2020 Honda Fit

By March 23, 2020

The Honda Fit is a spacious small hatchback that’s thrifty, affordable, and safe. In Sport trim with black wheels and accents it looks almost racy. It’s unchanged for 2020. 

The only engine is a 1.5-liter inline-4, with either a fun 6-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters and a sport mode. It’s front-wheel drive, with no available all-wheel drive. Acceleration is modest, as 60 mph comes in about 10 seconds. The ride is comfortable in normal driving.

What most makes the Fit exceptional is its interior room: cargo and passenger space are superb for a subcompact. Four adults will fit comfortably, while the Fit boasts some of the most clever folding seats fitted to any vehicle. With all the seats stowed away, the cargo space is relatively massive. 

The base Fit with the 6-speed manual gets 29 mpg city, 36 highway, 31 combined, while optional CVT increases that rating significantly, to 33/40/36 mpg. EX and EX-L models with the CVT drop slightly to 31/36/33 mpg, presumably because they’re heavier. The Fit takes regular fuel.

The 2020 Honda Fit earns excellent crash test scores. The IIHS has rated the Fit “Good” in nearly every crash category. However the headlights only got “Marginal” and “Poor” ratings.

The NHTSA gives it five stars overall, with four stars only in rollover.

Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control are standard on the EX and EX-L trim, and available on the LX and Sport for $1,000, a price that’s life-savingly affordable, especially when prorated over payments. However only the CVT can get these features. Because these safety features are electronic, they need to be linked to an automatic.

Model Lineup

The Fit comes in LX, Sport, EX and EX-L trims, ranging from about $17,000 to $22,000. 

LX models get a 6-speed manual transmission, power windows, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and USB connections.

The Sport gets racy black wheels and trim, unique interior styling, a bigger touchscreen with infotainment that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the option for active safety features as long as it doesn’t have the manual transmission. 

EX models get those active safety features as standard equipment, along with keyless entry, a power moonroof, and more. The EX-L gets options including heated front seats and leather upholstery.

Exterior

The design of the Fit is all about interior space, so the exterior is stubby and purposeful. The Sport’s black wheels and trim draw attention away from the shape.The top EX-L gets 16-inch alloy wheels and chrome trim.

Interior

For a subcompact, the Fit is unmatched in its versatility. The cockpit is driver-centric, with bright gauges, controls that are well positioned, and a touchscreen that’s front-and-center. 

Cabin materials are inexpensive, as might be expected with that bargain price. The flat seats run out of support on road trips. 

The flat seats might be forgotten when it comes time to pack in people and stuff. There is an impressive 95.7 cubic feet of passenger volume, with 39.3 inches of rear leg room—that’s more rear legroom than the larger and newer Honda Civic. Behind the rear seats there’s 16.6 cubic feet, more than the trunk of many if not most midsize sedans. With the seats down, there is a cavernous 52.7 cubic feet. The Magic Seat, as Honda appropriately calls it, folds up and flat against the seat back, creating a deep storage area that can fit a kayak or mountain bike with the front wheel off. 

Driving Impressions

The 1.5-liter engine makes 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque, providing enough zip for around town. It takes about 10 seconds to reach freeway speeds from a standing start, but in the real world it won’t take that long because you get a running start on an on-ramp.  

A 6-speed manual transmission comes standard. It’s fun, but you can’t get the optional active safety package with it, which at $1000 is a bargain you can’t afford to pass up. What’s more, the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available on every model and standard on the EX-L. With its sport mode and paddle “shifters” it has a lot more feel than most CVTs, and the gas mileage is way better with the CVT: 5 mpg more in the Sport, which is the model you’ll probably prefer if you wanted a manual gearbox in the first place. 

The handling is fairly nimble if not totally tossable, thanks to the short wheelbase and subcompact dimensions. The turn-in is sharp and responsive.The original Fit was more fun, but it was a different car. This Fit is more mature and does much more—including ride better. For a subcompact, the suspension handles road imperfections well. 

Final Word

You can’t go wrong with the 2020 Honda Fit. Fully loaded at $22,000, it delivers 33 mpg, with room for four adults or a ton of stuff. It has a comfortable ride, responsive handling, a relatively perky CVT, and acceptable acceleration. Active safety features are available and very affordable. If you need more character there is the Sport, which brings the bonus of 36 mpg.

—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection

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