2017 Honda Fit EX-L with Nav

Small outside, comfortable inside, feisty under the hood
July 2, 2017 Updated: July 2, 2017

The 2017 Honda Fit is truly a remarkable car. It can park in tight spaces, with the multi-angle rear-view camera helping you get in and out easily.

It all starts up front with the 130-horsepower 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine with direct injection, as the continuously variable transmission (CVT) provides encouraging assistance (race-inspired paddle shifters included with the EX-L).

Inside the cabin, the 7-inch touchscreen is conveniently located at the top of the center console stack. This is the command center for music, communication, and information. The steering wheel-mounted controls will help make phone calls and select music while keeping your hands on the wheel the whole time.

Fit is designed so it allows passengers a splendid outside view all around.

Your adventure starts with a push of the engine start button. Slide into heated front seats as you position yourself next to the center console, which provides great space to store all kinds of items.

One of the greatest features provided by Honda is the LaneWatch system, and this Fit has it. When you activate the right turn signal, it triggers a small camera mounted underneath the passenger-side mirror, and that video feed on the center display helps shrink your blind spot by revealing nearly four times more than the mirror alone. When the signal turns off, so does the camera.

Honda has been championing the harmony of performance and environmental friendliness with its Earth Dreams Technology banner, and the EX-L is standard-equipped with a CVT, allowing the engine to operate in its optimal band and achieve an impressive 34 mpg highway rating. Actually, I averaged 37 mpg over my driving period.

The Fit is one of the safest small cars in the marketplace. The U.S. government’s 5-Star Safety Rating program placed it at the top compared with other small cars. Fit received a 5-star rating for frontal crash driver and passenger, a 5-star rating for side crash front and rear side, and a 4-star rating for rollover.

Part of the reason for these top ratings has to do with the Honda ACE body structure, an engineering design that uses a network of connected structural elements to distribute front crash energy more evenly. This reduces the impact on a single specific part of the vehicle.

Inside the 2017 Honda Fit. (Courtesy of Honda)
Inside the 2017 Honda Fit. (Courtesy of Honda)

I was absolutely flabbergasted by all the features offered in such a small, inexpensive car, like heated door mirrors, power windows and door locks, auto on-off headlights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and leather-trimmed seats. Even a one-touch power moonroof with tilt is included. All of these goodies and more are available for a remarkable low price of $21,235.

The front driver and passenger seats are comfortable. The 60/40-split second-row seating offers great flexibility for carrying cargo and passengers.

One of the coolest and most unusual features is the bottle holder located on the dash to the left of the steering wheel, directly in front of the air conditioner vent. The cool air keeps the bottle cool, while the escaping air brings the coolness from the drink to the cabin.

The four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) keep you in control during hard stops, while Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) allots braking power among the four wheels based on how much load each one is bearing. Thus the Honda Fit takes curves well, as control is easily maintained.

Fit is designed so that it allows passengers a splendid outside view all around. Good legroom, shoulder room, and butt space make riding comfortable while delivering a spacious feeling.

“Honda Fit is fit and fun to drive.”

3-year/36,000-mile Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
3-year/36,000-mile Roadside Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net