2013 Honda Fit EV: Up Close

By Mike Hanley  on Thu Nov 17 05:18:01 GMT-06:00 2011

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The Honda Fit EV is based on the gas-powered Fit, but styling changes give the all-electric hatchback a distinctive appearance. It starts up front, where the regular Fit's grille has been swapped for a solid panel and a chrome bar that gives the car a bit of a grin. Changes to the rear include a hood-like spoiler that's quite a bit larger than the one on the Fit Sport — it's aerodynamic, Honda says — and sharp corners on the sides of the bumper like those on the Toyota Prius.

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The transformation into an electric car has consequences in the cabin, as the Fit EV loses one of the gas model's signature features: the Magic Seat second row.

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That seat folds flat with the cargo floor or flips up like the backseat in an extended-cab pickup truck. In the Fit EV, the lithium-ion battery pack is under the front and rear seats, and instead of the Magic Seat there's just a traditional folding backseat that doesn't fold flat with the cargo floor. The spacious cargo area is one of the Fit's standout attributes.

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The cockpit is familiar, but there's a new instrument cluster with a digital speedometer centered between a power/charge indicator and a battery gauge in the style of a traditional gas gauge. Choosing between Normal, Sport and Econ modes changes the digital screen's accent color in addition to the driving characteristics.

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Despite the loss of versatility, it's good to see another competitor for the Nissan Leaf. Plus, the Fit EV's ability to charge rapidly — Honda says it can recharge in as little as three hours using a 240-volt charging system — chips away at one of the key stumbling blocks to the widespread acceptance of electric cars.


Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle.  Email Mike


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