By Emme Hall.
The Honda Fit has been a little gem in the Honda line up since 2007, offering utility and practical city driving for a good price. Not to be outdone, Hyundai released the Elantra GT in 2013. Which one offers the most features, best driving experience at the lowest cost? Read on to find out the winner.
The 2013 Honda Fit gets a 1.5L four-cylinder engine good for 117 horsepower and 106 lb/ft of torque. Power is put to the front wheels via a standard manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. The manual Fit can get to 60 mph in an average 9.5 seconds, while the automatic is a yawn inducing 11 seconds. EPA fuel ratings for the manual are 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 29 combined. The automatic returns 28/35/31. The Fit Sport, which includes paddle shifters for the automatic, returns 27/33/30.
You get two trim levels to choose from with the Honda: Fit and Fit Sport. The base Fit gives you 15” steel wheels, keyless entry, power accessories, cruise control, air conditioning, iPod connectivity, and a four speaker sound system with a CD player.
The Fit Sport adds 16” alloy wheels, a rear spoilers, foglamps, a six speaker sound system, and some distinct sporty styling elements. A navigation system is optional which includes Bluetooth, a touchscreen, and voice control.
We can’t talk about the Fit without talking about its utility. The rear seats are designed to fold completely flat and results in 57 cubic feet of space. The bottom of the rear seat also flips up so you can transport larger items on a completely flat space. No longer do you need a truck to transport that flat screen TV or furniture from Ikea. The Fit is more than up to the task.
While the Honda Fit is definitely not going to win any races, it still provides a relatively fun experience in the city. Steering is responsive and the car is nimble enough to thread through traffic full of lumbering trucks and slow taxicabs. The manual offers more fun, of course. The automatic suffers from slow acceleration, something paddle shifters just can’t fix. Though the Fit is zippy, don’t expect a comfortable ride. It can be rather loud and you definitely feel your diminutive size while on the highway.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT gets a 1.8L four-cylinder engine producing 148 hp and 131 lb/ft of torque. Power goes to the front wheels via a standard six speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. You’ll get to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds and EPA fuel ratings are the 27 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway, and 30 mph for the automatic, and 26/37/30 for the manual.
The Elantra GT gets one trim level. Standard features include 16” alloy wheels, cruise control, power accessories, heated front seats, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, and a six speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio.
You can get three optional packages for the GT. The Touch and Go Package gets you 17” alloy wheels, sport tuned suspension, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, oh so sporty aluminum pedals, keyless entry and ignition, power windows, and a rear hidden compartment storage area. The Style package adds a sunroof, side repeater exterior mirrors, power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, and leather seating surfaces. The keyless entry and ignition is not available on the Style package. The Tech package, which is only available if the Style package is also purchased, includes navigation with a 7” LCD screen, rear view camera, keyless entry and ignition, automatic headlights, and automatic climate control.
The Hyundai Elantra GT gives you three driving modes: Normal, Sport, or Comfort. This only affects the level of power steering assist. Other cars that have this feature will also change throttle response and suspension tuning, so it’s a questionably useful feature at best. The ride is very competent and comfortable, handling potholes and rough city roads with ease. The automatic transmission is definitely trying to save gas and as such acceleration can be sluggish.
The Elantra GT offers 51 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded flat, but it doesn’t have the neat flat load trick of the Fit.
The 2013 Honda Fit starts at $15,425 and the Fit Sport with navigation will set you back $19,790. The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT starts at $18,545, optioned up at $23,645. The clear winner here is the Fit. It’s less expensive and offers more utility and offers a comfortable yet fairly fun driving experience.