Versatility redefined! |
Honda was not kidding when they said you can “#FitWhatever” in the 2015 Honda Fit.
Honda introduced the Fit (Jazz) over a decade ago, and right off the bat it became a big hit in Japan, quickly winning car of the year in Japan and subsequently was introduced into Europe in 2002. The rest of the world would enjoy the Honda Fit for 4 years until it finally made its way overseas and debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2006. Since then, it has been nothing but a hot seller. When I picked up the keys to a 2015 Honda Fit EX-L Navi, I was blown away as soon as I set off. It is very easy to tell that this car is geared towards college students, and young urbanite couples. Painted in a stunning Aegean Blue Metallic, I could not wait to see just what the Fit had in store.
The third-generation Fit uses an all-new platform, ridding of the anti-sway bar in the rear in favour of a rear torsion beam and a set of MacPherson struts up in front. Honda has implemented more high-strength steel and has gained more rigidity in important areas of the chassis. The Fit features a 1.5-litre Dual Overhead Cam i-VTEC motor replacing the old SOHC mill. It features direct injection, 16 valves and 4 cylinders. The engine pumps out around 130 horsepower at 6600 RPM and 114 lb-ft. of torque at 4600 RPM. My tester came with the CVT transmission, available at no extra cost. The Fit does come with a 6-speed manual.
I was excited to see just how low I could get on the litres/100km scale. The CVT averaged 7.2L/100km combined with 60% city and 40% highway, with a little bit of spirited driving here and there. Being fully loaded, my tester is on the heavier side compared to other trims, but even at 2,647 pounds the 1.5L has no problem propelling this car at a very healthy clip. The turning radius of the Fit was equally great, a mere turning circle of 5.2 metres was especially helpful for manoeuvring in tight spaces.
Although a little noisy at first, this engine paired with the CVT is fun to drive spiritedly; it may not be as ludicrous as the eighth-generation Civic Si’s K20 engine, but it is noticeable when the i-VTEC system quite literally, kicks in. For many people, the letters CVT can induce some nervousness. I was very skeptical at how this CVT would be after hearing horror stories of bad CVTs that can be found in some cars that shall go unnamed. This nervousness went away almost immediately after booting around town for the first couple of hours behind the wheel. With the shifter placed into D, the CVT feels responsive and provides a linear power band throughout the rev range.
It should be noted that all CVT equipped Fits are fitted with Honda’s ECON button that dulls throttle response and instructs the CVT system to ‘shift’ into higher ratios much faster than normal. Although this is fantastic for highway driving, I was willing to sacrifice some fuel economy in order to have a more responsive throttle around town. One gripe to be had with this CVT though is when the shifter is placed into ‘S’ or Sport mode. The steering wheel mounted paddle shifters are used to change gear ratios; however, the Fit does not always agree with whatever gear you try to select and sometimes it can feel as though the ratio changes are not the smoothest.
As I have mentioned, this EX-L is fully loaded. Leather seats are featured and are very comfortable providing a fair amount of bolstering are great for even longer trips. All surfaces do feel really good considering the Fit is a subcompact economy car. The interior is well-thought out with plenty of storage pockets. There were, however, some areas in the interior that did feel as if they need more attention. The armrest is abnormally low, and there is a fair amount of wind noise that will have you double checking if the sunroof or a window is cracked. The ride quality is decently smooth but some clunks can be heard after going over rough patches of road.
Honda’s HondaLink system is very pretty to look at and is generally really easy to use. It features Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, HD Radio, and 2 USB slots. The 180-watt 6-speaker system was a joy to listen to, and featured a healthy amount of bass to keep that pesky wind noise at bay. Of course, the EX-L Navi includes Honda’s extremely accurate satellite navigation system. I did run into some trouble attempting to enter an address, and I got really frustrated trying to manually point to a spot on the map. Equally as frustrating was the volume adjustment slider. The virtual slider is not very responsive and forced me to use the steering wheel volume control.
One aspect of the system I found very helpful was the sheer amount of camera technology that can be found on the Fit. The Fit’s back up camera that has 3 different viewing angles, the wide angle view, a top-down view, and a ‘normal’ rear camera view. Equally as impressive was the Honda LaneWatch blind spot camera that is mounted underneath the passenger side mirror housing. This system can be activated by a button on the top of the turn signal stalk, or can be activated whenever the turn stalk is put into the right hand turn signal position. Even though the Fit has an adequate fishbowl to see out of, this feature is extremely handy in the event you miss a car in your blind spot.
Honda was not kidding when they said you can “#FitWhatever” in the 2015 Honda Fit. The Magic Seat system is very intuitive – the rear bench can either be folded up to accommodate tall items and thin items such as paintings that would normally not fit in the hatchback alone, or the rear bench can fold down with the rear seats to create a very flat cargo surface extending from the hatch to the front seats. When I sat in the back of the Honda Fit I was perplexed; it felt like I had just as much headroom and space as I did in the front seats.
Overall, I did feel as though the Fit would be an excellent companion for those looking for a subcompact. Honda has done a really excellent job at executing a fully-loaded package while maintaining a low price. The as-tested price of my Fit was $22,595. Having anything larger than a subcompact in the downtown core can be troublesome for some individuals that have stuff to move around but need it in a small enough package to fit into tight underground parking garages. Luckily the 2015 Honda Fit EX-L Navi can fit all of your gear, a passenger, yourself, and anything else you want to bring.