The Honda Fit, besides having an adorably Japanese name (seriously, who would name a car that? The same society that would name one of their cars the Bongo Friendly, I suppose) aims to be nearly all things to a certain slice of the population pie. The Fit wants to be small enough for the urban environment, yet big enough for four adults (five in a pinch).
Small, miserly on gas, yet practical and a hatchback so it can haul a modicum of stuff. Usually, trying to spread yourself this thin is a recipe for disaster (see Aztek, Pontiac) yet somehow, Honda makes it work.
No, I am not going to say you can take the Fit on The Great American Road Trip, jazz blaring on the stereo, visions of Kerouac and Cassady flashing through your brain in the middle of the great American middle. The Fit might be a number of things, and do a number of them well, but blasting through Montana, say, at 80 miles an hour is not one of them. The Fit is roomy, but you need more vroom, dig?
This is the third-generation Fit to hit the road in America and the first real update since the 2015 model. What it is, in general terms, is Honda’s version of the VW Golf or the Toyota Yaris, only oddly different somehow. The Fit always had odd styling and, as Honda has gotten more sedately extreme in their styling these days, the Fit has gone right along with it. Only it doesn’t work as well. Or at least it doesn’t work as a unified whole.
Have you ever seen one of those kids, and they’re kind of puppy like? They are gangly and their arms and legs are too long and their facial features are all over the place; ears and eyes and nose too big, way too much hair, even when it’s cut, that sort of thing? It’s like a size 5 person dropped onto a size 2 frame. Too much stuff on too small an area; that’s what the Fit always looked like to me. If the Fit was 20 percent bigger – longer wheelbase, taller, wider – all of the many, many design elements crammed onto it would work much better. However, what all Fits do in opposition to that is Work with a capital “W.” They are amazingly well thought out, practical, and useful despite their diminutive size.
The 2018 Fit gets a fully fresh look for 2018 and the addition of a new trim level, Sport in this case, and the availability of Honda Sensing. Honda Sensing is, according to the automaker, “our exclusive intelligent suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies designed to alert you to things you might miss while driving.” To put that in plain English, Honda Sensing is the by-now-ubiquitous suite of electronic nannies, sensors, and actuators that aim to save us from ourselves. So be it.
The 2018 Fit gets updated styling front and rear, and more color this time around for an “enhanced, youthful, sporty, and emotional character,” says Honda. The new styling aims to be sportier, starting at the very nose of the beast with a horizontal, two-piece grille done up in chrome and piano black with a large “H” dead center. Honda also says the headlights are “more integrated and sophisticated” and designed to blend into the side edges of the upper fascia. The Fit continues along this trend, moving the headlights up and back, back, way back along the fender line. Not saying this is bad, but if we’re not careful, headlights will be on the A pillars by 2021.
Out back, the Fit carries through with the new low and wide styling to keep things sporty. The 2018 rear bumper has been redesigned and features a full-width character line in piano black. There’s a new taillight combo on the Fit’s redesigned rear end too, plus a splitter-shaped lower section. Note that’s “splitter-shaped,” not an actual splitter. But who cares? It’s not like this thing will be going fast enough to really start working the underbody airflow for maximum downforce, y’know?
Now, about that new Sport trim level. Sport falls between the LX and EX trims and features an even more aggressive and sporty look with aero bits at the front, sides, and rear along with a front splitter highlighted in bright orange. At the rear there is a three-strake diffuser with a bright orange upper trim line (probably as ghastly as the one up front) and a chrome exhaust.
No word on pricing or exact availability or any of that jazz just yet, only Honda’s corp-speak: “more in-depth information about the upgrades to the 2018 Fit, including expanded feature content will be provided in the near future.” At the very least, we know the 2018 Honda Fit will hit dealerships next month.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.