The 2015 Honda Fit — the third generation available here in the United States — is a solid effort that transcends what small cars have traditionally been about. Namely, being small.
When the Fit arrived here as a 2007 model year, we were on the brink of total economic collapse. When the economy finally took its swan dive, and gasoline cost $4.48 a gallon, a whole lot of Americans were looking to trade their Escalades on the Fit, because it offered major utility in a fuel-sipping package.
The 2015 Honda Fit is actually a tiny bit smaller than the car it replaces, but somehow manages to feel bigger. It’s the same height as the old car, but lost 1.6 inches in length.
It uses a lot of high-strength steel, which enables it to keep the weight down despite adding more comfort features inside. That said, this is an exceedingly light car, at around 2700 pounds. As a comparison, a Mazda Miata weighs in at around 200 pounds less, will only carry two people and has a cargo area big enough for a laptop.
A unibody made of high-strength steel SHOULD equate to exceptional safety, but when the IIHS first crash tested the new 2015 Honda Fit, it scored a “Marginal” rating in the small offset crash test. Honda went back to the drawing board and reconfigured the steel bumper under the plastic bumper cover. When the IIHS tested it again, the Fit scored “Acceptable.” As a result, if you were one of the 12,000 people that bought an early 2015 Fit, Honda will retrofit your car at no charge.
Front passengers will feel comfortably at home in the 2015 Fit if they’ve ever been inside a 2007 to 2014 Fit, or any other Honda, for that matter. What’s truly dramatic is the back seat space. Honda stretched the Fit’s wheelbase by just a shade under two inches. It also reengineered the rear suspension, allowing the rear seat to move an amazing 4.8 inches backward, opening up space in the back seat you never would imagine available in such a small car. Cargo area takes a three-cubic-foot hit with all the seats up, but if you have kids, you want the 2015 edition.
In all, it’s a really nice atmosphere inside, with the exception of the radio controls.
Honda’s taken the iPad route here, with none of the iPad’s intuitive simplicity. Attention Honda: For the love of all that is holy, STOP DOING THIS.
It’s hard enough to adjust the volume and change media sources when the car’s parked, let alone control features through a flat piece of glass at 65 miles an hour. You can control volume more effectively from the steering wheel mounted control, but your passenger won’t be able to.
The 130hp the 1.5-liter four-cylinder spools up is pretty good for a small car and it’s up dramatically from the 109hp in the old Fit, but it’s nowhere near quick off the line. You’re going to want time to pull out in front of that cement mixer. Our version had the slick six-speed manual transmission, which made driving it way more fun than we would’ve anticipated.
The 2015 Honda Fit starts at $15,525, but ours was an EX, bumping the price up to $17,435, plus destination. If you’re in the market for a fuel-efficient, small car, you can buy a cheaper one, but it’s going to feel like it. You’d be hard-pressed to find a car you’d actually want to live with for less money.
2015 Honda Fit
Base Price: $15,525 (LX)
Price As Tested: $17,435 (EX — Estimated)
Surprisingly fun to drive with the manual
Decent comfort for a small car
Touch-screen audio control
Sluggish at take-off
Smaller rear cargo area, though the rear seat room makes up for it