2013 Honda Fit Review and Prices
The 2013 Honda Fit is the best car for you if you want to experience a brilliantly designed subcompact hatchback before it’s replaced by an all-new 2014 model.
The 2013 Honda Fit commemorates a modern classic of sorts: a small wagon that demonstrates how a car just 12 ½ feet long can hold four adults in comfort or rival a compact SUV for cargo volume. That it is also economical to buy, stingy with gas, and fun to drive is icing on the cake. The 2013 Fit concludes the 2009-2013 design generation with a new color choice its only change. Meantime, Honda has begun to lease small numbers of pure-electric Fits in selected East and West Coast markets.
Should you buy a 2013 Honda Fit or wait for the 2014 Honda Fit? Buy a 2013 Fit if you need a small car that defines big on the inside/small on the outside. Wait for the 2014 Fit if you want to see what Honda does for an encore. Reports suggest the next-generation replacement may not be another subcompact wagon but a mini-crossover SUV.
2013 Honda Fit Changes back to top
Styling: The 2013 Honda Fit is a visual rerun of the 2012 Fit, save the addition of Midnight Plum Pearl as a new color choice; it replaces Orange Burst Metallic.
Honda gave the uplevel members of the lineup – the Fit Sport models – a gentle facelift for model-year 2012, but their subtly revised grille, headlamp, and front-bumper doesn’t migrate to the 2013 Fit base model.
Unchanged is Fit’s basic bullet-wagon shape and tidy exterior dimensions. This unassuming shell houses unexpectedly generous front and rear headroom and legroom and more cargo space than in any direct competitor: 20.6 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
Gasoline versions of the 2012 Fit return in three levels of trim: base Fit, Fit Sport, and Fit Sport with Navigation. Sport models are distinguished by larger tires on alloy wheels, a rear roof spoiler, fog lamps, and a shiny exhaust-pipe tip.
The 2013 Fit EV (electric vehicle) has a slightly more aerodynamic nose than the gas Fits. It’s available in select East Coast and West Coast markets.
Mechanical: The 2013 Honda Fit retains a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that repeats at 117 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. (Think of torque as the muscle behind acceleration; Fit’s output is among the lowest in its competitive set.)
The 2013 Fit base version and the Sport model are again available with a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. The 2013 Fit Sport with Navigation returns with the automatic transmission only. Both automatic-transmission Sport versions have steering-wheel paddles that allow manual-type gear control. All Fit Sport models continue with 16-inch alloy wheels and tires versus the base Fit’s 15s, plus a suspension fortified with a rear stabilizer bar.
The 2013 Fit doesn’t stand out for acceleration, although like most subcompact cars of similar power it feels lively enough with manual transmission. And quick steering and a taut suspension keep this among the best-handling front-wheel-drive subcompacts, at least in the city and on medium speed curvy roads.
Faster cornering elicits noseplow and tire scrub. Honda added more sound insulation for model-year 2012, but Fit is not a quiet highway-speed cruiser. Neither can this tautly sprung lightweight absorb sharp bumps and ridges without transmitting bigger impacts to the cabin.
The 2013 Fit EV plug-in electric is propelled exclusively by an electric motor powered an on-board lithium-ion battery. Honda says a nearly depleted battery can be recharged in three hours when connected to a 240-volt circuit or in 15 hours on a standard 120-volt household outlet.
On a full charge, the Fit EV has an EPA-estimated combined city/highway driving range of 82 miles. It has driver-selected normal, sport, and eco modes configured to provide different levels of performance in exchange for commensurate reductions in range. The EV has lightweight 15-inch wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires.
Features: New features are not part of the 2013 Honda Fit agenda.
A highlight continues to be the available navigation system, a relative rarity among low-priced subcompacts. It again responds to voice commands and includes a 6.5-inch dashboard touchscreen. Unfortunately, the only way to equip a 2013 Fit with useful Bluetooth hands-free mobile-phone connectivity is to spend for the top-line Fit with Navigation model.
Continuing on every 2013 Fit is a nice selection of standard features that includes air conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, USB iPod interface, tilt/ telescope steering column, power locks, and power windows with an automatic up/down driver’s window.
Honda doesn’t break tradition by offering individual factory options. So a 2013 Fit buyer again needs to step up to a Sport model to get a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a security system, and six speakers instead of four.
Every 2013 Fit owes much of its interior versatility to a standard feature Honda calls the Magic Seat. This is a 60/40 split/folding rear bench that can collapse nearly flush with rear floor for maximum cargo volume. Additionally, its cushion can hinge rearward to create a full-width channel behind the front seats large enough to transport a standing bicycle or flat-screen TV. Fit’s front passenger seatback also tips forward to accommodate long objects like skis.
Exclusive to the Fit EV is analog and digital instrumentation that displays energy use, the battery pack’s state of charge, and estimated remaining driving range. An ECO scoring system lets drivers know how efficiently they’re operating the vehicle. Other indicators show the energy used by the climate control system and other systems.
The 2013 Fit EV also comes with an interactive remote control with a range of 100 feet. It controls battery charging and the climate system when the car is plugged into a power supply. To allow charging at the lowest available electricity rates, charge scheduling can be set via the car’s dashboard display screen or by an available free Fit EV smartphone app.
2013 Honda Fit Prices back to top
Base–price range for the 2013 Honda Fit is $16,115-$20,480. That’s a nominal increase over 2012 Fit pricing, a difference attributed partly to the rise in Honda’s destination fee, to $790 from $770. (All base prices in this review include the manufacturers’ destination fee.)
The 2013 Honda Fit base model is priced at $16,115 with manual transmission and at $16,950 with automatic.
Base price for the 2013 Honda Fit Sport is $17,850 with manual transmission, $18,700 with automatic. The 2013 Honda Fit Sport with Navigation model is priced at $20,480 with its standard automatic transmission.
The 2013 Honda Fit EV carries a $37,415 sticker but isn’t for sale. Honda instead makes it available through a three-year lease at $389 per month. There’s no capital cost reduction, and the lease payment includes the available $7,500 federal EV tax credit. The lease allows up to 12,000 miles per year. There’s no purchase option, and customers are responsible for insurance.
2013 Honda Fit Fuel Economy back to top
Fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Honda Fit are unchanged, leaving Fit about midpack among subcompact rivals – a situation Honda surely will address with the redesigned 2014 Fit.
Still, the 2013 Fit’s EPA fuel-economy ratings are by no means deal-breakers, given this car’s remarkable passenger and cargo versatility. The 2013 is rated at 27/33/29 mpg city/highway/combined with manual transmission. Base-model Fits with automatic transmission rate 28/35/31 mpg. Fit Sports with automatic rate 27/33/30.
Of course, the 2013 Fit EV uses no gas at all. It does, however, carry an adjusted combined mile-per-gallon-equivalency rating of 118 mpg-e, which makes it the EPA’s highest-rated EV.
Mpg-e is a metric created by the EPA to give a sense of how an EV’s consumption of electricity equates to a similar car’s consumption of gasoline. In the city/highway/combined rating, the Fit EV rates 132/105/118 mpg-e.
Similar to any vehicle, an EV’s mpg-e and range will vary depending on driving conditions, how it’s driven and maintained, battery age and condition, and other factors. For additional information about EV ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-electric-label.shtml.
2013 Honda Fit Release Date back to top
The 2013 Honda Fit went on sale in mid July 2012.
The Fit EV was made available for lease on July 20, 2012 in key markets in Oregon and California, after which availability will expand to six East Coast markets in early 2013.
What's next for the 2013 Honda Fit back to top
An all-new Fit is due for model-year 2014, but what form it’ll take only Honda knows.
The safe bet is an evolution of today’s four-door wagon. It would retain the car’s trademark interior versatility and small exterior dimensions. But styling would be more aerodynamic and powertrains more efficient to improve fuel economy.
Some reports, however, suggest the third-generation Fit will be transformed into a crossover SUV. It wouldn’t be much longer than today’s subcompact-car-sized hatchback but would be slightly wider, have a higher roofline, and boast added ground clearance. Front- and all-wheel drive would be available.
A Fit crossover would be smaller and less expensive that Honda’s compact-class CR-V and would compete with subcompact crossovers such as the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman. Look for the 2014 Fit in showrooms during calendar 2013.
2013 Honda Fit Competition back to top
Chevrolet Sonic: Debuting for model-year 2012 and offered in four-door sedan and hatchback body styles, Sonic isn’t quite as spacious or agile as the Fit. But it rides more comfortably and feels more refined at highway speeds. Fuel economy is slightly better, too. Base-engine models have 138 horsepower and rate 26/35/29 with their five-speed manual transmission and 25/35/28 with their six-speed automatic. The available turbo engine also has 138 horsepower, but more torque, 148 pound-feet versus 125. It rates 29/40/33 mpg but initially is available only with a six-speed manual transmission. Expect 2013 Sonic sedans to start around $14,900 and hatchbacks around $15,800.
Ford Fiesta: An uncomfortably tight rear seat and stingy cargo room are what you’ll endure to enjoy Fiesta’s class-leading ride and handling. That compromise reflects the European DNA of these four-door sedans and hatchbacks. Fiesta has 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque and performs far better with manual transmission than with Ford’s quirky dual-clutch gearbox that acts as this car’s automatic transmission. Fuel economy is a selling point, at a rated 29/37/32 with manual transmission, 29/38/33 with automatic, and 29/40/33 mpg with the automatic and SFE (Super Fuel Economy) package. Base-price ranges are $13,995-$17,995 for the 2013 Fiesta sedan and $14,995-$18,995 for the hatchback. Add $1,095 for the dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Nissan Versa: Nissan vexes the competition with a sedan and hatchback priced like subcompacts but sized like class-larger compact cars. The Versa sedan was all new for model-year 2012 and returns for 2013 unchanged. The more versatile hatchback carries on with its previous-generation design though calendar 2012. Neither body style is pretty nor particularly sporty to drive. But they top the competitive set for interior spaciousness and are fairly refined, too. Sedans have no excess muscle, with just 109 horsepower; hatchbacks have a more appropriate 122. Fuel economy is good, given Versa’s relative mass, topping out at 30/38/33 mpg for sedans and 28/34/30 for hatchbacks. Estimated starting prices are $12,000 for the 2013 Versa sedan and $15,400 for the hatchback.