Ace of Base: 2019 Honda Fit LX
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.
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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- Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you. Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers.
- ToolGuy 2019 had better comments than 2023 😉
- Inside Looking Out In June 1973, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in Washington for his second summit meeting with President Richard Nixon. Knowing of the Soviet leader’s fondness for luxury automobiles, Nixon gave him a shiny Lincoln Continental. Brezhnev was delighted with the present and insisted on taking a spin around Camp David, speeding through turns while the president nervously asked him to slow down. https://academic.oup.com/dh/article-abstract/42/4/548/5063004
- Bobby D'Oppo Great sound and smooth power delivery in a heavier RWD or AWD vehicle is a nice blend, but current V8 pickup trucks deliver an unsophisticated driving experience. I think a modern full-size pickup could be very well suited to a manual transmission.In reality, old school, revvy atmo engines pair best with manual transmissions because it's so rewarding to keep them in the power band on a winding road. Modern turbo engines have flattened the torque curve and often make changing gears feel more like a chore.
- Chuck Norton For those worried about a complex power train-What vehicle doesn't have one? I drive a twin turbo F-150 (3.5) Talk about complexity.. It seems reliability based on the number of F-150s sold is a non-issue. As with many other makes/models. I mean how many operations are handle by micro processors...in today's vehicles?
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.
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)