Quick Drive: 2012 Honda Fit Sport

By John Beltz Snyder

October 24, 2012

Ann Arbor, MI
This is a car we really could live with. Our tester, a Sport Navi trim, costs just $20,480 including destination charges. If you ask us, that’s not too bad for a car with all the stuff we need, and none of the stuff we don’t. The navigation features voice controls, there’s a decent setup for audio controls on the steering wheel, and Bluetooth and USB audio come standard at this level. In addition, the cost of living with the Fit remains low, with its EPA-estimated 27 miles per gallon city, and 33 mpg highway.
The visibility in the Fit is outstanding. It has nice, big windows and a fairly low beltline. Any direction we turned our head, we saw glass, plus everything surrounding the vehicle. This makes maneuvering parking lots a worry-free activity, and it helps a lot when changing lanes on the highway.
The handling of the Fit is decent for this sort of little economy car. It uses an electronic power-assisted rack-and-pinion setup, which offers a very light feel in the steering. It doesn’t take much effort to throw the Fit into corners. Running on 16-inch alloy wheels, and being a rather tall car, it still manages not to roll too much through the turns. There is a bit of a top-heavy feel, but we never found the car to become unstable, except for a bit of wiggling under hard braking.
Our tester’s 117-horsepower i-VTEC engine was mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with a set of paddle shifters mounted on the back of the steering wheel. Despite its low output, the Fit’s motor feels lively and is eager to rev up to its 6800-rpm redline. Moving the gear lever into S and shifting with the paddles allows a good amount of control over the transmission. In manual mode, shifts happen fairly quickly, which adds to the driver engagement and entertainment. The Fit really is a fun slow car to drive fast, a formula we definitely appreciate.
And that’s just part of the equation that adds up to this being an ideal vehicle to live with. The day-to-day practicality is the keystone of what makes the fit such a great car. With both of the rear seats folded, there’s a total of 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space. During our time with the Fit, we were able to fit a ladder inside the car just by folding the smaller of the 60/40-split seats. With the seats up, the car seats five people, and there is still 20.6 cubic feet of cargo room—plenty for a full load of groceries. Compared to a lot of the competition, the Fit even feels particularly roomy and airy inside.
It’s rare that a car charms us this much for this long. We’ve had a lot of time to get to know the Fit over the last few years, and it has never disappointed it. It’s one we’ve recommended to friends, some of them even purchasing the car, and finding it to be the perfect fit for their lives and families. And yes, it would definitely be one of our first choices were we in the market for a fuel-sipping five-door.
2012 Honda Fit Sport Navi
Engine: Inline-4 1.5 liters, 16v
Output: 117 hp/ 106 lb-ft
Weight: 2628 lb
Fuel Economy, City/Hwy: 27/33 mpg
Base Price: $19,690