Friday, July 17, 2015

2015 Honda Fit EX-L : A Roomy And Well-Equipped Subcompact

Highlight: The higher end trims are equipped with Honda’s signature LaneWatch lane changing system.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $21,745 (base model $16,470)

Seating Capacity: 4

Standard Safety Features: air bags; ABS; vehicle stability control; a traction control system; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment: 15-inch tires; a 6-speed manual transmission; air condition; cruise control; power windows; power door locks; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a 5-inch infortainment screen; and cloth seats

Upgraded Features on EX-L: 16-inch wheels; a 180 watt, 6-speaker system with HD and satellite radio; a 7-inch infotainment screen; Pandora compatibility; Honda LaneWatch departure system; a leather wrapped steering wheels and knobs; a rearview camera; pushbutton keyless starter system; an eco-assist fuel saving system switch; fog lights; leather trimmed seats; front heated seats; a power sunroof; center console with an armrest and storage department

Trim Levels:  

LX, EX and EXL

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 160-watt, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 mile warranty

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 mile warranty

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder/130-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 32-city/38-hwy

Suspension: MacPherson Strut (front); Torsion-Beam (rear)

What’s New: The third-generation was restyled for the 2015 model year.

Pros: The well-equipped Honda Fit is available in a variety of trims. While the Fit is classified as subcompact, the four door hatchback is quite roomy. In fact, it is roomy enough to carry around adults in the rear, with legroom to spare.

The Fit is available with either a manual or an automatic transmission.

Our well-equipped EX-L model with the navigation system we reviewed was outfitted with Honda’s signature LaneWatch system alerts the driver of objects to the right of it through the use of the rear view camera screen, when the right turn signal is activated. This is a segment exclusive feature; In fact, we prefer this safety feature over the electronic blindspot system, which isn’t available on the Fit. Ironically, the Acura brand does not offer this technology in their vehicles, but it’s in a Honda.

Another segment exclusive is this versatile hatchback was the front passenger seat, which folds flat, allowing more cargo carrying possibilities, if required. Yes, Honda’s engineers really took every possible measure to make the fuel-efficient Fit a standout in the segment.

Furthermore, Honda improved the horsepower for the third-generation Fit. Although it’s not the most powerful engine in the segment, it’s more than adequate.

Cons: It’s obvious that Honda designed the Fit’s complicated audio system, with the youth in mind. Ford learned a major lesson, after forcing buyers to be totally reliant on a touch screen audio system with no knobs and button a few years ago. Unfortunately, Honda has followed the same complicated path, as Ford, eliminating knobs and buttons from its audio system. Like Ford, we hope Honda decides to add knobs again to the audio system, so that buyers aren’t totally reliant on the complicated touch screen system.

The Honda Fit entry level model has a starting base price that is slightly higher than the competition. However, true Honda buyers won’t bat an eye over it.

Moreover, we found the front center armrest to be virtually useless, because of its design and its inability to serve its intended purpose.

Lastly, like with some of its competitors, Honda should consider adding a four door model to the mix.

Verdict: Just like what Honda buyers have come to expect from the brand, the Fit doesn’t disappoint, offering a well-built vehicle. This spacious subcompact is easy to navigate America’s crowed cities. And even with the Fit being classified as a subcompact, we found the vehicle to be both safe and suitable to drive on Georgia’s dangerous highways. Moreover, with the Fit, buyers have a variety of available trim levels and can opt for a power sunroof or leather trimmed seats all at a price tag that lands below a comparably equipped Chevy Sonic and Ford Fiesta.

Competition:  Chevy Sonic; Hyundai Accent; Mazda2; Ford Fiesta; Mitsubishi Mirage; Nissan Versa; and Toyota Yaris

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