2015 Honda Fit adds more fuel efficiency, standard safety
features and technology without a significant increase in
With its Fit,
Honda hopes it will have a four-wheeled success story comparable to
its best-selling vehicle ever — the Super Cub scooter, 76 million
of which have been sold since 1958. If "you meet the nicest
people on a Honda," as the Super Cub ads claimed back in the
day, you’ll meet the youngest and most safety-conscious,
penny-pinching drivers ever behind the wheel of the 2015 Honda Fit.
For its third
overhaul since its 2001 introduction, the Fit builds upon its most
alluring attribute — a toppled-egg profile that belies an
exceptionally roomy cabin — adding more fuel efficiency, standard
safety features and technology without a significant increase in
price. The 2015 Fit starts at $16,215, including destination charge.
and price being the most important factors in the subcompact market,
the Fit re-do, like most subcompact updates, offers more power and
more fuel economy. It’s propelled with a new direct-injection
1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that ups the horsepower by 11 percent
and offers 16 percent better fuel economy than the outgoing model.
The fuel economy for the CVT version is 36 mpg combined.
manual transmission is available, but most drivers will get the new
continuously variable transmission that replaces the five-speed
automatic of the outgoing model.
greatest triumph is improved fuel economy. But from the driving
perspective, it feels slow and, even worse, loud. Despite Honda’s
efforts to quiet the cabin by tightening the seams of the body
panels and adding baffling, the sound of the CVT’s groaning effort
to accelerate from a dead stop is a sonic intrusion.
version is less loud and more fun, though not as torque-y as the
Ford Fiesta 1-liter I drove recently. The manual transmission Fit is
less expensive, but it is also less fuel efficient than the CVT, at
32 mpg combined.
a completely new chassis that will also be used in the new compact
SUV Honda will trot out at the New York Auto Show next week and sell
later this year, the suspension has been upgraded front and rear.
the outgoing Fit to and from Honda’s introduction of its
replacement in San Diego in late March, the new model felt more
planted in the turns. But the more noticeable improvement was to the
steering, which felt more precise and easier to move now that its
electronic power steering has been equipped with a torque sensor to
damp vibration, and the addition of the same motion adaptive feature
used on the Civic and Accord. The motion adaptive EPS senses the
vehicle’s speed and driver’s steering behavior and, if it
detects instability during cornering or braking, enhances steering
force in the direction the driver needs to turn.
most impressive about the 2015 Fit is the same as the outgoing
model, only more so. It’s not only surprisingly spacious for the
driver but, with the 2015, also for the rear-seat passengers, who
now have a shocking 4.8 inches of additional legroom.
decimal is in the right place.
Even when the
front seats were pushed all the way back, my long femur bones weren’t
compressed into my hip sockets. My knees had room to spare. For
2015, Honda reduced the Fit’s overall vehicle length by 1.6 inches
but increased the wheelbase by 1.2 inches to open up more interior
unique feature about the Fit is the same act of contortion that
allows its rear seats to fold up, creating unfettered space in the
second row to easily accommodate cumbersome items like BMX bicycles
or, for the urban gardening crowd, bales of hay and cartons of
peeping chicks. The Fit’s interior can be configured four ways to
Sunday, with rear seats that fold flat and a front passenger seat
that back bends for maximum load capacity, which remains best in its
else, the Fit is accurately named. For a subcompact, the driver’s
seat feels spacious and uncluttered — a feeling that was enhanced
with a new center console that replaces an array of knobs and
buttons and the sliver of a screen that showed the time and radio
settings in the old model. A larger touch screen is now standard
across all four versions of the Fit, as is a rear-view camera.
expensive Fit model, the LX, has a 5-inch screen. The rest get
7-inchers. The more expensive EX is when the value really begins to
ratchet up. A moonroof is standard, as are push-button start and a
terrific lane-watch display that uses a camera mounted below the
passenger side mirror to show whatever it sees on the right-hand
side of the car on the center screen. The same lane-watch feature is
standard on Honda’s larger, more expensive Accord and Civic.
automakers, Honda is leveraging drivers’ smartphones to provide
navigation services. It is not built in to the car except for the
most expensive model, the EX-L Navi. The other three versions of the
Fit all use HondaLink, Honda’s next-generation in-car connectivity
an app that drivers download to their phones and sync with their
cars. The advantage to the updated HondaLink app is that it’s
useable inside and outside the car. For navigation, drivers can
program their destinations into the app before sliding into the
driver’s seat, negating the need to fumble with buttons while
driving. In addition, the app can read aloud, through the car’s
speakers, the driver’s Facebook feeds and texts.
new Fit has been modernized with sharper lines and a more
aerodynamic shape that is especially noticeable in the front, where
the headlights have been narrowed and integrated into the grille.
The interior is comparable to the outgoing model, with a mix of
economy-oriented soft-touch plastics and fabrics.
With its 2015
redesign, the most impressive features of the Fit have been
amplified. Whether they’re enough to nudge the Fit’s 5.16
million global sales toward the super-sales status of the Super Cub
will take decades to find out. But its fuel economy, low purchase
price and large interior space are a winning combination.
2015 HONDA FIT
Direct-injected, 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, DOHC, VTC, VTEC,
continuously variable transmission
130 at 6,500 rpm
pound-feet at 4,600 rpm
weight: 2,573 pounds
length: 160 inches
fuel economy: 33 mpg city, 41 mpg highway, 36 mpg combined