We drive the 2015 Honda Fit

Honda Fit
Honda Fit

The Honda Fit came into the US market in 2006 partially because the Civic and the Accord were getting bigger which meant there was no small car left in Honda’s lineup. The first generation Fit was somewhat revolutionary because it was a small car that was also fun to drive. In fact as soon as the Fit came out, there were tuners producing racing versions of the Fit. Now there is the third generation of the Fit that has arrived on our shores and Honda has tried to bring the Fit more upmarket with the 2015 version to make the car even better.

The Fit is still a small car but the versatility of the Fit is fundamental to its design. Structural features such as a center mounted fuel tank help to make the interior roomier and more functional. The larger interior features a 4.9 cubic feet increase in passenger volume and a 4.8-inch increase in rear seat leg room, all the more remarkable considering its even more compact exterior footprint, including a1.6-inch decrease in overall length.

Inside, the increased interior room and visibility create a sense of airy spaciousness, which is complemented by upgraded, soft-touch materials that raise the feeling of quality. Everything in the inside feels high quality and you never feel like you are in a low rent car. A significant contributor to the new Fit's sophistication is the high level of standard and available features. For 2015, the Fit aligns with other Honda models by being offered in LX, EX, and EX-L trims, each with a higher spec than the previous equivalent trim.

New standard features on all Fit models include auto on-off headlights, LED brake lights, Bluetooth and a center storage console with armrest. Items such as push button start, a one-touch operated moonroof, seven inch touchscreen audio display and heated leather seats are among the upgrades available for the first time in Fit.

The signature feature of the Fit is the Magic Seat second row seats. With the enlarged interior room afforded by the redesign, the multiple-configurable seat provides even better cargo carrying options. The Magic Seat can be configured in multiple ways to adapt instantly to a wide variety of circumstances and needs. In the standard seatback-up/seat bottom-down position there is ample room for three passengers to sit comfortably.

Rear seats fold down
Rear seats fold down

As the seatback is split 60/40, one or two passengers can still be accommodated while extending the cargo-carrying capacity by folding down one side or the other. And since the Fit's seat now offers exceptional rear-seat legroom, the rear passenger area can also accommodate a good-sized pet kennel or crate. The Magic Seat can easily be folded into any of its positions with levers accessible from the rear of the car or the rear doors. Once you use the Magic Seat, you will forever think how come others don’t do this.

The Fit's fun-to-drive character includes a new powertrain. The 1.5 liter 4-cylinder engine has a DOHC head with i-VTEC+VTC valve and timing control plus direct fuel injection, the first use of such a system in a Honda subcompact. With reduced weight and friction, increased compression ratio, and other changes, the engine delivers an 11 percent increase in peak horsepower to 130, and a 7.5 percent increase in peak torque to 114 lb.-ft. The Fit is available with a six speed manual transmission or an optional Continuously Variable Transmission.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]Our car had the CVT which is more efficient but really takes the fun out of the Fit. The Fit with a manual transmission gets 29 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. The CVT version improves that to 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. We were easily getting mpg numbers in the high 30s during mixed driving so those numbers seem very realistic.

The new Fit chassis is stiffer, safer and has a longer wheelbase. The package offers a more stable platform and better ride. The downside is that you lose a bit of the nimbleness of the original. Despite that the Fit is still much more fun to drive than any of its competition. Its handling balance is typical Honda and it is fairly quiet at speed.

The Fit prices are still just as reasonable as years ago. The entry level Fit LX starts out at $15,650. The top of the line Fit EX-L starts out at just under $20,000. All of the Fits come with a long list of standard features so even if you were to choose the LX, you will not feel like you bought a low budget car. And for $15,650 you get a lot of car for your money and best of all it is still a Honda and it will hold its value and keep going forever. If you need a car that can do it all for very little money, your shopping starts with the Fit.

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