With gas prices remaining above $3 a gallon, the competition for small car buyers remains intense. Makers have been plowing significant resources into the development of their small cars.
The Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic and Fiat 500L have pushed the boundaries in the expanding subcompact segment and now Honda’s introduced its revamped version of its subcompact, the 2015 Honda Fit, to add one more option to field that is only getting more crowded.
Set to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the new Fit offers more style, interior space, better performance and fuel efficiency plus leading-edge safety and vehicle connectivity, according to the automaker.
“The Honda Fit is a small car with big aspirations. Faster, more fuel-efficient and more fun, it’s a subcompact with larger-than-life-capabilities,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of automobile sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “It’s simply the best Fit to date and, we believe, a new benchmark in the small-car category.
The exterior is more aggressive with a front fascia showcasing a new grille and headlight design emphasizing the vehicle’s aerodynamic profile. Larger 16-inch tires outfitted with a new five-spoke wheel design, LED taillights along the rear diffuser are all part of the exterior package.
While the new Fit is 1.6 inches shorter than its predecessor, it’s slightly wider and has a wheelbase that 1.2-inches longer, which is expected to improve the handling and maneuverability. The new Fit also delivers a significant increase in interior space for passengers and packages.
Many automakers are trying to differentiate their compacts and subcompact with plenty of content aimed at younger buyers. Honda is clearly aware of the trend and has followed suit on the Fit.
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It is available with smart entry with push-button start, heated side mirrors, a moonroof, heated front seats, Honda’s exclusive LaneWatch display and a seven-inch Display Audiotouchscreen interface with HondaLinksmartphone connectivity. Soft touch and premium materials are used throughout and, for the first time, the Fit will be offered with available leather-trimmed seating.
The 2015 Fit also gets a new 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine the can produce 130 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 114 lb.-ft. of torque at 4600 rpm and improving efficiency. Paired with two new transmissions, a slick-shifting six-speed manual or a sporty and fuel-efficient Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with available paddle shifters, the Fit powertrain offers superior acceleration and passing performance and is anticipated to have class-leading EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city, 41 highway and 36 combined for CVT-equipped models.
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Complementing the new powertrain is a revised chassis as well as a more rigid body, new rear dampers and revised suspension geometry that provides for improved handling and ride comfort.
The 2015 Fit will be manufactured for the first time in North America at Honda’s new Celaya, Mexico, plant. With an annual capacity of 200,000 units, the facility will begin mass production of the 2015 Fit next month, adding production of an all-new small Honda SUV later in the year.