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2013 Honda Fit EV review notes – Autoweek

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: I continue to look forward to our electrified future, should such a future come to pass, and the 2013 Honda Fit EV is reason for further optimism.

In a nutshell, this is a perfectly good commuter: The Fit EV is smooth-riding with good steering response, comfortable interior materials for what it is and intelligently designed basic controls. Average drivers can put it in D and pretend they’re piloting a regular Fit — the only real difference is the lack of engine noise. Engaged drivers will prefer B mode, providing far more regenerative braking and throttle resolution. It’s entirely possible to drive the Fit EV in B mode without using the brakes at all. The regen is aggressive but it’s linear, making it far easier to use effectively in heavy traffic than some hybrid competitors (Infiniti M Hybrid, cough-cough).

For comparison purposes, it doesn’t quite match the Ford Focus Electric as a driver, but the Fit offers unequalled outward visibility and storage flexibility, even in electric form. I’ve said it before: It’s like one of those carnival funhouses that are impossibly large on the inside considering its exterior dimensions.

The Fit EV falls flattest because of a feature completely unrelated to its fuel-free nature: Honda’s hideous small-car navigation head unit. It’s the same one in the Civic, and it’s outstandingly bad with tiny buttons, illogical controls, slow response times and marginal visibility. Adding insult, Honda has neglected to equip one of its highest-tech vehicles with a USB input, leaving only an AUX jack or Bluetooth streaming for music player inputs.

It’s going to take a breakthrough in electricity storage to bring the price down and the range up to acceptable levels before the general public flocks to EVs en masse. But when that breakthrough occurs, it’s going to be a second golden age of the automobile; I, for one, welcome our torque-filled future.

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