In this guide, we’ll go deeper into various Honda Fit generations giving you an insight into which model years to go for and which to avoid.
Using data from authoritative sources like NHTSA, Consumer Reports, etc. combined with meticulous research, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide to help potential buyers and enthusiasts understand the peaks and valleys of the Honda Fit.
This guide will not only break down the Honda Fit’s generational changes but will also highlight the specific model years that stood out, for better or worse, based on various critical factors.
Let’s dive right in.
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Honda Fit Generations
While the Honda Fit made its global debut in 2001, it took a few more years before it found its way to North American shores, making its debut in the region in 2007.
Below, we have tabulated a concise summary of Honda Fit’s various generations for the North American market from 2007 to 2020.
|1st generation (GE1/2/3)||2007-2008|
|2nd generation (GE6/7/8/9)||2009-2013|
|3rd generation (GK/GH/GP)||2015-2020|
For many consumers, the differentiation between these generations can be the deciding factor in their purchase decision.
It’s not only about the model year; the generational modifications often signify advancements in technology, safety, performance, and comfort.
Honda Fit Best, Neutral, and Worst Years
When determining the best, neutral, and worst years for the Honda Fit, our analysis integrates a multitude of parameters and sources including but not limited to:
- Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
- Annual maintenance costs
- Safety ratings
- Consumer Reports reliability scores
- Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
- NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
- Edmunds owner ratings
- JD Power owner ratings
- Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
- VehicleHistory owner ratings
- Cars.com owner ratings
The graph below demonstrates the combined ratings from all the sources mentioned above, providing a comprehensive overview of each year’s performance.
This table categorizes each model year of the Honda Fit as the best, neutral, or worst based on the cumulative data.
|Generation||Best Years||Neutral Years||Worst Years|
“Neutral Years” represent those model years that did not particularly stand out as either best or worst, offering a balanced mix of pros and cons.
It’s worth noting that some of these factors contribute negatively to our evaluations. For instance, with NHTSA recalls, a greater number of complaints and recalls signify diminished reliability and owner satisfaction.
Let’s dive into the specifications of the best, neutral, and worst years.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Fit 1st Generation (2007-2008)
Introduced in 2007 to the North American market, the first-generation Honda Fit represented Honda’s endeavor to capture the subcompact segment with a vehicle that skillfully combined space efficiency and fuel economy.
The Best Years: 2008
2008 was a shining year for the Honda Fit. This model boasted of its innovative “Magic Seat” setup, which facilitated multiple seating and cargo configurations to cater to versatile urban needs.
Mated to a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine, the 2008 Fit offered a choice between a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. This engine-transmission combo was a significant reason behind its impressive fuel economy, clocking in 22 mpg for city and an enviable 43 mpg for highway driving, as cited by Consumer Reports.
In terms of trim levels, the 2008 Fit was available in base and sport variants, with the sport edition featuring paddle shifters, a rear spoiler, and 15-inch alloy wheels.
On the safety front, anti-lock brakes, front-seat side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags were standard.
Though it did share some of the airbag recalls with the 2007 model, the 2008 Fit, by and large, demonstrated improved reliability and was more favorably reviewed by consumers and critics alike.
The Worst Years: 2007
While the 2007 Honda Fit marked the brand’s entry into the subcompact market segment, it was not without its teething problems.
Owners of this inaugural model often reported issues concerning the airbags and steering, notably intermittent airbag light illumination and power steering assist failures.
Massive recalls were announced in later years (2016, 2017, and 2019) targeting potential passenger frontal airbag inflator malfunctions, which were identified as having the risk of exploding and causing harm.
In 2020, another significant recall was initiated for the 2007 and 2008 Fits equipped with manual transmissions. This pertained to drive shafts that might suffer from corrosion, jeopardizing drive power or even causing the car to roll away.
This particular model year, with its recalls and owner complaints, underscores the importance of cautious consideration when opting for early iterations of any vehicle model.
Checking the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) before purchasing is often recommended to ensure the car hasn’t been adversely affected by these recalls.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Fit 2nd Generation (2009-2013)
The 2nd generation of the Honda Fit, running from 2009 to 2013, showcased Honda’s attempts to refine their subcompact offering.
Building on the legacy of its predecessor, the 2nd gen Fit presented a more aerodynamic design, improved interior space, and enhanced technologies, making it even more competitive in its segment.
The Best Years: 2011, 2012
2011 and 2012 stand out as the hallmark years for the 2nd generation Honda Fit. These years ushered in subtle refinements, specifically in terms of cabin enhancements and noise insulation.
The models from these years boasted a more robust powertrain system with options for a five-speed manual or an available automatic transmission.
This engine and transmission combo were instrumental in yielding an impressive fuel consumption rated at 21 mpg for city and 39 mpg for highway driving, as reported by Consumer Reports.
The trim levels for these years were diversified to include base, sport, and even a hybrid variant in certain markets, though the latter was more prevalent in the Japanese market.
Advanced compatibility engineering (ACE) body structure became a standard, designed to distribute crash energy more uniformly. These models also featured stability control, traction control, and an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist.
Both years earned the Best Overall Value award from Consumer Reports, reflecting a balance of quality, performance, and value.
The Worst Years: 2009, 2010, 2013
On the other end of the spectrum, the years 2009, 2010, and 2013 of the 2nd generation Fit faced certain challenges.
The 2009 model year was particularly marred by issues pertaining to airbags and power steering assist failures, reminiscent of the woes from the first generation. Beyond these, owners began highlighting complaints about the powertrain, specifically regarding transmission glitches.
Adding to this, the year 2020 saw a recall that extended back to encompass the 2009-2013 Fit models. This recall revolved around drive shaft corrosion, leading to a potential loss in drive power or a risk of the vehicle rolling away, thereby accentuating the risk of crashes.
The 2010 and 2013 models, while faring slightly better, were not immune to the airbag-related issues. Notably, while the 2010 model did garner a Best Overall Value award from Consumer Reports, it couldn’t entirely shake off the stigma from these persistent issues.
The 2013 model, marking the end of this generation, did see some of these concerns addressed but still carried the weight of its predecessors’ shortcomings.
Buyers are advised to exercise caution, ensuring thorough checks, particularly concerning recalls and owner complaints, before considering these specific model years.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Fit 3rd Generation (2015-2020)
Stepping into its third generation, the Honda Fit underwent significant redesigns and refinements. It showcased a more aggressive stance, with sharper body lines, and an interior overhaul that offered more space and modern amenities.
The 3rd generation models were powered by a 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine, ensuring a balanced performance between power and fuel efficiency.
The Best Years: 2016, 2017, 2019
By 2016, Honda had successfully addressed many of the initial teething issues, bringing to the table a Fit that was both reliable and enriched with features.
The engine, paired with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT transmission, provided a sprightly performance, harmonizing with its nimble handling characteristics.
Fuel consumption was another strength, with Consumer Reports registering an impressive 24 mpg for city and 42 mpg for highway driving.
During these years, the Fit saw the addition of multiple trim levels, such as LX, EX, EX-L, and Sport.
The suite included adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, and road departure mitigation, solidifying Honda Fit’s stance on safety and technology.
The Neutral Years: 2018, 2020
The years 2018 and 2020, while commendable in their own right, did not reach the same soaring heights as their immediate predecessors or successors.
These models sustained the reputation of the Fit, offering reliable performance, solid fuel efficiency, and ample safety features.
Minor electrical glitches were occasionally reported but weren’t widespread enough to tarnish the car’s overall image.
Both these years sustained the Fit’s charm, offering a balanced package with the primary differences lying in slight variations in feature offerings and packages.
The Worst Years: 2015
2015 stands out as a challenging year for the third generation Fit. Owners lamented about various engine and electrical system issues. A notable concern was the engine producing a rattling sound during cold starts.
Furthermore, Honda had to issue two specific recalls that year, addressing concerns about plug top ignition coil damage and potential transmission drive pulley shaft damage due to transmission software glitches.
The gravity of these issues necessitated attention, and while Honda was proactive in addressing them, the 2015 Fit remained overshadowed by these initial hiccups.
Potential buyers are advised to exercise caution and do their due diligence when considering this specific model year.
See NHTSA 2015 Honda Fit recalls and complaints.
Honda Fit Average Resale Values
Here’s a detailed graph illustrating the average resale values for Honda Fit across different model years, which gives you insight into the vehicle’s depreciation and investment worthiness.
As we’ve gone through the Honda Fit’s evolution over the years, it’s evident that certain years shine brighter. When considering a purchase, it’s important to pick the year that aligns with your priorities.
Which Honda Fit model year caught your attention the most, and why? Are there personal experiences that influenced your preference?
Share your insights in the comments below!