Honda Fit: 2015 AUTOMOBILE All-Star
Perhaps the world's most aptly named car.
Call it a case of reverse sticker shock. The new five-door 2015 Honda Fit EX goes for just $18,225 all-in. That's about the cost of, oh, maybe the paint job on the $279,345 Lamborghini Huracán. Yet both machines stand proudly as 2015 All-Stars. That says much about the breadth of our taste in wheels -- if it's cool and superbly executed, an econocar can be as admiration-worthy as a high-octane exotic -- but even more about the Fit. Quite simply, you're looking at one of the world's most remarkable automobiles.
"No way," you say. "What could possibly be remarkable about a car I could buy for less than the 85-inch TV I want for my man cave?" Ah, but that's precisely the point. It's one thing to build a narrowly focused supercar for blank-check billionaires, but quite another to craft a sweet-driving, beautifully detailed, highly utilitarian transport at a price even we lowly 99-percenters can afford.
For the all-new 2015 car, the third-generation Fit, Honda has pulled off some magic worthy of David Blaine. Overall length is reduced by 1.6 inches, yet rear-seat legroom is up a very noticeable 4.8 inches. The unibody is stiffer than before, yet 57 pounds lighter. Total passenger volume climbs by almost 5 cubic feet. "We already knew Honda could do a car like this," associate Web editor Eric Weiner said, "but now it's doing it even better. The Fit is basically a clown car, when you think about how much stuff you can cram inside."
The powertrain makes significant strides for 2015. The 1.5-liter, DOHC 16-valve four gains direct injection, helping to boost output from 117 hp and 106 lb-ft to 130 hp and 114 lb-ft. A CVT with shift paddles is now available, but the transmission you want is the new six-speed manual -- a gear-changing jewel that embarrasses the gearboxes in cars costing three times as much. "This shifter is sensational," associate Web editor Joey Capparella said. "It shows that Honda's still got it." Weiner agreed: "Man, is it fun to toss into a corner and downshift with this row-your-own gearbox. And there's usable power in all six gears."
Chassis refinements include uprated tires and new rear shocks. Our testers universally praised the ride quality of the 2015 Honda Fit -- one of the few shortcomings on the previous car.
Importantly, the new 2015 Honda Fit doesn't skimp on sought-after amenities. Standard EX equipment includes Bluetooth phone connectivity (with audio streaming), a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display, keyless entry with pushbutton start, a blind-spot camera system, and a power moonroof. Leather seats and navigation are optional. Interior materials are unsurpassed in this price range (or even in a class or two above), and quality is conspicuous. Nothing about the Fit feels "budget."
To build an automobile this good for $25,000 would be an achievement. That Honda has done it at $18,000 makes the Fit a shining All-Star. Capparella nicely summed up our collective opinions: "I recommend the Fit to nearly everyone who asks me for car advice." Hey, not even Lambos get endorsements like that.
Read about the other 2015 AUTOMOBILE All-Stars:
2015 Honda Fit Specifications
- Base price: $16,315-$20,590
- As-tested price: $18,225
- Engine: 1.5-liter DOHC 16-valve I-4/130 hp @ 6,600 rpm, 114 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
- Transmissions: 6-speed manual, CVT
- Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD hatchback
- EPA Mileage (city/highway/combined): 29/37/32 mpg (manual), 32-33/38-41/35-36 (CVT)
Click here to read about all the 2015 AUTOMOBILE All-Star awards.