When shopping for a new car, it’s easy to get held up on your budget. For example, you might have a budget of $20,000 and will fight tooth and nail to stick to it. In that case, a car in the subcompact category could work well for you and we would likely always recommend the Honda Fit. However, what if you can afford a little more for a better driving experience?
If you step just a little bit and take a look at a Honda Civic Hatchback, then you’ll find that you can get the same type of features and a more comfortable ride.
The Honda Fit is still a great car
Don’t get us wrong, the Honda Fit is still one of the best subcompact cars that you can currently buy. It’s cavernous interior and flexible seating is second to none, and it provides a host of tech-savvy features for the price bracket that it’s placed in.
The Fit starts at a base price around $16,000 for the base LX trim and for that you get a lot of the basic amenities like Bluetooth, a multi-angle rearview camera, a 5-inch LCD screen, and a 160-watt sound system with four speakers.
That’s great if you’re just looking for a set of wheels and need to get to point A to B. However, as you step up in the Fit trim levels, then you’ll be treated to more amenities like Apple Carplay and Android Auto, a larger 7-inch touchscreen display, a moonroof, Smartkey access with push-button start, and a better 180-watt sound system with six speakers.
Those trim levels will cost you around $17,000 to $19,000 for the Sport and EX trim levels, but if you really want to go all-out with your Honda Fit, then you can pick the top EX-L trim level. For about $20,000, this trim will give you leather seating surfaces, heated seats, and heated side mirrors.
That’s a really good deal for such a capable and versatile car, however, driving the Fit is a different story as it doesn’t have the soundproofing nor that power that you would hope for. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter engine that puts out 130 horsepower and delivers great fuel economy but is very underwhelming to drive.
The Honda Civic Hatchback could be a better choice
If you’re willing to spend a little more, then the Honda Civic Hatchback could prove to be a better buying decision than the Honda Fit. It offers more overall passenger volume than the Fit (97 vs 95 cubic ft), and has more cargo space with the rear seat folded up (25.7 vs 16.6 cu ft).
Sure, the Fit might have more overall cargo volume with the rear seat folded down, however, if you don’t need that much space every day, then you probably won’t miss it. The main draw for going with the Civic Hatchback over the Fit is that you’ll get a much better driving experience. All Civic Hatchbacks are powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that puts out 174 horsepower and up to 180 for the Sport trim levels.
With more power, you’ll be able to get up hills much easier and onto the freeway much faster without having to worry about wringing out the engine to merge with traffic. Additionally, the Civic Hatchback uses more sound deadening material and provides a more comfortable and quieter ride.
There’s no need to worry about sacrificing gas mileage either, as the Civic Hatchback is rated at 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, as compared to the 33 city/40 highway rating for the Fit.
It could be worth it
While you might not want to stretch your budget when looking for an economical car to drive, it could be worth it in the end. Especially if you’re planning to lease or finance the car, then you’ll likely only be spending an extra $20 to $30 per month to drive a much better car. The Honda Fit is a great subcompact, however, we advise to take a good look at the Civic Hatchback as you can get into a better car for just a little more money