Shawn L. Ciers
The newly redesigned 2015 Honda Fit provides the appeal of urban social acceptance in a subcompact vehicle while offering significant capabilities with functional interior space. To test the range of such attributes I decided to go for a bike ride and placed my large 20” Marin Urban Commuter in the rear. Astonishingly, the Fit allowed for the entire frame and wheels to fit comfortably without having to remove one component!
Based on a next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, the Fit’s interior presents owners with the same desired results as a smaller CUV; to achieve the maximum amount of passenger amenities without sacrificing total comfort and safety. The additional benefit of Honda’s LaneWatch technology introduces the added bonus of awareness of obstacles close to the vehicle when attempting a safe lane change or simply checking for clearance on the passenger side.
Honda’s 7” high-resolution WVGA touchscreen with the rearview camera delivered a unique interface to users looking for heightened connectivity and user-friendly multi-media interaction. The simple configuration of hands-free devices is driven by HondaLink Next Generation, which is currently only compatible with the iPhone5 and newer models. But competitive smartphones and mobile devices are still operable using Bluetooth and USB connectivity through the Fit’s multiple connection slots. The Pandora app was my favorite of course.
Automotive Rhythms weekly test-drive was presented in the EX version with a 6-speed manual transmission and a neat 130-horsepower 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with Direct Injection. The little guy also churns out an acceptable 114 lb-ft of torque. The proven i-VTEC gave me the necessary get-up-and-go to handle commutes through and across the Maryland, DC and Virginia region. There were no great expectations on performance so I was rather satisfied with the daily drives. Remember, patience is a virtue. The standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control supported by a front MacPherson strut suspension proved to be fully capable for routine commuting. Coupled with 16-inch alloy wheels and Bridgestone Turanza EL470 all-season tires, the Fit sanctioned stress-free handling and sustainable maneuvering around town.
Size, fuel economy (37 mpg highway) and price make the Honda FIT a hit for potential buyers shopping in the subcompact market. With a MSRP of $15,525 and increasing to $20,800 for a fully loaded EX-L model, the price points are very attractive.