Thinking of a smaller car that delivers great versatility and value with plenty of creature comforts?
Then Honda’s Fit is “go” for you! Hear “The Professor,” Clinton Quan’s, analysis of the 2018 Honda Fit after he picked one up from our friends at Rock Honda in Fontana for a test drive and this review.
Recorded in Los Angels, CA on March 20, 2018
Clinton Quan: For a compact car, it’s got a 1.5 liter inline for developing 120 horsepower, 113 lb-ft of torque–it’s pretty zippy. It redlines around I think it’s around 6800 RPMs. Pretty smooth.
I took it on the highway. No problem getting it up to speed and, yeah, driving it out on both the 15 and the 10.
You’re getting a lot of features, especially in the subcompact class, a backup camera, heated seats–this is for the XL, though–leather, moonroof, paddle shifters.
The safety features for collision avoidance, lane departure warning system. Yeah, that’s pretty well-equipped for a
Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States – Southern California. I’m Tom Smith and joining us for another vehicle review is our good friend “the Professor” Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.
Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom. It’s great to be back for another review.
Tom Smith: Great to have you back. Thank you so much, as always, for joining us. Today, we are taking a look at the 2018 Honda Fit that Clinton picked up from our good friends out at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. Clinton, tell us all about your experience with the Fit.
Clinton Quan: Well, I test drove the 2018 Honda Fit, the EX-L, and the EX-L is the top line trim for the Honda Fit. The Fit is a subcompact vehicle. It’s one of the smallest classes of vehicles out there.
Tom Smith: And the Fit is, being a subcompact, it’s the smallest car that Honda offers in its lineup. But you were mentioning off mike that the subcompacts have gotten to be a thing with manufacturers now because all of the other classes of vehicles have kind of gotten bigger.
The Honda Fit is Bigger
Clinton Quan: Yes, that’s correct. So a lot of the compact vehicles now are so much bigger. In fact, if you look at a compact car such as the Honda Civic, they’re as big as what the midsize cars used to be in the 1980s.
So they produced a new class of vehicles called subcompacts that are what, I would say, what the compact’s used to be maybe back in the 70s or 80s. And some manufacturers have both a sedan and a hatchback. Honda has decided to just go with a hatchback given the space and the versatility of the hatchback.
Tom Smith: So I… a couple of comments on that. I drove the Honda Civic SI, did a review on it. For you the podcast listeners, please, check it out. I think that was my first one that I did on my own. And I think I called you, actually, to get some pointers before I actually did it on my own.
But when I drove the Civic SI, it didn’t feel like a small car. I mean it felt very comfortable. Now my other comments on what you just said is you mentioned even the 70s. A
nd I have to say, I’m in my mid-40s, so in high school, you know, we’re driving anything that would…we could get to start and run in northern Illinois, where I grew up. But I had a buddy that I want to say had a ’71 Impala two-door. Now that was a coupe, right? Being a two-door, r it’s a coupe.
Clinton Quan: Yes.
Tom Smith: But I mean that thing was a land yacht. I want to say that measured close to 20 feet or more than 20 feet. I mean that thing was ridiculous.
Third Generation Honda Fit
The back seat, for a two-door, was like a couch. In fact, I’m pretty sure that back seat was bigger than some of my apartments… my first couches in my apartments in college. But anyway, we’re getting off topic.
The point is that the Accord is is bigger than it once was. The Civic is bigger than it once was. So now we have the Fit. And another thing you mentioned off mike about the Fit was the… This is what generation?
Clinton Quan: This is the third generation for the Honda Fit.
Tom Smith: The third generation of the Honda Fit, and that’s the other reason why I nicknamed Clinton “the Professor” is because I know the Fit’s been around.
I had no clue that we’re on the third generation of the Fit, but therein lies the encyclopedic knowledge of all things automotive and in Clinton’s head. He knows that it’s the third generation. So this generation being the third, it’s gotten a little bit bigger since the first two generations, as well?
Clinton Quan: Yes, it’s gotten bigger, and I would definitely say this is by far the best looking one of all the Honda Fits.
Tom Smith: It is. It’s very good looking. I like the styling of all the Honda vehicles, but this is definitely…I saw the picture of what you drove. It’s a very good looking, sporty little ride.
And the EX-L that you drove, and did we go through the trims? Let’s go through the trims and what the approximate…these are approximate pricing.
Never write the pricing that you hear in the podcast in stone because you’re going to go in and get a car that’s equipped the way that you want it, but generally speaking, the pricing for the various trim levels.
Honda Fit Trim Levels
Clinton Quan: Yes, so there are four trim levels for the Honda Fit. The base trim is the LX, which starts at about $16,000. Then there’s what I would call a special trim, the Sport trim, that’s about $17,500.
Then there’s the top… the mid-level EX trim, which used to be the top of the line trim for Honda many years ago. And then now you have EX-L and the L designates leather. And that starts around $20,500.
Tom Smith: Okay. So the EX-L that you drove… What’s the gas mileage rating and did you notice what you were getting around when you were driving?
Clinton Quan: Well, the combined gas mileage rating for the EX-L is about 33 miles to the gallon. I drive more aggressively.
Tom Smith: Right. So you got four miles to the gallon.
Clinton Quan: A little bit. .
Tom Smith: …buy the car from Rock Honda because you…yeah.
Clinton Quan: I got maybe 25 miles.
Tom Smith: Just kidding, everybody. Just kidding, Rock Honda. Clinton took care of the car. Always does. He just likes to drive. I’m in eco mode. He’s in sport mode.
Clinton Quan: Yeah, I’m using the paddle shifters.
Tom Smith: Right. Okay. So you’re driving, you’re having fun, and speaking of which, I mentioned sport mode. So there is a sport mode. There’s different modes.
Clinton Quan: Well, there’s… You put it in S, drive in S and when you put in S, then you can play around with the paddle shifters.
Tom Smith: All right. Very cool. And how did it drive?
Clinton Quan: Well, for a compact car, it’s got a 1.5 liter inline for developing 120 horsepower, 113 lb-ft of torque–it’s pretty zippy.
Sleek Modern Look
It ran lines around I think it’s around 6800 RPMs. Pretty smooth. I took it on the highway. No problem getting it up to speed and, yeah, driving it out on both the 15 and the 10.
Tom Smith: Takes us around the outside real quick.
Clinton Quan: Well, it is a four-door hatchback. It’s got a really sleek modern look to it. It measures about 161 inches in the overall length. It’s got a really pretty clean design for a four-door hatchback, clean, modern design.
Tom Smith: And then on the inside, you mentioned, although it’s a subcompact, you mentioned there was a surprising amount of space.
Clinton Quan: And that’s one of the things I really like about the Honda Fit is the versatility, the way you can arrange the seats around, especially when you fold down the rear seats, gives you a lot of cargo space. It’s got over 93 cubic feet of passenger space and over 16 feet of cargo space with the seats up which is more space than some midsize sedans out there. So that’s one of the things I really like about the Honda Fit, the versatility and the interior space for the subcompact.
Tom Smith: So very comfortable for four adults?
Clinton Quan: It’s pretty comfortable for four adults. Yes.
Tom Smith: And then you mentioned the versatility in being able to fold down the back seats in the hatchback. That makes me think, you know, okay, this is a subcompact. It’s the beginning of what Honda is offering in its lineup. As far as who this car is for, it sounds like if I’m a college kid, I’m thrilled that my parents send me off to college in this car, and if I’m a young professional, I’m loving it as well.
Who’s the Honda Fit for?
Clinton Quan: I think this is a great car for someone who’s getting a car for the first time, someone in their teens, early to mid-20s, and also for anyone who wants something really small.
Maybe you live in an urban area where it’s difficult finding parking. You’re pretty much stuck in traffic most of the time maybe like a downtown setting, so you just need something to get you from one part of downtown to the other.
And you want something that’s really easy to parallel park or park in tight parking spaces. This would be a really good car, and you’re still getting a lot of space.
Tom Smith: You know, and we just talked about that a couple of weeks back when my mother-in-law was in a car accident and needed a car, and I was talking with you about what to get, and this came up. And she wanted something specifically in this class because she didn’t want to drive a big car because she wanted something that she could whip in in parking spaces and you know parking garages and whatnot. And you mentioned something about a friend of yours that was in the market for a car and pointed this out recently, yeah?
Clinton Quan: Well, one of my co-workers, she’s looking to get something for her daughter and…
Tom Smith: Daughter in college or high school?
Clinton Quan: Daughter and I believe she’s going to college if I recall correctly. And she asked for recommendations for…
Tom Smith: So this is a good one. Throw the seats down, you got the hatchback, bring your laundry home on the weekends for dear old mom, and you’re good to go. Okay cool. Covered gas mileage, covered inside, cover outside, covered drive. I think we have…
Honda Fit Top-3 Favorites
We’re ready for top three, right?
Clinton Quan: Yeah.
Tom Smith: All right. Top three things.
Clinton Quan: My top three, again, as I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, the versatility of the vehicle, the standard features. You’re getting a lot of features, especially in the subcompact class, backup camera, heated seats–this is for the XL, though–leather, moonroof, paddle shifters.
Tom Smith: That is a lot of creature comforts for a subcompact.
Clinton Quan: Yes. And then the third thing, I would say, the safety features for collision avoidance, lane departure warning system. Yeah, that’s pretty well-equipped for a subcompact vehicle.
Tom Smith: Right on. Okay. Anything else?
Clinton Quan: I think we’ve covered it all.
Tom Smith: All right. “The Professor”, Mr. Clinton Quan, thank you so much for yet another fantastic review and, as well, thank you to our friends and partners, Rock Honda, out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. Very much appreciate them. Go out to Rock Honda or go to rockhonda.com.
When you go to Rock Honda in person, ask for David Latif, the general manager, Hamid Javid, the general sales manager, Veronica Orozco, who’s also one of the managers.
Really anybody and everybody is going to take the best care of you at at Rock Honda. We absolutely love those guys. And that was Clinton Quan’s review of the 2018 Honda Fit EX-L. Clinton, thank you again.
Clinton Quan: Thank you.
Tom Smith: I’m Tom Smith. This is iDriveSoCal. Until next time, thank you for listening.