By Wang’ombe Kibunja
When it comes to the world of superminis and Hatchbacks, Japan is the leading producer of these cars. The Honda Fit has been taking a sizeable chunk of the hatchback sales since it was introduced in the market in 2001. By the beginning of its third generation in 2013 it had sold over 5million units worldwide and it’s currently on its fourth Generation launched in 2020. Due to the import market demands in Kenya we are now receiving the third generation Honda Fit. Let’s take time to analyze how the Fit performs as a small, efficient, and plucky five-door car that is fun to drive, astonishingly versatile, and blessed with Honda’s long-standing reputation for reliability.
The Honda Fit c The engines are coupled with a 5 or 6 speed manual transmission, a 7 speed dual clutch transmission or a Continuously Variable transmission (CVT). The power figures in the Fit vary depending on the engine options with the 1200cc producing 96 horsepower and 114Nm of torque at 4900 rpm. The 1500cc petrol variant produces 98 horsepower and 119Nm of torque at 5000rpm whereas the 1500cc diesel variant produces 100 horsepower and 200Nm at 1750rpm the fuel economy of the vehicle is estimated at 12.3kms per litre of petrol combined and 11kms per litre in city driving or 14 kms per litre on the highway with the manual gearbox. The 1200cc Fit with the automatic returns 13 Kms per litre combined for both city and highway which is 12km per litre in city driving and 14kms per litre in the city.
The 2013 Honda Fit’s lightweight, lively four-cylinder engine and responsive steering combine to make it an enjoyable car. It can zip happily through traffic and possesses that excellent nimble quality that has characterized small Hondas for so long. Manual-transmission-equipped models are the most entertaining, as they provide much quicker acceleration than automatic Fits. The acoustic insulation added for 2012 has helped reduce wind, engine, and tire noise.
The Fit’s passenger cabin gets points for stylish design, though the quality of the materials is just so-so. Seating comfort is excellent all around, including a rear seat that can accommodate two adults without a complaint. Unfortunately, the lack of driver seat height adjustment means some drivers will struggle to get comfortable. What sets the Fit’s interior apart is the cleverly designed 60/40-split “Magic” rear seat. Flipping up the seat bottom creates a tall, narrow opening that accommodates taller items that would not otherwise fit within such a small car and reveals a handy storage compartment. Fold both rear seatbacks down, and you have a flat load floor with 57.3 cubic feet of cargo room, which is just as much as in several small crossovers. If that is not enough, the Fit’s front seat also folds flat to allow you to squeeze in items nearly 8 feet long.
Ergonomics & Electronics
The Honda Fit has extensive, easy-to-see controls; tuning the radio or turning up the heat is a cinch. Manual air conditioning is standard. Automatic climate control offered in the Fit EV, and several competitors are not available in gasoline models.
Electronic features are a different story altogether. Car shoppers now are more connected than ever, and the Fit’s electronics feel stuck in the 2000s. Most consumers have navigation on their smartphones, and automakers have dropped in-car navigation prices. Still, it is the only way to get Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, both of which many competitors include on mainstream trims. A USB/iPod-compatible stereo is standard.
Form follows function in the Honda Fit, and even two real-world shoppers subcompact-car comparison admitted the car’s practicality justified its quirky styling. Honda is stingy on the electronics front, but base Fit models can come with an automatic transmission and the destination charge, and that includes a whole list of standard convenience features. Substantial resale value — the Fit won ALG’s residual-value award among subcompacts for 2013 — and excellent reliability in the current generation distinguishes the Fit further. It won our 2012 subcompact comparison, beating out the Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, and other recent redesigns. It remains a reliable choice today and your search for a subcompact car may begin and end with the Honda Fit with prices for a 2013 version sitting between Kshs800,000 to Kshs900,000 while a 2008 model will still fetch over Kshs500,000.