Car Report: The 2015 Honda Fit is redesigned and refined, still low in price

Honda really had a hit with the first generation of the FIT and it seems it didn't mess with success when it came to the 2015 Honda FIT.

WASHINGTON — Honda really had a hit with the first generation of the FIT and it seems it didn’t mess with success when it came to the 2015 Honda FIT.

The 2015 Honda FIT EX is a slightly more grownup car. Somehow, it’s bigger inside than it used to be, without getting bigger outside.

A more up-to-date interior makes it very competitive in a hot market for the first-time car buyer and those looking for a nice commuter car. With a starting price of less than $16,000 for a base FIT, Honda proves that a small hatchback doesn’t have to be boring to drive.

I learned by driving the 2015 Honda before it went on sale that current FIT owners are very loyal and enjoy the funky little car that has a good amount of space and an engaging drive. It isn’t quite as funky or cool-looking as before, but a little more grownup.

The 2015 FIT is still a small car with a great deal of space inside. Now, it has even more leg room in the back seat, thanks to a longer wheelbase. The rear seats also fold nearly flat and provide a good amount of cargo space considering the FIT’s small size. The small hatchback segment is very competitive with many models from which to choose, so it was very important for Honda to build on its success.

The interior is a nicer place to be, with more soft-touch materials that seem to give the car a more expensive look than the $19,025 mid-level Honda FIT EX. The EX trim level is equipped with a power moon roof, a 7-inch touch screen display with rear-view camera, and even Honda’s Lane Watch, which uses a camera to see what is in your blind spot.

If you want leather and navigation, you will have to spend around $21,500 to a get a fully-loaded FIT. I found the seats to be firm but comfortable, something I can’t say for some other Hondas. But the center armrest/storage unit is nearly useless as an armrest — it’s just too low. But other than that, the interior is better than the previous model, and is now very competitive with others in its class.

Driving the 2015 Honda FIT is still fun, thanks to a new 1.5 liter, four-cylinder engine, which now packs 130 more horsepower than the previous FIT. It really helps move the car and makes merging a bit easier.

I like that Honda gives you a choice on the base LX and mid-level EX trim levels between a slick six-speed manual or a new CVT transmission. My tester came with the CVT, which delivers good fuel economy — 32 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined. I managed 34.8 mph over 216 miles. The CVT transmission does have some drone, but it’s better than most. I found myself rather enjoying my daily commute.

The suspension does a good job of soaking up most bumps and still likes to play in the twisties. I really found the FIT a good city car that was easy to maneuver, and parking was made easy with its size and a good rear-view camera.

Editor’s note: Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by STI, FMI or Event Solutions for the purpose of this review.

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