The Honda Fit has always been one of the best-loved subcompact hatchbacks around, and for 2015 a complete redesign brings loyal fans more of the same practicality and affordability that have been its calling cards since it was first introduced. Major changes have been made to the Honda Fit under the hood, in the cargo department, and for passengers sitting in the second row, but longtime Fit buyers will be happy to know that the hatchback’s Magic Seat calling card still comes standard with every version of the vehicle.
Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Honda Fit
1. The 2015 Honda Fit Features Redesigned Styling
Previous versions of the Honda Fit asked you to look past its styling in order to find a more practical reason to purchase the admittedly milquetoast automobile. That’s all changed with the 2015 Honda Fit, which gains a new design in an effort to stand stronger against more fashionable rivals like the Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai Accent. It’s a commendable, and largely successful effort, for while the Fit is actually shorter in length and features the same height as it did the year before, a redesigned greenhouse and more aggressive front and rear bumpers enhance its road presence and help it stand out better from the crowd.
2. The 2015 Honda Fit Offers Much-Improved Passenger Room
Despite measuring 1.6 inches shorter than it did in 2014, the 2015 Honda Fit actually improves on the amount of passenger room available to those sitting in the second row – and by a considerable amount. In fact, there’s 4.8 inches of additional legroom available for rear seat occupants in the new Honda Fit, which contributes to a total amount of space to stretch out that dwarfs even that of the mid-size Honda Accord sedan. Honda managed to achieve this stunning feat by redesigning the car’s rear suspension and increasing its wheelbase by 1.2 inches, an engineering decision that opened up copious amounts of interior real estate.
3. The 2015 Honda Fit Delivers Magic Seat Technology
Hand-in-hand with the 2015 Honda Fit’s generous passenger room comes its Magic Seat feature. Although pushing the Honda Fit’s rear row towards the back cut four cubes off of its previously-enormous ‘trunk,’ the 17 cubic feet that remain are still quite useful – especially when taking the Magic Seat into account, which can flip, fold, and otherwise adjust the hatchback’s accommodations in almost any direction. The result is a subcompact hatchback with almost 53 cubic feet of total cargo capacity. This is a touch less than the year before, but more than double what most of its similarly-sized rivals have to offer, and a number that tops even some next-class-up compact hatches from a practicality standpoint.
4. The 2015 Honda Fit Comes With A Revised Engine
On paper, the 2015 Honda Fit’s 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine might not seem all that different from its predecessor. Aside from a listed boost in output from 117 to 130 horsepower (along with a gain of 8 lb-ft of torque for a total of 114 lb-ft in total), you’d have to open up the unit to notice its direct fuel injection and new dual-overhead camshaft that allows for Honda to introduce i-VTEC variable-valve timing. Despite all of these enhancements it would be a stretch to call the motor ‘peppy,’ but it does acquit itself well alongside other subcompact cars in its class in terms of acceleration and passing power.
5. The 2015 Honda Fit Upgrades Both Available Transmissions
Standard with base model 2015 Honda Fit hatchbacks is a new six-speed manual transmission, a gearbox that offers one more forward cog than it did the year before. Despite the overall improvement in power management that the six-speed design offers, the Honda Fit’s final drive and top gear ratio are identical to those of the 2014 model, which means highway engine speeds are still on the buzzy side. Replacing the now-departed five-speed automatic on the Fit’s options list is a continuously-variable automatic that offers seven ‘virtual’ gears for those who elect to engage the car via its available steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.
6. The 2015 Honda Fit Is Exceptionally Fuel Efficient
While the 2015 Honda Fit might not qualify as a powerhouse, its engine improvements, in combination with the car’s two new transmission options, have done wonders to enhance its previously lackluster fuel efficiency. When equipped with its six-speed manual gearbox the Honda Fit returns 29-mpg in stop and go driving and 37-mpg on the highway, but the real star of the show is the Fit’s continuously-variable automatic. This is the transmission that enables the hatchback to post figures of 33-mpg around town and 41-mpg during highway cruising, with the latter number allowing Honda to finally achieve parity with the majority of its subcompact competitors.
7. The 2015 Honda Fit Comes In Four Trim Levels
The 2015 Honda Fit starts out in LX trim, which provides the basics in the form of power windows and door locks, Bluetooth connectivity, cloth seats, a CD player, 15-inch wheels, cruise control, and a rearview camera. The Fit EX introduces niceties such as a sunroof, additional safety equipment, keyless entry and start, 16-inch rims, the HondaLink system (which can stream navigation information from your mobile phone to the car’s seven-inch LCD touchscreen), and an improved audio system, while the EX-L adds leather upholstery plus heaters for both the front buckets and the side mirrors (and makes the CVT standard). Honda’s EX-L with Navigation is self-explanatory, but in addition to a navigation system you also get HD radio and satellite radio with this particular model.
8. The 2015 Honda Fit Can Be Had With The New LaneWatch Safety Feature
That extra safety gear that we mentioned as coming standard with the 2015 Honda Fit EX is the automaker’s new LaneWatch system. Designed to eliminate the Honda Fit’s blind spot, LaneWatch activates as soon as you use the car’s turn signal and displays a widescreen video image of the area to the passenger side of the hatchback so that you can ensure that it’s clear of traffic. LaneWatch comes alongside dual forward airbags, side-mounted airbags up front, side curtain airbags that run the entire length of the Fit’s passenger compartment, and electronic traction control and stability control.
9. The 2015 Honda Fit Dials Down The Sportiness
Whereas past editions of the Honda Fit might have been more engaging to drive than the car’s looks initially suggested, the 2015 model heads in the opposite direction. Changes to the Honda Fit’s chassis have made it easier to track it in a straight line while traveling on the highway, which erases a deficit of last year’s car, but steering now requires more turns lock-to-lock, and the electric assist imparts a disconnected feel. Never a true driver’s car, the 2015 Fit fades further into the background when compared against more fun options like the Ford Fiesta and the Mazda Mazda2.
10. The 2015 Honda Fit Remains Affordable
Even though the 2015 Honda Fit offers more standard equipment, enhanced safety, a more powerful engine, better looks, and a less thirsty attitude at the fuel pump, its pricing hasn’t ballooned to match. The Honda Fit LX starts at an MSRP of $16,315, which is a mere $100 increase compared to the 2014 model, and even the EX-L with Navigation tops out at a budget-friendly MSRP of $21,590. Honda has a long way to go to catch up with segment sales leaders like the Chevrolet Sonic and the Ford Fiesta, but its aggressive pricing and value equation should help it close the gap throughout 2015.