2018 Honda Fit: Fitter, Happier, More Productive
Hold on, you say. That’s just the same old Honda Fit. Wrong. You’re not looking close enough.
While the mid-cycle refresh of Honda’s diminutive-yet-roomy subcompact hatch retains much of the previous Fit’s design hallmarks, the automaker has seen…fit…to make the model more noticeable.
The third-generation Fit bowed in 2014 as a 2015 model year vehicle, offering a single powerplant and two efficient transmissions for not much money less than the larger Civic. Now that Honda’s compact sedan looks gigantic in comparison to its predecessors, the Fit can more comfortably occupy the subcompact segment.
Honda promises a host of upgrades for the 2018 Fit, but has decided not to reveal everything all at once. We’re assured details on “expanded feature content” are on the way.
The most obvious change to this model â€” if you can call it “obvious”Â â€” relates to styling. Mind you, the car’s shape hasn’t evolved into something new, nor has the bodyside character line found a new place to roam. What is different, however, is the vehicle’s front and rear fascia. The front bumper drops the bulbous look for a more creased appearance, and the remolded lower fascia now appears sportier and ever so slightly more menacing, if such a term can be applied to this vehicle. Honda has added a full-width splitter below the face to ratchet up the perceived sportiness.
The chrome strip that used to underscore the grille has morphed into a chrome bar running along the top, from which the “H” hangs like Flavor Flav’s clock.
Out back, a redesigned bumper with newly created character line sits below mildly tweaked taillights and above a splitter-like lower section designed to telegraph the car’s sportiness to vehicles behind. If those drivers come close, they might just notice a Sport badge adorning some new Fits. Honda has placed the new trim level between the base LX and uplevel EX, bringing blacked-out 16-inch wheels, a chrome exhaust finisher and subtle aero kit (including rear diffuser) to the little hatch.
As seen in these photos, Honda has addedÂ Orange Fury to the Fit’s color palette. The “Hey! Hey! Look over here!” color joinsÂ Helios Yellow Pearl (which replaces Mystic Yellow) among the Fit’s more noticeable paint choices.
Safety-conscious buyers will no doubt applaud the addition of Honda Sensing driver’s aids to the model. The package, which includes lane-keeping and automatic braking functions, as well as adaptive cruise control, will be available to LX and Sport buyers and come standard on EX and EX-L trims.
Because Honda’s media release contains no mention whatsoever of powertrain improvements, we’re left in the dark as to the 2018 Fit’s performance prowess. Will the automaker have more information at next month’s launch? Is the turbo Fit of your dreams right around the corner? Stay tuned. Currently, the model makes do with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 130 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual competes with a continuously variable transmission for shifting duties.
Despite sitting at the bottom of the brand’s lineup, the Fit remains a popular buy, even as subcompact crossovers attempt to woo shoppers away. The Fit found 56,630 new U.S. owners in 2016, more than the previous year but down quite a bit from the model’s 2008 sales peak. That year, nearly 80,000 Americans brought home a Fit.
[Images: Honda North America]
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June 13, 2017 at 06:02AM