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1. What’s new for 2015?
The Honda Fit receives a new platform, engine and transmission for 2015. It also has a new look. While the Fit appears bigger, it’s actually 1.6 inches shorter and only 0.3 inches wider than the previous model. Honda increased the use of high-strength steel for a more rigid feel. The new four-cylinder engine has direct injection, variable timing control and dual overhead cams. Rear-seat room has increased, and cabin materials have been upgraded.
2. How much does it cost (with Trim info)?
The base LX starts at $15,650 with a manual gearbox, $16,450 for the continuously variable transmission (CVT). The EX model starts at $17,560, or $18,360 with CVT, and the EX-L begins at $19,925. Adding SiriusXM Radio and Navigation brings the starting price tag to $20,925. You’ll pay an $820 destination fee, plus the usual costs for tax, license, registration and options. Kelly Blue Book advises that the going price for a 2015 EX with CVT is in the $18,477 – $18,930 range, so don’t anticipate getting a bargain price on this popular vehicle.
3. What options or trim level is best for me?
The 2015 Fit LX is generously outfitted for a base model, including rearview camera, 5-inch audio display screen, A/C, remote keyless entry, automatic headlights and much more. The mid-level EX adds enough desirable features to make it our pick, including larger wheels, paddle shifters (on the CVT), Honda LaneWatch for a right-side camera view when you indicate a right turn, upgraded audio, one-touch moonroof and a 7-inch display screen. Fewer buyers will feel the need to choose the upscale EX-L variants.
4. What engine do you recommend?
No choices here, as the130-hp (SAE Net), 1.5-Liter, 16-Valve, DOHC i-VTEC 4-Cylinder Engine with Direct Injection is the only powerplant available. The bigger decision is whether to choose the manual transmission or the CVT. Unless you are a driving enthusiast, the CVT is certainly adequate for daily driving and is more fuel efficient than the manual. The paddle shifters add a little pizazz, and the larger 16-inch alloy wheels smooth the ride.
5. How is the fuel economy?
Excellent. The manual transmission provides 29 city/37 highway MPG, and the CVT gives you 33/41 on the LX, 32/38 on the higher trim levels. That’s an improvement of 2 to 6 MPG over last year’s model. Even though the new engine is less thirsty, it’s also more powerful, providing an additional 13 horsepower this year. The Eco-Assist ECON Button adjusts transmission and other settings to squeeze the last mile out of every gallon of regular unleaded fuel.
6. How does the vehicle handle?
For a small five-door, the Fit offers a controlled ride with little roll. The ride is almost fun, save for the numb steering feel of electric steering. However, the electric steering is motion adaptive, which prompts you to turn the wheel if Vehicle Stability Assist detects the car deviating from its intended path. The 2015 Fit lacks a rear anti-roll bar, making it a little less neutral on the turns but still besting the competition in this size and price class for playful spirit.
7. Are the controls easy to use?
The instruments are lit in blue and easy to see. The major controls are all easy to operate and well within reach. The standard 5-inch audio touchscreen uses a high-definition LCD for sharp graphics. The paddle shifters for the CVT work well and are convenient to use, though folks accustomed to driving a stick will certainly favor the manual transmission.
8. Is it comfortable?
The Fit’s second row seats gained an incredible 4.8 inches of forward space in 2015, making entry, exit and sitting much more comfortable. Honda increased the quota for soft-touch materials in the cabin, accented by attractive silver trim. Bucket seats up front are well bolstered for good support. The rear “Magic Seat” is a 60/40 split bench that folds flat into the floor, thereby increasing cargo space by 4.9 cubic feet more than that in the 2014 model.
9. What about safety?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2015 Fit a Top Safety Pick, just below the highest award. Its only weakness was an Acceptable rating from the small overlap front test — all other results were Good. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration give the 2015 Fit a 5-Star Overall Rating and 5 stars in all individual tests except for the 4-star rollover test result.
10. How’s the reliability and resale value?
J.D. Power and Associates gave the 2014 Fit 4 out of 5 stars for reliability, and a full 5-Star Power Circle Rating. The new Fit should do at least as well, presaging a car with the usual Honda virtues of high reliability and good resale value. The new design for 2015 made a good car better, so we suspect the latest model will retain its value well over the long haul.
11. What other models should I consider?
Three other good cars in the same segment are the Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta and Nissan Versa Note. The Fit’s combination of cargo space, horsepower, fuel economy and low sticker price makes it a very competitive choice in its segment, and may even catch the eyes of shoppers looking at larger cars, such as the Mazda3 and the Dodge Dart.