Three advanced new powertrains, including Accord’s first-ever turbocharged engines, a new 10-speed automatic transmission and a third-generation two-motor hybrid system. Elegant and modern exterior detailing compliments the Accord’s new, more dynamic design
MARKHAM, Ont., October 6, 2017 – The completely reimagined 2018 Honda Accord is set to arrive at Canadian dealerships on October 27, 2017 with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $26,490 and topping out on the Touring trim (2.0T) at $38,790. In recreating Accord for its 10th generation, Honda designers and engineers sought to convey “absolute confidence” in every element of design and performance.
“Building on the bedrock character of Accord – its outstanding quality, fuel efficiency, packaging and sophisticated driving dynamics – the 10th-generation Accord injects a new level of emotional appeal and premium quality” said, Jean Marc Leclerc, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Honda Canada Inc.
The 10th generation 2018 Accord takes an entirely new approach to performance with its two new direct-injected VTEC Turbo® 4-cylinder engines with dual VTC – a 1.5-liter 16-valve inline-4 and a 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC inline-4. Both new turbocharged engines produce peak torque across a broad range of engine speed (RPM), delivering smooth and virtually lag-free power for exceptional throttle response and power delivery in all driving conditions.
Upscale and sophisticated, confident and distinctive, youthful and sporty – the 10th generation Accord design strongly advances the emotional and aspirational appeal of Accord. Designed to distinguish itself as a “class above” its competitors, the new Accord has a wider stance, lower roofline and a dramatically longer, lower hood to achieve improved dynamics, a more comfortable interior and a more dramatic presence.
All Accords feature the full suite of Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment.
The 2018 Accord Hybrid’s third-generation i-MMD Two-motor hybrid system is a highly efficient powertrain that selects the optimal drive operation under a wide range of driving conditions to combine fun-to-drive performance with outstanding fuel efficiency.The new hybrid will arrive in early 2018.
Honda Canada Inc. (HCI) was founded in 1969 and is the parent company for both Honda and Acura vehicle brands in Canada. The company has produced more than 7.8 million cars and light trucks since 1986 at its two manufacturing facilities and builds engines at a third manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario. Both manufacturing facilities are extremely flexible and currently build Honda Civic and CR-V models. Honda Canada has invested more than $4.7 billion in Canada and each year it sources nearly $2.1 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Honda Canada has sold more than four million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks in Canada.
Radical revisions are rare in the popular midsized sedan segment. Yet the 2018 Honda Accord brings wholesale changes—from curvy, coupe-inspired styling to turbocharged engines—in what is a dramatic makeover for a perennial segment leader.
Consumer Reports applauds Honda for making advanced safety features, including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, standard equipment across all Accord trims.
CR rented a top-shelf Touring model from Honda to gather our initial impressions. Clearly, Honda has evolved the traditionally conservative Accord, and the result appears to be as satisfying as ever. The new version starts arriving at dealers in mid-October.
One of the biggest changes to the Accord’s new mixture is the switch to turbocharged four-cylinder engines (a 1.5-liter version and a 2.0-liter version) and giving up on any V6 version.
We were impressed with the slickness of the 2.0-liter turbo, 10-speed automatic drivetrain from the moment we stepped on the accelerator pedal. Although you might miss the sound of the V6, this punchy turbo-four delivers strong, smooth power, yet stays refined, even when the engine is really pushed. The automatic transmission is smooth and responsive, and it delivers almost imperceptible shifts.
The 2.0-liter turbo-four (adapted from the Civic Type R) that puts out 252 hp replaces the lively and beloved 3.5-liter V6. This new engine is linked to an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Either engine type is available with a six-speed manual (a rarity these days) in the Sport trim. A four-cylinder hybrid will join the lineup in early 2018.
The smaller, 1.5-liter base engine produces 192 hp and is mated to a continuously variable transmission. We’ve seen this engine before, in the Civic and the CR-V. This is the most powerful base engine ever in an Accord. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the Accord 1.5T at 33 mpg combined with the CVT, a 3-mpg improvement over the old engine.
This latest Accord skews to the athletic side among family sedans, and the steering’s weighty feel contributes to a solid, substantial handling experience. The Touring trim’s ride irons out bumpy roads, but considering it comes standard with two-mode adaptive suspension, we expected it to be a little more tied down. The standard 19-inch wheels on the Touring certainly didn’t help with its ride quality. Most Accords come with 17-inch wheels. A hushed cabin hasn’t been a Honda trademark, but we found that this one does a nice job muting the road, wind, and engine noise.
A prominent single-screen infotainment system replaces the dual-screen setup that infuriated us on higher-trim models of the outgoing Accord. It’s more user-friendly than before, featuring vivid, colorful graphics and the ability to rearrange icons—but there is still a learning curve for drivers. We appreciate getting knobs for audio volume and tuning. The new digital and analog instrument cluster reinforces the high-tech nature of the new car.
Most controls work well throughout the car, but we’re not fans of the push-button shifter in models with the 2.0-liter engines. It’s the same setup we’ve disliked in other Honda and Acura products. It’s unintuitive, and we’ve found it to be a particular nuisance when parking or trying to make three-point turns. Luckily, the 1.5-liter/CVT combo—the car most consumers will buy—comes with a traditional gear selector.
The new Accord got lower and wider, so getting in and out requires more ducking. There is plenty of headroom and elbow room up front, plus wide and comfortable seats including four-way lumbar adjustment on the Touring version. Slide into the rear seat and you’re greeted with abundant legroom, though headroom is a bit limited, which could make it feel confining for taller folks. Honda says the cargo area is slightly larger than in the outgoing model.
The standard Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety systems includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and auto high beams. Models with the manual transmission have automatic emergency braking, which some other automakers don’t provide. Unfortunately, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are not part of the standard package, though they are available.
Pricing begins at $23,570 for the 1.5T. If you want a manual transmission, you need to step up to the Sport at $25,780. The Accord with the more powerful 2.0-liter engine starts at $30,310, reaching $35,800 for the top Touring trim.
We’ll be buying a 2018 Honda Accord of our own when available this month. The 2.0L reaches market in November, with the hybrid following in early 2018. Make sure you check back to see how the new model stacks up against competitors after we put it through our full test regimen.
Limited time offers available through Honda Financial Services Inc. (HFS), to qualified retail customers on approved credit. Weekly payments include freight and PDI ($1,595), tire & environmental fee ($17.50), A/C charge ($100), and OMVIC fee ($10). Taxes, licence, insurance and registration are extra. ΩRepresentative weekly lease example: 2017 Civic LX Sedan 6MT (Model FC2E5HE) on a 60-month term with 260 weekly payments at 1.99% lease APR. Weekly payment is $55.72 with $0 down or equivalent trade-in and $475 total lease incentive included. Down payment, $0 security deposit and first weekly payment due at lease inception. Total lease obligation is $14,486.07. 120,000 kilometre allowance; charge of $0.12/km for excess kilometres. PPSA lien registration fee of $45.93 and lien registering agent’s fee of $5.65, due at time of delivery are not included. ^$750 Honda Financial Services Inc. (HFS) Honda Bonus is deducted from the negotiated price after taxes. Honda Bonus applies to retail customer lease or finance agreements through HFS for 2017 Civic Sedan and Coupe models concluded between October 3rd, 2017 and October 31st, 2017 at participating Ontario Honda Dealers. For all offers: licence, insurance, PPSA, other taxes (including HST) and excess wear and tear are extra. Taxes payable on full amount of purchase price. Offers only valid for Ontario residents at participating Ontario Honda Dealers. Dealer may sell/lease for less. Dealer trade may be necessary. Colour availability may vary by dealer. Vehicles and accessories are for illustration purposes only. Offers, prices and features subject to change without notice. See your Ontario Honda Dealer or visit HondaOntario.com for full details.
Limited time offers available through Honda Financial Services Inc. (HFS), to qualified retail customers on approved credit. Weekly payments include freight and PDI ($1,725), tire & environmental fee ($17.50), A/C charge ($100), and OMVIC fee ($10). Taxes, licence, insurance and registration are extra. ΩRepresentative weekly lease example: 2017 CR-V LX 2WD CVT (Model RW1H3HES) on a 60-month term with 260 weekly payments at 3.99% lease APR. Weekly payment is $79.00 with $0 down or equivalent trade-in, $730 total lease incentive and $132 individual dealer contribution deducted from the negotiated selling price before taxes. Down payment, $0 security deposit and first weekly payment due at lease inception. Total lease obligation is $20,539.89. 120,000 kilometre allowance; charge of $0.12/km for excess kilometres. PPSA lien registration fee of $45.93 and lien registering agent’s fee of $5.65, due at time of delivery are not included. ^$750 Honda Financial Services Inc. (HFS) Honda Bonus is deducted from the negotiated price after taxes. Honda Bonus applies to retail customer lease or finance agreements through HFS for 2017 CR-V models concluded between October 3rd, 2017 and October 31st, 2017 at participating Ontario Honda Dealers. For all offers: licence, insurance, PPSA, other taxes (including HST) and excess wear and tear are extra. Taxes payable on full amount of purchase price. Offers only valid for Ontario residents at participating Ontario Honda Dealers. Dealer may sell/lease for less. Dealer trade may be necessary. Colour availability may vary by dealer. Vehicles and accessories are for illustration purposes only. Offers, prices and features subject to change without notice. See your Ontario Honda Dealer or visit HondaOntario.com for full details.
This special edition go-faster autonomous lawnmower is a cutesy package of awesome
Meet Miimo, Honda’s wonderful and rather cutesy autonomous lawnmower. Introduced in 2013, over the last few years many Miimos have been scampering around gardens, cutting grass and trying not to capsize into flower beds.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Honda’s go-faster arm – Type R – the innovative folks at Honda decided to make a special edition Type R Miimo prototype. Yes, we know, the want is strong with this one.
Finished in Championship White paint with Honda’s signature Type R trademarks like ‘Red H’ badging, a black and white spoiler, black bumpers and logos down the side, it’s the perfect stablemate for any Japanese hot hatch enthusiast with an actual Type R in the garage.
Miimo is powered by a beefy lithium-ion battery, and marches autonomously around your garden through a series of controls, timers and real-time sensory feedback. It cuts your grass in a slightly befuddled fashion until it headbutts a perimeter wire and pinballs off in another direction.
Programmed to trim blades of grass little and often, Miimos clippings are so small they do not need to be collected. Instead, they are scattered back into the lawn, acting as a natural fertiliser. When the little tyke gets tired of mowing, it burrows back to its self-charging point and has a nap, then wakes up a few hours later to get cutting all over again. Excuse us while our hearts quietly melt.
Silly question, but with an electric drivetrain, self-charging functionality and an autonomous mode, could Miimo be a hint to the Civic Type R of the future? Possibly. But then again it’s just a lawnmower. Either way, Honda needs to make this a production model now.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first. Who wants a minivan? According to all reports, they have fallen from favour quicker than a certain U.S. president.
Why, then, would Honda go to all the trouble and expense of developing a brand new minivan?
It gave three reasons:
1. Minivans remain the single most practical vehicle on wheels for the average family. They have a low floor and large sliding doors for easier access than any other vehicle. They have roomier third row seats that are easier to get to, and actual cargo space behind the third row, accessed through a giant door and a low lift-in height. In standard configuration it seats eight — comfortably. In terms of practicality there is no contest.
2. Sales may have declined, but minivans remain one of the largest segments in the industry. For the first six months of the year, sales are off less than one per cent compared to last year. At more than 42,000 units, minivans outsold both mid-size, and large car segments.
3. The Odyssey competes in the upper end of the minivan segment price-wise. Prices range from $34,890 to $50,290. It is the most luxurious vehicle the company sells. The best-selling Odyssey is expected to be the $38,900 EX model. Buyers of these vehicles have proven to be exceptionally loyal to a brand, remaining with it for decades.
From the first day in the development of the fifth-generation Odyssey, the goal was to meet or exceed expectations. Honda interviewed thousands of minivan owners, Odyssey and others, and came up with a list of ‘must-haves.’
The result is the 2018 Honda Odyssey, the new state-of-the-art in minivans. It has a new stronger platform, a heavily-revised engine, new transmissions and a new electric steering system.
But none of that will matter to the average buyer. They will appreciate the improved access to the third row, a raft of new technologies, safety and a lengthy list of thoughtful touches that will be used every day.
One of those thoughtful touches involves the new “magic seats” second-row chairs which slide sideways when the tot-sized middle seat is removed, providing direct access to the roomy third row.
This configuration reduces the seat count from eight to seven, but the upside is an easily reached and spacious third row and the ability to chose between “best-buddy” mode or separate the second row occupants, should that become necessary. The third row drops into the floor when not needed.
Depending on trim level and options, the new Odyssey comes with two features parents will appreciate — Cabin Talk and Cabin Watch. You can talk to those in back through a built-in microphone/speaker system and keep an eye on them through a ceiling-mounted infrared camera.
provision for stowing a purse
big (20 cm) infotainment screen
deep storage box in the console
wireless charging pad for your phone on the console
on-board vacuum cleaner
an app that lets you access several features from your phone
on-board 4G LTE WiFi hot spot
with all seats down, you can carry a 4×8 sheet of plywood
with front passenger seat back down, you can carry very long objects.
all trim levels come with HondaSensing, which is the full gamut of lane detection, assisted steering and sensors to warn of other traffic.
As for all that stuff that doesn’t matter? The silky-smooth new engine is more powerful, yet thanks to new nine- and 10-speed transmissions, provides improved fuel economy. Selecting gears is accomplished by pushing buttons instead of moving a lever.
The stiffer and lighter new chassis, revised suspension and new electric steering system make driving a pleasure.
Minivans are a life-cycle vehicle, perfectly suited to the years with young children in the home.
If you fall into this category, you owe it to yourself and your family to try out the 2018 Honda Odyssey.
Competition: Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Sedona, Toyota Sienna
Standard equipment: 19-inch alloy wheels, electric park brake with automatic release, heated power mirrors, power moon roof, power sliding doors, power windows and locks, proximity key entry and push button start, power tailgate with programmable height, 115-volt power outlet, 17-cm colour TFT centre display, auto dimming rear view mirror, infrared cabin-watch rear seat monitor, cabin talk in-car PA system, HandsFree link wireless interface, Display Audio system with bilingual voice recognition, HomeLink remote system, HondaVac, rear-view camera, tilt and telescope steering column, tri-zone automatic climate control, walk-away door locks, wireless charging, heated and ventilated power front seats, 11-speaker, 550-watt premium audio system;,Bluetooth streaming audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear-seat entertainment system with 27-cm screen, Wi-Fi tethering.
Donation of two Honda outboards puts busy rescue boat back on the water
GRIMSBY, Ontario (August 30, 2017) — Sidelined after a devastating incident last summer, the busy GAMRU South Shore Search and Rescue workhorse rescue boat got back on the water this summer thanks to a generous donation of two new Honda outboard engines by the Honda Canada Foundation.
The two powerful Honda BF90 outboards were donated to the rescue volunteers after the engines on their Zodiac 630 inflatable rescue boat were left awash in water when the hull of the vessel suffered a major failure during a rescue mission last year.
The hull has been repaired and, with the addition of the new Honda engines, the boat went into service earlier this summer.
“One of the four key pillars of the Honda Canada Foundation is to provide assistance to families in need across Canada. The dedicated volunteers of GAMRU provide an essential on-the-water rescue and protection service on Lake Ontario, ultimately returning people home safely to their families. We couldn’t help but get involved with such a wonderful organization,” said Dave Jamieson, Chair of the Honda Canada Foundation. “Among the most technologically advanced and environmentally sound in the world, Honda engines are not only powerful, but will provide GAMRU with the proven performance and reliability they need.”
“There’s no way to calculate just how important this donation has been to us,” explained GAMRU South Shore Search and Rescue leader Bob Gordon. “We had the choice of trying to fix our old, out-dated engines or attempting to buy new ones. This donation changes everything. Suddenly we’re in a position to be on the water far sooner than we might have been and we’ve replaced old, unreliable two-stroke engines with modern, clean, efficient technology from Honda that is orders of magnitude better than what we had.”
The BF90 outboards utilize modern engine technology to meet rigorous California Air Resources Board (CARB) exhaust emission standards for outboards while offering improved fuel economy. Honda Marine offers a full line of modern, efficient, clean-running 4-stroke outboards, from the portable BF2.3 to the sophisticated BF250.
The arrival of the two new engines has long-term benefits for one of Lake Ontario’s busiest marine rescue units, Gordon said.
“In addition to extending the life of our old boat, this donation can become the keystone element in a new boat we’ve been planning to replace the Zodiac with,” Gordon said. “Now that we have a modern, efficient power system, we can start the process of designing and fund-raising for a boat that we can power with the Hondas. It’s like being given an important piece of a complex puzzle.”
About the Grimsby Auxiliary Marine and Rescue Unit
GAMRU volunteers were called to rescue missions 34 times during the 2016 boating season, the busiest summer in the unit’s history. Founded in 1988, GAMRU is the only dedicated marine search and rescue organization on the south shore of Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Port Weller. More than 30 active volunteers maintain fully-equipped rescue vessels and train year-round to maintain the skills and readiness to be effective on the water. GAMRU is a member of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
About the Honda Canada Foundation
Formed in 2005, the Honda Canada Foundation (HCF) aims to enable the realization of dreams through various annual philanthropic activities and funding to non-profit registered charities across Canada where Honda customers and associates live, work and play. The HCF focuses on four key pillars – family, environment, engineering and education – and each year more than $1 million is disbursed to groups in need through more than 500 grants. More than five million Canadians have benefited from Honda Canada- and Honda Canada Foundation-funded charitable programs.
Updated styling with new Sport trim, available connectivity and safety features make it a stand out in its class
Honda Sensing®, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ now available
New exterior colour includes Orange Fury
MARKHAM, Ont., (August 24, 2017)– The sporty and versatile new 2018 Honda Fit will begin to arrive at Honda dealerships today with a stylish new look, updated technology, available safety features and a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $15,190. The 2018 Honda Fit also adds a new Sport trim, as well as a new exterior colour Orange Fury.
The refresh of the third generation Honda Fit enhances the 5-door subcompact’s already top class combination of passenger space, fuel efficiency, sophistication, practicality and affordability.
The all-new 2018 Fit Sport adds an extra dose of style and attitude thanks to an aggressive aero-form front spoiler and rear diffuser, bright orange pin-striping, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels with gloss-black finish, chrome exhaust-pipe finisher and side sill garnishes. Inside, the Sport features a black interior with orange contrast stitching.
Among the upgraded features, the Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver assistive features is standard on all 2018 Fit CVT models, a first for the Fit. The suite includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Brake Braking System™ (CMBS™) incorporating Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Also new for 2018, is a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, included on Fit LX, Sport, EX and EX-L trims.
The 2018 Fit is equipped with a 1.5L DOHC direct-injected 4-cylinder i-VTEC™ engine with Variable Cam Timing (VTC) delivering up to 130 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm and up to 114 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm (both SAE net). The Fit’s top-of-segment driving dynamics have been improved for 2018 with retuned suspension dampers, a more rigid steering system and additional body reinforcements. In addition to dynamic improvements, Fit now benefits from increased cabin quietness with improved transmission and steering system mounting hardware, combined with the addition of acoustic-laminated glass and more insulation throughout the vehicle.
Japanese company brings the magic back with this spritely, sports-oriented compact sedan
With the red-hot Civic Type R grabbing all the performance headlines thanks to its pavement-searing 306 horsepower and, err, retina-searing body accouterments, it’s nice to see Honda’s newfound performance mojo has also blessed the latest Civic Si. Yep, something’s happening at Honda, and it’s all good for those who mourn the days when small cars from Honda offered big thrills.
The Si badge has been adorning various hotted-up Civics since the late 80s, but it’s fair to say the Si cars have not been particularly inspired as of late. Consider this 2017 version, which comes in both coupe ($28,890) and sedan ($28,490), to be a return to form.
Although the form has seen a transformation of its own. This 10th-gen Civic dwarfs the cars of old. Tested here is the Sedan Si, considerably longer and wider than the outgoing model (although about 45 kg lighter), and under the hood is a 1.5-litre turbocharged four. Huh? Si enthusiasts were weaned on lightweight tinder boxes with racy, naturally-aspirated fours that revved to the stratosphere and screamed like a hyena having a colonoscopy.
Fear not. This latest Si might not follow Honda’s traditional template, but it is an exceptionally well sorted and highly entertaining performance-on-a-budget conveyance that delights with a bratty, grin-inducing ebullience when pushed beyond it otherwise quite civilized countenance. So what does this Si offer over and above the regular Civic sedan with its 1.5L turbo?
The Si engine gets a larger turbocharger and increased intake and exhaust flow, boosting horsepower from 174 to 205, and torque from 167 to 192 lb-ft. It is hooked to a six-speed manual with a stubby rifle-bolt shifter that will warm the cockles of Honda-philes hearts. No automatic on the Si menu, thank you. This new Civic’s already impressively rigid structure benefits from the Si’s stiffer springs, firmer bushings and thicker roll bars; and all this is tempered by standard multi-valve adaptive dampers. Rolling on 245/40R18 Eagle Sport all-season tires, the ride is firm but never intrusive, and selecting Sport mode firms it further yet still retains civility.
This is a brilliantly tuned chassis that shows wonderful neutrality for a front driver, and it just begs to be leaned on. Thanks to the standard front mechanical limited-slip differential, the Si hauls itself through the bends like a champ. The quick, accurate and feelsome steering is your ally, as is the snickety shifter. Get this sedan up on its toes and it flows and dances, eating up a twisty road with glee.
It’s plenty quick too. This being a small-displacement four, when you’re off-boost the hamsters feel like they are on work-to-rule, but once you crest 3,500 rpm it goes on a tear with linear enthusiasm, snarling to a 6,500 redline. On full throttle upshifts, the close-ratio six-speed lands the four-pot in the sweet spot every time. Granted, this engine pretty much runs out of poop at six grand, which is almost 2,000 rpm shy of some of Honda’s more revvy past offerings. Different times we live in.
The Recaro-style bolstered Si-specific seats are fabulously comfortable and supportive, and the driving position is spot on. A word of warning though: if the metal-capped shift knob has been sitting in direct sunlight, it will do its best to brand the shift pattern right into your palm. Yes, I realize there will be some lunatic-fringe Si freaks who will keep the sunroof open when parked just to get that badge of honor.
Oh, and peer under the hood and you actually see an engine. You know, big metal bits, wires – evidence of real mechanical goings-on.
There are no options available for the Si sedan. What you see is what you get, and that is quite a bit. Standard kit includes 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, rearview camera, 452-watt 10-speaker audio, heated front seats, leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Honda Lanewatch Blind Spot Display, sunroof, LED headlights, 18-inch alloys and those racy go-fast body bits. What you can’t get is Honda Sensing (adaptive cruise, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, etc.).
Lest you think this snarky sedan is nigh on perfect, allow me to pick out a few foibles. The pedals are not ideally placed for heel-and-toe action, the featherweight clutch does not match the more meaty steering and shifter, and the engine has an annoying tendency to hang on to revs between upshifts. Plus, I could go and on about the lack of an audio volume knob.
Ah, but in the grand scheme of things these are relative nits. The fact is, Honda has fashioned a legitimate performance car worthy of the Si badge – it begs to be thrashed, and rewards in kind. Yet, unlike Si’s of old, it also settles into a perfectly comfortable daily driver. Like I said, these are different times.
First landing on U.S. shores in 2007, the Honda Fit’s versatility, solid build quality, and overall value quickly made it a major player in the subcompact segment. “This is the most quintessentially “Honda” vehicle we make,” says Honda’s Sage Marie. “It’s the kind of product that established us in the United States in the first place.”
Attracting some the youngest buyers among the company’s portfolio of vehicles (i.e., millennials), Honda says that roughly 70 percent of Fit buyers are new to the brand. This makes the car especially important to the company, as it offers an early opportunity to create life-long customers. Indeed, when it comes to attracting new drivers, the Honda Fit has some healthy competition.
Finding a balance between versatility, features, and affordability has always been the core concept behind the Fit, and it’s a mission that continues on with the 2018 Honda Fit as the automaker looks to keep the car at the top of its game with a mid-cycle refresh.
The third generation Fit originally debuted in North America in 2015 on an all-new platform that increased both cargo capacity and passenger volume while shortening the car’s overall length. After a few years on the market, Honda was looking to breathe new life in this subcompact and turned to customer feedback for direction, adding “more emotional appeal, both in styling and driving dynamics,” according to Brett Watanabe, Honda’s product planner for the Fit.
Bradley Iger/Digital Trends
Along with an updated exterior and reworked suspension, the latter of which includes revised damper tuning and additional chassis bracing throughout the vehicle for more rigidity, the 2018 Fit benefits from tech upgrades like an available seven-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Also available for the first time in the Fit is the Honda Sensing suite, which includes lane keep assist, collision mitigation braking, and other active safety features. These components can be outfitted to any Fit model and are equipped as standard on EX and EX-L models.
Slotted between the LX and EX models is the new Sport trim level. As the name suggestions, the Sport trim adds a more aggressive look to the Fit with a more sculpted body kit at the front, sides and rear end of the vehicle, along with unique 16-inch black alloys, a three-strake rear diffuser, and other subtle visual tweaks. Inside, the Sport trim receives unique cross-hatched fabric for the seats and door trim and orange accent stitching, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
TRIM LEVELS & FEATURES
Regardless of which trim level is chosen, the Fit’s power plant remains unchanged from last year — a naturally aspirated and direct injected 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC motor that generates 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. The motor can be paired with either a CVT automatic (which includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on Sport models) or a six-speed manual gearbox.
LX models get LED tail lights, rear-view camera and Bluetooth functionality as standard. Moving up to the Sport trim adds the seven-inch touchscreen display with premium audio as well as the aforementioned styling tweaks.
Stepping up to the EX model adds all of the Honda Sensing features as well as a power moonroof, push-button start, and other convenience features. The top-spec EX-L model adds heated leather seating, and the EX-L Navi throws navigation and HD radio into the mix.
Being among the most affordable cars sold in the U.S., it’s understandable that the Fit doesn’t have an over-abundance of tech features on hand, but the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system offers solid bang for the buck.
Now sporting a much-needed volume knob (the 2017 models only offered a touch slider and steering wheel controls), the system boasts responsive internals and all the features we’ve come to expect in 2017, including support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which will make the available navigation upgrade moot for most buyers. Below the center stack is a USB port as well as a 12-volt power port that can deliver up to 180 watts of power.
Bradley Iger/Digital Trends
One’s typical level of concentration behind the wheel will largely determine the value of most of the Honda Sensing tech. Features like lane departure warning and forward collision warning are nice to have, but are there more or less to save inattentive drivers from themselves. They may come in handy even for focused pilots if they happen to start to dose off behind the wheel, however.
INTERIOR FIT & FINISH
Although diminutive in stature, the Fit can seat five adults in reasonable comfort and offers 16.6 cubic feet of cargo volume with the seats up or 52.7 with the seats down.
While the Fit’s concept and design put utility over luxury as a general rule of thumb, the Fit’s cabin isn’t a penalty box either. Although there’s no shortage of hard plastics throughout, the large gauge cluster, brush aluminum-style accents, and pragmatic design overall feels uncluttered without flirting with austerity. Stepping up to EX-L trim adds features like heated seats and more leather (along with the power moonroof that’s standard on the EX model) for those who’re looking to elevate the luxury factor of this subcompact.
DRIVING PERFORMANCE & MPG
Though the 1.5-liter motor isn’t likely to help the Fit win any stoplight drags, the car’s quick response to steering inputs and light weight makes for a spritely vehicle nonetheless. Those willing to row their own gears will be treated to a light clutch with a satisfying shifter, as well as less buzz from the motor at speed versus their CVT-equipped counterparts.
Bradley Iger/Digital Trends
While the Sport trim level leaves the Fit’s mechanicals unchanged, the optional HFP (Honda Factory Performance) kit does not, adding a sport-tuned suspension to the titanium shift knob, sport pedals, and aesthetic tweaks that come with the package.
This suspension upgrade is highly recommended to any enthusiast buyers considering the Fit, as it improves the car’s composure substantially at speed, bolstering driver confidence without delivering a punishingly harsh ride. While it won’t make up for the fact that the car could really use another 50 pound-feet torque, it undoubtedly delivers a more entertaining experience behind the wheel for performance-minded drivers.
The EPA rates the Fit EX at 29 / 36 / 31 mpg in city, highway and combined driving respectively when equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox, or 31 / 36 / 33 when outfitted with the CVT automatic. Our spirited drive through the back roads in Santa Clarita likely delivered substantially lower numbers, as the low output of the motor equates to a lot of full throttle inputs to wake the engine up and maintain pace when hustling the car up steep inclines.
With a freshened up look and a more extensive feature set on offer, the latest Fit fulfills Honda’s goal of keeping the car relevant within this highly competitive segment. Though a legitimate performance model still eludes us (a Fit with the Civic Si motor would be a riot), even enthusiasts have something to get excited about with the optional HFP upgrades on offer here, while the availability of Honda Sensing offers Fit buyers more safety features than ever before.
Though most of the revisions are incremental rather than game changing, Honda’s tweaks to the Fit for 2018 offer enough subtle enhancements throughout the car to yield a tangible improvement to the vehicle on the whole.
If news of Tesla’s Model 3 release has you hankering for a high-tech car, there are other options that won’t break the bank.
The Honda Civic EX with the automaker’s Sensing package won Kelley Blue Book’s 2017 Best Auto Tech Value Award. The car comes with a suite of semiautonomous features for less than $25,000.
First, a quick primer on the car. The Honda Civic sedan comes in five different trims, but Kelley Blue Book recommends the EX as providing the best bang for your buck.
The Honda Civic EX comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that gets a respectable 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. It also has pretty standard mileage for a sedan, at 31 miles a gallon in the city and 40 miles a gallon on a highway.
The Honda Civic EX starts at $21,140, but the Sensing package will tack on an extra $1,000. That’s a great deal: For just under $23,000, owners get a suite of driver-assistance features.
The Sensing package offers lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and pre-collision braking that will bring your car to a halt if you move too close to an obstacle in front of you.
The sedan also comes with a multiangle backup camera that will show what’s behind you when you’re reversing. The Sensing package’s lane-watch feature will also display the view down the car’s right side on the 7-inch touchscreen.
The infotainment center supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.Honda
Like most cars today, the Civic comes with a key fob that you can keep in your pocket to unlock and start the car.
Another fun tech addition is the electronic parking brake’s hold feature that will press the brakes for you at stoplights.
“It’s hard to imagine that one of the most recommendable cars in the industry also happens to offer the latest infotainment, convenience, and safety technology at a remarkably affordable price,” Kelley Blue Book wrote about the Honda. “But Honda made it so with the 2017 Civic, thus earning it a Best Auto Tech award in the area of value.”