshopped, I know, but it still looks funky.)

    • 0 avatar
      SnarkyRichard

      A body shop owner friend of mine once told me you would be surprised at the number of new cars that get banged up driving off the trailer . If production has moved back to Japan even more chances for it to get dented and sloppily repaired . Seems to be the case with the Fit you looked at .

  • avatar
    ijbrekke

    Slightly on (or off) topic: Why is there no Fit SI? THAT would be a car to consider.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Good question. My guess is that there aren’t enough TTAC commenters in the world to buy them.

      It’d be a fun car, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Drew8MR

      Honestly, I think Honda should do an Si and a Type R for pretty much their whole line-up. At least a once-per-generation limited release as a Halo.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        As opposed to the SE always produced in the last year or two of an Accord generation, usually an LX with leather seats, or whatnot.

        (Or like the 2016 Odyssey SE, which was an EX with XM radio, the DVD system in the back, and the Honda-Vac(uum cleaner) from the top-drawer model.)

  • avatar
    SaabTemplePilot

    Matthew:
    How about instead of “Tim will yell at you.” Say “Tim will Cain you.”
    Get it, his name.
    Keep it up. Love Ace of Base.
    Will myself out.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “More than a few of its competitors feature odd and unpleasant styling choices, making them look like an off-brand Beirut taxi.”

    Are we SURE Jack didn’t write this piece?

  • avatar

    We bought an Ace of Base ’15 Fit back in 2014, equipped just like the one featured: LX with no extras, the manual transmission, and in a bright Aegean Blue. Man, oh man, I really wanted to like that car.

    We spent months cross shopping Fiestas, Sonics, Focus’ (Focii?), Accents, and even Mirages.

    The then-all-new third gen checked most of the right boxes and gave a good showroom impression. A real manual transmission? Check, and six speeds. Cruise and Bluetooth standard? Check! No finicky touchscreens? Check! Lots of visibility and a large greenhouse? Yes! Gobs of space for gear and passengers? Sure! Bright colors for a base model? Yeap. Good fuel economy? You betcha!

    Compared to the others, it had a good compromise of practicality, utility, frugalness, and even kinda looked cute in that beautiful blue. I also liked the soft, high quality cloth seats and the thoughtful touches throughout.

    But then driving it was a drag. Granted, I should’ve picked up on that during the test drive, but we only went on surface streets as there were no freeways nearby.

    On the highway, the Fit was just bothersome and tiring. Revving at 3500 rpm at 70mph in sixth gear on hours-long road trips was exhausting. The noise from the engine was relentless. The gearing on the six speed was bizarre; first was way too short and required almost immediate shifts to second, and fifth and sixth were almost interchangeable. Driving over hilly passes required downshifting two or even three gears. The ride was also harsh and the entire car was a penalty box on the highway

    Sure, it had great handling that was zippy and accurate, but for the majority of the time that this car was on busy roads, it was misery.

    Too bad; it’s a well thought-out package and is let down by its performance. Even the 46mpg I’d get on long trips didn’t compensate for the shortfalls.

    I ended up trading it in after 5k miles, unwilling to deal with another long road trip (I ended up renting cars in the months prior to get something more pleasant) and purchased a Chevy Sonic as a replacement. I give up some versatility, but gained a lot more NVH refinement that makes the car livable. No regrets

    I really wanted to like the Fit, but it was a tough car to live with

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Forget Mazda- Honda delivers jinbai attai or whatever it’s called with serious value. I had a Fit CVT loaner and its fun dynamics shocked me. With a stick it would be a seriously fun and practical package


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