By on May 30, 2018

Regular readers of this Ace of Base series (all three of you) know a sure-fire way into my penny-pinching heart is for a manufacturer to offer a bright palette of no-charge colors on the cheapest trim of a particular model.

Helios Yellow? Aegean Blue? Milano Red? The fabulously-named Orange Fury shown here? Honda will slather them all (well, one per car) on its base Fit, the LX. Let’s dive in.

We did visit the instant noodle end of the Fit line a couple of years ago, back when its price finally creeped over the sixteen large hurdle. Now, the big H has ratcheted the sticker up another c-note, to $16,190.

For that price, buyers will find a 1.5-liter inline-four making 130 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque, both at rather high rpm: 6,600 and 4,600 respectively. Peak power is made just 200 rpm shy of the redline. A six-speed manual transmission should allow drivers to keep things on the boil.

The suite of Honda Sensing safety systems is unavailable in the base Fit unless one chooses the extra-cost CVT. This is disappointing but not unexpected, as a similar conundrum faces Subaru buyers who want EyeSight tech but also care to row their own way through the gears. Honda reserves Apple CarPlay and satellite radio for higher trims, too.

Hill start assist helps new drivers get going when stopped on a hill, while a backup camera (now found in just about everything that’s being made) will hopefully prevent them from backing over a traffic cone or discarded issues of MAD magazine. Air conditioning is standard equipment on the LX, as are power windows and cruise control.

Honda doesn’t cheap out by binning things like a driver’s armrest, either. The company’s build-n-price tool claims the steering wheel and shift knob are leather-wrapped on the LX, but one would be wise to see that with their own two eyes before accepting it as fact, especially since the Sport trim is apparently devoid of those trappings (despite being $1310 more dear). Whatever the material, the wheel adjusts for both reach and rake.

That second-row “Magic Seat” continues to be a marvel of packaging, allowing a Fit to swallow legendary amounts of gear and other lifestyle detritus. Flipping the seat base up and locking its legs down reveals on-floor backseat storage space rivalling that of my old Quad Cab Ram. With the seat bottoms in their normal positions, the backs can be folded forward to create a nearly flat floor, largely thanks to clever packaging of the car’s fuel tank.

Save for my complaints about the infotainment system, the Fit LX retains its spot in the Ace of Base garage. Ah, who am I kidding? I’ll just Bluetooth my tunes and haul home a real stereo in that cavernous cargo area.

[Image: Honda]

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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33 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2019 Honda Fit LX...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    Ah, but the all-important question: for the manual transmission, what is the rpm in top gear at 60mph? Does the number begin with a 2, a 3, or a 4? :D

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      It doesn’t matter because the buzz of the engine is overpowered by the cacophony of road and wind, and suspension noise filling the cabin at any speed over 45mph. I really want to like the Fit but it is miserable on the highway.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. I wanted to like our ‘15 Fit, but the wind, road, and tire noise was overbearing and relentless on the highway. We ended up renting cars for longer trips to save our sanity

        • 0 avatar
          DearS

          In many poor countries that drive slower this is a good sized and comfy car. A Chevy cruise is a pretty big car in many parts of the world.

          $16k is a great deal for us, not so much in the third world, Hyundai is more affordable (in the short term).

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Ubermensch,

        This is why I don’t call it a car but merely, a transportation. Of course, long time ago, there was a joke – why do you need $5,000 stereo in your Lambo if the engine is louder? But that is different

      • 0 avatar
        Malforus

        For this reason my wife’s 2007 Fit is rarely called to be used for highway transit. That said its hard to find a car that meets her needs at this budget level.

        Hers just rolled over 200k and I was planning on treating it with a bit of a mechanical tune-up (new sparkplugs, transmission fluid, and maybe cleaning the throttle body.

        Car is cheap with a capital C but reliable and amazing in the snow with winter tires.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        This is really too bad, and reinforces my belief that “peak Honda” was about 25-30 years ago. I’m thinking specifically of the 1988-91 Civic Wagon, which was one of the best cars that I have ever owned. I really hoped that the Fit would be the spiritual successor of that car.

  • avatar
    earthwateruser

    Those hideous plastic wheel covers should be mentioned. Obviously the first thing any decent Ace of Base reader/owner would do is bin them in favor of the unadorned black steel wheel look. But it begs the question…Why Honda? Why have you wasted (admittedly not much) money and effort on cheap plastic wheel covers that look like they are just itching to pop off into a storm drain? Are they supposed to protect the steel wheel underneath? Because they kind of look like what I would expect a wheel condom to look like. Whatever happened to nice looking steel wheels with trim rings and/or a center hub cover or something? Our ’79 Corolla had fantastic looking steel wheels and 1990s Civics also had some decent steel wheels. Most recently, Camaros and VW New Beetles have used them to good effect. I dare say I would prefer an attractive steel wheel option to many (most?) of the OEM alloys that are out there right now. I hate those black inserts manufacturers seem to have grown quite fond of. Thank you, I feel much better! Good day.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I also miss styled steel wheels. Living in Rust Country(TM), alloys take one heck of a (literally) beating between the corrosive road salt and potholes. Long ago, I started opting for steel wheels on my dailys.

      Look back at the steel wheel options we had on many cars dating back to the 60’s. Some were quite nice, repairable and durable. Can’t really say that with alloy wheels.

      My daily minivan has factory chromed wheels, with the crappy chroming process GM was using in the pre-bankruptcy days, the plating is flaking off like bad psoriasis. I’ll ultimately replace the wheels, but am seriously considering steelies instead of another set of alloys.

    • 0 avatar
      Malforus

      I always thought that plastic wheel covers were there for aerodynamic purposes. They cut down on wheel wind resistance to get that cherished MPG number up. They also protect the metal from gouges and scratches by being an ablative layer that rubs off.

      Your condom analogy works as long as you consider the condom lubricated.

  • avatar
    Yankee

    Agree with all three comments above. (Good point earthwateruser, I thought I was the only one who missed styled steel wheels!) I really, really want to like this car, but I just can’t. My biggest complaint: Why does even the Accord get better gas mileage (city and highway) than this, Honda’s smallest offering? Something this small should get stellar mileage, but it seems like all manufacturers are making transmissions so close-ratio that when you get to top gear at today’s highway speeds it sounds like someone strangling a duck under the hood!

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      You might want to double check those fuel economy numbers – EPA quotes a 1.5/CVT Fit at 33/40, while the equivalent Accord is 30/38 (if you prefer a manual, the Fit gets 29/36 and the Accord at 26/35). It’s a small penalty to upside to the Accord, but still, not sure how you get it being “better.”

      Plus, on the highway, the Fit has to work against its extra frontal area (the price to pay for its decent interior size for its footprint), and the gearing is likely because the powerband demands it (my Mazda2 pretty much has to be kept over 3000rpm at all times). Hopefully the next gen will get the 1.5T, so they can gear it a little lazier.

      • 0 avatar
        Yankee

        Just looking at the Honda website general “vehicles” splashpage shows the Accord at 38/30 Highway/City and the Fit at 36/29 before digging into any model specifics. The point is that with the Fit being so much smaller and lighter (over 500lbs) than the accord with so much less power (-50HP, -118 ft-lbs), should they really be that close in mileage (let alone worse in any configuration)?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Regular readers of this Ace of Base series (all three of you)”

    I love Ace of Base. Because I am a perfect customer for ace of base. All my cars are base.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    Styled steel wheels also rust and corrode.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Mad Magazine, wow, there’s a blast from the past. I used to love ‘Spy vs. Spy’.

  • avatar
    GTL

    When I was looking for a commuter vehicle, I looked at the Fit and liked it except for one thing…I didn’t, uh, fit.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      That makes me think of Shaq doing those Buick Regal tv spots. You’d have to take out the front seats and put a Dino Flintstone hole in the roof in order for him to drive one.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    At 57,000 miles my 2015 Fit LX Manual produced a check engine light. Dealer said the fuel injectors were clogged, blamed it on contaminated fuel. $1,300 to replace all four injectors, not covered by the 60000 mile powertrain warrantee. Fortunately Honda of America stepped in an pickup up $1,000 of the cost. Two weeks later C.E.L. back on with the same code. Different dealer, Honda of America had them pull the head. All four pistons caked with carbon. Dealer cleaned up the pistons. Honda of America pickup up most of the $2,000 tab. Car has not produced another C.E.L. since with another thousand miles. Honda recommends that the car have the fuel injection system cleaned every 30,000 miles. Not sure I trust the car any more. I worry the direct injection is the culprit. No fuel spray to keep the valves clean. Carbon builds on the valves and breaks off in chunks later sticking to pistons.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      You, kcflyer, are indeed fortunate that you did not get the standard “owner misuse/abuse”-line from these dealers because, “Hondas are perfectly engineered and built and cannot incur failures without owner negligence and misuse.”, as I remember the Honda USA district manager explaining.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        The first dealer laid it all on me for contaminated fuel. I pointed out that 99 percent of my gas comes from the same station. I use that same station for all my vehicles and have not had any fuel related problems with them. It is also the station where that dealer gets fuel for it’s vehicles. The worst part was they refused to take my word for it that Honda of America had agreed to pay $1000 of the bill. So I had to leave the vehicle over a weekend while they got the word directly from Honda of America. They refused to let me take the vehicle home without paying the $1300 myself. This is the dealer where I purchased the car. The second dealer gave my wife a brand new Accord EXL to drive as a loaner during the week long repair despite us never having purchased a vehicle from them. I told the first dealer, in Lockport NY, that they would never have to worry about me bothering them again, for anything.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      No time for building a reliable engine, we’ve got CAFE targets to meet!

  • avatar
    tonycd

    I used to recommend the Fit to anyone who needed reliability and economy and wasn’t going to do highway driving.

    No more. Since they switched production to Mexico, the Consumer Reports reliability survey results have abruptly tanked from exceptional to average. I inspected a new one at an auto show last year. The hatch was so lightweight I had to check twice because it felt like plastic (I saw what looked like welds, but I’m still not sure). The floor of the trunk was a single layer of corrugated cardboard with a layer of fuzz fastened to it, and the abuse of one week’s show visitors had permanently trashed it into what you’d expect an Amazon box to look like when folded up for recycling. I was de-sold.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I forgot they were making these in Mexico now. I wonder how the Mexican Fit compares to the Chinese one that Canada was getting.

      This is great fodder for those who argue that build location doesn’t matter. The Fit – it’s junk no matter where it comes from!

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        Build location doesn’t matter nearly as much as the design, bill of materials and assembly processes. If you spec junk using poor tooling, guess what the workers will put together?

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          It’s that bill of materials that worries me. When you’re using various suppliers around the globe, the auto manufacturer isn’t necessarily in charge of design, assembly process, tooling, or workers. Upstream variations result in different downstream products.

          Incidentally, I still can’t figure out why the paint jobs on Mexican VWs looks so much worse than the German-built ones.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        > I wonder how the Mexican Fit compares to the Chinese one that Canada was getting.

        There were batches of the third-gen that had premature corrosion issues around the door frame, if I remember correctly it looked like the metal wasn’t prepped correctly before finishing.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          I remember hearing something to this effect. Isn’t that when Honda started shipping over Japanese-built cars instead? Or did Canada get Mexican cars?

          • 0 avatar
            stuntmonkey

            All Fits prior to that (at least in Canada) were from Japan. The ones with the corrosion issues were from China.my memory is hazy but the best resource would be to dive through the Fit forum on VTEC.net.

  • avatar
    Giltibo

    Re: Availability of Honda Sensing on 6MT Honda models.

    The only Hondas you can get both a 6MT and the Honda Sensing Suite are the Accord and Civic Sport Touring Hatchback (Canada only, as the ST is not available with 6MT in the US)


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