ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: Hmm. I’m torn. I look back at my notes for the CVT-equipped version of the 2015 Honda Fit EX and seemed to like it. It feels plenty big inside without growing all that much when compared to its predecessor. It’s not bad to drive, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. But this six-speed Fit didn’t quite live up to its potential as an affordable, practical, fun hatch.
The bundling of features is frustrating. Want a manual-equipped car with navigation? Can’t let you do that, Dave, never mind that this car seems to have the same head unit as more luxe versions. That’s not a Honda-only thing by any means, though, so I can’t really hold it against the Fit.
Thing is, this car just isn’t as taut as I was hoping it would be. From the sloppiness of the shifter to the soft clutch, I feel like this could be tighter, sportier.
Honda -- you know the masses aren’t exactly snapping up manual-equipped cars. Far from it. So cars with sticks appeal to a certain subset of the driving population -- why not give ’em what they want, which is a more engaging all-around driving experience?
I’m not asking for a Honda Fit Si (although…maybe I am?); 130 hp is plenty. Still, I feel like the fun, cheap Mazda 2 wouldn’t be such a bad vehicle to emulate when it comes to suspension and input feel.
Don’t get me wrong: This stick-equipped version is more fun to drive than the competent CVT version, but I’m not finding this to be much more compelling than a comparable Nissan Versa.
And that’s really too bad, because right now, it’s a good little car that could have been a great little car.
The 2015 Honda Fit EX comes in at a base price of $18,225.
SENIOR ROAD TEST EDITOR NATALIE NEFF: I have to echo Graham’s thoughts, but only to a point. He’s right; this car certainly didn’t live up to its potential as an affordable, practical, fun hatch. But I’d argue it’s every bit the affordable, practical hatch it set out to be. Manual tranny or not, I can’t think that Honda had any intention for this Fit to be fun.
As enthusiasts, we have the tendency to project the notion of fun on anything with a stick, and certainly if that shift-it-yourselfer is a hatchback, all the more proof said car should be a funmobile. It’s an inherent flaw in the way American enthusiasts interpret the automotive world. Where a European of modest means might look at a subcompact hatchback with a stick and see “affordable transportation,” we see “hot hatch.” The fact that this car is by no means fun is not a fault of the car but of our expectations.
There’s just no evidence that fun was anywhere in the thinking when this car was penned, built or sold. Between its mediocre 130-hp four-banger, 37-mpg freeway rating, bare-bones technology features and power moonroof, this EX model really represented a midlevel package aimed at folks who don’t care about things like hands-free connectivity but still desired a basic suite of comfort features in their ride.
I absolutely appreciate that the Fit still arguably boasts the most flexible interior in all of cardom. It’s one of the most important features I look for in a vehicle, car or truck. I also tend to favor smaller over bigger, so a car with this footprint AND this level of utility is a major bonus in my book. But at the end of the day, I still want SOME fun in the equation, too.
Now, if Honda ever DID decide to build a Fit Si, count me in!
What is it?The previous Honda Fit had been with us since the 2009 model year. Since then, Ford brought the Fiesta over from Europe (and subsequently refreshed it), Chevrolet launched its first real ...
The cloth seats in the 2015 Honda Fit EX are rather fitting for the price point.
EDITORIAL INTERN BRAD WILEY: For the love of all that is tactile and holy. As soon as my bottom touched the cloth seats in the 2015 Honda Fit EX, I took one glance at the center stack and cringed. My cumbersome mitts can never seem to adjust the volume. Erring on the side of caution and to my own dismay, I stuck to the wonderful wheel-mounted buttons. But has it really come down to this? Are we truly begrudging of the human connectivity in a vehicle that can classify as purely utilitarian? Yes. And I’ll explain why. On those dreaded hour-long morning commutes, you’re desperately searching for a tune to liven the blight that is detours and construction bliss. Something so simple, yet so pivotal, can truly draw out a reaction like giving up in disgust and listening to silence.
Now, I’ve been somewhat of a reborn Honda fan. Seeing the strong longevity and hearty consumer following, it’s hard to ignore what Honda is doing. But the Fit EX is far from my realm of DD’s. Adding to Graham’s point, the manual gearbox in the Fit seems rather wonky. The soft clutch is eerie -- it almost feels like a failing hydraulic clutch unit with no real friction zone. And the whimsical shifter reminds me of the cable linked systems used in circa 2004 Chevrolet Cavaliers/Pontiac Sunfires. The gating is just sloppy. Yes, it is a manual, but not really a true driver’s car. I’d rather source a used Ford Fiesta.
Getting down to the nitty gritty, the 2015 Honda Fit EX really is a solid vehicle, and for under $20K, the market isn’t really crawling with competitors.
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