It is small but very important to Honda; I am referring to the Honda Fit hatchback, Honda’s smallest vehicle. The Fit is a ‘cash-cow’ to the automaker and to ensure the model continues to do well in the market; Honda has hooked up the hatchback with a number of updates for the 2018 model year. This is the fourth time the automaker is updating the model which is in its 4th generation. The new updates for 2018 Honda Fit include new safety features but the most notable update is an addition of a ‘Sport’ trim on the lineup. The new trim slots between the LX and EX trims. The updates are meant to strengthen the Fit’s status as the ’top dog’ in the segment.
2018 Honda Fit Exterior
The front fascia bears most of the new upgrades as it has been revised to look like other new Honda vehicles. Most of the inspiration looks to have come from the new Civic. The model has a new grille, a two-piece unit that features a piano black as well as chrome accenting. There are minor changes on the rear fascia and on the sides but you have to look very keenly to spot them.
In terms of size, the new model is slightly longer and sits much lower than the outgoing version. All trim levels except the new Sport trim will measure 161.4 inches, an increase by 1.4 inches while the Sport trim is 0.4 inches longer due to its unique aero kit.
The hatchback is also available in two new colors; they are Orange Fury and Helios Yellow. They join the current Lunar Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, White Orchid Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Milano Red and Aegean Blue Metallic. EX and higher trims will also feature a two-tone color trim on their 16-inch alloy wheels. The wheels also feature gloss-black inserts and machined spokes.
Overall, the new Fit’s styling makes the model look sportier.
The Sport trim adds a dose of more aggressiveness with a host of new aero features on both fascias and on the flanks. The Sport also features fog lights and a sharp front splitter finished in orange. On the rear, the model features a 3-strake diffuser, chrome exhaust tip as well as a Sport badge to set it apart from other trims.
The cabin has not changed much; the most notable update is the new 7.0-inch Display system that hosts the model’s infotainment system which is available on higher trims. All trims feature as standard, a center console featuring an armrest, a new instrument cluster that has a digital tachometer and Bluetooth connectivity. Other standard features include a rearview camera and a large analog speedometer. The hatch provides a spacious cabin for passengers and cargo.
The 2018 Honda Fit has four seats with numerous configurations which make the small hatch very functional. The rear row comes with a ‘Magic Seat’ that upon folding expands the model’s cargo capacity to a whopping 52.7 cubic feet of space which no other hatch in the segment can match. There are additional seat configurations that enable one to carry long or tall items while others allow passengers to configure their seats for more relaxation when the car is on parking.
The Sport trim stands out from other trims courtesy of a special cabin styling featuring cross-hatched fabric with orange stitching. It also features a leather wrapped shifter and steering wheel which also features paddle shifters on models equipped with a CVT system. The model also gets the 7.0-inch Display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a 6-speaker, 180-watt audio system. Honda Sensing is available on LX and Sport models with a CVT system and all other top trims (both manual- and CVT-equipped models).
For the first time ever, the EX trim features Honda Sensing as standard making it the first time that automaker has used the advanced safety system on a model with a manual gearbox. The EX trim will also feature Honda LaneWatch, Keyless Ignition, XM Radio, automatic moon-roof, siding sun-visors and variable intermittent wipers.
The EX-L trim adds leather upholstery on seats with 2-level heating on front seats. The model’s side mirrors are also heated. The trim also adds a navigation system, HD Radio and HD Traffic.
Models with Honda Sensing will have a 4.2-inch TFT Driver Information Interface that displays selectable information,
Engine and performance
All Honda Fit models are usually powered by the same engine. The current models will still be powered by a 1.5 L, 4-cylinder power-plant that is capable of churning out 130 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. On all trims, power is channeled to the front wheels via a CVT system or a 6-speed manual transmission system. The automaker claims to have revamped the Fit by among others, revising its steering to improve road feel, retuned the model’s suspension and beefed its structure for improved stability.
2018 Honda Fit with a manual gearbox are EPA rated at 29 mpg, 36 mpg and 31 mpg in city, highway and combined drives respectively while those with a CVT are rated at 33 mpg, 40 mpg and 36 mpg in city, highway and combined drives respectively.
Price and release date
Honda began delivering the 2018 Honda Fit into showrooms earlier this month. Price is almost unchanged compared to that of the outgoing models. Expect to pay only around $100 more for the base LX trim. The outgoing model’s base LX trim had an MSRP of $15,965.