2015 Honda Fit Review

Tuesday, July 29th 2014. | Honda |

2015 Honda Fit Front ViewThe 2015 Honda Fit is the first Honda model for the U.S. to be assembled in Mexico. Then later in the year it will spawn a small crossover; and there’s still the possibility of a four-door sedan, even though Americans are finally finding out that hatchbacks aren’t so bad.The Fit is redesigned for 2015, and this time Hondacarves out even more interior space while adding “class above” features to further distance itself from the penalty box reputation. Did they succeed? We drove the Fit in San Diego to find out.When the Honda Fit debuted eight years ago it quickly became a favorite of economy car shoppers. It’s fair to say it wasn’t because of the car’s rather controversial styling, but with its flexible configurations for interior seating and cargo, a fuel-efficient engine and a relatively fun-to-drive demeanor, the Fit proved that you didn’t need to suffer an anonymous econobox just for good mileage. Now entering its third generation, the 2015 Honda Fit looks to keep the good times rolling while also becoming even more appealing.

2015 Honda Fit Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Honda Fit is offered in LX, EX, EX-L and EX-L with Navi trim levels.

Standard equipment on LX models includes 15-inch wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5-inch display screen and a four-speaker sound system with CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

EX models add 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot display, and a six-speaker audio system with Pandora functionality, smartphone app integration (HondaLink) and an HDMI input (needed for many HondaLink features, including a streaming navigation app).

Going with the EX-L gets you heated mirrors, leather upholstery and heated front seats, while the EX-L with Navi adds, predictably, a navigation system with voice recognition as well as HD and satellite radio upgrades.

2015 Honda Fit Engine

All versions of the 2015 Honda Fit are powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque—both significant gains over last year’s engine. This new engine has direct injection, improved block cooling, piston oil jets, and a reduced-weight crankshaft, along with an all-composite intake manifold.

2015 Honda Fit EngineOne of the biggest changes for the Fit, in addition to the new direct injection engine, is that last year’s five-speed automatic transmission is gone from the lineup, replaced by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with what Honda says is the same ‘G-design Shift’ programming, as is used in the Accord, which strives for less of a ‘rubber-band’ feel and more of a feel that revs raise naturally with speed as you accelerate, then lower when you reach cruising speed.

The 2015 Honda Fit features a 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on LX and EX models, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. EX-L models are only offered with the CVT.During testing, a 2015 Honda Fit EX-L with Navi ran from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds; that’s pretty quick for the subcompact segment.

The standard transmission in the 2015 Honda Fit remains a manual gearbox; and Honda has added a gear this year. The six-speed offers mostly lower gears than before, for a sportier driving feel, and its linkage is shorter, smoother, and more precise—better than most you’ll find in affordable small cars, really. But you don’t get any deeper overdrive with the added cog; its top sixth gear is now roughly aligned with what had been fifth gear.

2015 Honda Fit Interior Design and Special Features

The Honda Fit has long been a model that does some incredible things with interior space; and the new 2015 Fit is no exception. The Fit’s packaging is still what truly makes this model a standout in its class.The former Fit’s cabin design was lacking in terms of its overall materials quality as well as the look and feel of various knobs and switches. It simply fell short of competitors like the Accent or Fiesta. The 2015 Fit, however, makes a large leap inside, drawing a more modern and updated feel from Honda’s Civic and Accord. It’s also roomier than ever before. The expansive amount of rear seat space — there’s more rear legroom than in the Accord — means comfortable seating for two tall adults and/or easy installation of child safety seats.

2015 Honda Fit Side ViewOn the upper trims, the Fit boasts new smartphone amenities. HondaLink operates through the 7-inch touchscreen to provide voice control, plus a variety of search, audio and social media functions. It also allows the car’s touchscreen to display and operate an available navigation app. Streamed through an iPhone 5 (other phones are presently not compatible), it provides an in-dash navigation experience at a much lower cost, but with less functionality than the superior integrated navigation system available on the EX-L trim. Overall, we found the system’s menu design a little cumbersome and dislike its touch-operated volume control and overly busy procedure for setting radio presets, but responses are quick and we appreciate the touchscreen’s swipe-and-pinch functionality. Android phones are not currently compatible with HondaLink, although Honda claims that that will change by the end of the 2014 calendar year.

What continues to set the Fit’s interior apart, though, is the cleverly designed 60/40-split “Magic” rear seat. Flipping up the seat bottom creates a narrow, floor-to-roof space that can accommodate taller items that wouldn’t otherwise fit within such a small car. The Fit is a great choice for those with large dogs or outdoor gear; two bikes can stand side by side (with front wheels removed) in the rear seat well, for example. Folding both rear seatbacks down yields a flat load floor and 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room, nearly as much as some small crossovers. The Fit’s front passenger seat also folds flat to accommodate items nearly 8 feet long.

While the exterior is nicely restrained, designers were perhaps a little too ambitious inside, where the instrument panel has a little too much happening with shapes, pieces, trims, bezels, and surfaces. It’s a nice cockpit-like layout, though, and doesn’t feel at all cheap.

Honda says it expects the new 2015 Fit to gain top safety scores from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Its new body structure is 57 pounds lighter than that of the last Fit, but it uses more high-strength steel for greater rigidity. In fact, Honda says the new Fit should also earn the IIHS top rating of Good in all tests, including the tough new small-overlap barrier test, which would allow it to be designated an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2015.

2015 Honda Fit Mpg

Honda claims that its new 2015 Fit has best-in-class fuel economy. This is true; but it’s also worth pointing out that among small cars in the U.S. market, you could do better in fuel efficiency by going with a compact sedan instead.

It’s also quite interesting that when equipped with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Fit gets considerably better mileage—33 mpg city, 41 highway (or 32/38 mpg in EX/EX-L trims), versus 29/37 mpg with the manual gearbox. Part of that is due to the reason that Honda decided to go with lower gear ratios for the most part for the manual, thinking that it will be the choice for driving enthusiasts, not frugal types. We don’t necessarily agree with this, and we think that it limits the manual’s appeal.

The manual is now a six-speed, but Honda has, for instance, decided to go with a top ratio that’s about the same, maybe slightly lower, than last year’s fifth gear. That results in the engine spinning nearly 4,000 rpm at 80 mph—while the CVT at that speed is turning well below 3,000 rpm.

In either case, real-world mileage should be impressive, and we say that based both on our experience over a couple of first drive opportunities of the Fit and because of Honda’s reputation for conservatively assigning its EPA fuel economy numbers. Over more than 75 miles of driving that we’d describe as spirited—along rapid two-lane highways and expressways—we saw an indicated 37-mpg average.

2015 Honda Fit Price

In a class where cars have to be everything to everyone, you could certainly do a lot worse than this capacious little Honda.

Pricing is still competitive, with the base Fit LX 6MT slotting at $15,525, not including $790 for destination – an increase of $100 compared to the outgoing model. From there, the volume-leading EX starts at $17,435, EX-L models command $19,800, and the top-notch EX-L Navi reaches to $20,800. The current top-shelf Fit Sport Navi starts at $19,790, and considering the new model adds things like leather, better tech, a sunroof and more, the extra coin seems absolutely worth it to us. For comparison, a comparably equipped Fiesta Titanium hatch comes in at $21,285, not including destination.

2015 Honda Fit Right for you?

2015 Honda Fit Cargo SpaceBuyers looking for a small car with a reasonable price tag and lots of space can’t do better than the 2015 Honda Fit. It has the passenger and cargo space of a small crossover, while offering excellent fuel economy and a fun driving character. Interior updates add the latest in connectivity, as well as some cool features not expected in this class, but the quality of the materials still reflects the car’s low price. It’s not luxurious, but the 2015 Honda Fit is extremely practical.

So, is the Fit still our subcompact hero? Yes and no. For us, that wishy-washy answer all comes down to it being less engaging from a driver’s perspective. But its gains in interior refinement, onboard tech and the ever-excellent functionality and packaging go a long way toward making up for its less tossable and communicative nature. It may no longer be the clear driver’s choice, but in a class where cars have to be everything to everyone, you could certainly do a lot worse than this capacious little Honda.

2015 Honda Fit Photo Gallery

 

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