2018 Honda Fit Sport HFP

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Features Options

The 2018 Honda Fit Sport ($17,500) comes standard with a rearview camera, remote entry, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and driver-seat height adjustment.

The new-for-2018 Sport trim adds some “sporty” styling highlights, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The Sport’s infotainment system is a seven-inch touchscreen interface that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also includes a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Total MSRP including destination: $18,390.

Slow and steady wins the race

Every subcompact in the segment has the same sort of hurry-up-and-wait performance characteristics, and the Fit is no different. But my tester has three little letters of help: HFP.

The Fit can be optioned with a $2,700 Honda Factory Performance package that adds a number of aesthetic upgrades, some of which are already included on my tester’s Sport trim. But it also includes a sport suspension upgrade that stiffens up the ride a smidge and brings the body 0.4 inch closer to the ground. It reduces but doesn’t eliminate body roll, making the Fit more exciting to toss into corners than it would be otherwise. It definitely outhandles the other two subcompacts I’ve driven recently, the Hyundai Accent and the Kia Rio.

The Fit’s engine is a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter I4 putting out 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque, paired with a six-speed manual transmission (if you opt for the continuously variable transmission, output numbers are reduced to 128 horsepower and 113 pound-feet). Given the industry’s push to turbocharged engines, it’s sort of refreshing to have a tiny, naturally aspirated powerplant that requires me to wring the living hell out of it. Combined with my tester’s predictable clutch and tight-enough shifter, it has some of the characteristics of older Civic Si models, just… a lot slower.

In more pedestrian pursuits, the Fit is fine. It’s an inexpensive subcompact, so there’s a not insignificant amount of wind and tire noise at highway speeds. It traverses bumps well enough, but my tester’s suspension transfers a bit more movement to the cabin than other trims might. On the fuel economy front, though, it’s a champ — the EPA rates it at 29 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, but I am seeing city mileage closer to 30 or 31 and stretches of 40-plus on the freeway. And that was without much focus on economical driving.

How I’d spec it

My tester is exactly the spec I would choose. A Fit Sport starts at $17,500, and since there are no major options packages for Honda’s trims, destination brings the price to a still-affordable $18,390.

The real question is whether or not it’s worth springing for the $2,700 HFP upgrade. If you value looking and feeling a bit sportier than average, I’d say it’s worth the price, but it does send the price tag to about $21,000. If your needs lean more toward the family-friendly side, it’s worth skipping over, but you may want to consider paying the $800 for the CVT and the $1,000 for Honda Sensing if you’re going to be hauling precious human cargo around.

Conclusion

The 2018 Honda Fit Sport is a very capable subcompact offering hatchback utility, sporty driving dynamics, smart packaging, excellent rear passenger and cargo carrying ability, good looks, and fuel efficiency. Add in Honda’s reputation for reliability and longevity, and you’ve got all the qualities needed.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

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