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2015 Honda Fit EX-L Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Honda, Test Drives

2015-honda-fit

After a one-year hiatus, the Honda Fit is back and redesigned for 2015. Featuring a new look that makes a bolder statement when rolling down the road, the 2015 Fit is actually about the same size as the outgoing model. In fact, the new 2015 Honda Fit is 1.6 inches shorter yet has a longer wheelbase by just over an inch. This trickery is a clever act on the part of Honda with a new front-end look that slightly mimics the new design language from the brand.

2015-honda-fit-engine

Powering the new 2015 Honda Fit is a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with direct-injection, a completely reworked 4-cylinder with added power over outgoing 1.5-liter power mill. The new engine has i-i-VTEC plus VTC (variable timing control) to continually vary cam timing to mustering out its 130 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 114 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm and boost fuel economy.

The engine is mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) that proves to be quite enjoyable around town and within the legal limits on the highway. Honda seems to have a knack for the adaptation of their CVT units where the new Fit transitions power to the front wheels rather efficiently. The CVT allows the engine to spin up near redline after things get moving to limit the dull spots of the engine’s power band.

2015-honda-fit-side

Even in my revulsion for CVTs, I can say Honda has one of the best in the business even when mated to an engine with only 130 horsepower. The only discernment would be the buzzing noise that fills the cabin of the Fit under mid to full rpm excursions. When the CVT holds the engine around 6,600 rpm all I could think about was “this can’t be good for that little engine.” However, the reassurance of the Fit being a Honda put my worries to rest as it carried on flawlessly zipping the 2,642-pound subcompact along the road.

2015-honda-fit-rear

The new exterior of the 2015 Honda Fit combines a welcomed aesthetic for such a small vehicle, departing from the outgoing model, which was considered an acquired taste for many. The quality perception has moved up a notch or two exhibiting a new level of maturity with the newly designed headlights, foglights and LED taillights of my top-trim-level Fit EX-L. The tall doors, long running A-pillar line, and short overhanging rear end all play together for the Fit’s cuteness but limiting that pushover connotation that may have been prominent in the first and second generations.

For the all-new third generation, the 2015 the Honda Fit retains its small stature but improves upon the use of that limited space with an open cabin and decent seating proportions, thanks to a wheelbase that is just over an inch longer over the last gen. Even in its subcompact classification, the new Honda Fit manages to “Fit” 6 feet tall adults with just enough room up front. Out back, the seating proves to be acceptable and slightly more usable than before, which goes a long way for a vehicle of this small physique.

2015-honda-fit-dashboard

The dashboard, mostly comprised of hard plastics, embodies a few soft touch areas where it counts. Within those limited spaces, the silver-painted plastic trim around vents and the beltline exudes a nice flavor for the interior’s yet otherwise monotone theme. The flexibility of the surprising cargo space and seating is a major plus for the new Honda Fit standing up to its competition with up to 52.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded and 16.6 with them in place.

2015-honda-fit-front-seats

Ride quality is surprisingly good with a decently sprung and dampened setup. The Fit rebounds quickly to keep its composure, adding a dash of nimbleness upon initial turn-ins. Finding that threshold of where the Fit front tires start to scream into an abundance of understeer is still relatively easy. Getting out of the hole from a stop is livelier over the outgoing Fit, now reaching 60 mph from a standstill in 8.8 seconds.

2015-honda-fit-rear-seats

The economical side of the new 2015 Honda Fit continues to keep it as a major player in the tall standing subcompact level getting 32 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined for my CVT-equipped Fit EX-L. Opting for the 6-speed manual Fit LX or EX, the only trims available with the manual transmission, will yield only 29 mpg city and 37 mpg highway – the price that has to be paid to extract a bit more performance and fun out of the Fit. Within the Fit’s three trims (LX, EX, EX-L), the EX-L with Navigation may be the way to go for those wanting a bit of extra feature content, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, leather trimmed seats with heating for the two fronts, push-button start, smart entry system, illuminated steering wheel controls, HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a voice-activated GPS navigation system with a 7-inch touch screen infotainment interface.

Taking in a taste of today’s advance tech is left to my test vehicle’s 7-inch touchscreen interface. Taken from a page out of the new Honda Civic, the 7-inch touchscreen unit combines quick actions and a high-resolution display but wrapped up in a fingerprint-attracting glossy finish and smallish touch-volume control. I could do without the touch/drag volume control in place of a physical turn-knob. The connectivity of a USB port and Bluetooth audio streaming “Fit” this small Honda in an attractive spot for young buyers – as it should.

2015-honda-fit-center-dash-touchscreen

The “big” steps taken to bring the new Honda Fit to new “heights” all amalgamate a new formula that may not look all that different with numbers, but proves to be all that it needed to stay relevant and an attractive economical buy. At the top end of the trim line, my 2015 Honda Fit EX-L comes to an as-tested price of $20,590 including a $790 destination and handling charge. Base pricing for the new 2015 Honda Fit starts at just $16,325 for the base LX 6-speed manual trim; all quite the “fitting” price either way you slice the sum of its small pieces.

Copyright: 2015 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Fit LX 6-sp manual $16,325 / As-Tested Fit EX-L $20,590
  • Engine: 1.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder 130 horsepower @ 6,600 rpm / 114 ft-lbs. torque @ 4,600 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 99.6 in.
  • Total length: 160.0 in.
  • Total width: 67.0 in.
  • Total height: 60.0 in.
  • Headroom: f/r-38/37.6 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.4/39.3 in.
  • Cargo volume: rear seat up-16.6/rear seat down-52.7 cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 2,642 lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 8.8 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 32 mpg city / 38 mpg/highway

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