When the bright Mystic Yellow Honda Fit arrived in my driveway for the week, I have to admit, I wasn’t too excited. I had just finished a fun week with the 431hp 2015 BMW M4, and now had to get into the 130hp compact car. It was a bit of a let down to say the least. After a week with the new Fit, I had received a major attitude adjustment. The new Fit is nothing like the outgoing compact it replaces. It gets a complete makeover and is one of the best small compacts on the market.
What’s new for 2015?
The Honda Fit took a year off and comes back completely redesigned with more room inside, a new engine and transmissions, new technology and improved fuel economy. It’s also safer than the outgoing model.
2015 Honda Fit EX features
This week we’re evaluating the mid-range 5-Door 2015 Honda Fit EX ($18,380 including destination) model that is all-new for 2015. For this price, the new 5-door Fit came with a 1.5-liter direct injection engine that produces 130 horsepower and came mated to a smooth-shifting 6-speed manual transmission. It features 16-in alloy wheels, Honda Lane Watch, SMS Text Message function and push button start. Outside it sports a Mystic Yellow exterior paint and black cloth interior (but keep in mind the photos in this article show a red car – the Honda press photos).
The cabin is utilitarian and everything “fits” perfectly, the controls and instruments are intuitive and easy to navigate. The new Fit benefits from upgraded materials on the inside with more soft-touch surfaces. From the front seat, the small compact doesn’t feel so small and there is good visibility outside which is ideal for a city commuter.
The new Fit really excels is in its roomy interior. The first time we stepped inside, we could feel the difference that Honda made when they stretched the wheelbase. For those wanting to carry a few friends around town, the backseat gets a major improvement of an impressive 4.8-inches of additional legroom. With 39.3 inches of rear legroom, Fit now has as much or more room in the back as some mid-size sedans.
The Fit is only offered in a five-door hatchback body style and that suits most millennial buyers just fine. The rear hatch offers lots of flexibility and cargo-carrying ability. Fit uses a 60/40 split rear seat that folds flat and the seat bottoms flip up to accommodate things like bicycles (with the front wheels removed) and other outdoor recreation equipment. Fit would also be ideal for those who own dogs and take them on weekend outings. The Fit’s front passenger seat also folds flat to accommodate longer items.
The new engine is still 1.5-liters, but it now produces 130 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. The old engine mustered only 117 hp and 106 lb ft. It gets an EPA rated for 29/37 mpg city/highway when coupled with the new 6-speed manual that replaces the old 5-speed gearbox. That’s a big improvement over the outgoing model’s 27/33 city/highway.
The best way to describe the new Fit’s driving dynamics is quick and agile. This subcompact may be the highest on the fun-to drive meter as any in its class. We spent lots of time on mountain roads and attacking the curves this week. The new suspension and chassis upgrades were felt the moment we pressed the subcompact hard in the curves. The 5-door remained relatively flat and body roll kept to a minimum.
The new 1.5-liter engine responded much differently than expected. The powerplant gets a 13hp increase over the outgoing model which doesn’t sound like much, but an 11 percent increase made a big difference in performance. We were easily able to power up the interstate into the mountains west of Denver at altitude, and the Fit had plenty of power.
The new Honda Fit was a pleasure to drive and the new 6-speed gearbox shifts as good as any we’ve driven. A new CVT automatic is available for the new Fit, but for those who are driving enthusiasts, the new 6-speed manual is the way to go. It replaces the previous 5-speed gearbox and features short throws and crisp gear changes making it a joy to shift and keeps driver engagement at a peak.
The new 2015 Honda Fit is an affordable, well-equipped, amazingly roomy, versatile, and exceptionally fun to drive subcompact. If you want a fuel efficient commuter that’s easy to maneuver in traffic and features lots of cargo carrying ability for recreation, take a look at this new hatchback. For those with active lifestyles, it could be an ideal fit.