If you’re looking for a small hatchback that delivers both fuel economy and flexibility, only a handful of new cars come to mind.
Add in top safety ratings, and your list may narrow down to just one car: the latest 2015 Honda Fit.
To Honda’s credit, the latest Fit looks less like a scaled-down minivan than either of the two previous generations.
It’s a wedgy shape with a steeply raked windshield and hood, deep side creases, and a rear end that looks quite Volvo-like—at least until you get to the big chrome bar across the tail.
The exterior is nicely restrained, but the designers were a bit too ambitious inside. This instrument panel has too much going on with shapes, pieces, trims, bezels, and surfaces all being thrown together.
Still, it’s a nice cockpit-like layout, and it doesn’t feel cheap. It just doesn’t necessarily have a good flow.
2015 Honda Fit 5dr HB CVT LX DashboardEnlarge Photo
The Fit has always done incredible things with its interior, and this model is no different. Up front, these seats are fine, but cushioning and support are basic. We’d like to see the front seats have more rearward travel.
In back, soaring headroom means even those over 6 feet tall will have no issue.
The Fit’s most important feature has always been in back, where the latest “Magic Seat” continues to give unparalleled interior flexibility. The seatback folds forward, and the bottom cushion can flip up, to open up maximum floor-to-ceiling height with all sorts of useful storage space.
As for performance, the Fit is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 130 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels through either a CVT or six-speed manual transmission.
Honda claims best-in-class fuel economy, and it’s true with a 36-mpg combined rating (33 mpg city rating, 41 mpg highway) for the base model.
Also worth noting here is that you knock off a few MPG with the manual transmission: 32 mpg combined (29 mpg city, 37 mpg highway).
Gas mileage is great, but the Honda Fit is no longer the sportiest-driving car in its class. It does feel eager and well-coordinated, but it just isn’t as nimble as past editions.
2015 Honda Fit 5dr HB CVT LX EngineEnlarge Photo
The electric power steering feels responsive, precise, and reasonably well-weighted, but there's a fair amount of brake dive.
As for safety, the 2015 Fit was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), though it’s worth noting it only earned an Acceptable rating in the institute's tough new small-overlap front crash test.
You’ll find the usual array of airbags and safety systems; a rearview camera and Honda’s LaneWatch display are standard.
The Fit starts at about $15,500 and can be ordered in one of four trim levels. The base LX includes cruise control, keyless entry, power features, and a USB port.
Our loaded EX-L Navi test car featured everything from touchscreen navigation to leather upholstery and heated front seats, for just over $21,500.
2015 Honda Fit 5dr HB CVT LX TrunkEnlarge Photo
The bottom line with the 2015 Honda Fit is that while it may not raise the ante in sportiness, it offers exactly what urban small-car shoppers want: safety and convenience features—along with the Magic Seat setup that's still unmatched.
For more information be sure to read The Car Connection's full review of the 2015 Honda Fit here.