What's bad? Old-school cabin tech
The Fit's cabin isn't a bad place to be. 360-degree visibility is great thanks to generous glass in the greenhouse. The seating position was also great for my fairly average 5-foot-9 frame. Ergonomics are good, with the steering wheel falling nicely into the hand and the controls for climate system within mere inches of the wheel's rim.
However, the Fit, which was never really a tech juggernaut, continues to fall further and further behind the competition where infotainment is concerned.
Even without the optional navigation system, the Sport trim level adds two tweeters to the standard four-speaker, 160-watt audio rig. Not that it matters much; the system is still plagued with audible distortion at even a moderate volume and a weak bottom end. A subwoofer would probably help, but one isn't available.
At this basic level, audio sources include a USB/iPod connection that enables MP3/WMA playback. However, Honda has chosen to put the USB connection pigtail on the passenger wall of the upper glove compartment, which is as far away from the driver as is physically possible while still being located on the dashboard. Plugging in a USB key, even while parked, was a serious reach for me. Any farther away and it'd be outside of the car!
The rest of the standard audio sources include a single-slot CD player that also decodes MP3/WMA, AM/FM radio, and an analog auxiliary input. Missing from this list are a satellite radio option and HD Radio decoding, which you can probably live without.
Our fully loaded Fit Sport came equipped with the Honda Satellite Linked Navigation, an all-in-one option that adds a hard-drive-based navigation system to the dashboard with a touch-screen interface. This system is reasonably fast and features a pretty good voice command system that extends beyond navigation to basic audio controls and hands-free calling. However, the graphics are pixelated, jagged, and simple, and street names are difficult to read on the screen. The system lacks spoken street names while navigating and traffic data of any sort. Obviously, it also lacks any sort of connected features such as Google or Bing destination search.
It's not all bad, the navigation system. This option is the only way to get Bluetooth hands-free calling or A2DP stereo audio streaming in your Fit Sport, but spending $1,780 on a whole navigation system just to be able to make hands-free calls seems a bit, well, silly.
The 2012 Honda Fit Sport with Navigation is a trim level that gets you pretty much every option outside of all-season floor mats and other dealer-installed trinkets. Pricing is simple here, $19,690 plus a $790 destination charge brings you to our as-tested price of $20,480.
However, I'd recommend that you skip the Navigation trim level, since it's so dated anyway, and use the $1,780 you save to roll your own cabin tech with an aftermarket receiver. Consider the manual gearbox if you want to really have fun with the Fit and save a few bucks ($850, to be exact) on the front end, since forgoing the tech gives you that option, but don't feel bad for choosing the automatic.
Is the Honda Fit a good car? Is it the last of the true Hondas? Yes. However, in the near-decade since the Fit was introduced, the competition has gotten much, much better. Cars like the, , and blow the Fit out of the water when it comes to dashboard tech, cabin comfort, and fuel economy. Judged against its peers, the Honda Fit's scores in those categories were merely okay, which is reflected in the middling overall score I gave it.
|Model||2012 Honda Fit|
|Trim||Sport with Navigation|
|Power train||1.5-liter engine, 5-speed automatic trans.|
|EPA fuel economy||27 city, 33 highway, 30 combined mpg|
|Observed fuel economy||About 26 mpg|
|Bluetooth phone support||Optional|
|Disc player||Single-slot CD|
|MP3 player support||Standard analog 3.5mm auxiliary input, USB connection, iPod connection|
|Other digital audio||Optional Bluetooth audio streaming|
|Audio system||6-speaker, 160 watts|
|Price as tested||$20,480|