Honda’s 2015 subcompact is excellent Fit

The 2015 Honda Fit, in mystic yellow, shone brightly at Shanahan’s Steakhouse. (Bud Wells photos)

The 2015 Honda Fit, in mystic yellow, shone brightly at Shanahan’s Steakhouse. (Bud Wells photos)

The little Honda Fit was a standout among the Lincolns and Audis and Chryslers on Sunday evening at Shanahan’s Steakhouse in southeast Denver.

Standout for the fact it was finished in mystic yellow, brighter than the others, and, also, it appeared to be the only 2015 model in the valet parking area. It’s no misfit.

For the ’15 model year, the Fit EX five-door hatchback rolls with increased power and efficiency and its interior is more spacious (measured in fractions of inches). The rake of its windshield has been lengthened to line up with the sloped hood for a better profile.

Parking the Fit is no problem, for the subcompact is one of the shorter cars on the market.

At Shanahan’s, Jan and I joined Brent and Tina Wells, Bill and Kathy Allen, Dale and Sandy Wells, Kurt and Tammy Wells and Kim Parker for dinner.

I drove the first Fit to come to Colorado, an ’07 model in June 2006. Little has changed with what I said about it nine years ago: “Hitting the Honda showrooms a few weeks back was a funny looking little car with few apparent familial ties to the stylish Civic. The 2007 Fit, a small hatchback from Japan, has a sloped nose with two big round headlights, small triangular windows at the base of the A pillars and an abruptly chopped-off rear hatch.”

The original Honda Fit, an ’07 model introduced in 2006.

The original Honda Fit, an ’07 model introduced in 2006.

Within four years, the overall length had been increased from 157.4 inches to 161.6, and the wheelbase from 96.5 inches to 98.4.

For the 2015 model year, the Fit’s wheelbase has gained another 1.2 inches, while its overall length has rolled back to an even 160 inches. The expanded wheelbase and snugged-up engine compartment lend a bit more space to the passenger compartment in the Honda. Honda has always bragged that it accommodates comfortably three adults in the rear seat; I say keep those shoulders squeezed in.

The Fit is still powered by a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine; today’s version, however, has been improved with increased thermal efficiency and minimal friction through advancements which Honda refers to as “Earth Dreams Technology.” Output has been increased to 130 horsepower from 109 nine years ago, and maximum fuel mileage has reached into the high 30s. The engine performs somewhat noisily.

“Earth Dreams” engine technology.

“Earth Dreams” engine technology.

The review model I drove the past week was equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission; also available at an $800 price bump is a continuously variable transmission. Neither is quick, both are very efficient. We averaged 35.1 miles per gallon, boosted some by the 120-mile round-trip to Shanahan’s and back home. Good-looking alloy wheels are shod with Bridgestone Turanza 185/55R16 tires.

The new Fit is Japanese-based Honda’s first model for the U.S. to be assembled in Mexico.

Touchscreen audio controls aren’t super friendly; there are no audio knobs at the center stack, though button controls at the steering wheel are simple enough.

A new safety feature (LaneWatch), activated with the right-turn signal, gives an on-screen view of the car’s blind-side area.

Even with that, a power moonroof and rearview camera, the Fit’s sticker price remains a reasonable $18,225. The hatchback’s ride quality is among the best of subcompacts.

 

Here are the ’15 Honda Fit 5-door EX specifications:

  • Wheelbase 99 inches
  • Length 160 inches
  • Width 67 inches
  • Height 60 inches
  • Curb Weight 2,573 pounds
  • Track 58.3 inches front, 58 rear
  • Ground Clearance 5.9 inches
  • Turn Circle 35.1 feet
  • Drivetrain Front-wheel-drive
  • Engine 1.5-liter 4-cylinder
  • Horsepower/Torque 130/114
  • Transmission 6-speed manual
  • Steering electric power
  • Fuel mileage estimate 29/37
  • Fuel mileage average 35.1
  • Fuel Tank 10.6 gallons
  • Wheels 16-inch
  • Cargo Volume 16.6 cubic feet
  • Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles basic, 5/60,000 powertrain

Competitors Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Mazda2, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris

Assembly Plant Celaya, Mexico

Parts Content Mexico 70%, U.S./Canadian 5%

Base Price of Lowest Model $15,525; Base Price of Review Model $18,225; Destination Charge $790; Sticker Price $18,225.

The Fit at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, near downtown Denver, not to be confused with Shanahan’s.

The Fit at Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, near downtown Denver, not to be confused with Shanahan’s.

The Fit’s alloy wheels are impressive.

The Fit’s alloy wheels are impressive.

Taillights add prominence to the rear of Fit.

Taillights add prominence to the rear of Fit.