Although they both compete in the subcompact category, the 2013 Ford Fiesta and 2013 Honda Fit are two very different vehicles. While Fit comes only as a hatchback, Fiesta is available as both a hatchback and sedan, and although both have gasoline engines, Fit offers an electric vehicle model. These are both well-rounded vehicles, and considering Fiesta starts at $13,200 and Fit has a base MSRP of $15,425, they will easily squeeze into most budgets.
There is only one gasoline engine available in each vehicle, and they are both close the same size. The 2013 Fiesta gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that offers 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual, but there is a six-speed automatic manual also available. This is not a traditional automatic transmission, but it still shifts for you to help maximize efficiency and engine power. It accelerates zero to 60 mph 9.5 seconds, and returns an impressive 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.
The 2013 Fit gets a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that is good for 117 horsepower and 106 pound-feet of torque. Like Fiesta, a five-speed manual transmission is standard, but Honda takes the more traditional approach with a five-speed automatic as the optional transmission.
It offers the same acceleration speed as Fiesta, as long as you have the manual transmission. Otherwise the time increases to 11 seconds. Fuel economy does not quite compete with Fiesta, as Fit yields 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
Fit does also offer a 92kW electric motor version that is quite lively, reaching 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. It features a three-mode drive system that lets you tailor your driving experience.
Driving and Handling
The great thing about both Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit is that they are responsive and nimble. They are fun to drive and can zip through traffic with ease. Not to mention, you will be able to take advantage of those tight parking spaces that most cars cannot fit into.
Fiesta has a sophisticated suspension tuning and delivers a surprisingly smooth and quiet ride that you will appreciate on those winding Southern California roads. It really is one of the most exciting and rewarding vehicles to drive in this class. Fit lacks a bit of refinement. Plus, although acoustic insulating was added in 2012 to reduce engine and wind noise, this is still a pretty loud car.
Many people assume that you need to be in a large vehicle to really be safe on the road. This is absolutely not true, and Fiesta and Fit prove it. These two cars both received top safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in front, roof and side-impact protection.
The 2013 Fiesta offers a SYNC® Elements package that adds a 911 Assist function, plus its boron steel safety cage and seven airbags offer peace-of-mind on the road. Honda uses an Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure to protect its passengers.
One of the highlights of both of these vehicles is the exterior styling. Seriously, what is not to love? These are fun and modern cars, but you have to give it to Ford because Fiesta does look a lot more expensive that what it is. Plus, it is available in the most amazing colors, including Blue Candy Metallic and Lime Squeeze Metallic. It has an aerodynamic look with a low-slung front end. The headlamps look like piercing eyes and the roof spoiler on the hatchback is a nice finishing touch. It is available as a sedan and hatchback.
The 2013 Honda Fit it only available as a hatchback, but is definitely sleek. The oversized headlamps and swooped hood create an intriguing face-appeal, and like Fiesta, a roofline spoiler also seals the deal. The 16-inch alloy wheels on the Fit Sport definitely provide curb appeal to turn heads on the street of Orange County.
There is more space in these cabins than one might expect. Although Honda does get rave reviews for its roomy rear seat, Ford Fiesta offers a more premium feel with solid build quality, edgy styling and metallic accents.
One element that buyers do seem to appreciate in Fit though is the “Magic” 60/40 rear seat, as it allows you to haul tall cargo that you would not expect to fit inside. Plus, it offers a total cargo capacity of 57.3 cubic feet, which is huge! Fiesta is at 26 cubes, which puts it in line with Rio, but nowhere near competing with Fit.
Technology and Entertainment
There are some impressive technology features in both of these cars. The 2013 Fit offers the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System that is voice-activated and can even suggest more than 10 million points of interest.
In the 2013 Fiesta, you get SYNC® with AppLink™ that allows you to control apps like iHeartRadio® and Pandora®. It also provides you with voice-activated technology to control Bluetooth and other services. SiriusXM satellite radio is available and the push button start feature that is available means you never need to dig in your pocket or purse for your keys!