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2013 Honda Fit Overview
The Honda Fit subcompact rolls into 2013 with a new exterior color option, Midnight Plum Pearl, which replaces the previous year's Orange Burst Metallic color. Other than that, the Fit remains essentially unchanged after receiving a number of interior and exterior updates for 2012. Reflecting the lack of new features for 2013, the Fit's pricing also remains unchanged from the previous year.
But even as the Fit goes on cruise control for the model year, it continues to garner awards and accolades. The 2012 version was named a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS and one of the 10 Best Cars of the year by Car and Driver magazine, while U.S. News & World Report tagged the Fit as the best vehicle in its class (tied with the Ford Fiesta), beating out such competitors as the Hyundai Elantra, the Chevy Cruze, the Toyota Prius and the Mini Cooper. It also won a Subcompact Shootout competition staged by USA Today and MotorWeek.
The Fit continues to offer a number of benefits to buyers on a budget, including its nimble handling, good fuel economy, solid list of standard features and ample cargo space thanks to a fold-down rear Magic Seat. In addition, even though it's a subcompact, the Fit offers such upscale features as steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and available navigation.
As in previous years, Honda offers the 5-door Fit at Base and Sport trim levels, with add-ons such as navigation available at the Sport level. In addition, Honda has recently started rolling out limited editions of its new Fit EV electric vehicle in select markets, such as California.
Power for the Honda Fit comes from a 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine, which generates 117 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque. The engine links to either a 5-speed manual transmission, which comes as standard equipment, or an available 5-speed automatic. The engine delivers plenty of pep off the mark but can sometimes struggle at highway passing speeds or on hills. Fuel economy numbers check in at 27/33 mpg with the manual transmission and 28/35 with the automatic.
Inside, the Honda Fit seats 5 passengers, though space can be tight in the second-row seat for 3 grown adults. With the rear seat up, the Fit offers a versatile 20.6 cubic feet of storage space, which expands to 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.
All Fit trims come well-equipped with such standard features as air conditioning, power windows and door locks, cruise control, remote keyless entry, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, ambient console lighting and a 4-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM audio system with an input jack, MP3 capability and speed-sensing volume. In addition, the second-row Magic Seat splits 60/40 and folds flat, and features an under-seat storage area. The Sport trim adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, upgraded seat fabric, dark metallic dashboard components, map lights, floor mats and 2 additional speakers for the audio system.
When equipped with the 5-speed automatic transmission, the Sport trim also gets steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. In addition, Honda offers its satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch color screen and 16GB of flash memory as an optional feature for the Sport trim.
The Sport gets a few exterior enhancements as well, including foglights, side underbody spoilers, a rear roofline spoiler and a chrome exhaust finisher. All Fit trims come equipped with power side mirrors and halogen headlights. The Base trim rides on 15-inch wheels, while the Sport trim gets 16-inch alloy wheels.
Safety features for the 2013 Honda Fit include the automaker's Vehicle Stability Assist system with traction control, and antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. Dual-stage front, front side, and side-curtain airbags come standard on all Fit trims. Daytime running lights are also standard.
Most owners agree that, as a commuter car, the Fit is hard to beat, since it delivers great versatility and functionality as well as value. Its nimble handling and good fuel economy numbers appeal to buyers on a budget who want something a little more exciting than the standard subcompact. In addition, improvements made in 2012 to reduce cabin noise have made a good car even better. On the other hand, some owners find the Fit's acceleration too slow and wish its fuel economy numbers were a little better. Despite a few complaints, however, the Fit gets generally good marks from owners as a capable daily driver.
by R. Feeman
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