By Emme Hall.
A while back we looked at the 2013 Honda Fit vs. the Chevrolet Spark. We also compared the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic to the Ford Fiesta. Well, we’ve gotten some requests here at Auto Comparison to pit the 2013 Chevy Sonic LTZ against the 2013 Honda Fit Sport in a duel to the death. Here’s what we came up with.
The standard engine on the Sonic is a 1.8L 4 banger, pushing out 138 horses and 125 lb/ft of torque. This front wheel drive car has a five speed manual transmission as standard fare, but a six-speed automatic is optional for those not willing to row their own gears. 60 mph comes in 8.4 seconds and the little hatch gets an EPA fuel rating of 26 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined with the manual. Numbers drop a bit with the automatic to 25/35/28.
For those who want to their Chevy Sonic to run closer to sonic speed, the LTZ has an optional 1.4L 4-cylinder turbo. Horsepower is the same but torque increases to 148 lb/ft. A six-speed manual is standard, but again a six speed automatic is also available. 0-60 mph comes in just under 8 seconds with the manual and fuel economy is better than in the natural aspirated engine: 29/40/33 with the manual and 27/37/31 with the automatic.
The Sonic LTZ has a good array of standard equipment, including power accessories, keyless entry, iPod integration, Bluetooth, steering wheel controls, air conditioning, OnStar, cruise control, a leather wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, 17” alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated front seats, a touch screen interface, and navigation. A sunroof is optional.
Out on the road the Sonic is a fun ride. It hits the sweet spot of being firm enough to toss around a bit in the corners, while not being uncomfortable or overly harsh. Steering is light at slow speeds but weights up nicely at speed. Cabin noise is kept to a minimum both on the street and on the highway. The turbo is especially fun off the line, due to the increase in torque, but throttle response could be quicker.
The Honda Fit comes with a 1.5L inline 4 cylinder engine, producing 117 horsepower and 106 lb/ft of torque. Power is put to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual transmission or a 5 speed shiftable automatic. The manual returns a 0-60 mph time of 9.5 seconds and an EPA fuel rating of 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. The automatic returns the same EPA numbers, although with a combined rating of 30 mpg. 0-60 mph in the automatic is a snail paced 11 seconds, more proof that you should always pick the manual.
The Honda Fit Sport comes with your standard array of new car features: keyless entry, cruise control, iPod connectivity, 16 inch alloy wheels, and the like. The only option for our Sport model is navigation, which comes with Bluetooth, voice control, and a touchscreen. What really sets the Fit apart from the other subcompacts is its cargo space and utility. The rear seats fold down flat for an astonishing 57.3 cubic feet of space. The passenger seat folds flat, allowing you to carry items almost 8 feet long, and the rear seat bottom flips up to accommodate taller items. All and all it’s a pretty neat trick.
While the 2013 Honda Fit is neither a straight-line speed demon nor a corner carver, it is still lightweight with enough pep to satisfy. Steering is responsive and it’s easy to zip past slow moving taxicabs and lumbering trucks. The suspension leaves a bit to be desired, however. The ride could be more comfortable and despite the acoustic insulation added in 2012, this little car is a loud little car.
The 2013 Chevy Sonic LTZ hatchback starts at $17,850, and you can tack on an extra $700 for the turbo. The Honda Fit Sport starts at $17,160. In picking the winner, I went with my heart, not my head. To any practical person, the Fit wins due to its unique ability to be small on the outside yet barn-like on the inside. I have never been known for my practicality, so I’m declaring the Sonic the winner. It’s faster, the ride is sportier, and it doesn’t compromise on gas mileage. However, I can confidently say that if practicality is your bag, the Honda Fit will not disappoint.