The best subcompact sold in North America | The driver-oriented interior of the Fit is excellent – also a favourite in the segment.
I must start my review with a disclaimer; moments prior to getting into this test car, I was a bit spoiled with the exquisite amount of power in the 2014 Audi RS7. This is a car that has nearly five times the amount of power of this 2014 Honda Fit, so a bit of adapting was required. I was definitely looking forward to spending my time with Honda’s subcompact in its final year before being redesigned for MY2015.
As soon as I looked at our company car calendar and the schedule for the coming weeks, I couldn’t help but have a huge grin from ear-to-ear as I noticed that I had a week coming with a Honda product. This love stemmed from my unbiased love for the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe, as well as the fact that Honda just gets how to make an incredible manual gearbox, which is arguably the best part of each applicable product in the lineup.
My 2014 Honda Fit was the Sport trim level, painted in a “Cool Turquoise Metallic” coupled to a black interior. The 1.5L 4-cylinder motor was coupled not to the automatic, but the soulful close-ratio 5-speed manual transmission. Let’s be real here – the Fit wasn’t meant to be a king at track days or win any land speed records. What it’s meant to do is be an excellent little runabout that is capable of versatility, efficiency, and a little bit of verve; and it does this brilliantly.
I have already mentioned my love for Honda’s gearbox configurations, and this 2014 Fit Sport is no exception. The shifts are buttery smooth and absolutely superb, with perfect throws and no frustration when booting around the city. However, I wasn’t exactly impressed with the clutch engagement point – it seems to be an on/off switch and doesn’t have as much feedback as I would like. For some, this might be a huge concern, but at the price point, it’s not really a huge complaint. Save for the Mazda2’s perfect clutch and shifter combination, the Fit’s setup is easily a class leader.
It was a bit surprising to see that Honda still carries forward the 5-speed manual unit, which revs at 3500 rpm at highway speeds, but my surprise was short-lived as Honda promises a 6-speed manual (along with 14 extra horsepower!) for the upcoming 2015 Fit. The Mazda2 does also use a 5-speed unit, but the likes of the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio have moved forward to a 6-speed unit.
The driver-oriented interior of the Fit is excellent – also a favourite in the segment. The build-quality is top-notch, and the seats are surprisingly comfortable. It’s not uncommon for automakers to cut costs in this vehicle class, trying to deliver the most bang for your buck. Seats are a huge sacrifice I’ve seen in the industry – Honda has not followed this trend. The seats may be cloth, but they’re high-quality and I didn’t find myself complaining on long hauls in rush hour traffic from the suburbs into the downtown core.
My Fit tester was the top-of-the-line Sport model, essentially the nicest and most expensive Fit you can buy on these shores. It came equipped with the usual power package, keyless entry, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and a skirt effect kit with a decklid spoiler. All Fits however, are equipped with the famous “Magic Seats”, that feature a 60/40 split for the rear seats, which flip upwards or downwards giving the little car the ability to carry objects up to four feet long. Downtown-dwelling IKEA-goers, are you looking for a car?
The 6-speaker sound system in the 2014 Fit is pretty sufficient for this price point. It reproduces low and high frequencies at a decent level. I was definitely happy that I could integrate my iPod into the system for the week, and with regards to the Bluetooth handsfree pairing I had minimal complaints on the sound quality of phone calls. One thing that is taken for granted in cars like these is an enclosed cover for your iPod or USB device. Cars like the Mazda2 have the USB port exposed in the open, making the car overall more vulnerable to thieves and vandals. The Fit neatly stows your iPod in a small compartment above the glove box, invisible to the passer-by.
Priced just over $19,000, the 2014 Honda Fit gives you a competitive subcompact that in my eyes is a class leader. The four-cylinder powerplant is pretty peppy and the car corners surprisingly well. Even better was my observed fuel economy of 6.8L/100km in combined driving, with quite a few jaunts through some of my favourite twisty roads. At first glance, the Fit wasn’t really my cup of Orange Pekoe, but by the end of the week I realized that I would miss it when it was gone.
2014 Honda Fit Sport Gallery