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Motoring - Not built for the highway: The 2018 Honda Fit

Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ

The 2018 Honda Fit is a nice ride, but if you're looking for a better highway ride, this might not be the one for you.


Nauman Farooq | Motoring | Sports | March 12th, 2018




Honda has been offering their fit model for over a decade now, in Canada. It has sold well enough for the manufacturer to keep on offering it, and now, has just released an updated version of the third-generation model. Question is, is it any good?

I have never been a fan of the Fit. Yes, I recognized that it offers a lot of practicality, and is cheap to buy and cheap to run, but some of its competitors have been more exciting.

So, has the updated, third-generation Fit finally become an exciting sub-compact?

From a styling point of view, it has certainly improved. The new ‘Sport' trim takes design inspiration from the new Honda Civic Type-R -minus the giant rear wing- and hence I think it looks very cool. It certainly looks like an eager little urban warrior, which is the ideal role for such a vehicle.

The interior carries over the sporty theme, with nice seats and a clean design that offers quite a lot of kit for a sub-compact car. My tester had a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although the 180-watt sound system left a lot to be desired.

But, the Fit was never about gadgets, instead, it focuses on usability, and I am happy to say, it still has more usable space than any other car in its class. The rear seats can fold up or down, depending on what you need to carry, and the trunk is massive for a car that is only 4,100 millimetres long. So, if you need a lot of space, than the Fit is the best car in its category, by miles.

It is also one of the most fuel-efficient, as I averaged just 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres during my test cycle.

For driving around town, the 2018 Fit performs well, offering a comfortable ride, a good turning circle, and decent get up and go — take it on the highway, well that's another story.

You see, the only motor currently offered on the Fit is a 1.5 litres, four-cylinder unit, that features 16 valves and double over head cams, but you still only get 130 horsepower — and even that arrives at 6,600 revolutions per minute, so well above its normal operating range. Max torque is 114 pounds per foot, so certainly not a power house. Power is sent to the front wheels via either a CVT automatic, or a six-speed manual.

I chose to test the manual, because I thought it would be fun, but I was wrong! I found the gear ratios to be too short, so you're constantly changing gears, and out on the highway, its little engine was spinning at over 3,000 revolutions per minute, which means, it never relaxes, and becomes tiring after half an hour.

So, if you do a lot of highway driving, the Fit is not ideal, even though you'd enjoy its fuel economy.

Pricing is quite good, as the Fit range starts from $15,190.

If all you need is a city runabout, than the 2018 Fit would suit you just fine. If you use the highway on a regular basis, you might wanna look elsewhere.
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