By on January 31, 2018

2018 Honda Fit Sport front quarter

2018 Honda Fit Sport

1.5-liter inline four, DOHC (130 hp @ 6,600 rpm; 114 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm)

Six-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive

29 city / 36 highway / 31 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

8.1 city / 6.6 highway /  7.4 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

33.2 (As tested, MPG)

Base Price: $18,375 (U.S) / $21,285 (Canada)

As Tested: $18,375 (U.S) / $21,285 (Canada)

Prices include $875 freight charge in U.S. and $1,695 delivery, destination and A/C tax in Canada, and because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

I’m on the record with my assertion that the minivan is the perfect family vehicle. A low floor and high roof combine to provide maximum space for both humans and cargo. For those who don’t need to haul five kids to Walley World every week, however, the classic hatchback gives much of that minivan flexibility in a condensed, occasionally fun-to-drive package. The modern subcompact hatch isn’t the penalty box that littered American roads in the late Malaise Era.

My two kids had a packed weekend between softball, soccer, and cheerleading. Carrying all the required equipment, including camp chairs and coolers, would be taxing for nearly any car. And yet, we had one of the smallest cars I’ve ever driven at our disposal, a 2018 Honda Fit Sport. Did the Fit fit everything that needed to, um, fit?

2018 Honda Fit Sport profile

No, you’re not seeing double. Tim Cain did indeed review a Milano Red Honda Fit LX a few months ago. While his Canadian-market tester was saddled with a CVT, American Honda took pity on me and delivered a three-pedal Fit Sport to my door.

The Fit saw a styling refresh for the 2018 model year, but the modest changes mean it’s a still a familiar sight. The pair of parallel slashes across the bodysides again remind of the big-brother Odyssey, while the Sport-trim specific 16-inch black alloy wheels look handsome. It is a little awkward looking from some angles. It’s tall and narrow, which doesn’t lend well to classic proportions.

2018 Honda Fit Sport front

2018 Honda Fit Sport rear

That tall, narrow body does give plenty of room – we stuffed everything we needed for the weekend in the hatch without needing to flip the Magic Seat forward. The kids were more comfortable in the rear of the Fit than in many larger cars. Legroom is remarkably good.

2018 Honda Fit Sport cargo area

I’m going to geek out a bit for a goofy little feature. Note the compartment to the left of the steering wheel, just below the HVAC vent. It folds out to make a small cupholder that would fit a half-liter water bottle, but when retracted it’s a perfect place to drop a cell phone. Since it’s not my typical location – in a center cupholder or a dedicated tray near the shift lever – I did forget my Galaxy S7 a few times (like when I photographed the car), but it’s a great place to keep it secure and in your line of sight if needed for navigation purposes. I’d love a USB port on that side of the steering wheel, however.

2018 Honda Fit Sport interior

I’m not a fan of the front seat, however. Due to the Fit’s unusual fuel tank location – beneath the front seats – there is minimal travel fore and aft. Combined with the short lower bolsters, my thighs had no support, making for painful travel on longer drives. I know compromises must be made for such a compact vehicle, but my legs didn’t quite fit the Fit.

2018 Honda Fit Sport front seat 2018 Honda Fit Sport rear seat

Otherwise, the controls were quite good, with light clutch pedal actuation and positive shift action. The location of the shifter, low against my right knee, is a throwback to the Eighties for me. I’m reminded of the ‘88 Civic I almost bought years ago, back when shifters sprouted directly from the floor and even a tiny plastic console was an extra-cost option. Yes, there is a proper console on this Fit, with cup holders and everything – I guess I’m just remembering the good old days.

2018 Honda Fit Sport dashboard

Rose-colored glasses make me think that ratty old Civic would blow this Fit away when driven aggressively, but the Fit Sport does have a little of that hot-hatch spirit buried deep within. 130 horsepower is adequate, though I’d love to see a proper Si version with a bit more power to pull the 2,553 pounds around. At the very least the Fit Sport should have a larger front sway bar, and maybe a rear bar to facilitate more neutral cornering. As is, the Sport trim is just the bigger 16-inch alloy wheels and a body kit.

2018 Honda Fit Sport infotainment

It’s not boring to drive but, at the same time, it doesn’t beg to hit the twisties. The Fit is at home on the slog to and from work, where ease of use trumps all else. Ride quality is quite good for a car with such a short wheelbase, so it works well on a highway drive (other than the seat issue), and the suspension handles Ohio potholes well, without introducing shakes and shudders to the body. It does get noisy at highway speeds, with a combination of road and wind noise requiring a turn of the volume knob.

2018 Honda Fit Sport center stack

At six feet, four inches, I’m not quite right for this car. Were I a bit closer to average human size, I’d be taking a closer look at a Fit. The EX trim would likely be the one I’d look at, as the brilliant Honda Sensing safety suite comes included, as does Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2018 Honda Fit Sport gauges

I wanted to love the Honda Fit Sport. There just wasn’t quite enough sport and, while the rest of the family had no problems, my legs don’t quite fit.

2018 Honda Fit Sport rear quarter

[Images: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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79 Comments on “2018 Honda Fit Sport Review – Manuals, Saved...”


  • avatar
    OzCop

    Indeed, inject another 15 to 20 HP into that car, give it proper spring rates and sway bars to make it handle, perhaps even a bit of front strut camber adjustment, and viola, it might be equal to a 400 lb lighter 89 Civic Si…

  • avatar
    Fordson

    “It does get noisy at highway speeds, with a combination of road and wind noise and 75 mph working out to 3500 rpm…in top gear, requiring a turn of the volume knob.”

    FIFY.

    • 0 avatar
      ijbrekke

      When they went from 5-speed to 6-speed but kept the final gear ratio identical I just about lost it. It’s such a weirdly dumb decision that continues to live on.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I thought the sport model was supposed to have the upgraded suspension components previously available as dealer installed upgrades?

    I’ll say it again. Put the Civic 1.5 turbo and 6 speed manual in this car. Please! Call it the Fit SI. I’ll trade my 15 Fit LX the first day that combo is available.

    While your at it figure out a way to let the driver and front passenger seats go back another couple of inches.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’d buy a Cruze HB manual diesel over this, the road noise in the Fit would be a dealbreaker.

  • avatar
    James2

    That interior looks like it was designed by a committee… of blind people.

    Oh, and I’ve never been a fan of black wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I don’t like black wheels, either.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I don’t like chrome *anything* but not a huge fan of black wheels either. My order of desirability would be gunmetal, black, then chrome.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Body-color wheels need to make a comeback.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Well, just regular “bright argent” alloys (not chrome) would be fine for me. Gunmetal inserts on some wheels look okay, but I don’t want the entire wheels too dark, because to me, it just looks dirty.

        Like Corey said, I’d choose another trim just to avoid these wheels. And since the Sport trim doesn’t come with any meaningful performance upgrades, it makes dropping it that much easier.

    • 0 avatar
      Prado

      Agree on the black wheels. Maybe it is just because I am a little older, but black wheels just remind me of old beaters that have lost st their hubcaps. I’m ok with black on built 4wd off-roaders or track type sports cars. Anything else, it looks like crap.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        ^this. Not sure what you mean by “little older”, but I’m 35 and that’s immediately what comes to mind when I see black wheels.

        I’m a fan of silver steel wheels with chrome rings and center caps, which would look awesome on the sedan version of the Fit that we don’t get here (Honda City, as its most commonly known). Would bring back pleasant memories of the 1988-91 Civic DX sedan. Despite my fondness of hatchbacks, I always loved the sedans of that era, in any trim.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    At almost 6’4″ this is a no sale for me.
    Even it drives great.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      It doesn’t drive great. It just has adequate power. And it is utterly uncomfortable for any adult who is not a petite woman.

      • 0 avatar
        SaigonDesign

        It drives fine. Agree with you on lack of power.

        But, I am not a petite woman, and I find it quite comfortable.

        If you’re over 6′-2″, then you might have issues. But then again, most cars are designed to fit 95 – 98% of the populace, so you get the bad luck of being an outlier.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          When I decide to torture my enemy, I will make them drive Honda Fit for 6 hours non-stop

          • 0 avatar

            Have you driven a Fit for hours on the highway?

            Is it as comfortable a highway cruiser as my father’s ’74 Mercury Grand Marquis? No, a vehicle with just 100″ of wheelbase is going to pitch. Also, it’s a little bit noisy at 80 MPH, but then it’s at a nice point on the power curve so you can still accelerate in 6th if you need to.

            Since getting my Fits (first one got totaled), from Detroit I’ve driven to NYC three times, Chicago a couple of times, Memphis once, Nashville once, and down to Columbus a few time to see Mr. & Mrs. Baruth.

            I know the Fit’s shortcomings pretty well, having put over 40,000 miles on a couple of them, but it’s hardly a penalty box to drive, even on long distances.

            I don’t understand why people slag off the Fit. Would I like a little more power and better handling? Sure, but I have plenty of fun driving it as is. It’s got a naturally aspirated Honda motor that loves to rev, a close ratio manual transmission, and while it isn’t a Miata, it handles pretty well.

          • 0 avatar
            cargogh

            Well said, Ronnie.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Sorry Ronnie, but you’ve failed the test. You’re not a true princess.

      • 0 avatar
        Holden-SSV

        6’2″ 220lb and I “Fit” (harhar) just fine, with tons of room all around. Don’t know what you’re basing that last statement on. Maybe you should actually try sitting in one first?

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          I drove this car. The sitting surface is too short, there in no good tight support. I will not be comfortable driving it. Anyone calling it comfortable seat, please, tell me what do you call a seat in Lexus or Volvo? And then the noise. I wish it was noise from Holden SSV but it is not

          • 0 avatar

            I call a seat in a Lexus or Volvo a seat in a luxury car, not an entry level Honda. I have chronic back, shoulder and neck issues. With some car seats 150 miles of highway driving is all I can do before my lower back starts to ache. While the Fit’s seats aren’t as comfortable as the ones I’ve experienced in Jaguars, Audis, and Lexi, they’re not uncomfortable and I can do long drives without pain.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Plus this line is totally apropos – “remind of the big-brother Odyssey.”

        The Fit always struck me as being too MPV-looking (along with the Versa hatch) rather than others in the segment which look like a proper “hatchback.”

  • avatar
    ant

    so they put the volume knob back.

    Who’s idea was it to eliminate it in the first place?

    Did that person get fired?

    I hope so.

  • avatar
    NG5

    They are hard to fault as practical short-hop city cars. Even after driving one of this generation with the manual and not particularly enjoying it as a driving experience, it was hard to cross off the list on the basis of its utility.

    If I folded down the rear seats in my vehicle more frequently than I went on a fun drive or a roadtrip, I would probably have had a hard time walking away from one of these.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    So am thinking of moving significantly further away from work and with gas prices creeping up was thinking of buying a cheap commuter. Plus I miss having a fun car (as opposed to a 4 Runner) to drive. Must be a manual, I miss it much and have ability to sit 2 8 year old boys on occasion. Used Honda Fit was high on list. Other choice was a Fiesta with the turbo 3cyl. Anyone have any experience with both?

    • 0 avatar

      Any more comfort-oriented cars for a long commute? The noise levels in both your options will wear you down.

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        Commute on 270 in DC area will never get high speeds so am hoping that noise won’t be an issue. Still have “nice” cars in family for trips. I fondly remember commuting in my 91 Integra and that was turning 4000RPM at 80, quite booming, but I liked it. Of course that was with a younger man’s ear. So HP and gearing the Fit should be similar to the Integra. Often trying to recreate a good memory from the past is a failure. I suspect after a year i’s be looking for an auto Camary.

        • 0 avatar
          SaigonDesign

          Driven the fit on I-495 and I-270.

          You have to flog the crap out of it to get it up to speed, but it will cruise fine.

          Wind and road noise are an issue for any highway driving (I wouldn’t even drive from DC to Baltimore, for example), but low-speed commutes on surface streets should be fine.

    • 0 avatar
      kcflyer

      I have put 56000 mostly commuter miles on my 15 Fit LX manual. I’m 6’1″. I wish the drivers’ seat would go back another inch but overall it’s plenty comfortable for up to an hour. More than an hour or at interstate speeds it’s not that comfortable and the engine is doing nearly 4000 rpm. My kids can sit comfortably behind me despite being nearly 6 foot tall themselves. Worst fuel economy on any tank so far is 38 m.p.g. Normally average 39 in winter on snow tires and 43 in the summer. I sat in multiple Fiestas. Only drove one as a rental. I does not have nearly the passenger room. Would not work for me at all if I ever had to carry rear seat passengers.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        We’re about the same size and I’m pretty comfortable. Occasionally I reach down to slide the seat back but it is maxed. Then I’m OK. I wished Honda had spent the ground effects and wheel spray-paint budget on a taller 6th gear, but I’m still happy with the car. Even when I drive the crap out of it, I get 34 and it’s no longer surprising to get upper 40s. Can’t beat the actual, as opposed to EPA’s, mileage. The interior volume continues to be amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      A relative owns the 3 cyl manual Fiesta, and I have driven it for maybe 50-100 miles of backroads and a little around town.

      Compared with the Fiesta ST, which I know well as an owner, the 3 cyl ecoboost is pretty good as a driver and has surprising fuel economy. The 3 cyl is actually kind of interesting to drive around town, but the transmission is less exciting to me; it has quite long gears and is less exciting to rev out. The steering also feels less tight and provides less feedback than the ST, and the ride seems a little softer (the ST has a pretty punishing ride at low speed). The turbo seems to generate power very low in the rev range, and the engine makes a sort of fun noise. Overall I liked it.

      I test drove a current gen Fit briefly and didn’t remember much about it, honestly. Though the Honda Fit in manual seems to suffer a stiff fuel penalty over the advertised CVT figures (which are impressive). The figures reported above are only about 1.5 MPG city and 1 MPG highway above what I’ve experienced driving the Fiesta ST with less than a fuel economy tester’s right-foot pedal pressure. I don’t think it can reasonably be said to be a fuel saver in manual when the Civic hatchback sport is larger, more comfortable, and has superior fuel economy figures. There are other reasons one might buy a manual Fit, but I don’t think fuel economy is the reason one would seek it out on its own.

      If you are driving with passengers or a long distance I would say that Corey is right to suggest looking more broadly – the used market seems to be flooded with cheap and very good cars at this time.

      I’d still recommend trying the 3 cylinder manual Fiesta for a drive if you find one locally and you think it might fit your needs. I think they are shockingly cheap due to the poor reliability history of the automatic-transmission Fiestas. The total cost to own, given their kind of absurd fuel economy and low price, is likely still very low.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        I certainly wouldn’t pay much attention to those numbers and choose the CVT over the manual.
        Like kcflyer said, I’m getting about the same with mine. My last 2 rural trips yielded over 42 mpg, and my overall average is 38.7 for nearly 31K miles with the 6-speed.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          EPA results are not directly comparable between manuals and automatics. An automatic can shift however it wants, while the manual is required to do things like spending 15 seconds slowly accelerating to 3500 rpm in first gear.

          It’s so ridiculous that it resulted in the spawning of GM’s skip-shift.

          With a close-ratio six speed like this, you’d probably be in sixth when they’re still in third.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      My favorite cheap commuter at the moment is Yaris iA.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Check out a Yaris iA, cgjeep.

      The Hyundai Accent is also a decent highway car.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      I will put in a good word for the Fiesta 3 cylinder. I commute 100 miles a day in one, and find the ride comfort and road noise to be pretty good for this class of car (70 mph is about 2500 rpm). Certainly quieter than my brother’s ’15 Fit. 40 mpg is easy without trying. It’s not exactly a canyon carver, but it is light and the steering is pretty good. The older Sync system is annoying if that is a big deal to you (the 1 liter is not available with some of the better options, including Sync 3). It could use a 6th gear, since a couple of the ratios are spaced farther apart than I’d prefer. The rear seat is tight but depending how tall you are, it may be OK. I’m usually driving alone in that car so it isn’t a big deal to me. Plenty of front seat adjustment though. There are deals out there on Fiestas too, if you can find a leftover new ’17, but the 1.0 went away for ’18.

  • avatar
    make_light

    I want to go back to basics with my next car purchase and considered the Fit. I heard people say front legroom is bad, but that couldn’t prepare me for HOW bad it is. I’m tall but hardly a giant (6’1 ish) and there wasn’t nearly enough seat travel, even raising the seat couldn’t compensate. I get that not all cars can accommodate all shapes, but this is worse than any modern car I’ve sat in.

    • 0 avatar
      lzaffuto

      If the can live with the “exotic” looks, try a Civic LX or Sport hatch and see how it feels. I love mine. Fun to drive, excellent gas mileage (getting 33city and 46hwy average), much better power than what you would expect, for not much more money than the fit. It’s very comfortable for me, but admittedly I’m 5’10.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    What about a Chevy Sonic RS (or regular Turbo)? 1.4 turbo, 6 speed manual, Fit-like in size/price/MPG but drives with a quiet, substantial, almost Golf-like feel.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    Every review I have read states this Honda is a terrible highway cruiser. Of course-some reviews have been more blatant than others stating this fact.

  • avatar
    vvk

    The important question is: does it rev hang?

  • avatar
    admHackbar

    My wife drives a ’16 Fit EX with a CVT. We’ve taken it on several road trips loaded to the gills with luggage, our 5-year-old and a cat w/carrier. Anecdotally, we didn’t notice unacceptable levels of road noise or we’re indifferent towards it.

    The Fit is great for my wife as an around-town runabout, which is what I think its intended purpose might be. It feels like it has more interior room than its’ exterior belies. The glass is tall so my shoulder line is actually above the door sill. I also like the fact that my right knee doesn’t contact the center console – there’s a little tray just forward of the cup holders that creates a nice void.

  • avatar
    Messerschmitten

    I have a 2013 Fit Sport which I bought new. It doesn’t seem to radically differ in design or dimensions from the latest iteration. It has done well for me.

    I’m 6’0″ and plump so with the seat all the way back, I’m OK. If if could go back another inch, I’d be even happier.

    The Fit greenhouse is great. High belt lines on most contemporary cars leave me cold. Thanks to the Fit’s height, I don’t feel as though I’m peering out from inside a cave the way I felt in a few rental Fiestas. In fact, when I first got the Fit, I had flashbacks of driving my Dad’s old 1978 Caprice Classic.

    I grew up driving very used cars that required considerable maintenance. In contrast, the now 4.5 year-old Fit has used a grand total of 1 pint of oil between oil changes over 56K miles. That amazes me. Nothing has broken or gone awry in any way. I haven’t yet even had a bulb burn out. It is an astoundingly dependable car.

    Cubby holes are everywhere. The interior design gives me the impression that the engineers went over each cubic inch saying “Now how can we use THAT space.”

    The handling and braking is good enough because I’m not going to autocross it.

    My manual-transmission Fit is OK off the line, thanks to the low gearing of first and second. But getting from 30 to 80 requires lots of patience. I usually drive between 80 – 90 MPH. Even though the Fit has a good stereo, the music is rather hard to hear by the time you hit 90.

    As my highway car, I bought a 1967 Cadillac Eldorado — the Anti-Fit! Acceleration-wise, I’d suspect the Fit and the Eldo go from 0 to 80 MPH in about the same span of time. However, they go about that task in very different ways.

    The Fit will beat the Eldo off the line. But once the Eldo gets its 4800 pounds rolling (at about 40MPH), the 51-year-old V8 will quietly get you to whatever speed you prefer with quiet confidence. Where the Fit at 90 will be wailing, the Eldo will simply say “We’ve achieved your desired speed, Sir. If you’d care to go faster, please let me know and the increase will be arranged posthaste in the Engine Room.” Of course, the Eldo’s fuel consumption is three times that of the Fit. Such is the price of Leisure.

    Overall, I really like the Fit. It’s an incredibly configurable hauler of people and stuff that will apparently never break.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Having just finished a 2800ish mile road trip in my Wife’s Fit, I say F those seats… The volume knob is a nice addition. Brakes are really touchy, steering is super light, and the engine noise is pretty heinous… It was very easy to park and got great gas mileage though.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This was my observation. But looks like Fit crowd disagrees.

    • 0 avatar
      tbone33

      Better seats, more front legroom, a taller top gear, and proper sound insulation would fix things from a utilitarian perspective. Honda’s price premium should cover such improvements. If it doesn’t, buyers will follow my lead and purchase a heavily rebated Focus hatch for the same money instead.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    @ChrisTonn, I’m not so sure about that musical selection. Don’t you think it’s the wrong time of year for Yacht Rock?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I really wanted to like this car too. Then I took it out on the highway.

    No sale.

    Still, if you’re in the market for an around-town commuter car, this would be a good choice. I’d still prefer a Yaris iA, though – you give up the hatch, but it rides and handles more like a “real car, and it’s far better on the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I really don’t understand why people say that cars like Fit are the best for the city. Remember when Panther was the most popular car in any city? I think, the best car is the one in which you, the user, feel comfortable.

  • avatar
    Louis XVI

    Somebody listens to Christopher Cross? On purpose?

  • avatar
    ernest

    I for one am grateful I don’t live in or have to drive in an urban environment more than once or twice a year. I shudder to think what I’d have to consider buying that made sense under those conditions.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Those wheels look HIDEOUS on that car, what were they thinking? It reminds me of the guy up the street mowing his lawn in shorts, black socks, and dress shoes.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    I personally would have gone with Ride Like The Wind instead of Sailing, but maybe the Fit makes it easy to metaphorically sail through the roads.


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