2014 Honda FitBuying Guide • Review • Research
The Top 9 Reasons Why You May want to
Buy a 2014 Honda Fit:
Honda left the Fit alone for 2014. Engineers tweaked components and materials, but the customer sees no superficial changes. Yet unlike meat, which putrefies with age, the Fit matures like fine cheese. Its minimalism and authenticity remain virgin in a world besieged by whiz-bang gadgetry. More than 4 million drivers have owned a Honda Fit. Here’s why:
9 Reasons to Buy a 2014 Honda Fit - the pros
It costs less than a good haircut
Long ago, Herbert Hoover promised “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage,” but the dream still rings empty for many Americans. The average price of a new car has breached $30,000. Honda looks to change that. A base Fit begins at $15,425 – and it even has a built-in iPod audio interface.
Age arrives gracefully
Fashion is fickle. Yesterday’s Crocs are today’s quacks. Yet the Fit’s egg-shaped boy racer body has remained ever popular. “Swift metro acrobat” is how Honda describes its gregarious hatchback. “Machine-finished, 16-inch alloy wheels [Fit Sport only] cement its status in the world of high style,” says Honda, drawing attention to the sharp creases, streamlined shape and sculpted rear spoiler.
“Honda had me at vroom-vroom”
The Honda Fit hatchback uses a peppy 1.5-liter engine that generates 117 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard; a five-speed automatic is optional. Such numbers may not reflexively inspire respect, but Honda beats expectations. The featherweight 2,500-pound hatchback can be batted about like a badminton birdie.
Mother Nature likes Honda
Once upon a time, 35 mpg was reserved only for stunted, sluggish econoboxes, but no more. When equipped with the optional automatic transmission, the Fit returns 28/35 mpg. The manual gearbox delivers 27/33 mpg. Although not as fuel-efficient as smaller vehicles like the Ford Fiesta or Mazda3, the Fit drinks cheap unleaded fuel and has a 371-mile driving range.
Drivers may shift or cruise
The joy of rowing one’s own gears is lost on the Great Unwashed. Few affordable vehicles offer any sort of manual transmission, let alone a good one, but the Fit stands by its three pedals with pride. Those who prefer the convenience and superior efficiency of an automatic transmission can choose a five-speed automatic gearbox, which comes with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Fit Sport model.
It keeps keepin’ on
The Fit could not be kept down with a .45 slug. In an Initial Quality Study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates on the 2013 model, the hatchback won a flawless five stars in “Powertrain Quality – Mechanical.” Fit owners may commute 200,000 miles or more. In a match race between the little-engine-that-could and the Honda Fit, most would lay their bets on the hatchback.
Magic comes standard
Every Honda Fit comes with a Magic Seat, an ingenious 60/40-split folding rear seat in which the bottom and back fold independently. When the back is folded down and the bottom lifted up, the Fit offers a wide, tall cargo hold suitable for living room lamps, large dogs and other cumbersome items.
Always room for a bicycle
The Fit is classified by the EPA as a compact hatchback. Two could squeeze (illegally) into a parking spot. Yet the Lilliputian hatchback has a maximum storage space of more than 57 cubic feet! It rivals the cargo capacity of small SUVs and crossovers. A bicycle, baby stroller or full luggage set can easily fit into the cargo hold with the rear seat stowed away. With the passenger seat tumbled, the Fit can accommodate a Christmas tree.
It offers 21st-century survival necessities
Some of the Fit’s opponents, like the Toyota Yaris and Volkswagen Jetta, unwisely sacrifice basic conveniences for the newest gadgets. But who cares about XM radio given 500 miles without cruise control? Therefore, all Fit hatchbacks come with keyless entry, cruise control, an adjustable steering wheel and full power accessories. The Fit Sport adds floor mats and the all-important driver’s armrest.
A Few Reasons to Reconsider Buying a 2014 Honda Fit - the Cons
It's a bit slow
The Fit is slow – no ifs, ands or buts. A skilled driver can scoot from 0-60 mph in nine seconds with the manual transmission and a tailwind, but any Fit with an automatic transmission needs a long entrance ramp and a fervent Hail Mary to enter highway traffic.
Weak, mushy brakes
After a few steep drops and curvy roads, the Fit has brake pads made of cheese. Blame the outdated rear drum brakes.
A peg-legged ride
Some may consider a hard ride a small price to pay for a rev-happy engine, accurate tracking and nimble cornering, but others dislike the Fit’s unforgiving ride.
Honda Fit Prices
Some car companies are popping out safety gizmos like rabbits: head-up displays, night-vision infrared cameras, 360-degree birds-eye parking cameras, etc. The Fit has fallen behind. Although it wins four stars in NHTSA crash testing, it does not offer rear disc brakes, a rearview camera or driving aids.
Outdated interior quality
Whereas the Ford Fiesta comes with an available leather interior, the Honda Fit ekes by with bland, tough plastic. Its sole options are a touchscreen navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and cabin voice controls. Most rivals have more modern entertainment and communication technologies.
But perhaps the best reason not to purchase the 2014 Honda Fit is next year. Honda will debut a new Fit, a better one, a Fit that keeps its refreshing simplicity but adds a healthy helping of technology, performance and safety.