One of the best affordable cars you can buy just got an update

2018 Honda Fit
The refreshed 2018 Fit. Honda

In the under-$US20,000 new-car Olympics, there’s a clear standout: the Honda Fit. Since being rolled out in the US in 2006, the five-door subcompact hatch has garnered great reviews and achieved something special: it sold as a small car in the SUV-obsessed US market, with more than 50,000 units moving each of the past four years.

Honda just rolled out an update for the 2018 model year.

“The refresh of the third generation Honda Fit enhances the … subcompact’s already best-in-class combination of passenger space, fuel efficiency, sophistication, practicality, and affordability,” Honda said in a statement.

A refresh isn’t the same as a redesign, so this version of the Fit isn’t radically different from what consumers are used to.

But arguably there wasn’t much need to make major changes. The Fit is a capable starter vehicle for just about anybody, joining Honda’s legendary quality and reliability with an easy-to-live with package that functions well for both urban and suburban duty.

Every one of the car’s trim levels delivers over 30 mpg in combined fuel economy, making the Fit an excellent choice for the budget conscious.

2018 Honda Fit

In fact, with a reasonably peppy 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine making about 130 horsepower, the Fit is also a typical Honda in that it’s a fun-to-drive car for just about anybody.

And you have to work hard to get the sticker price over $US20,000 — only the totally tricked out-top trim levels go for more. But not that much more. The dearest Fit has a MSRP of just $US21,520.

So what’s new for 2018? According to Honda, “a new Sport trim, as well as two new exterior colours, Helios Yellow and Orange Fury” and “upgraded features,” including a “suite of advanced safety and driver assistive features” and a “7-inch Display Audio touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility” on some trim levels.

So there you have it. An improved Fit — not that the vehicle need a whole lot of improvement.