$7,101 - $9,027

2012 Honda Fit Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Honda Fit was new.


Performance: 8.3

Though the base 2012 Honda Fit is nimble enough for most drivers, reviewers say the Fit Sport and models with a manual transmission are the most fun to drive. The Sport has more gusto, but test drivers say there’s one drawback no driver can escape, regardless of trim: engine noise that permeates the cabin.

  • "Compared to many of its competitors, the Fit's driving dynamics feel more refined and confident." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Sport models add a touch of fun-to-drive appeal, though we recommend you try those versions before you buy. You might not be willing to put up with the Sport's stiffer ride for its marginal handling improvement over the already nimble Base version." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Honda Fit isn’t a sports car, but with a manual transmission that reviewers say has light, smooth clutch operation, you can have fun driving to work or picking your kids up from soccer practice. The Sport model has an automatic transmission, and test drivers like its standard paddle shifters, which compensate for the lack of a manual transmission. For an engine that makes 117 horsepower, reviewers are impressed with how sporty the Fit’s 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is, though they do point out a few flaws. They’ve found that the Fit struggles uphill, and you may have trouble passing on the interstate or picking up enough speed when merging onto the highway. It’s easy to tell when the Fit has a hard time because test drivers say there’s a lot of engine nose. The Fit comes with speed-sensing volume control, which may remedy this problem if you’re listening to music, but the press hasn’t said if it makes a difference.

The Fit’s fuel economy ratings aren’t the highest in the class, but considering that the Fit offers more interior space than any hatchback in the class, its base fuel economy ratings of 28/35 mpg city/highway are pretty good. The Fit Sport and models with manual transmissions average 27/33 mpg, according to the EPA.

  • "The manual transmission model takes full advantage of the Fit's engaging personality, though the Fit Sport's available automatic with shift paddles is a viable alternative. The base Fit's automatic saps a good amount of the engine's enthusiasm, but delivers the best fuel economy in the lineup." -- Edmunds
  • "The Fit is adequate around town with either transmission, though it feels livelier with the manual." -- Consumer Guide
  • "On the open road, the Fit's meager horsepower and torque have it struggling somewhat on moderate inclines, but the car proves eager when it comes to accelerating on the freeway or darting across intersections." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The 2012 Honda Fit isn’t the best-handling small car on the market, but test drivers say upgrading to the Sport trim should satisfy drivers who need something fun to drive. Consumer Guide, however, recommends the base model because it’s the best value. It handles well, and is just as versatile as the Fit Sport. Reviewers say if you choose the more expensive Sport trim, you won’t be disappointed with its agile handling and limited body roll.

  • "Sport models shine here, as they exhibit sharp steering response and little body lean in turns. Base models feel only slightly soggier. Tidy exterior dimensions make all Fits highly maneuverable." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Though we didn't expect the Fit to handle like a sports car, we were pleasantly surprised by its agile handling, precise steering and limited body roll and lean. The feeling behind the Fit's wheel gets even better when driving the Sport trim, which adds larger wheels and tires and a rear stabilizer bar." -- Kelley Blue Book

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