Recently, I needed a new car, and we bought a 2015 Honda Fit. I love my Honda Fit. They should have named the car the Honda Reno, because it is the biggest little car in the world.
The 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid we had was getting tired and I figured that it was time to sell it and get as much out of it as we could. While searching for a new car, I wanted something that was economical, roomy, and dependable. Hondas are obviously dependable, and the Fit is the smallest Honda available in the Americas. I had driven several other small cars as rentals, like the Nissan Versa, Mazda3, and the Chevy Spark. The Fit was different. It had a bunch of stuff that the other cars didn’t have. So, here is my review of the 2015 Honda Fit. And this is after four months of owning it. Not renting it, not getting a model to drive for a week, actually using the car daily.
I bought the LX, the cheap version. It doesn’t have leather, push button start, navigation, fancy rims, or the big touch screen audio system. But it still has a backup camera, blue tooth, power everything (well, not the seats), and audio controls on the steering wheel. It also has a manual latch to open the back hatch, so it can open even if the battery dies. True, I had to buy all-weather floor mats because it didn’t come with them, but that was a hell of a lot cheaper than buying the higher trim level. Also, I would have bought those floor mats anyway.
I’ll admit, the thing does have some flaws, but most of them are issues with the Fit in general. First, the Fit only has one intermittent wiper setting, and it is never the right speed; and only the driver can push a button to lock and unlock the doors, the passenger in the front can only open their door. The other flaw is the cup-holders. They are located between the dash and gear shift and pretty much hard to access while driving. I wish Honda would have located the cup holders next to the E-brake. A minor annoyance is the lack of a center armrest. It isn’t that big of a deal because I usually drive with my left hand, but it is a tad annoying.
Now, the car has a whole bunch a cool features. I mentioned the back up camera, plus it has a cup holder to the left of the steering wheel. It kind of blocks the vent there, but during the winter, the defroster keeps my tea mug nice and toasty warm. The stereo system has a nice big screen for it, but it still has actual buttons to change stations. The touch screen is hard to deal with when driving. Besides, the having the controls on the steering wheel make it nice and easy to change stations.
I like the climate control set up too. It has knobs with blue and red painted on them. No digital temperature control. I have complete control over what the system is doing, I like it. If I have the defroster on when I drive by the dump, I can quickly switch the system over to recirculate.
The Continually Variable Transmission isn’t all that bad. The Nissan Altima I drove had a similar transmission. It gives you great gas mileage, but makes you feel disconnected from the road. Not in the Fit. It works just like an automatic, but better. They programmed it to “shift” which is nice. I still wish I could have gotten the six-speed manual, but the Dashing Wife can’t drive stick. Besides, the CVT gets better gas mileage.
The car is quite zippy to drive, but gets great gas mileage. I can usually average over 40 mpg doing 70 on the freeway. Doing some mixed driving during my daily commute (with some aggressiveness trying to make the yellow lights and get around the slow bastards on the onramps) the last two weeks I averaged 32 mpg. Usually I get about 35 mpg, when I don’t drive like a jerk. In another odd twist, the LX version gets slightly better gas mileage than the EX versions, mainly because it weighs 80 to 100 lbs less than the other two cars. Now, I haven’t done any hard driving on mountain roads to see how it handles, but it does do pretty well getting around traffic in the city and on the freeway. I can also take the 25 mph turn for the freeway onramp at 50, if I cut the corner just right. I managed to keep pace with the BMW 3-series I was following (which I am sure was taking it easy)
Some reports say there is a lot of road noise, the ride is stiff, and the motor struggles up hills. I really haven’t noticed any difference in road noise between this car, my stolen 2002 Honda CRV, my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid (which I sold), and the 2013 Mazda 5. I can talk to my wife and kids while driving 65 on a country road. I don’t find the ride all that stiff. I often take speed humps at 25 mph, and it isn’t that jarring. The usual speed bumps aren’t any worse in this car than any other car that isn’t a Cadillac.
The place where the car really shines is on the inside. The Honda Fit actually has more interior room than any other subcompact car. I have read reports that if you are tall, the front seats can feel a bit cramped, but I am 5’8” and I fit just fine. Also, the LX version (the cheap version) gets an extra 1.5” of headroom in the front (no moonroof). The back seat actually has more room than the front. Oddly enough the LX has 1.9 cubic feet of passenger space than the higher class versions. With the rear seats folded down there is 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room. You can get a tree in the back seat.
With the seats up, I can get a wife in the passenger seat, two kids in car seats in the back, two dogs at their feet, and a bunch of crap in the back to support a family of four for an overnight trip, including a dog kennel. Even with the seats up, I can also easily get eight folding chairs in the back part.
The rear seats fold down flat, and I mean really flat. You can get something 5 feet long in the back with the seats down, like a box containing a 7.5 foot fake Christmas tree. Heck, I got the tree box in the back with only one seat down, and a baby in the other seat. I can get my bike in the back without disassembling it. If I want to get something tall in the car, I can fold up the rear seats and I can get a bike in the back (with the front wheel off). I could probably get a big flat screen TV (are there any other type of TV’s that aren’t flat screen anymore) in the back with no problem. Let’s put it this way, the Dashing Son, who is 48” tall, can walk fully upright through the back of the car.
If I need to get something long into the car, I can fold the front seat back to lay on top the rear seat and then I would have enough room to get 8 foot long things into the car (like a 2X4 or PVC pipe). The 2015 Honda Fit also has the feature that my old CRV had, that the front seats will fold down and line up with the back seats to make a bed-like arrangement. You have to remove the head rest, but it is a nice feature to have when you need to take a nap during your lunch break at work.
Overall, this is a great car, with a great reputation. The 2014 Honda Fit had perfect scores in all categories in Consumer Reports. So hopefully the new version maintains that reputation. I have owned quite a few cars in my life. I think the current count is eight, plus another three or four cars I didn’t own but drove a lot. The 2015 Honda Fit is quickly becoming my second favorite car, over my 1997 T-bird.
Why only my second favorite? Because nothing is going to take the place of my 1956 Chevy.