2020 Honda Fit EX-L Navi – We’re living in a world where most people get Minivans or SUV for practicality. However, Honda’s Fit has been on the market for almost 20 years, in which you get SUV-like practicality along with a small car fuel economy and an affordable price tag. In our test, we will see how this small multi-purpose car will perform in its segment and will see if this could be a good and cheaper replacement for a subcompact SUV.
Honda Fit, aka Honda Jazz in other markets, is a five-door subcompact hatchback launched in 2001. Since it is first released, it has been a huge success in Europe and other markets. It went on sale in North America in 2006 to replace the Civic Hatchback. Due to the regulations, it had a different design and different engine options compared to the other markets. Regardless of the region, it is always known for its practicality, great fuel economy and reliability. In North America, we still have the 3rd generation Fit, which Honda introduced in 2014. This year, Honda launched the 4th generation all-new of Jazz (Fit) in Europe.
Engine & Drivetrain
The 2020 Honda Fit comes with one engine and two transmission options. Under the hood, Honda has a 1498cc four cylinder Earth Dreams engine that produces 128 horsepower and 113 ft-lb of torque. If you choose the automatic option, it comes with Continuously Variable Transmission only. However, a manual transmission is available with the lowest two trims and 130 horsepower instead of 128, which is interesting that you get only two more horsepower by choosing a stick shift.
Honda Fit gets heavier each generation as it gets more features, technologies. However, thanks to the CVT and its fuel-efficient engine, as per NRC, it sips 6.0L / 100km on the highway and 6.5L / 100km in the city. You can even get closer to 5.0L / 100 km if you are patient enough to keep the speed within the official speed limit.
The authors of autoandroad.com are usually not a fan of the CVT transmission. But its segment fuel economy and overall savings matter most, and this is acceptable. Manufacturers usually choose CVT for cutting costs, better fuel economy and smooth driving experience. Honda did a good job choosing CVT for the Fit, as it offers all benefits of this type of transmission, and that’s what potential buyers are probably looking in this segment. Also, the transmission does not have virtual gears (even if it does for a few seconds!). It does not imitate a regular automatic transmission.
Driving Impressions & Features
Honda Fit isn’t meant for spirited driving, and as long as you accept the fact that this is a small family car, it is pretty fun for what it is. However, Honda made some choices regarding the interior. The console has soft-touch plastics, as well as door panels, which is good. What we didn’t understand is, Honda decided to use the hardest plastic where you put your left arm by the door panel. Honda should have used more soft-touch materials where you actually touch, instead of where you see.
As a Honda Fit tradition, you get a lot of interior space. One of the reasons why Honda was able to get a lot of space from a small car is that they relocated the gas tank underneath the front seats. That’s how you have tons of space in the rear. The only disadvantage that brings is the front-seat legroom. If you are taller than 6’1″, you would feel cramped on the front seats as you can’t move the front seat backwards that much.
As previously mentioned, cargo practicality and flexibility to be able to use it in many different configurations are what make the Fit special in this class. Although it has no All-Wheel Drive option, it can still offer cargo practicality of an SUV. On paper, it may have not-so-impressive 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are up, but you can increase it almost three times by taking advantage of different seat configurations. You can lift the rear seats up, or fold them down, and fold the front passenger seat down to get tons of interior space.
Back to the driving dynamics. They are not bad at all. Of course, it is not a corner carver or weekend warrior. However, it offers a good level of driving comfort as well as a smooth driving experience. The 3rd generation Fit is on the market for more than five years, and it is still one of the best in this segment. You still feel some cost-cutting regarding sound isolation, as the engine is very loud at higher rpms. As long as you keep the revs below 4000 rpm, it wouldn’t bother you.
As a modern small-car, Honda Fit fulfills the expectations. Please also note that our tester was the top trim with a price tag north of $30,000. But it is good to see some modern features in the small segment. The EX-L Navi trim comes with Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic climate control, leather seats, a proximity key with push-button start, blind-spot camera, an 8-inch infotainment system with Navigation and Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, and so on.
Price & Conclusion
The big question is: Can the Fit replace a sub-compact SUV? It depends on your lifestyle. Honda Fit is a great car when it comes to practicality, cargo space, fuel economy, and it can offer all of these features within a reasonable price range. If you live in a crowded city and need to park in tight spaces, this can’t get better when it comes to being tiny and practical. If you make lots of highway trips and drive in very harsh conditions, though the Fit is still not too bad, there may be better options such as Honda HR-V. However, what we are 100% sure is that the practicality of the Fit is definitely underrated, and many people don’t know how capable this car actually is, just because of it’s in B-segment, people think that it is “too small” for their needs.
If you compare Honda Fit with the small B-segment, it is still the best in class, despite its age. Although it is not perfect, and the biggest flaw is its price tag. Honda Fit starts at $18,091, and it can go all the way up to $26,991 with EX-L Navi trim. The base price of the Fit is acceptable, but the more you add features, the price tag goes up significantly. If you want absolute base trim with CVT transmission, you need to pay $22,891 with LX trim. Price-wise, it is not that different from it’s a bigger brother – the Honda Civic.
For a $26-27k range, you can get a middle or higher trim Honda Civic. In our opinion, Honda Fit would “fit” you better than the Civic because you need a smaller second car, or if you park in tight spots, or you just need practicality more than anything else. As long as you don’t need All-Wheel-Drive, Honda Fit can offer 90+% of the versatility and practicality of all Sports Utility Vehicles on the market with a much better price tag and fuel economy.
For more details, please visit www.honda.ca
Article and Photos by Dan Gunay