The Honda Fit has been a hit for Honda -- when the first generation was released it was a revelation that a small car could be fun and actually have a ton of space inside. Over the years though the body style, basic interior and limited features didn't really compete anymore.
For 2015 Honda has re-invented the Fit with a more modern look and upgraded technology, while keeping the flexibility that Fit owners love so much.
My tester is an oddball Fit though, I have been provided with an EX-L Navi. In Honda speak that is fully loaded. That means leather, navigation, sunroof, back-up camera, lane watch technology, cruise control, automatic climate control and more in a sub-compact "economy" car.
The other oddity here is that my tester is a six-speed manual transmission car, a fully loaded sub-compact with a manual transmission. Well I have to give Honda credit for at least offering it, even if they will probably sell a grand total of one ever equipped like my tester and I'm driving it.
The exterior design although evolutionary is actually very stylish for a mini-van type vehicle. The front and rear end treatments add a little bit of style that make a huge difference to the overall look of the vehicle. And when you first step inside you feel like you are in something more expensive, with a well laid out dash.
Hopefully this one is as fun as the original, like the Mazda MX-5 was last week.
Pricing: 2015 Honda Fit EX-L Navi
Base Price: $21,530
A/C Tax: $100
Price as Tested: $23,260
The Fit continues to impress with its versatility and cargo carrying capacity. The multitude of seat arrangements are still untouched in the industry and the ability to cram a ton of stuff into such a small car is really a marvel of engineering.
The rear seats do the regular everyday 60/40 split folding action, but the floor of the Fit is so low you end up with a cavernous trunk to work with. Go back to the second row and flip the seats up and you can place really tall items on the floor. Of course the front seat also folds backwards for "long" mode as Honda calls it, allowing a nearly flat cargo floor from back to front.
The updated dash is refreshing, where a lot of sub-compact competitors are offering navigation displays that seem like an afterthought the system in the Fit looks perfectly integrated. The large infotainment screen blends seamlessly into the dash and flows down to the HVAC controls which use the same touch-sensitive type screen.
And there we have my beef with the interior -- although I like the futuristic look of the touchscreen panels, I'd rather have real buttons for some operations and the touchpanel controls drive me bonkers, especially that volume control.
As far as driver comfort the Fit offers a tilt and telescoping steering wheel and a reclining and height adjustable driver's seat, which makes finding a driving position pretty darn easy for most people. But the seats themselves in the EX-L are non-perforated leather which means a sweaty back. I would just stick with the cloth if I were looking for a Fit myself.
Late for an appointment? Have two cars to choose from in your driveway? Don't take the Fit, because you won't make it on time. That's my nice way of saying this thing is slow, maybe I'm out of touch with reality? I don't think so though, this car seems seriously anemic and requires you to rev the engine to the moon in every gear to just get up to speed.
Merging onto the highway is a tasking affair every time and once you reach sixth gear at 100km/h the engine is still turning at 3,000rpm. That's not that big of a deal most of the time, but in the Fit you hear it buzzing away, numerous times I have been travelling down a country road at 80km/h in sixth gear and reached for that gear lever and tried sixth again hoping I was in fourth by mistake. At 120km/h you are over 3,500 rpm and that's just beyond annoying.
Around town though the shorter gears allow you to be in sixth gear at 50km/h, I assume this allows you to save gas so if your goal is to go slow and save fuel the Fit might, fit your lifestyle perfectly. I spent a lot of my driving time on the highway and it's just plain no fun.
Visibility is good though, with the little triangle windows allowing you to see "through" the A-pillar area, large windows all around and large mirrors. The backup camera and lane watch system are pretty much redundant as the Fit offers great visibility something a lot of newer cars lack.
Perhaps I would be a little more forgiving at the base price of $14,995 but at $23,000 everything just feels a little out of place.
I'm not really sure why the new Fit doesn't seem as fun, nimble and exciting to drive as the previous generation did -- it just doesn't. It still seems to handle well, has all the storage capability of the old and the interior is well sorted for a car in the sub-compact class. But that fun-to-drive factor seems absent which is a shame.
Fuel economy is good compared to the Yaris I owned where I consistently averaged 6.9 L/100 km. The Fit averaged 6.1 over the week I drove it. Highway driving is not a great "fit" as the revs are high and the fuel consumption isn't any better than a compact and even a mid-size car when highway cruising.
Available at a reasonable base price and also available loaded like this model there is a Fit for almost everyone if you are looking for one. Despite some of the items that I do not like in this new Fit, the fact remains that this is one of the most versatile sub-compact cars available on the market.