During a recent press event, we took a short drive in the all-new 2015 Honda Fit, the Japanese automaker’s latest entry into the fast-growing subcompact segment. The 2015 Fit was introduced at NAIAS and it is an extremely important segment for Honda and has long been one they been a dominate player in. We found the next generation Honda Fit to be very comparable to the Nissan Versa Note, which we just completed driving and will have a full review of soon.
- Manufacturer: Honda
- Year, Model: 2015 Fit 5DR EX
- Class: Subcompact
- Powertrain: 1.5L 4cyl, 6spd
- Base Price: $17,435
- MSRP as tested: $18,225
- Availability: Very Soon
The subcompact segment has long been ignored in the U.S. as a small, niche market meant only for entry-level buyers and uber-environmentalists. In the past couple of years, however, the segment has grown quickly with many entries eschewing the usual “shoebox with wheels” paradigm for a more upscale aim with better driving dynamics and higher engine output.
Although the subcompact segment still focuses on a low price point and high fuel economy, the cost-effectiveness of small displacement, high-output engines has changed what is possible here and the new Honda Fit showscases this well. During their presentation of the vehicle over a sponsored meal at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Driving Experience (RMDE), the latest annual driving event organized by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), Honda compared the Fit to the Versa and Versa Note on several counts. Having recently completed a week-long test drive of the Versa Note, we were eager to put those comparisons to the test in hands-on driving.
Our chance came during a half-hour drive from the hotel where RMDE was headquartered to a race track where our day of track driving would begin. That highway driving experience, along with some climbing around for measurement, showed that Honda wasn’t fibbing.
The front seats were comfortable and had good adjustment, even for a tall person like myself. Amazingly, the back seats, with the front seats adjusted to fit my six-foot, three-inch frame, still had knee room to spare – comparable to the Versa Note. Something that, two years ago, was unheard of in the subcompact, five-door segment.
On the road, the 2015 Fit is a nice driver with the low-speed “oomph” that Honda is known for. While the Honda Fit with the 130 horsepower, 1.5-liter dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine using i-VTEC through its four cylinders won’t win many drag races, in a car this small, it’s a sporty powerplant. Especially with the six-speed manual transmission as we drove it. The drive-by-wire throttle system doesn’t hurt either, but does require that you learn the timing for shifting as a bit of an adjustment.
All together, our impression of the 2015 Honda Fit was good. It drives well, has bearable highway noise, includes some great features like LaneWatch with its right-hand viewing camera for lane changes, and a nice interior fit and trim for the money. At well under $19,000 as we drove it, the 2015 Fit is a great bargain for the roominess and versatility it offers.
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