2018 Honda Fit Sport Review - Manuals, Saved
2018 Honda Fit Sport
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[Images: © 2018 Chris Tonn/TTAC]
Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.
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