The Honda Fit has been one of our favorite subcompacts for a while now, and the redesigned 2015 Honda Fit maintains the “less is more” philosophy of the current car while upping its fuel economy and technology quotient. The 2015 Honda Fit that debuted today at the 2014 Detroit auto show is now well-equipped to compete in the subcompact class thanks to its 41 mpg highway rating, unrivaled amount of cargo space, and new, less dorky styling.
The new 2015 Honda Fit retains a diminutive footprint, with a slightly longer wheelbase but a shorter overall length. Honda’s space-efficient center-mounted fuel tank layout remains as well, making for a remarkably spacious interior that actually has more rear seat space and overall passenger volume than before. Total cargo volume of 52.7 cubic feet with the “magic” rear seats folded is down slightly (by just 4.6 cubic feet), but still far surpasses anything else in the subcompact class—not to mention a few compact crossovers.
Fuel economy was one of the few areas where the previous Fit lagged behind the competition, but Honda has solved that problem by dropping one of its Earth Dreams powertrains into the 2015 Fit’s engine bay. In this case, it’s a 1.5-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder with 130 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. That’s 11 more horsepower than before, and fuel economy shoots up from the previous Fit’s 28/35 mpg (city/highway) to an estimated 33/41 mpg rating for 2015 Fit models equipped with the new continuously variable transmission (it replaces a five-speed automatic). Fortunately, a six-speed manual is still available for those who like to shift their own, although its fuel economy most likely won’t match that of the CVT model.
The looks of the U.S.-spec 2015 Honda Fit don’t come as too much of a surprise since it is nearly identical to the Japanese-spec model revealed a few months ago. Although the overall Jellybean shape remains, the proportions are less awkward on this new model mostly thanks to a less bulbous front end. A strong character line rises along the side for a wedge-like profile, and the vertical taillights add some visual interest to the rear hatch area.
The interior gets a complete makeover as well and is much more upscale than the current Fit’s sparsecockpit. Materials look and feel good for an entry-level hatchback, and the current Fit’s logical ergonomics don’t seem to have been compromised despite a heavy helping of new standard and optional equipment. Honda emphasizes this uptick in feature content for the 2015 Fit, with stuff like Bluetooth and a backup camera as standard, and more premium features such as pushbutton start, a sunroof, heated seats, leather, and Honda’s LaneWatch camera display as optional. The only aspect of the interior that we’re wary of is Honda’s new touchscreen infotainment system that debuted on the 2014 Honda Civic and is optional on the 2015 Fit. It does away with buttons in favor of capacitive touch controls and responds to touch commands like scrolling, pinching, and squeezing for various onscreen functions, and we'll need to try it ourselves to see whether it's distracting for drivers.
Honda is hoping that the redesigned 2015 Honda Fit will take the subcompact segment by storm, especially now that a new plant in Celaya, Mexico affords greater production capacity.Given the company’s claim that Fit sales have beenlimited by supply for the past few years, this new Fit—and the expected hybrid and crossover variants to come—could be a big hit for Honda.