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Although the Honda Fit is listed as a subcompact vehicle, it can actually rival some compact sport utility vehicles for roominess. And those SUVS can’t match the Fit when it comes to either price or fuel economy.

The Fit is a four-door hatchback that made its American debut as a 2006 model. Honda’s entry-level vehicle is capable of storing much more than meets the eye.

And just how does Honda accomplish that feat? The Fit has a unique interior makeup that sets it apart from much of its competition. It has a resourceful 60/40 split in its rear seats, which fold up flat to create a rather tall opening that can accommodate items that other subcompacts can’t haul.

2012 Honda Fit Hatchback

  • Performance: 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, 117 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 28-35 mpg
  • Price: $15,325 to $17,060
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/60,000 miles; corrosion 5 years/unlimited

When the back seat is down the Fit extends to 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space. And the front passenger seat folds flat as well, which provides an additional eight feet. There is also an underseat storage compartment, adding to the Fit’s versatility.

Cost has always been a major plus for the Fit, and that hasn’t changed. This Honda comes in two trims, with the base model going for $15,325 and the Sport version nearly a couple of grand more at $17,060. Gas mileage adds to the total package, although I found the estimated 28-35 mpg a bit inflated while driving the Sport model for a week.

Competing against the Honda Fit are some suitable rivals, including the Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic and the Scion xD.

There are a few exterior changes that arrived with the 2012 Honda Fit. The Sport version features new bumper and front grille styling and a few other minor alterations, while the base Fit has new wheel covers and adds body-colored side mirrors.

The Fit can’t be classified as a peppy ride, but it’s not sluggish, either. It has a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder with 117 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. The Sport model with manual transmission is considerably quicker, going from 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds. The base model with automatic transmission travels a much more sluggish 11 seconds over that same distance.

Room and comfort are two more positives for the Fit. The front seating is fairly standard for a subcompact, but the back seat provides solid room and comfort that is typically lacking in this class. No center console is one of the few negatives concerning the Fit’s overall interior makeup.

A light-weight vehicle, the Fit comes with good steering and braking. Where it lacks is providing good absorption over bumpy surfaces and the engine tends to whine at higher speeds, creating noise can get annoying during longer trips.

Overall, the Fit remains an attractive buy in the subcompact class. Its storage versatility, good gas mileage, and appealing price should continue to make this Honda a leading seller.

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