The Honda Fit isn't exactly sporty, was never a huge tuning phenomenon here in the US and most people we know who own one probably just think it's cute. But around the world, the Fit has a different perception. It's a best-selling car in Japan and people of all ages and genders drive it. The Fit's been used in a handful of racing scenarios as well-JDM tuners such as J's Racing and Spoon have built time attack cars while here in the States, Honda has supported B-spec racing. While the number of people modifying Honda Fits is small, the beauty behind these cars is that they're very practical and affordable for everyday use.
Honda is back with its third-generation Fit and we had the opportunity to take one out for a day in San Diego. They've been telling us it's the "world's best functional compact"-we'd have to agree as it's easy to drive around town and the cargo space and legroom alone in this tiny car is remarkable. The number of features that come standard might also surprise you. As far as tuning-wise, we don't expect it to be groundbreaking, but prepare to be surprised as Honda has some top tuners bringing modified Fits to SEMA this year. Word on the street is Bisimoto will be building one-expect a lot of horsepower! But if you're honestly thinking about gettin' Fit, we've outlined seven important reasons why this car might "Fit" your everyday lifestyle:
1. Affordability. The new Honda Fit starts at $15,525. What other new car can you pick up for that price that's as reliable, functional and cool as this?
2. Fuel Economy. Most Honda Fit buyers worry about fuel economy over power. The new Fit has better numbers than the previous gen thanks to a redesigned head with larger valves. The ECU is also modified to retard timing at low speeds and more aggressive at higher RPM.
3. Storage. Easily one of the best advantages of the Fit. The height of the car is the same as the outgoing model and it's only 0.3" wider. Cabin storage and legroom are both bigger. Need to pack a surfboard? No problem!
4. Design. When we first saw the new Fit, it almost looked bigger than the older model, but it's actually a tad smaller. A more edgy design and elements like the front-grille and headlights make the car look bigger and wider than it actually is.
5. Powertrain. Nothing to throw a party about but the new Honda Fit is up 13hp and 8 lb-ft of torque from the outgoing model thanks to larger diameter valves, raised compression and more. It's peppy around town and not completely gutless on the highway. I had no problem passing cars, but people tell me I drive like a madman sometimes.
6. Shift. The new CVT tranny in the Fit is improved and can be fun to drive. It's responsive and accelerates linearly. We don't mind the optional paddle shifters, either. For the manual, a six-speed is now available instead of a five from the outgoing model.
7. Interior. We drove many of its competitors-the Honda Fit doesn't feel as cheap. The car is still relatively quiet and has a higher build quality than the rest. We dig the design of the dash, tach and speedo. Feature-wise, the standard rearview and optional lane-watch cameras are very helpful. Also standard is a 5" monitor on the base model while higher trim levels receive a 7" one. Don't want to spend on the nav? Honda's made it very easy to connect your iPhone to its head unit.
Mugen Fit RS
Debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon this year, the Mugen RS edition comes with an aggressive body kit, carbon rear wing, exhaust, upgraded brake pads and bucket seats. Pretty sick, but it ain't cheap. Especially if you want to get a hold of the parts here!
That New Car Smell
2015 Honda Fit
The Sticker Pricing ranges from $15,525 (LX) to $20,800 EX-L with navigation
Engine 1.5-liter direct injected DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder
The Power 130hp at 6,600rpm; 114 lb-ft at 4,600rpm
Scale Tipping from 2,513 (LX manual) to 2,642lbs (EX-L CVT)
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Drivetrain six-speed manual/Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with G-design shift
Footwork & Chassis MacPherson front strut suspension; Torsion beam rear suspension; 25.4mm front stabilizer bar
Brakes 10.3" front ventilated discs; 7.9" rear drums
Wheels & Tires 15" steel wheels (LX)/16" alloy wheels (EX/EX-L); 185/60R15 tires (LX)/185/55R16 tires (EX/EX-L)
At the Pump 29/37/32 manual; 33/41/36 CVT LX; 32/38/35 CVT EX, EX-L (city/highway/combined)
The Competition Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta, Chevy Sonic
Deep Thoughts If you're looking for something inexpensive and versatile, then the new Fit is for you. Want to modify one? Wait until SEMA to see what your favorite tuners will be building for the Honda booth this year.