Honda Fit vs Honda Civic

SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
edited April 2014 in Honda
Compare the Fit to the Civic. Which do you prefer?


  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    I'm curious. Would you choose a 5 door Civic or a Fit if both were available in the USA and Canada?

    Civic hatch that is available in Europe has Magic Seats too.

    The Civic hatch would complement the Fit very nicely in the Honda lineup.

    It would also offer the features that I say are lacking in a Fit and then some. Like refrigerated glove box, dual zone airconditioning, push button start, aluminum drilled pedals, sunroof...and more.
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Member Posts: 678
    ...and don't forget the 6-speed manual transmission standard along with 3 engine choices.

    Of course the US (if it did get the Civic 5 door) would probably only get 1 engine and a 5-speed manual.
  • claudius753claudius753 Member Posts: 138
    Pics of the European Civic I have seen are of the 3 door. If it came across looking as it does in europe, then no way in hell. I hate the full width headlight and the hatch back has that 'bubble' look sort of like the Hyundai Elantra hatch. I prefer more wagonish looking hatches like the Mazda 3, Kia Rio, or Honda Fit.

    I do like the interior of the Civic hatch and I would absolutely love to have a 2.2 iCTD.

    I have to say that I am fairly impressed by the Fit, it has been winning comparisons in a few different car mags. Too bad we didn't get the CVT-7 or the iDSI engines.
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Member Posts: 364
    It's the "bubble-butt-ness" of the Civic hatch that makes me even more thankful that I'm able to get the Fit in its current body. My fear is if I wait for the full model change that's due in the next couple of years, I'm not going to like what I see.

    (But if I do, I can always hand down my 2007 to the wife, and get myself a new one!)
  • b4wrnb4wrn Member Posts: 10
    The Civic on the United Kingdom Honda site looks like a 3 door but the rear doors are "hidden". The door rear door handle in the the rear quarter panel. I agree the bubble back is "interesting" but would reserve comments when and if I ever get to see it in person. :surprise:
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Member Posts: 678
    I think the 6-speed MT from the Civic hatchback would be nice in the Fit/Jazz, but I am much happier that I have the Fit, and not the new Civic 5-door (I did like the 7th generation 5-door though).

    I am also particularly happy I have the 1st generation Fit. It will be interesting to see how the 2nd generation will look, but I didn't want to take the chance.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    As far as I know, this is not covered in one of the 1001 Fit sub-threads. :P I see the Fit being compared and cross-shopped with everything from Aveo to Mazda3 to Mini, but is the Civic a natural comparison also? Is anyone trying to decide between a Civic and a Fit? Their prices overlap. Aside from the hatch v. trunk issue, the Civic is almost as economical, offers slightly more passenger capacity, offers slightly more standard features, and I dare say, for most people in this segment, the 2 probably offer a similar driving experience. And brand and reliability considerations wouldn't even be issues to skew the comparison!
  • bamacarbamacar Member Posts: 749
    Yes, I am comparing the Fit and Civic with the Mazda3i sedan still a possibility. To get the features I want, I am comparing the Fit Sport manual with the Civic EX manual Sedan. No price overlap between those models though. I also considered the base Mini, but questionable reliability and the closest dealer being 100 miles away eliminated it.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Why not a Civic LX manual? Wouldn't that be closer to the Fit Sport in terms of equipment and price? In fact, in Canada there is a Civic DX-G model (no alloys) that would be less expensive than a Fit Sport.

    FWIW, we've had our Mini for over 1 year now. Only "repair" required is a replace a burnt out interior dome light bulb! But of course, your mileage may vary. ;)
  • bamacarbamacar Member Posts: 749
    On the Civic, I want the alloy wheels, the better stereo with auxiliary input, the split fold rear seat, and the exterior temp indicator. I would rather not have the moonroof, but the headroom was ok when I test drove it. I am one of those who wants a small fun economical car, but I don't want to give up the amenities to which I am accustomed.
  • micwebmicweb Member Posts: 1,617
    If Car & Driver magazine is right, in terms of handling and acceleration, the Fit is more of a budget Civic Si hatchback than a budget Civic. If ever a car could be divided between "young" and "old," it's got to be the Fit and the Civic. The Civic actually HAS an older demographic; yet to be determined for the Fit. If I didn't have a family now, I'd buy a Fit just for its handling. Handling on the level that C & D raved about is hard to find on ANY sub $30k car, much less an entry level from Honda.

    That having been said, the Civic is the more "responsible" and certainly the more main-stream purchase.

    Keep in mind the Scion xA (with a form-factor similar to the Fit) is NOT the success story of the Scion line - it's the quirky xB (box). The xA was expected to be 80% of sales, the xB 20%, and instead those numbers were reversed. Which points out that, traditionally, small conventional gas saving vehicles don't sell well (unless dirt cheap with an enormous dealer network, like the Chevy Aveo).

    Since the Scion was introduced in 2004, we've had a real continuing gas crisis, but my guess is still that the Fit will be a low volume car for Honda compared to the Civic and Accord (even the Civic has been dropping off in sales prior to the '06 redesign). Honda's recent decision to re-allocate production from the Fit to the Civic for North America says a lot about their sales expectations for the Fit.
  • twoktwok Member Posts: 5
    For what it's worth: the first 300 miles traveled, a mix of mostly interstate driving, with 100-plus mile commutes (total), up steep hills and down narrow curving mountain roads, on city streets clogged with traffic and in tight parking garages, this (Sport AT) car is (in a word) fantastic overall: quiet, responsive, powerful enough, stable at 70-80 mph, effortless in turns at any speed, ergonomically comfortable and usefully designed for cargo, with a (for me) great sound system. Heat and AC have had a try-out as Mid-Atlantic region's wonderful spring weather has served up a need to test both; no complaints at all - much better than I'm used to on my older Toyotas. (It appears to have a larger cargo area than either my co-workers' 2004 Forester or 1998 CR-V). No mpg report yet, but first tank was definitely not on full when I picked it up, so I need to wait 'till the second fill-up. I like it so much, with gas prices sure to continue rising, I'm going to try to sell my wife on one. I would like to test-drive the manual, though, to have that to compare against. I wonder about the clutch/brake pedal spacing and engine noise at 75-80. Thanks again to all the diligent regular posters for helping me come to a decision on this car, which seems absolutely brilliant.
  • growwisegrowwise Member Posts: 296
    Brilliant alright... But what about the price? Isnt this creeping into Civic territory?
  • sd_driversd_driver Member Posts: 49
    The Fit is not a cut-rate Civic. I think a Fit is worth 90-95% of a Civic price for a comparably equipped Fit. Throw in the new 1.7 liter V-TEC, and a few minor interior upgrades, and I think the Fit is worth the price of a Civic or more purely because of it's functionality with it's hatch and higher roof-line.
  • ephemere1ephemere1 Member Posts: 12
    But what about the price? Isnt this creeping into Civic territory?

    What are the advantages of the Civic over the Fit? It has better driver-side ergonomics (height-adjustable seat, telescopic steering wheel, arm rest, dead pedal). Anything else? The Fit seems more practical with its interior space and actually felt a bit roomier to me in the back seat for passengers. Yet the Civic is much more popular. Why? Is it style? I'm honestly curious because I'm considering both cars but don't understand what I'd be getting with the Civic over the Fit.
  • mwqamwqa Member Posts: 106
    Once you decide the versatility is important, a sedan just doesn't 'hatch' it. :)

    I would cross shop the Fit with the Matrix, not the Civic, esp in Canada where the Fit costs more. My girlfriend called the Fit a '3/4 Matrix' and I agree. Shame that the Fit's interior is not as solid, though.
  • anotherscottanotherscott Member Posts: 93
    The idea of the price creeping into Civic territory has come up a few times.

    The thing is, in every car line, a loaded x often starts to overlap with a base next-model-up. A loaded Civic similarly creeps into Accord territory. I don't know why this is an issue or why anyone would find it surprising.

    Apart from that, there seems to be an assumption that the Civic is necessarily a better car; that apart from price, if people had their choice of a Fit or a Civic, they would choose the Civic. But each has advantages over the other and will be preferred by some people. The Civic certainly doesn't have near the cargo carrying capacity of the Fit, so the Fit would better fit my needs, regardless of price. (I suspect I'd also prefer driving the Fit, from what I've read.)
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    I, too, have been comparing the Fit to the Civic. The ergonomic advantages you mentioned are important factors. I think the Civic has more passenger room, front and rear. But of course, the Civic cannot match the Fit for cargo capacity or flexibility -- and this ultimately may be the deciding factor for someone cross-shopping the 2. I also think the Civic has a more upscale feel to the interior. For not much more money, you can get things like auto up/down windows, variable intermittent wipers, heated mirrors, outside and engine temp gauge, locking glove box, locking gas door. Not deal-breakers each by itself, but taken as a whole, it makes the Civic seem "more car for the money". Styling is always subjective, but you're essentially looking at 2001 styling for the Fit vs. 2006 styling for the Civic. The Civic just looks nicer, IMO. It looks fresh, whereas the Fit has a somewhat dated, awkward look to it. It sells inspite of its styling, not because of its styling. The Fit will get better mpg, but probably not by that much in real life driving. The Civic has Honda's latest i-Vtec technology whereas the Fit is using last-generation Vtec. My gut feeling is that, unless you need to carry bulky cargo on a fairly regular basis, the Civic may provide a more satisfying ownership experience in the long run.
  • jbwestjbwest Member Posts: 16
    I test drove a Civic automatic right after test driving an automatic Fit Sport this weekend, and compared to the Fit, the Civic felt like it had been shot full of novocaine. Where the Fit is delightfully responsive to inputs from the steering wheel, paddle shifters and pedals, the Civic felt sluggish and numb. Which is not to say the Civic is bad in the grander scheme of things, because it's certainly not -- it's a very good car, and it certainly offers a level of comfort and isolation unavailable in the Fit -- but in my opinion that isolation is more a negative than a positive, making the Civic feel, compared to the Fit, totally average, like any random rental car.

    I just depends on what you value more -- a car with a little more edge and immediacy to its controls, or one that cossets and pampers you more and in so doing disconnects you more from the road. I guess which driving experience I prefer is obvious. ;)

    The other biggest difference between the Civic and Fit for me from the driver's seat is the commanding view out that the Fit provides. Here again, the Civic is like most mainstream cars in offering a less-than-expansive view out, relatively speaking; the Fit, on the other hand, offers truly exceptional visibility through the windshield and tall side windows. That, combined with the driving experience and the passenger room offered by its tall-body packaging, is what I liked most about the Fit. (Now, if only it had a sunroof! I've never owned a car without one, and I'd miss it -- but not as much as I'd miss it were it a different car with a less expansive greenhouse.)
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Member Posts: 678
    "My gut feeling is that, unless you need to carry bulky cargo on a fairly regular basis, the Civic may provide a more satisfying ownership experience in the long run."

    To me it is not just about how much it can hold. I usually don't carry lots of bulky items. As has been mentioned before, one of the glaring omissions from Honda's NA line-up has been a hatchback. I for one only would purchase a sedan (or any "stepback" vehicle) if I really couldn't get a hatchback I wanted. Just personal taste. However, the Fit is just so much more versatile regardless of actual cargo capacity.
    Regarding the interior room, the Fit and Civic have very similar figures. The difference is how the interior is executed. I feel somewhat cramped inside the Civic in terms of headroom and general space. The Fit feels open and airy and I prefer the higher, more upright seating position.
    The 2001 styling might apply for the outside (looks are subjective), but for the massive interior in a small exterior size and utilization of space the Fit wins by a landslide.

    "For not much more money, you can get things like auto up/down windows, variable intermittent wipers, heated mirrors, outside and engine temp gauge, locking glove box, locking gas door."

    I don't know how the Civic is equipped in Canada, but you would need the EX for the variable intermittent wipers and outside temperature gauge in the US. Unless I am just not seeing it on the specifications page, the US Civic doesn't even come with heated mirrors.
    The MSRP of US$13,850 for the Fit and US$16,710 for the Civic LX is $2860. Hardly what I would call "not much money". Also, don't forget that the Fit is positioned below the Civic, so naturally some amenities in the Civic will be left out of the Fit.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    In Canada, you can get all of the equipment I mentioned on the Civic LX. Based on MSRP, it goes for about $1K CAD more than a Fit Sport. The difference in actual purchase price likely even less than that. I didn't use the base Fit for comparison because I think it is just too spartan to even begin to compare to a Civic LX.
  • earthearth Member Posts: 76
    I have a 06 coupe auto with Nav ( 7 months old ) , and now looking at a replacement Fit. Made a big mistake in getting the coupe. No room in back, the rear pillar is blocking my view, and have to be very careful in changing lanes. The seat is too low for me even with the height adjustment since I have the moonroof. Tried out the back seat of the Fit over the civic sedan, and the Fit has more rear passenger room over the civic sedan.

    Only gripe is that the Fit does not have any height adjustments nor center arm rest, which I really like. No dead pedal either, but thats not a deal breaker. Will wait another 5 months or so and see what the competition has to offer in the newer Corolla for 08, coming out in 07, the new Versa, and newer XA scion, or what ever replacement they will have.

    Dealer offered about $17,000 for my civic so thats a no go for right now, but boy oh boy, I wished I had waited.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    The Civic also comes with automatic door locks, and 16" alloys. In fact, in Canada, you can opt for the Civic DX-G which has a few less features than the LX, but still gives you all of the safety equipment of the Fit, plus the seat height adjustment, telescoping wheel, centre armrest, locking fuel door (features which many Fit owners want), for a couple hundred $$ less than the Fit Sport.

    Also, don't forget all Civics have the 140hp engine with i-Vtec.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    I have a feeling taller drivers will like the driving position of the Fit. They won't need to raise the seat, there'd be plenty of headroom, the view out front will seem "expansive". But shorter drivers may have a problem.
  • ephemere1ephemere1 Member Posts: 12
    I'm 6'2" and was comfortable with the seat height. But I would have preferred the ability to telescope the steering wheel out. Whenever I'm in a car with a telescoping wheel, I always find myself pulling it out all the way. The lack of a telescoping steering wheel is probably the biggest downside of the Fit for me.
  • rangerdopprangerdopp Member Posts: 3
    My wife is 6'2" and she is very particular with any vehicle that feels cramped for her. I have a 2001 Honda Civic and she feels it is cramped in the passenger side. The driver side is even harder for her since the wheel sits in her lap and her knees wrapped around the wheel. Has anyone who is 6'2" or know of someone who is 6'2" driven and/or ridden in the Fit? If so, would you mind posting your experiences?

    Thanks. :shades:
  • ephemere1ephemere1 Member Posts: 12
    Yes, I'm 6'2" and have driven a manual Fit. I agree with other posters that not all 6'2" folks are the same. I have a fairly long inseam. The seat goes back just far enough with nothing to spare. Almost too short. The steering wheel ends up further back than I would like, but it wasn't as bad as I had feared. (My Volvo is murder when the wheel is all the way in.) Headroom and seating height are fine. Lack of dead pedal and armrest is a drag.

    The most impressive thing, however, is the back seat. I always do a test where I put the front seat where I like it (for most cars, including the Fit, this means back all the way) and then get in the back seat. The Fit was amazing. I was quite comfortable sitting in the back. My legs didn't touch the back of the seat, and there was lots of room for my feet under the front seat. It felt roomier and more comfortable than the Civic and most midsized sedans I've tried.
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Member Posts: 678
    "I didn't use the base Fit for comparison because I think it is just too spartan to even begin to compare to a Civic LX."

    Hmmm...I didn't know there were that many differences regarding packaging between US and Canadian market cars. The Canadian base model Fit (the DX) is indeed spartan, but the US base model (equivalent to LX) is fairly close to a US Civic LX.
  • reddroverrreddroverr Member Posts: 509
    I think a lot of comfort has to do with previous experience, and expectations.
  • mtngalmtngal Member Posts: 1,911
    "I think a lot of comfort has to do with previous experience, and expectations."

    I totally agree - I was surprised when a couple of people mentioned sitting higher in their Fit. My first impression was how low it was to the ground - but I haven't driven anything but a Wrangler in several years so anything lower than a fairly tall SUV feels low!
  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030 the dealership the other day. While the car has some impressive attributes, it's pricing just doesn't seem to correspond with the Fit itself, or with competing models. For example, the two trim levels I looked at were a base model and the other had the sport package. The base model had a sticker of $14.4K. The base model is VERY base and plain looking and it strikes me more as a $10K car than a $14K car. Moving up to the model with the sport package gives a nicer looking, stylish car, but it was priced at almost $16K. He11, for another $2K I could get a MUCH NICER Civic LX that also gets better fuel economy than the Fit. I know a lot of people are ranting and raving about the new FIT, but I think Honda has totally missed the mark with this new model.
  • andmoonandmoon Member Posts: 320
    How come the civic gets a better rating in a heavier car w/ a bigger engine?
  • gearhead1gearhead1 Member Posts: 408
    for another $2K I could get a MUCH NICER Civic LX that also gets better fuel economy than the Fit. I know a lot of people are ranting and raving about the new FIT, but I think Honda has totally missed the mark with this new model.

    I'm not sure how the Civic LX can even compare to the Fit. It may get 1 mpg more and have a little more hp, but the Fit delivers a far more usable package with fun sporty performance and handling than the civic, but buy what makes you happy. The Civic sedan and coupe are people movers and nothing more. The Fit is a people, lama, and cargo mover. :) It will be a far better choice for many than the Civic.

    The Civic Si is a different story, but can't certainly be compared to the Fit.

    There's a reason the Fit is the most popular car in the world, and people develop special relationships with them. The regular Civic is just....well a Civic, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it certainly doesn't evoke enthusiasm. The Fit does.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Well, just for argument sake, I'm not sure the Fit would exactly "evoke enthusiasm". It has been a popular car in other markets because of their preference for small, efficient people movers. It may proof popular in NA. But popular does not necessarily mean enthusiasm. The Corolla is supposed to be, what, one of the most popular models of all time? Do you get enthusiastic over it? Cars in the price ranges of the Fit, Civic, Corolla rarely generate "enthusiasm" in the sense that you're implying.
  • thatsmycallthatsmycall Member Posts: 54
    >>Civic LX that also gets better fuel economy than the Fit.

    real world numbers for the civic seem to be all over the place. Some sedan owners getting well into the twenties. A very wide range depending on driver and conditions, very few at 40. The civic wieghs more with more power. It's a dumb sedan that is, well, boring.
  • bamacarbamacar Member Posts: 749
    It doesn't with the manual transmission which is all I would get with either of these cars Fit 38/33 Civic 38/30. Aerodynamics is one reason. The Fit is 3.5 inches taller which hurts on the highway. The smaller Fit engine gets better in the city.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    The Civic has a much superior power to weight ratio, so most of the time, you don't need to rev the crap out of it. Hence, better mpg.
  • bamacarbamacar Member Posts: 749
    I am choosing between the Fit Sport and the Civic EX Sedan. The Civic LX has more power but otherwise is missing a lot of things. I would only get the manual in either model so the Civic and Fit get the same on the highway, and the Fit get 3 better in the city.

    The Fit Sport has a better stereo, auxillary input, alloy wheels, far more headroom, and far more cargo room.

    The Civic has a little more legroom, a nicer interior, and more power.

    The Civic EX has the options the Fit Sport has and more, but it also runs about $2500-3000 more. No wonder.

    Civic EX > Fit Sport> Civic LX in my opinion.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Does the LX really come up short against the Sport? Aside from cargo capacity, what does the Sport have the the LX doesn't? 200W stereo, aux input, and of course the magic seat. That's about it, isn't it? But the LX would compensate with telescoping steering wheel, seat height adjuster, centre console/arm rest, dual vanity mirrors, 16" alloys, variable wipers, locking glove box and fuel door, auto up/down driver window, heated mirrors (Canadian model), map lights, more hp.
  • bamacarbamacar Member Posts: 749
    Maybe in Canada, but the Civic LX has no alloys, only 4 speakers, no foglights, and no variable intermittent wipers in the US. The LX also has no split rear seat which makes one passenger and a long item impossible with a sedan. As I said there is give and take on both sides with the FIT being cheaper. For my money, the FIT Sport has better options than the Civic LX. I like the additional headroom and cargo space, too.
  • anotherscottanotherscott Member Posts: 93
    > The Civic has a little more legroom, a nicer interior, and more power.

    "more power" comparisons can be misleading, if it's just numbers on paper... because power isn't just a matter of horsepower, but weight, gearing, etc. So if by "more power" you expect it to feel peppier, you really need to drive them to see. Sometimes even comparing 0-60 doesn't tell you what "feels" quicker.
  • bamacarbamacar Member Posts: 749
    I did drive both models back to back, and the Fit MT was peppy and fun. The Civic MT was plain fast just like my 2003 Accord MT 4 cylinder.
  • irnmdnirnmdn Member Posts: 245
    It's a dumb sedan that is, well, boring.
    Compared to bland mini-minvan looking Fit?
  • anotherscottanotherscott Member Posts: 93
    Ah, so the "more power" comparison was from personal experience, got it.
  • anotherscottanotherscott Member Posts: 93
    > Compared to bland mini-minvan looking Fit?

    No one can win that one. And neither is likely to find its way into the Museum of Modern Art.
  • thatsmycallthatsmycall Member Posts: 54
    If your into sedans, the civic does look good, I've tried to see that. I'm not really into sedans so it just doesn't do anything for me.

    I like to see utility in design, so the Fit looks beautiful to me. When I first looked at it I discounted the fit because it struck me like you say a mini mini van.

    The shape of the Aveo and matrix are very similar to the fit. In person I just don't find them as appealing as the Fit. I guess it is the whole package of the Fit, it gives me that 'oh wow' feeling. happy motoring
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "I like to see utility in design"

    So, how do you like the Pontiac Aztec? Apparently you can go camping too in the friggin' thing. :P
  • johnnyvjjohnnyvj Member Posts: 112
    >It's a dumb sedan that is, well, boring.
    >>Compared to bland mini-minvan looking Fit?

    Having seen one in real-life, I'd never compare it to a mini-minivan, bland or otherwise. Credit to Honda for keeping the lines ever so slightly sleek, and the hood low. It honestly looks nothing like a minivan IRL.

    However, you could make a case for it somewhat resembling a Toyota Matrix, which isn't that much prettier than a minivan. ;)
  • ramoramo Member Posts: 66
    You're a real fit disturber, aren't you? Must be a Canadian!
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Why, thank you. I'll take that as a compliment!
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