Feel sporty, but also safe in the 2018 Honda Fit

Keeping up with the Joneses is a full-time job in the automotive industry. The third-generation Fit is a decent car but Honda's seen fit to give the Fit a strong mid-cycle refresh in order to secure its position atop the subcompact segment.

Both the front and rear fascia have been redesigned. It's harder to tell the difference to the back, but the new front end has been updated to resemble other new Honda models such as the Civic. The grille is now a two-piece affair with piano black and chrome accents, and there are some new wheel designs. The whole car's length is up between 1.4 and 1.8 inches, depending on your choice of trim.

There are also two new colors available -- yellow and orange. It's a fun little car, so its palette should reflect that, and I'd say these two new colors are up to that task.

Inside, not much has changed. However, there's one very important update -- the 7-inch Display Audio infotainment system has a real, honest-to-goodness volume knob! The rear seats can be folded all the way down or all the way up, and you can lay the front seats flat if you need to take a nap in the car for whatever reason.

Standard equipment for all Fit models includes a backup camera, automatic headlights, Bluetooth, LED taillights and a center console with an armrest. There's also a new instrument cluster with a digital tachometer. Models equipped with HondaSensing also get a 4.2-inch color display nestled in the gauge cluster.

Other big news from the 2018 Fit refresh is the addition of a new Sport trim. Positioned between the base LX and the top-tier EX, the Sport gets special interior trim with orange stitching, a 7-inch Display Audio infotainment system and a flashy body kit. Moving up to the EX trim adds keyless entry, a moonroof, push-button start and LaneWatch, which uses a camera to monitor the passenger-side blind spot. The EX-L trim adds heated leather seats.

One engine is available, but its output changes based on the transmission. Its 1.5-liter I4 puts out 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque with a six-speed manual, but adding the CVT drops the output to 128 and 113, respectively.

Opt for the CVT on any Fit, and you can also add HondaSensing. That's Honda's suite of active and passive safety systems, which includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure mitigation. A little extra safety never hurts.

I shouldn't be this excited over a volume knob, but I guess you don't know what you've got until it's gone.


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