Make us your home page
Instagram

The Daily Drivers: 2015 Honda Fit EX-L is better all around

For 2015, Honda has completely redesigned the Fit, which already is one of the most versatile subcompacts on the market. Big changes often can spell trouble of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" variety, but Honda has managed to give the Fit more style and more cabin space all while upgrading the car's powertrain and chassis.

Appearance: This new Fit, the third generation, still carries the car's familiar wedge shape, which has been refined to make it look more like a grownup car and less like a quirky subcompact. Bold lines now crease the body to give it more character. It's enhanced by a more modern chrome-trimmed black grille and sleek headlights. From the rear, the Fit now sports Volvo-like vertical taillights that are integrated with the rear hatch. The effect is sharp and sporty. Our top-of-the-line EX-L with Navi came with five-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels that also added a sophisticated touch, as did the Midnight Plum Pearl, which we found to be a refreshing change from the primary colors common in so many small cars.

Performance: This new model is shorter than its predecessor by 1.6 inches, yet the wheelbase is longer by 1.2. It's also incrementally wider. To us, the end result is a car that feels more stable on the road. The Fit comes with Honda's new "Earth Dreams" 1.5-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder, which puts out 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. The car never feels underpowered, even in interstate driving, and returns an estimated 32 mpg in the city and 38 highway. There are two new transmission options: manual which now has a sixth gear, and a CVT (boo!). Like many CVTs mated to small engines, things can get noisy on high revs. The Fit has three driving modes: Eco, Sport or Normal, which adjust the throttle settings. (We both found Eco to be a bit too tame.) The electronic steering is light and responsive, and the ride surprisingly compliant even on rough surfaces. Overall, the Fit is fun to drive, especially when maneuvering in crowded parking lots or congested city streets.

Interior: The passenger volume has increased by 4.9 cubic feet, which is most noticeable in the rear where head- and legroom are comfortable even for adults. (The tradeoff: The cargo space has decreased slightly.) The Fit now has available features such as leather-trimmed and heated seats and a sunroof. There's a lot of plastic but none of it feels cheap. We're fans of old-school buttons and rotary controls, which can be used without looking away from the road. That's why we don't like touch-sensitive controls — like the slider for the volume control — on the 7-inch screen. It's better to use the steering wheel controls. Lyra found that the voice commands take patience — the system can be slow and seems repetitive. The strength of the Fit's interior remains the Magic Seat, which allows to you to fold up the rear seat bottoms or put the seat backs down. This gives you lots of cargo options.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Features: New standard features in all Fit models include auto on-off headlights, Bluetooth and backup camera.

Color: Midnight Plum Pearl gives the car a sophisticated look.

Magic Seat: A great use: Fold one side down and stack your kids' backpacks.

Lyra Solochek

Not startling: There's a gentle chirp (a la Acura) instead of a loud honk when setting the alarm.

Visibility: Good view all around. Front triangle openings help.

Cargo space: Low cargo deck, Magic Seat for ample storage space.

The bottom line: Fully loaded at less that $22K, great gas mileage and lots of cargo and passenger space. In short, it's a better Fit, and it's due out in dealerships any day now.









2015

Honda Fit EX-L with Navi

Price: $16,315 base start (manual transmission), $21,590 as tested

Powertrain: 1.5-liter DOHC 16-valve i-VTEC direct injection 4-cylinder, CVT automatic transmission, FWD

Horsepower: 130 at 6,600 rpm

Torque: 114 pound-feet at 4,600 rpm

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 99.6

Length, 160

Seats: 5

Fuel economy:

32 miles per gallon city, 38 mpg highway

Safety features: airbags and curtains, ABS, brake assist, electronic brake distribution, vehicle stability assist, ACE body structure, daylight running lights, rearview camera, Lane Watch passenger side camera

Website:

automobiles.honda.com/2015-fit/

Note: Complete details have not yet been released.

The Daily Drivers: 2015 Honda Fit EX-L is better all around 05/27/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 29, 2014 11:22am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park

    Business

    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers

    Business

    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Banking

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]