2017 Honda Fit EX-L Test Drive


If there was a time to go incognito, this week wasn’t it. That’s because you could definitely see me coming in a bright yellow 2017 Honda Fit EX-L.

The 2017 Fit is Honda’s sprightly 5-door hatchback with an incredible amount of room inside given its subcompact status. It also features great fuel economy and fun to drive steering. There are LX, EX, EX-L trim levels and my tester is the top-of-the-line EX-L with Navi.

Spunky Design

The Fit is being completely redesigned with a sportier look for 2018. But the third-generation 2017 model doesn’t lack in style with its spunky factor, especially in Mystic Yellow Pearl.

You get a lot of personality with this car. The Fit comes with sharp lines and slim, modern Halogen headlights up front and LED brake lights in the back. All Fit’s come with a rooftop spoiler and below-bumper diffuser that are more than just stylish, they also help with aerodynamics. The extra chrome on the EX-L’s grille and liftgate is a nice exterior upgrade.

My EX-L adds fog lights and 16-inch Alloy wheels and lower profile tires, compared to the base models 15″. EX models also come with heated Power Side Mirrors including Expanded View Driver’s Mirror and Integrated Turn Indicators.

Glass Real Estate

If it looks like there is a lot of glass real estate on the Fit, that’s because there is. The windows and windshield stretched onward and upward.  Great for visibility, but it can get hot if you’re sitting underneath the Texas sun. The sun shining through the very top of the driver’s window blasted me with sunlight at just the wrong angle and was an issue for me. I would recommend tinted front windows, especially if you live in a hot climate.

Interior

Honda did a great job with the silver-trimmed top level EX-L trim.  My well-designed dark black interior was roomy and quite comfortable.

You don’t get a power driver’s seat, but you do get leather-trimmed, heated seats in the EX-L.  The leather-wrapped steering wheel along with the shift knob were also standouts for the price point. The tachometer is another highlight. It’s really colorful and easy to read, especially at night.

Most of the interior was well laid out and user-friendly. The one caveat is that the EX model’s 7-inch high-res touchscreen. It sat a bit high making it a stretch to reach, although perhaps it was all in my seat adjustment.  I could also do without the touch-operated volume control. But all of the steering wheel-mounted controls were great.


There are some soft-touch materials around, as well as plenty of cupholders, including one left of the steering wheel. The EX’s front and center console USB ports were both easy to use.

The EX comes with an upgraded multi-angle rearview camera with grid lines and a one-touch power moonroof.

Backseat roominess is a jaw-dropper. There’s more legroom back there than in the Accord.  All Fit models are also equipped with the clever 60/40 split 2nd-row Magic Seat designed to give you flexible cargo space. Open up the hatchback and you’ll find 16.6 cu. ft of cargo space with the seats up, 52.7 cu. ft with the seat down.

Visibility out the large rear window is great as long as you don’t put the back seat headrests up all the way. They’re pretty tall.

The Drive

You know you aren’t getting a horsepower beast with the Fit, that’s not what getting great fuel economy is about. But the 130-horses works just fine for this size vehicle. It had just enough acceleration and its nimble handling made it fun to drive.

All Fit’s come with Honda’s 1.5-liter 4-cylinder under the hood. You can’t get a manual with the EX-L. It’s equipped with Honda’s CVT with Sport Mode and Dual-Mode Paddle Shifters. (The LX and EX models comes standard wit a 6-speed manual.) The EX-L features a stiffer suspension and nicely balanced sharp steering.

One issue with the CVT is that it causes the engine to drone loudly if you floor the gas pedal. Road noise on the highway going 70 mph was pretty significant, but to be fair it’s in line with its class. A silver lining there is that the Fit has a pretty decent 6-speaker 180-Watt Audio System.

The Fit comes with Honda’s high-tech Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering. It combines vehicle speed, steering angle and Vehicle Stability Assist, to determine if the car is deterring from its intended path. If so, steering force prompts the driver to take corrective action.


Fuel Economy

The Fit’s fuel economy is stellar. The EX-L delivers 37 MPGS combined. Several efficiency options help you get the most out of your gas tank. One is an efficiency Eco Assist coach. Bars on the instrument panel indicate how efficiently you’re driving. The greener the better. You can also engage the green ECON button to optimize the engine, transmission, air conditioning and cruise control which helps save fuel.

Safety and Technology

All Fit’s come standard with automatic headlights, LED brake lights, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, and an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.

Every 2017 Fit also comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints.

EX models also add keyless entry, pushbutton start and ignition, a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports, Siri Eyes Free functionality for enhanced iPhone voice control, HondaLink smartphone app integration, and an HDMI input (required for certain HondaLink features, most notably an optional navigation app).

Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot system on EX level trims includes a camera in the passenger-side mirror.

The EX-L with Navi adds the navigation system with voice recognition as well as HD and satellite radio.

All in all…

There’s a reason this is the Honda Fit’s 10th Anniversary.

2017 Honda Fit EX-L with Navi
  • What I liked most: The colorful instrument cluster, audio system, and leather-trimmed interior.
  • What I would change:  Give me less glass real-estate or window tint for the Texas heat, add a power driver’s seat and lower the infotainment touchscreen.
  • MSRP: Base starting price $21,365. As equipped $22,240.
  • Fuel Economy:  32 City/37 Highway/34 Combined.
  • Odometer reading when tested:  504 miles.
  • Official Color: Mystic Yellow Pearl.
  • Weight:  2642.
  • Length-Width-Height:  160″ long/ 67″ wide/60″ High.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 10.6 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
  • Towing Capacity: N/A
  • Spare Tire:  A compact spare tire.
  • Final Assembly Point:  Suzuka, MIE Japan
  • 2017 Honda Fit EX-L w/Nav in a few words:  A roomy, fuel efficient, fun to drive package with top-of-the-line creature comforts.
  • Warranty:  3 Year/36K Mile Warranty with Roadside assistance.
  • Manufacturer’s website: Honda
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