Base Price: $16,215
Output: 117 hp, 106 lb-ft
Why It Made the List: A fun and frugal hatchback with one of the most versatile interiors of any car on the market.
At first glance, the Honda Fit may not seem to belong on this list. It has only slightly more than 100 hp, it starts at well under $20,000, and it is quite small. What the bubble-shaped Honda has, though, is a high fun-to-drive factor and a low cost of ownership. Having kids can be an expensive proposition, leaving you with extra mouths to feel, bodies to clothe, and presents to buy. The Fit’s sub-$17,000 starting price means you should have some cash left over to buy other necessities, and its 27/33 mpg city/highway rating will keep your wallet in check at the pump. The Fit with also comes with Honda’s Magic Seat system, which makes the diminutive hatchback more versatile than some SUVs. With all the seats folded, it has a cargo capacity of 57.3 cubit feet.
The Fit is also a rewarding to drive. While there is a fair bit of body roll thanks to the soft suspension setup, the steering wheel, gearshifter, and pedals feel like extensions of the driver’s body. The 1.5-liter four-cylinder is a joy to wind up and is well-matched to the five-speed manual transmission. The Honda Fit is about enjoying the ride, no matter at which speed you’re traveling. Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about?