Ride & Handling

With its slightly longer wheelbase, wider stance and more rigid body, the new Fit should ride and handle better than the old one did. My impression from my relatively short drives is that it does. Its manners as a subcompact are probably better than most people expect, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a small car. The ride is firm, if controlled. I was a little disappointed in the backseat, though, which jostles a good deal more than the front. Perhaps it's the semi-independent torsion-beam suspension, which isn't as good as an independent design but is nevertheless pervasive in this car class. Also, I rode in the back of a Fit Sport, which has a rear stabilizer bar where the base Fit has none, plus lower-profile tires on 16-inch alloy wheels compared to the base 15-inch steel wheels. Be sure to check it out if backseat comfort is critical for you.

In terms of handling, the Fit is definitely competent and fun — more so than the somewhat stodgy Yaris sedan and loose Chevy Aveo. The electric power steering has a decent feel, which isn't always the case with this technology, and the turning diameter is a conveniently tight 34.4 feet. We look forward to further testing once we get several days with a Fit at Cars.com HQ.

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