2015 Honda Fit EX Long-Term Verdict Review

#hashtags: #Honda Fit #Fiticia #Bye #Felicia #Milano Red #Honda

Not long after its arrival, our long-term 2015 Honda Fit was affectionately nicknamed Fiticia. It’s a twist on “Bye, Felicia,” a meme that went viral around the same time the Fit first rolled into our garage. The phrase originates from the 1995 movie “Friday” and refers to a drug-addicted neighborhood nuisance named Felicia whom nobody wanted around. Fiticia, however, is nothing like Felicia. For a little more than a year, I chaperoned the Milano Red hatch and witnessed the tiny Honda gain plenty of fans among MT staffers.

When it comes to what is expected of subcompacts, the 2015 Fit ticks all the boxes and then some. It’s practical, affordable, stingy with fuel, and reliable. Its strongest quality has to be practicality. There is plenty of headroom, and the rear Magic Seats truly are an impressive engineering feat. With the rear seat bottoms folded up, the area behind the front seats is spacious enough for a road bicycle, a 4-foot-tall plant, or a 60-pound English pointer. In all, the Fit can handle 52.7 cubic feet of cargo (more than the Kia Rio and Nissan Versa Note). Digital director Chris Clonts put that to the test when he commissioned the Fit for moving day and was able to squeeze in a large painting, a folding table, boxes, and then some. Editor-in-chief Ed Loh shuttled an 8-foot surfboard and says the Fit can probably handle a 10-footer. If you need to haul a lot of stuff, the Fit can do it.

With an as-tested price of $19,025, our Fit EX with the continuously variable transmission packs a long list of goodies. I appreciated the capacitive keyless entry (driver’s door only), push-button start, moonroof, and automatic headlights the most. The Fit EX comes with the LaneWatch side-view camera that displays the passenger-side blind spot via the infotainment screen whenever the right-hand turn signal is activated. Cool feature, but it’s a bit of overkill because the Fit has excellent all-around visibility. I’d rather swap that out for an auto-dimming rearview mirror. I’d also love a volume knob instead of the silly touch volume slider.

The 2015 Fit is the first car to come from Honda’s new plant in Celaya, Mexico, which raised concerns about quality. Those concerns proved unwarranted with our car. Interior fit and finish was impressive, most materials representing a big improvement over those of the last-gen model. The dashboard is especially well-executed and wouldn’t look out of place in an Accord. However, the papier mâché-like headliner feels cheap and is easily scuffed, and the hatch’s chromelike accent bar (which also doubles as a handle) is pretty flimsy. Our dealership says it hasn’t received any complaints about it, though.

Is the Fit fun to drive? Depends on your definition of fun. Straight-line performance isn’t its forte.

In all, the Fit incurred $289.98 in maintenance costs spread among three service visits. That essentially matches our 2015 Nissan Versa Note, which also had three services for a total of $288.27 (stay tuned for the Nissan’s verdict review, coming soon). Our 2013 Kia Rio SX long-termer was exceptionally affordable, demanding just $215.55 from our wallets after four service visits. In addition to routine oil changes and tire rotations, our Fit was part of a recall that affected a small batch of early production cars. The recall involved a new and beefier front bumper beam, which helped the Fit earn Top Safety Pick status by the IIHS thanks to its improved performance in the front overlap crash test.

Is the Fit fun to drive? Depends on your definition of fun. If you want something that corners surprisingly well and is almost as fun to toss around as a Ford Fiesta ST, then the Fit should please. But if you’re seeking a quick and tiny hot hatch, you should stick to the Ford. The Fit’s 0-60 time of 8.9 seconds and quarter-mile time of 16.8 seconds confirm straight-line performance isn’t its forte.

On the upside, the Fit is adequately zippy during everyday driving. I also found it to be a worthy road tripper, taking it on numerous treks to the Bay Area, Las Vegas, and San Diego. At 80 mph, the Fit feels relatively relaxed, though competitors such as the Chevrolet Sonic generate less road noise. The 130-hp, 1.5-liter I-4 had no issues maintaining 80 mph, and the CVT pairs well with the small engine.

Although the EPA rates the CVT-equipped Fit EX at 32/38 mpg city/highway, our real-world calculations often saw 40 mpg on the highway. Real MPG numbers, however, were a tad lower than expected with a city figure of 28.4 mpg, 11 percent lower than the EPA rating.

With that said, I would gladly chaperone another Honda Fit, especially if the next Fit further improves its Fiesta ST-fighting credentials. Until then, it’s time to say bye to Fiticia one last time.

More on our long-term 2015 Honda Fit:

Arrival Update 1: Stretching Out Its Legs on California Highways Update 2: A Day at the Track with a 911 GT3 Update 3: Slide up the Volume Update 4: Looking for that Magic Range Update 5: Bicyclist Approved Update 6: More Admiration Our Car SERVICE LIFE 15 mo / 25,436 mi BASE PRICE $18,225 OPTIONS Continuously variable transmission ($800) PRICE AS TESTED $19,025 AVG ECON/CO2 32.9 mpg / 0.59 lb/mi PROBLEM AREAS None MAINTENANCE COST $289.98 (3-oil change, inspection; 2-tire rotation) NORMAL-WEAR COST $0 3-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE* $10,654 RECALLS Transmission software, ignition coil wiring, A-pillar covers *Automotive Lease Guide data

2015 Honda Fit EX POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD ENGINE TYPE I-4, aluminum block/head VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl DISPLACEMENT 91.4 cu in/1,498cc COMPRESSION RATIO 11.5:1 POWER (SAE NET) 130 hp @ 6,600 rpm TORQUE (SAE NET) 114 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm REDLINE 6,800 rpm WEIGHT TO POWER 20.0 lb/hp TRANSMISSION Cont. variable auto AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 5.44:1/2.22:1 SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springs STEERING RATIO 13.1:1 TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.5 BRAKES, F;R 10.3-in vented disc; 7.9-in drum, ABS WHEELS, F;R 6.0 x 16-in, cast aluminum TIRES, F;R 185/55R16 83H M+S Bridgestone Turanza EL470 DIMENSIONS WHEELBASE 99.6 in TRACK, F/R 58.1/57.7 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 160.0 x 67.0 x 60.0 in TURNING CIRCLE 35.1 ft CURB WEIGHT 2,601 lb WEIGHT DIST., F/R 62/38% SEATING CAPACITY 5 HEADROOM, F/R 38.0/37.6 in LEGROOM, F/R 41.4/39.3 in SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 54.8/52.6 in CARGO VOLUME BEH F/R 52.7/16.6 cu ft TEST DATA ACCELERATION TO MPH 0-30 3.2 sec 0-40 4.9 0-50 6.8 0-60 8.9 0-70 11.5 0-80 14.8 0-90 18.9 PASSING, 45-65 MPH 4.3 QUARTER MILE 16.8 sec @ 85.2 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 122 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.82 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.9 sec @ 0.63 g (avg) TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 2,000 rpm CONSUMER INFO STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/yes AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 miles FUEL CAPACITY 10.6 gal EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 32/38/35 mpg ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 105/89 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS 0.56 lb/mile REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 28.4/38.1/32.1 mpg RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular