Test Drive: 2011 Honda Fit Sport  car test drives reviews makes honda auto articles
2011 Honda Fit Sport. Click image to enlarge
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Review and photos by Greg Wilson

Photo Gallery:
2011 Honda Fit

When compared to other small cars, the second generation Honda Fit (introduced in Canada in the Fall of 2008 as a 2009 model) is best known for its roomy interior, fun-to-drive road manners, and excellent fuel economy. This subcompact hatchback has more passenger room (2572 litres) and more cargo room (585 litres behind rear seats) than its major competitors (both hatchbacks and sedans), including the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Mazda2, Chevrolet Aveo5, Kia Rio5, Scion xD, Fiat 500 (two door), and even the roomy Nissan Versa; the Fit is also roomier than the newly redesigned 2012 Hyundai Accent hatchback (now with four doors instead of two) and the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic hatchback (replacing the Aveo5).

The Honda Fit is also one of the most fuel-efficient subcompacts on the market due to its small 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with VTEC variable valve timing and its light curb weight (ranging between 1119 to 1,176 kg). Official fuel economy ratings are 7.2/5.7 city/hwy with manual transmission and 7.1/5.5 (automatic transmission). However, the 2011 Fit’s standard five-speed manual transmission and optional five-speed automatic transmission are starting to look dated next to competitor’s newer six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Recently introduced subcompacts like the Ford Fiesta and Fiat 500 with six-speed transmissions have taller highway gearing that helps them to offer better fuel economy than the Fit.

Test Drive: 2011 Honda Fit Sport  car test drives reviews makes honda auto articles
Test Drive: 2011 Honda Fit Sport  car test drives reviews makes honda auto articles
2011 Honda Fit Sport. Click image to enlarge

The other distinguishing characteristic of the Fit is its fun-to-drive character. Its combination of responsive steering, nimble handling, quick acceleration, and responsive automatic transmission provides an enjoyable driving experience that is surprising for an economy car.

Driving impressions

Powered by a 117-horsepower engine and equipped with the automatic transmission, the Fits accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 10.5 seconds, according to AJAC, so, not particularly fast – but more important is the way it’s geared to accelerate quickly from zero to 30 km/h, and 30 km/h to 60 km/h. In typical city driving, it feels quick, and on the highway, the Fit cruises comfortably at 2,200 rpm in top gear. However, the Fit feels weak accelerating up long hills and when passing on the highway. And unlike the first generation Fit Sport, the optional five-speed automatic transmission can’t be shifted manually with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

The Fit’s electric power-assisted steering maintains a nice balance between responsiveness and ease of effort at all speeds. Personally, I think the Fit’s steering is one of its best attributes. The Fit’s turning diameter of 10.5 metres (34.4 ft.) is nice and tight for easy manoeuvrability.

While DX and LX Fits have standard 175/65 series 15-inch all-season tires, Sport models have lower profile 185/55 16-inch all-season tires which offer more grip and sportier handling. My car was equipped with Dunlop SP Sport 7000 all-seasons which performed well in the wet and dry.

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