Ace of Base: 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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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
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