No other car out there manages to squeeze the most interior space out of the smallest possible exterior as the 2019 Honda Fit. Only Hermione Granger’s handbag challenges the Fit’s almost magical ability to swallow large items you wouldn’t think possible. Indeed, its 52.7 cu ft. of maximum cargo space is better than quite a few SUVs, and its back seat is big enough to accommodate full-size adults. Really, if you’re looking to downsize into a more efficient and less expensive car but are worried that it won’t be able to carry as much stuff or your passengers will be crammed in, the Fit should be the right, well, fit.
It’s more than just a surprisingly spacious moving pod, though. The Fit’s sprightly 4-cylinder engine is a typical Honda gem, delivering strong acceleration and fuel economy for the subcompact segment. Its handling is also agile, yet the ride is comfortable enough that you won’t dread longer highway drives (forever a subcompact car trademark). The interior quality is even quite strong, while infotainment and safety technologies highlight an ample features list.
Sure, it’s not the best-looking subcompact, you can’t get it as a sedan and the base price is higher than others, but quite simply, if you’re considering a new car that costs less than $20,000, the Fit needs to be on your test drive list.
What’s New for 2019?
Automatic high beams are added to the Honda Sensing package for 2019.
What We Like
Unmatched interior space for such a small vehicle; highly versatile and practical cabin; quality cabin materials; efficient and relatively quick engine
What We Don’t
More expensive base price than other subcompacts; not the most attractive design
The Fit offers just one engine: A 1.5-liter 4-cylinder that produces 130 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque with the standard 6-speed manual transmission. It goes down to 128 hp and 113 lb-ft with the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy goes up with the CVT, however. It is an estimated 33 miles per gallon in city driving, 40 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg in combined driving in the LX trim level and 31 mpg city/36 mpg hwy/33 mpg combined in other CVT-equipped trims. The manual lowers fuel economy to 29 mpg city/36 mpg hwy/31 mpg combined.
Every powertrain combination is quite thrifty, though, as well as capable of strong acceleration for the segment.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Honda Fit is offered in four trim levels: LX, Sport, EX and EX-L.
The base-level Fit LX ($16,190) comes with all the basics, including 15-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, power accessories, air conditioning, a backup camera, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split back seat (folds flat and seat bottom flips up), Bluetooth phone and audio, a USB port and a 4-speaker sound system with a 5-in color display, a CD player and a media plater interface.
The Sport ($17,500) gets special styling flourishes not available on any other trim level, along with 16-in wheels, fog lights, a leather-wrapped wheel, a second USB port, a 6-speaker sound system and a 7-in touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HondaLink smartphone apps and Pandora internet radio control.
Optional on CVT-equipped LX and Sport trim levels is the Honda Sensing package, which adds forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams.
The Fit EX ($18,160) doesn’t have the leather wheel or the Sport’s styling, but it does add a sunroof, proximity entry and keyless start, cargo area tie downs, Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot camera and satellite radio. Honda Sensing is standard.
Topping the range is the Fit EX-L ($20,520), which adds heated mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The CVT is also standard. Optional on the EX-L is a navigation system integrated into the touchscreen. It brings with it HD Radio.
All Fit models come standard with front-side airbags, side-curtain airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability control, traction control and a backup camera. The Honda Sensing package adds forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and automatic high beam control. It’s optional on CVT-equipped LX and Sport trims and standard on the EX and EX-L, which also include the LaneWatch blind spot camera.
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash-testing, the Fit earned perfect 5-star ratings for overall, frontal and side crash protection. In testing conducted by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Fit received the best possible marks in every crash test it was subjected to, as well as for its front crash-prevention tech. A Marginal headlight rating kept it from receiving a Top Safety Pick award.
Behind the Wheel
The Fit may not be as comfy or as upscale as its bigger Honda siblings, but its interior materials are still a cut above the rest. The cabin even looks pretty cool, especially with the available touchscreen interface, which was improved a bit when Honda brought back its volume knob. Adding the physical menu buttons of the new Insight and Accord would be even better, but we’ll take what we can get.
Now, when you get behind the wheel of the 2019 Fit, you’ll find that it’s especially enjoyable to drive. Revised steering, suspension and body structure last year only improved what was already one of the most nimble, comfortable and refined subcompact cars. Just don’t get fooled by the Sport trim level — it looks a bit cooler, but it’s not really sportier to drive. The otherwise small engine punches well above its weight class — and with the continuously variable automatic transmission, it delivers better acceleration than its rivals. The standard manual, meanwhile, is one of the easiest out there to operate.
It’s great to drive, but really, the Fit’s main appeal is its interior versatility. Its so-called "magic" rear seat provides truly impressive, adult-friendly space and flips up to create a flat floor space for dogs or other bulky items. The whole seat also folds completely into the floor, creating a low and commodious cargo area that rivals some small SUVs. We managed to cram in a small kitchen table and four chairs with room to spare. Folks looking to downsize into a smaller car should really appreciate all the space it provides.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Kia Rio — The Rio was all-new last year, and its transformation resulted in an impressively grown-up subcompact that should be considered right alongside the Fit. It may not have as much space, but its driving manners are shockingly sophisticated, and its cabin earns big points for functionality, quality and style.
2019 Hyundai Accent — Like the Rio, the Accent was all-new last year and is available in both hatchback and sedan body styles. The Fit is of course hatch-only. The Accent is perhaps not as impressive as the Rio, but it shares many of the same strong attributes as its corporate cousin.
2019 Nissan Kicks — The Kicks deftly toes the line between subcompact hatchback and subcompact SUV. It boasts generous cargo capacity (though still not as much as the Fit), strong fuel economy and a low price.
Used Honda Civic — If you like the Fit’s price but want a sedan or generally more refinement, opting for a used Civic could make sense. Though not offered in a 4-door hatchback until 2017, the Civic touts great comfort, more power and a few extra features.
Just like almost every Honda, we recommend the EX. It adds an abundance of equipment (including accident-avoidance tech) that seems like a bargain given its $2,000 premium over the base LX. Otherwise, Honda keeps things pretty simple — with no options really, you just have to pick the color.