Honda Fit 2015 Review
The Honda Fit 2015- a sub-compact without compromises?
Already known for its commodious interior volume, this latest generation five-door hatchback has no peers when it comes to sub-compact cabin size, which is larger than some compact cars on the market.
How they do this is with Honda’s Magic Seat which is like a Swiss Army knife in the way it can be configured.
First, Honda located the gas tank under the front seats opening the room between the rear wheels.
Second, the seat itself has four modes starting with the Utility Mode where the seat is folded flat creating 52.5 cu ft of cargo volume and a cargo floor length of 1.7 m, big enough to swallow a mountain bike.
In Long Mode, the driver can fold down the right side of the rear seat and fold back the front passenger seat to create a 2.3 mm tunnel that can take a surfboard.
In Tall Mode, the seat cushion can be folded backwards and up, creating 1.2 m top to bottom.
Refresh Mode is when the driver takes off the front head restraints and folds back the front seats to create a very nice lounge chair for reading, snoozing or just relaxing.
All versions of the 2015 Fit are fitted with a 1.5-litre twincam four-cylinder producing 130 hp and 114 lb/ft of torque.
The engine has direct fuel injection with variable valve timing, which results in an 11 per cent increase in power and a 7.5 per cent increase in torque over the engine it replaces.
Drive is to the front through an all-new six-speed manual transmission as well as a CVT which has G-Shift Control that allows seven-gear manual shifting.
The manual is standard with the CVT optional, except on the base model where only the manual is available.
Using the more realistic ‘five cycle’ test, fuel consumption for the CVT is 7.0/5.7/6.4L/100 km city/highway/combined on the LX without paddle shifters. For the manual it is 8.1/6.4/7.3L/100 km, giving a clear indication of the superiority of the CVT when it comes to mileage.
On some models, the CVT can be had with two-mode paddle shifters. There is the D-Range mode for normal driving and the S-Range mode that allows for manual-like shifting with seven speeds.
I know people want these things but, in my option, they are superfluous on a car like the Fit because paddle shifters actually burn marginally more fuel due to changing gears up and down.
During the press launch in Toronto, my driving partner and I managed an overall figure of 5.9L/100 km with the CVT on a mix of primarily highway. Nevertheless, we felt that mark was pretty good because we did not baby the throttle.
The drawback with CVTs is so-called ‘rubber banding’ that occurs when you accelerate with the engine operating in the upper rev range as the steel belt and pulley work to catch up.
That has pretty well been eliminated in the current generation of CVTs but, under full acceleration when passing, it was present in the Fit but not in any other situations such as joined the highway from the on-ramp.
For some reason while driving, I initially didn’t have a sense of where the front wheel patch was in relation to the seat.
Part of this was due to the overall size of the cabin and just how big the space between the instrument panel and me was, leading me to feel I was driving a compact car, not a sub-compact.
With a 30 mm increase in wheelbase and a 41 mm reduction in overall length of the outgoing model plus an eight mm increase in the track, the Fit is nevertheless just over four meters long, thus pushing the boundary between what is a compact and what is a sub-compact car.
Honda claims class-leading cargo volume thanks to its multi-foldable rear Magic Seat for a total of 1,492 litres and 470 litres behind the rear seat.
And it looks bigger in real life too; all thanks to the new wedge-like styling that replaces the egg-shape of the 2014 Fit.
When designing the 2015 Fit, interior engineers took into account that the cabin is basically like sitting in a big drum, so sound deadening was a priority.
There is a sound absorbing floor carpet, for example, as well as firewall and engine bay liners and a large undercover beneath the cabin, which also helps lessen drag.
The Fit comes with several standard features such as a one-touch turn signal, LED brake lights, rearview camera and BluetoothHandsFreeLink.
Available options on the Fit offered for the first time are: Smart Entry Push Button Start, a one-touch operated moonroof, seven-inch touchscreen Display Audio with next-generation HondaLink, heated seats, automatic climate control, navigation system and leather upholstery.
One available feature new to me is Honda’s version of lane keeping control which Honda calls LaneWatch.
On the passenger side outdoor mirror is a rear-facing camera. When the Fit approaches pavement lines on the right, the camera flashes an image on the centre touch screen which is a lot better than flashing icons or audible warnings.
There are four trim levels starting with the DX with manual only at $14,495. Next up is the LX with manual/CVT at $17,295/$18,595, the EX at$19,195/$20,495 and the EX-L Navi at $21,295/$22,595.
In each case the overall price over the 2014 model is up about $140, but the added content as standard runs $1,260 on the DX and up to $3,800 on the EX.
Honda has set the pricing very competitively because they are after a very wide demographic, but mostly aimed at Gen-Y and Boomers.
In showrooms now, why not booked a test-drive and see if it’s the right Fit for you?