Here at Autoweek, we like to keep our long-term fleet stocked with cutting-edge sheetmetal. So when it came time to find a new subcompact, we landed on the futuristic-looking 2015 Honda Fit. It’s all intakes and triangles, sharp angles and deep creases. The headlights are six-sided, but those aren’t hexagons, my friend—those are asymmetrical robot eyes.
That said, the high-tech feel doesn’t completely extend into our new long-termer’s interior. You always have to make compromises on the option sheet. With the
Fit, it was a choice of satellite radio with navigation, the latest and greatest HondaLink system and a CVT … or a six-speed manual transmission. Of course, we took the manual. Besides, we all have cellphones to access maps/directions, and a USB port comes standard. This did mean our alabaster-silver Fit EX rang in at a low-low price of $18,225. So there’s that.
The 2015 model year begins a third generation for the hatchback. The only engine option is a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder, making just 130 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. You’ll get a good look at the future, all right—it will be passing by very slowly. We took our Fit to the track and could only muster a 9.0-second sprint to 60 mph and a quarter-mile time of 16.8 seconds at 83.5 mph. It does, however, get 37 mpg on the highway. We drove our last one to Las Vegas for less than a double-down at the blackjack table.
The Fit wears MacPherson struts in front while a torsion-beam setup holds things down in back. It comes rolling on a set of 16-inch all-season Bridgestone tires, which were good for a 42-mph run through the slalom and 0.73-g result on the skidpad. Those numbers are about what we expect for a car with these tires, size and output.
The EX trim that we ended up with—while missing some high-tech highlights—does still come with a generous selection of standard modern features, including a 7-inch touchscreen radio, push-button start, steering wheel-mounted controls, a moonroof and Honda’s slick Lane- Watch feature that we liked so much on our long-term Accord. LaneWatch puts a wide-angle camera in the passenger mirror and transmits the view to the display screen when the turn signal is on, nearly eliminating the blind spot.
The 1.5L 4-cylinder engine has a DOHC head with i-VTEC+VTC valve and timing control plus direct fuel injection, the first use of such a system in a Honda subcompact.PHOTO BY AUTOWEEK
This Fit has more interior room than the last model, which was already relatively spacious. Most materials are soft touch, and all the important controls seem to be within reach. Sight lines are great with the extra glass in front of the side mirrors.
It is a safe little hatch, with all the modern features to keep you protected like vehicle stability assist, electronic brake distribution and brake assist, which slows the Fit down faster during a panic stop. The car also received
a five-star overall vehicle score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top safety pick.
When the Fit came to the U.S. in 2006 as a 2007 model, the subcompact market wasn’t nearly as crowded as it is today. Still, it was probably our favorite in a small class. Now there are nearly a dozen mini-hatches battling for dominance on our shores.
We don’t have a crystal ball, but we don’t need one. In one year’s time, we’ll have all the answers we could want.
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