Nearing its 10th year of availability in the United States, the Honda Fit is quickly accelerating its way toward the iconic stature of the Volkswagen Beetle and Toyota Corolla. More than five million units have sold in eight countries since the vehicle debuted in Japan in 2001.
After a year’s hiatus, the 2015 Honda Fit was redesigned and featured a more aggressive and stylized exterior appearance for the debut of is third generation. It also featured more standard features, increased cargo space and better gas mileage.
For the 2016, why mess with new success? Honda didn’t, and the new Fits remains largely unchanged from its one-year older sibling.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
The 2016 Honda Fit is a five-seat hatchback with front-wheel drive. It’s equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower. It’s matched to either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (automatic).
The Fit is available in LX, EX, EX-L and my weekly driver, the EX-L with navi (navigation) trim. Standard equipment on LX models includes 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, LED brake lights, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5-inch central display screen, a rearview camera and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.
EX models add 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a 7-inch touchscreen display, an upgraded rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot display, a six-speaker audio system with an additional USB port instead of the auxiliary jack, Siri Eyes Free functionality for enhanced iPhone voice control, smartphone app integration (via Honda Link) and an HDMI input (needed for certain HondaLink features, most notably an optional navigation app).
The top-line EX-L adds body-color side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery, heated front seats and with Navi addendum adds ta navigation system (with voice recognition) as well as HD and satellite radio. My test vehicle was equipped with the CVT options.
As a subcompact, the Fit has good interior space, including in the back seat where there’s ample legroom. Like a lot of vehicles with manufacturer’s claims of five-passenger seating, the Fit is more appropriate for four adults. The second-row seating called “Magic Seat” is innovative. The 60/40-split rear bench folds flat into the floor, and the seat bottoms prop up to provide upright space for tall objects.
With both rear seatbacks folded down, the Fit has 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room, not too much less than some smaller crossovers and the best in its segment. With the Fit’s front passenger seat folded flat, items nearly eight-feet long will fit.
The Honda Fit shouldn’t be expected to break land speed records. But for its class, it’s no slouch. Its 0-60 mph test speed of 8.8 seconds is among the strongest in it segment.
On the open road, the Honda Fit drives predictably. It’s a lightweight vehicle, so it doesn’t have a lot of authority. And compared to previous years’ models, the new Fit has more engine noise at freeway speeds.
The Fix is at its best in city driving. It maneuvers well through traffic, has a tight turning radius and is right at home, as it should be, in tight parking spaces. Overall road vision is impressive, in part because the Fit has 10 windows. It’s another reason why the Fit has a larger presence than its subcompact status.
Large, versatile cargo area.
Great fuel economy ratings.
Roomy back seat.
Comfortable, composed ride.
Plenty of cupholders, trays and bins.
Braking is surprisingly soft.
Navigation touchscreen operation is cumbersome.
Facts & Figures, 2016 Honda Fit
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 8.8 seconds.
Fuel economy: 32 mpg (city), 38 mpg (highway), 35 mpg (combined).
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $21,065.00.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.honda.com.
Price As Tested: $21,885.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles; Roadside Assistance, 3 years/36,000 miles.
What Others Say:
“If there’s one thing this Honda is known for, after all, it’s the incredible amount of stuff you can fit inside its pint-sized hatchback body. Today’s Fit also has more rear legroom than ever, and it’s got a respectable roster of standard and optional technology, too. Throw in excellent fuel economy and you’ve got a uniquely talented vehicle that offers great value in this segment.” — Edmunds.
“We’re not saying the 2016 Honda Fit feels like a premium car inside, but the use of soft-touch materials, clever design and silver accent trim definitely goes a long way toward moving the Fit away from pedestrian feel its class suggests.” — Kelley Blue Book.
“The Fit proves that a small car needn’t be punishment for spending less, successfully mixing economy, versatility—and even a little mischief.” — Car and Driver.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Until its recent disastrous revelation of diesel emissions violations, The Weekly Driver believed the Volkswagen Jetta TDI was the best car money could buy for $25,000. The 2016 Honda Fit, full equipped at less than $22,000, is now at the top of the best value perch.”
Article Last Updated: October 21, 2015.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.