2012 Honda Fit
2012 Honda Fit. Click image to enlarge

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Honda Fit Reviews

Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

Photo Gallery:
2012 Honda Fit

The Honda Fit hasn’t received a significant redesign in several years, and this second generation first launched in Japan and Europe as early as 2007, but it remains competitive in the subcompact segment because it was so far ahead of the game when launched in North America in 2008. While the Fit’s core strength remains its capable, efficient powertrain and flexible interior, the Fit Sport received modest styling updates for the 2012 model year.

Those styling updates will likely be lost on most casual observers, with subtly revised front grille and bumper, black headlight bezels and a new pattern for the alloy wheels. Base Fits get new hubcap designs. Fit Sport interior also get new trim pieces. Oh joy.

2012 Honda Fit
2012 Honda Fit. Click image to enlarge

These aesthetic touchups do little to change the merit of this car. At a previous Honda event, discussing with Honda’s PR team some of the un-Honda-like vehicles that Honda (and Acura) have proliferated, I was asked which product best reflects my perception of the Honda brand. Easy: the Fit. The Fit, with its small, efficient engine (VTEC, of course), light, lively chassis, and brilliantly engineered packaging, not to mention its excellent safety and reliability ratings make it the poster-boy for Honda.

The new Accord may have something to say about that, the name strongly identified with Honda, but despite the merits of the new Accord, I’d still argue that the Fit is still the best Honda product in its respective segment, its only drawback pricing, which makes it a non-starter for many subcompact shoppers, both new and used since they hold their value so well. Don’t believe me? How about ALG, who awards it their Best Residual Value award in the subcompact class.

2012 Honda Fit
2012 Honda Fit
2012 Honda Fit. Click image to enlarge

The 2012 Fit is priced from $14,580 for a manual-transmission-only DX with the Magic Seats, power windows and mirrors, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and, well, that’s about it. But those Magic Seats, they make that price tolerable; the seat bottom folds up for a tall load space, or the seatbacks fold into a flat load floor and increase the trunk space from 585 L to a maximum of 1,622, or the front passenger seat can be folded flat to form an extra long load space for objects up to 2.36 m long (7 ft. 9 in.).

However, one of my major complaints about the Fit from previous years has been addressed—those Magic Seats were great for cargo, but the seats were terrible for humans, even the driver’s seat. The front seats are now adequately contoured and gives proper support and comfort even if it is thin and firm. The back seats? Well, they’re good enough for second-class passengers, and squeezing even three kids in there would be a challenge, especially with car seats, but if you manage it, the trunk does still have space for many family essentials, if not furniture or appliances.

Upgrading to the DX-A trim adds air conditioning for $1,300, taking the price up to $15,880, and opting for the five-speed automatic transmission costs another $1,200, for a sub-total of $17,080. The $1,495 freight charge almost makes sense considering the vehicle is imported from China, but it means a basic Fit with auto and air runs $18,575 before applicable taxes. Charging the same $1,495 (Civic) or $1,640 (CR-V) for vehicles built less than an hour away from us GTA residents is a little harder to swallow.

Are there cheaper cars out there? Sure, but it’s not a bad value considering the odds are with you that it will be cheap to maintain—Consumer Reports reliability rating is a blanket of red dots with a streak of much better than average reliability for every year since its launch in North America.

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