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.
Tonycd on May 30, 2018
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.
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