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Detailed New Car Review: 2016 Honda FIT on Everyman Driver

2016 Honda FIT on Everyman Driver with Dave Erickson

The 2016 Honda Fit is the third generation of Honda’s versatile 5-door subcompact hatchback. First introduced to the U.S. in 2006 as a 2007 model, the Fit was named a Car and Driver “10-Best” vehicle for seven straight years. This and the many other accolades earned by Fit speak to its practicality, fuel efficiency and affordability, but also its feature richness, high-quality interior and driving enjoyment.


The versatility of the 2016 Fit is fundamental to its design. With class-leading interior space and versatility, courtesy of its center-mounted fuel tank and ingenious Magic Seat®, the Fit epitomizes smart functionality with spacious and comfortable seating for five and the ability to carry voluminous cargo, including long and tall items. The larger interior features a remarkable 4.9 cubic feet increase in passenger volume and a 4.8-inch increase in rear seat leg room, all the more remarkable considering its even more compact exterior footprint, including a1.6-inch decrease in overall length.

A highly space-efficient new body structure pairs with an all-new chassis to make up a completely new, more rigid and lighter global subcompact platform featuring numerous improvements to front and rear suspension and steering systems that improve overall driving dynamics. The new platform is also lighter yet more rigid and features a longer wheelbase than the previous Fit. The net effect of these improvements is more settled and stable yet nimble and sporty ride and handling along with a steering linearity that gives the driver a sense of oneness with the vehicle. Many of these upgrades have the additional benefit of improving ride comfort and quietness, while the adoption of a new frame structure, including Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) front body structure, benefits safety performance by targeting the highest-available crash-safety ratings of both the U.S. government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Fit’s fun-to-drive character includes acceleration performance and the 2016 Fit increases the fun factor with major advances to its powertrain. A new Earth Dreams Technology™ engine significantly increases power, torque and throttle response and two newly developed transmissions – a slick-shifting 6-speed manual and all-new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with G-Shift Control – increase both performance and fuel efficiency. The 1.5L 4-cylinder engine has a DOHC head with i-VTEC+VTC valve and timing control plus direct fuel injection, the first use of such a system in a Honda subcompact. With reduced weight and friction, increased compression ratio, and other changes, the engine delivers an 11 percent increase in peak horsepower to 130, and a 7.5 percent increase in peak torque to 114 lb.-ft.

With the combination of the new engine and transmissions, the Fit has an EPA fuel-economy rating of 29/37/32 (city/highway/combined)1 for the manual transmission, 33/41/36 for the LX trim with CVT and 32/38/35 for the EX and EX-L trim with CVT. The 6MT is an all-new design for the subcompact Fit with optimized closer individual ratios to aid performance, and a wider overall range to improve fuel efficiency. The newly-developed CVT enhances engine responsiveness by providing quicker and smoother acceleration while improving fuel efficiency with a wider ratio range and reduced internal friction.

Providing an outward expression of the 2015 Fit’s enhanced handling and power is a fresh and sporty exterior design. A progressive and purposeful style is achieved by the slimmer headlights that integrate into a solid grille design, an aggressive lower intake and the linear slope of the hood and windshield. The purposeful style continues with the strong design of the chiseled sides that emphasize the wheels and the dynamically tapered roofline ending in a color-matched spoiler. To accentuate the fresh exterior styling, the Fit will be available in eight colors, including several vibrant options.

Inside, the increased interior room and visibility create a sense of airy spaciousness, which is complemented by upgraded, soft-touch materials that raise the feeling of quality. The rich and sophisticated black with silver accented design of the interior surfaces and controls, and blue backlit instrument dials are stylish and functional. The available Display Audio touchscreen interface and first-ever leather seating (EX-L models) further increase the premium feel of this new Fit.

A significant contributor to the new Fit’s sophistication is the high level of standard and available features. For 2015, the Fit aligns with other Honda models by being offered in LX, EX, and EX-L trims, each with a higher spec than the previous equivalent trim. New standard features on all Fit models include auto on-off headlights, LED brake lights, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and a center storage console with armrest. Items such as Smart Entry Push Button Start, a one-touch operated moonroof, 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio with next-generation HondaLink, and heated leather seats are among the upgrades available for the first time in Fit.

The Fit also features a long list of standard safety features. That list includes Vehicle Stability AssistTM (VSA®) with traction control, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The new Fit targets the highest available crash-safety ratings: a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the (IIHS). Standard drive-assistive features on all trims include a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines and expanded view driver’s mirror. The Honda LaneWatch display is standard on EX and above trims. The new U.S.-market Fit will be produced for the first time in North America at an all-new plant in in Celaya, Mexico.

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