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. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]