The deceptively small, surprisingly roomy, five-seat Honda Fit hatchback earns more accolades from experts than any other economy car. After a complete redesign in 2009, the Fit is unchanged for 2010. For a detailed review of this car, consult our page on the 2009 Honda Fit (*Est. $14,750 to $16,260).
The 2010 Honda Fit is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers excellent fuel economy -- 31 mpg in combined driving with the five-speed automatic transmission (28 mpg city/35 mpg highway) or 30 mpg for the available Sport five-speed automatic with shift paddles (27 mpg city/33 mpg highway). The standard five-speed manual transmission achieves 29 mpg combined (27 mpg city/33 mpg highway), according to federal estimates. However, the Fit isn't the most fuel-efficient nonhybrid hatchback; that award goes to the bigger 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI (Base MSRP: $22,155 to $22,760) with its clean-diesel engine.
The 2010 Honda Fit includes front, side and curtain airbags and antilock brakes as standard equipment. Electronic stability control is optional. The Fit earns one of the highest crash ratings of any economy car from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- a perfect 5 stars in front crashes against cars its own size and 5 stars for protecting the driver in a side crash (tested with a car-like barrier hitting the Fit). The Fit gets 4 stars for protecting the rear passenger in such a side crash and 4 stars for rollover avoidance.
At the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Fit earns the highest rating of "good" in front, side and rear-crash tests. However, its rollover roof-strength rating is merely "acceptable," and IIHS notes that its frontal-crash rating only applies to crashes with similarly tiny cars; the Fit performs poorly in an IIHS crash test against a midsize Honda Accord.
The 2010 Honda Fit easily outclasses all other subcompacts in reviews, but it is also one of the most expensive. Base MSRP is approximately $14,900 for the base Fit and $16,410 for the Fit Sport.
The Honda Fit, unchanged since 2009, is so much better than other economy hatchbacks that it doesn't really have any competition, Edmunds.com concludes.
Review: 2010 Honda Fit Review, Editors of Edmunds.com
Reliability is a key factor in ConsumerReports.org's ratings. Here, editors rank dozens of economy cars -- including the Honda Fit -- from best to worst.
Review: New Cars: Small Cars, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
This chart shows how 2010 minicars compare, based on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's independent crash tests. The Honda Fit gets the best ratings, but it's not a Top Safety Pick. Although it gets the highest rating of "good" in frontal-crash tests (against cars its own size) as well as side and rear impacts, the Fit's rollover roof strength is merely "acceptable."
Review: Minicars, Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
4. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Despite good crash-test results against cars their own size, minicars like the Honda Fit don't fare well in frontal crashes against midsize cars, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds. A video shows what happens when the two sizes collide.
Review: New Crash Tests Demonstrate the Influence of Vehicle Size and Weight on Safety in Crashes, Editors of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, April 14, 2009
The Honda Fit is one of the highest-rated economy cars in crash tests at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earns perfect 5-star ratings in frontal crashes (against cars its own size), plus 5 stars for driver protection in a side crash (with a car-like barrier). It rates 4 stars for rear-passenger protection in such a side crash and for rollover avoidance.
Review: 5-Star Safety Ratings, Editors of SaferCar.gov
The Honda Fit delivers 29 to 31 mpg in mixed driving depending on trim level, according to Environment Protection Agency estimates. This federal website shows detailed fuel economy and pollution estimates for most cars on the market.
Review: 2010 Honda Fit, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov
The 2010 Honda Fit has not changed since 2009, so our detailed review of that model is still valid. It includes links to multiple expert reviews.
Review: 2009 Honda Fit, Editors of ConsumerSearch.com, March 2009