Honda Fit Reliability

Small but mighty, the Honda Fit’s reliability is better than most

byThe Drive Staff| UPDATED Apr 12, 2022 12:02 PM
Honda Fit Reliability
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Honda makes some of the most sought-after and dependable vehicles on the market today. The brand’s cars are consistently rated at, or near, the top of overall reliability rankings, and frequently tussle with Toyota and Lexus for the title of most reliable vehicles. 

The Fit is a great example of Honda’s ability to build a solid, reliable vehicle. Though it’s had a decent number of reported issues over the years, the cars are generally considered to be long-lasting, dependable transportation.

We looked at the repair costs and owner reviews of various Honda Fit model years to come up with this conclusion. The most commonly reported issues in most model years relate to its paint and clear coat fading, and while it’s no fun having your car’s paint flake off, paint issues have no impact on the Fit’s ability to keep on truckin’ for long periods of time. Let’s dive deeper.

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What Makes a Reliable Brand?

Reliability depends on a host of variables, but the two biggest structural supports are the development and manufacturing of a vehicle. When auto manufacturers spend the time and money developing a car and its manufacturing line, a car tends to last longer. Hastily designed, poorly manufactured, and cheaply constructed materials will all reduce a car’s longevity and reliability.

There’s also a work ethic variable that cannot be ignored. Honda and Toyota’s cultures of reliability-over-all embody that ethic and have thus kept each’s legendary reliability in the minds of consumers for decades. Lexus spent 15 years creating the perfect paint, for goodness’ sake. Add longer-than-normal warranties and good customer service, and it’s easy to see why these Japanese companies have enjoyed their strong standings for so long.

Yet, once a car leaves the dealership lot, outside factors impact a car’s durability.

What Impacts a Car’s Reliability? 

Short answer, you. The longer answer is a car’s reliability and longevity are inextricably tied to how you take care of your vehicle, your maintenance schedule (if you have one), your conservative or brash driving habits, and whether or not you live in climates where extreme weather could affect the car’s construction.

Preemptive maintenance like regular oil changes, fluid flushes, tire rotation, and fuel system cleaners, along with keeping the exterior and underside of your car clean, will all increase the life expectancy of your car. Keeping it out of the harsh desert or tropical sun, as well as away from the rust-inducing salted roadways of winter, will also extend its life.

And lastly, keeping the Mario Andretti driving antics to a minimum will keep your brakes, engine, tires, and chassis under-stressed and happy for far longer compared to hitting every trip to the grocery store like it’s the Indy 500. 

Looking for a New Honda Fit? Look No Further than Carvana

If you're looking for a new Honda Fit, or new to you Honda Fit, look no further than Carvana. One of the best new and used car websites around, you're sure to find your next car with Carvana. Click here to start searching.

Honda Fit Specs

Vehicle Type: Subcompact car

Doors: Five, including hatchback

Engine options: 1.5-liter Inline-four-cylinder

Total internal combustion range: 382 miles

Is Honda Fit Reliable?

As detailed above, reliability is generally something that depends on the person, the car, and the situation, so we can’t make a definitive statement that the Honda Fit is reliable or unreliable. 

To better assess its reliability, however, we’ve assembled several data points from numerous sources to present you with as much information as possible. Let’s start with common problems, as told by comments listed in the Fit National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) archives.

The Honda Fit NHTSA History

As collected by the NHTSA, these are the Honda Fit issues throughout the years.

Year 2020

Recall: None

Complaints: 2

Year 2019

Complaints: 17

Year 2018

Recall: None

Complaints: 20

Year 2017

Recall: None

Complaints: 10

Year 2016

Complaints: 60

Year 2015

Complaints: 184

Year 2013

Complaints: 157

Year 2012

Complaints: 106

Year 2011

Complaints: 105

Year 2010

Complaints: 172

Common Honda Fit Problems and Repair Costs

As with other car brands, not all Honda Fit models are built to the same exacting standards as the reliable vehicles mentioned above. Here’s a quick rundown of problematic Honda Fit offerings, including the issues, customer complaints, and repair costs that will help you make the best decision when purchasing your next car.

Check Engine Light and Stuttering While Driving

Many owners report issues with the Honda Fit, in which the car has trouble revving beyond a certain point or shifting gears. This problem sometimes causes the car to accelerate slowly and triggers a check engine light.

Repair Costs: $125-$200, according to CarComplaints.

Customer Complaint:

“Engine sputters and stalls, especially when cold. The ignition coils had to be replaced at 100,000 miles, but the issue continued.” 

Car won’t shift out of first gear or rev past 2,000 RPM.”

Power Steering Failure

Several Honda Fit owners report problems or failures with the car’s power steering system. The issues were widespread enough for Honda to issue an extended warranty to cover the power steering system for certain models.

Repair Costs: $1,075, according to RepairPal. Parts make up most of that cost.

Customer Complaint:

“Steering wheel locks up every time I start the car. The dealer informed me that in 2007, Honda issued a 10-year warranty from the car’s purchase date. The car was repaired under warranty.”

Starter Failure

Many owners report a failure of the Honda Fit’s starter, sometimes accompanied by other electrical issues, such as a rapidly discharging battery. In some cases, the problem is intermittent, and in others the issues begin surfacing while the car is still relatively new.

Repair Costs: $730, according to CarComplaints.

Customer Complaint:

“Car would not start and the brake pedal became so stiff that it could not be pressed down. The car had to be jumped, but the battery was inspected and tested fine. This is the second starter issue with the car in less than 50,000 miles.”

JD Power Consumer Reliability Score

According to JD Power, this score, “Measures the level of defects, malfunctions and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners. Covers the entire vehicle from engine to infotainment system. A higher rating means fewer problems.” 

2021: 78/100

2020: 80/100

2019: 78/100

2018: 76/100

2017: 82/100

2016: 82/100

2015: 78/100

2014: N/A

2013: 81/100

2012: 82/100

Looking for a New Honda Fit? Look No Further than Carvana

If you're looking for a new Honda Fit, or new to you Honda Fit, look no further than Carvana. One of the best new and used car websites around, you're sure to find your next car with Carvana. Click here to start searching.

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FAQs About the Honda Fit

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: Is Honda Fit really That Reliable?

A: Yes. Even though we’ve just spent the better part of this post discussing the Fit’s problems, the cars are still among the most reliable vehicles on the road today. Average repair costs are low, parts are readily available, and the failures that do occur generally do not disable the vehicle or prevent it from being driven to the closest repair shop. The Honda Fit, regardless of the model year, is consistently ranked in the top five for subcompact cars, with an average reliability rating of around 4.5 stars out of five.

Q: Is Honda Fit still the most reliable car?

A: The 2020 Honda Fit is considered to be one of the most reliable cars that can be purchased in 2021, but there are several other cars that come very close to the Honda’s dependability scores. The Kia Rio, Chevy Sonic, and Toyota Yaris all rank close to the Honda, in terms of reliability

Q: Why do Honda Fit engines last longer?

A: If you look through social media posts and discussions on forums, you’ll find several people on both sides of the reliability coin, screaming about how well or poorly their Honda Fit performed over time. Even so, it’s not uncommon at all to find Honda Fits with well over 150,000 miles still going strong. The real determinant in how long a Honda Fit engine, or any other engine, will last has to do with how it’s used and how well it’s maintained. The best, most reliable engines won’t do well if they’re abused or neglected, and some of the worst engines can end up being quite dependable if treated well.

Q: Why are Honda Fit so reliable?

A: The issues that people most commonly report are those that are able to be repaired for not a ton of money. Recalls and major complaints mostly relate to the Takata airbag fiasco and don’t tend to impact major components such as the drivetrain and electrical system.

Q: Is Honda Fit overrated?

A: Your view on the Honda Fit will depend on what you need and want out of a car. If you’re looking for big power and a rowdy driving experience, then you might view the Fit as being overrated. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a small car that offers great reliability, solid cargo space, and a lively drive, then you’ll see the Fit in a different light. The cars are excellent urban runabouts, and make great vehicles for students or people on a budget, due to their reliability and good fuel economy.