2015 Honda Fit review with video
Base price: $14,500 + taxes
As tested: $17,400 + taxes
Highway fuel economy: 5.5 L/100 kms
City fuel economy: 7 L/100 kms (4 cyl)
Competition: Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Nissan Versa Note
Made in: Mexico
Honda has totally redesigned its subcompact offering for 2015. The Fit had already built a solid following in the Canadian market because of its thoughtful use of space, amazing fuel economy and strong resale value. Honda has improved upon an already great car and has kept the price point pretty much the same. They’ve done this largely because production was moved from Japan to Mexico and that’s cut down on shipping and production costs. The interesting personal note about this car is that we actually owned a 2009 Honda Fit until last year. And while we loved this car for zipping around town, with a kid on the way, we just didn’t think it would be enough vehicle for a growing family. But let’s take a look at the brand new 2015 Honda Fit to see if it could actually work for family life.
Performance: Honda has done a lot with this car including a brand new 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. The Fit’s new continuously variable automatic transmission has done wonders for its smoothness. My in-laws own an older generation Fit and I find their automatic transmission a bit clunky. Big improvements there. And our old Fit was a manual, which I thought really brought the car to life but could’ve used a sixth gear for highway cruising speeds. Honda has delivered there as well. And all of this new technology weighs a lot less too. So the Fit has improved upon its already solid fuel economy by around 15% (5.5 L/100 kms highway, 7 L/100 kms city). For a 4-cylinder subcompact, this car is zippy and fun.
Interior: One of the big reasons I chose our old Fit was because of its surprising feeling of spaciousness and seemingly infinite configurations for fitting cargo. At 6’3, leg room up front and head room for me was a non-issue. And Honda’s “magic seat” configurations allowed for an incredible amount of stuff to be carted around in this little car. Honda’s designers obviously knew when they had something good because they haven’t changed this part of the Fit at all. The rear seats fold flat to create an amazing amount of cargo space and because the gas tank is positioned under the front seats rather than further back in the vehicle, the amount of room in both the trunk and rear seats is surprisingly good. So for families with one or two kids who are already in front facing car seats, booster seats or out of car seats all together, this is a pretty good place to be for short drives around the city. Rear facing child seats are a different story. The front passenger seat has to slide forward so much to accommodate a rear-facing car seat that under a foot of legroom from the front of the seat to the glove compartment is left – leaving only the shortest of passengers comfortable. This is largely why we sold our old Fit. Meanwhile, the standardized Family Wheels trunk test on this car wasn’t great. All of our test cars will have a fold-up stroller, backpack, diaper bag, beach ball and two bags of groceries piled into the trunk to see how cargo room compares. The Fit, not surprisingly given its size, was at full capacity. I guess the dog is staying at home!
However, there are other improvements to the Fit’s new interior. The base DX model ($14,500) includes things like bluetooth connectivity, a 5-inch touch screen entertainment system, USB connectivity and a rear back-up camera. The mid-range LX model gives you (and this is a big, new addition for Canadian families) heated seats and a larger 7-inch touch screen. And going up to the top of the line EX-L navi ($22,500), you’ll be treated to leather seats (another first for the Fit), a sun roof, navigation and a push button start. Leather would be a solid recommendation for families in this car because we found the cloth seats in our Fit captured dog hair and spills worse than any other cloth material we’ve seen. The cloth in the new Fit seems the same.
Safety: Sometimes these little cars can feel like you’re driving around in a tin can. The Fit feels solid. And the Insurance Institute for Highway safety seems to agree, it has named the new Fit a top safety pick for 2015 with a top overall rating. All models come standard with ABS, brake force distribution and traction control. All wheel drive, however, is not an option on the Fit.
The takeaway: Let’s be honest, the Fit was never designed as a family car. In fact, our pre-kid lifestyle was far more in-line with who this car is marketed to. But driving around in it for the day, both Devon and I really missed our old Fit. It’s fun. It’s zippy. It’s a breeze to park. It sips on fuel. And its new redesign for 2015 has made it better than ever. It kind of made me feel like we should’ve never sold our old Fit and held onto it as a second car. Yes, it’s more expensive than its competition but both Kelly Blue Book and Canadian Black Book have given the Fit top marks for resale value. Rear facing car seats are tough in the Fit, though. And once your kids start playing hockey or getting taller than you – you know it’s just a matter of time – this car is going to get pretty tight in the back seat. But for an urban family that’s light on gear, the new Fit could be worth a look.
Family Wheels pros: Clever seating configurations, great new standard features on base, class-leading economy
Family Wheels cons: rear facing child seats a tight fit, cheap plastic surfaces in some areas, noisy at highway speed
Family Wheels target: 1 (maybe 2) kid families, light on gear and don’t need much rear leg room
Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 2.5/5
Family Wheels driveability score: 3/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5
~ Thanks to Village Honda in Calgary for loaning us this test vehicle for the day. Let us know what you thought of this review and what else you’d like to see in future reviews by leaving a comment below. And make sure to like FamilyWheels.ca on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!