A new electric powered Fit arrives for 2013. Beyond an all-electric powertrain, the Fit EV is pretty much the same as its gasoline-powered sibling. A few aerodynamic modifications are all that makes it stand apart.<p><p>The conventionally powered Fit receives no significant updates for 2013, except for one new exterior hue: Midnight Plum Peal replaces Orange Burst Metallic.
The Fit is offered in a single 5-door hatchback body style, but in two different models: Fit and Fit Sport. While both of these models offer the same powertrains and seating configuration, the Sport model gets a few more standard features, plus a number of additional features that may improve handling slightly and enhance appearance.
All 2013 gasoline-powered Fit models are powered by a 117-horsepower, 1.5L 4-cylinder engine. With i-VTEC variable valve timing, it helps optimize power and fuel-efficiency and can be paired with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or 5-speed automatic transmission. Overall, the Fit is tuned for a responsive, spirited feel. Fit Sport models get steering-wheel-mounted paddle-shifters that allow manual gear selection without taking your hands off the wheel.
An electric powertrain is also offered for 2013. It's availability in select areas and only by lease. The Fit EV is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and a 123-horsepower electric motor. Besides the floor-mounted battery pack, the Fit EV appears much the same as its gasoline-fed counterpart.
Regardless of the power source, the light, nimble and responsive driving feel of the Fit belies its practical and efficient underpinnings. Thanks to a well-tuned MacPherson strut front suspension with H-shaped torsion-beam rear setup--as well as a rather quick-ratio rack-and-pinion steering system, the Fit has a very responsive, maneuverable feel at low speed combined with the high-speed stability to keep highway driving relaxed. The Fit's turning diameter is just 34.4 feet curb-to-curb, and at just 161.6 inches long, it's very easy to parallel park. Braking is provided by ventilated discs in front, with drums in back, with standard anti-lock and electronic brake distribution.
It's the Fit's interior layout that really shines compared to other subcompacts. There's seating for up to five, with a nice, upright driving position and backseat space that's adequate for adults--but the trump card is its trick Magic Seat layout, which is split 60/40 and allows the back seat to be folded flat into the floor, lower than the back seats in other comparable hatchbacks. With the rear seat folded, the cargo floor is extremely flat and low, allowing taller objects, like small pieces of furniture, to fit behind the front seats.
At the base level, the 2013 Honda Fit includes air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, power windows, locks, and mirrors and a 160-watt sound system with a USB port and auxiliary input. Fit Sport models add fog lamps, special machined-surface 16-inch alloy wheels, a chromed exhaust tip, and a body-color underbody kit with rear roof spoiler, plus a rear stabilizer bar for somewhat improved handling. Inside, the Sport gets upgrades to upholstery and dash trims, plus chrome accents, ambient lighting and a 160-watt sound system with six-speakers and illuminated steering-wheel controls.
Available only as an option package on the Fit Sport is a voice-recognition navigation system that includes a 6.5-inch screen, 16GB of flash memory, and more than seven million points of interest. This system also includes Bluetooth hands-free calling connectivity and Bluetooth audio streaming.