2015 Honda Fit: This Is It

Illustration for article titled 2015 Honda Fit: This Is It

It turns out those Japanese magazine scans that leaked out a few weeks ago were dead-on accurate. Folks, meet the 2015 Honda Fit. Not only is it redesigned, it's also got a hybrid variants that are headed to the U.S.

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But you like that hatchback you see above and are somehow pining for a hybrid version, don't get too excited. Automotive News reports that Americans won't be getting that car, but rather a hybrid sedan Fit and a small hybrid crossover SUV based on the Fit.

That's right. Fit sedans and SUVs. Who'da thunk it?

Illustration for article titled 2015 Honda Fit: This Is It

This redesigned Fit — known as the Jazz in other markets — is really big deal for Honda on several fronts. Automotive News says it represents an attempt to rejuvenate their styling, which has become admittedly staid in recent years.

It's also their chance to finally score a big hit in the hybrid market beyond the Civic Hybrid. Attempts like the CR-Z and Insight haven't really caught on with buyers the way the Toyota Prius line has. The last Fit itself was kind of a slow-seller here as well.

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The 2015 Fit Hybrid packs a 1.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle engine coupled to a 22-kw electric motor and battery. It will carry a brand-new seven-speed dual clutch transmission. And unlike Honda's current integrated motor assist hybrid system, the new hybrid drivetrain allows driving in electric-only mode, AN reports.

Illustration for article titled 2015 Honda Fit: This Is It
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The car averages 86 mpg in the Japanese testing cycle, which is different from ours, so don't spit out your coffee just yet. By comparison a Prius C gets 83 mpg in their cycle, so that should give a good idea of what Honda is aiming for here.

It's also the first car to be released with Honda's new design language, which they call "Exciting H." The result is a Fit that's sleeker, bolder and more aggressive-looking than the current egglike Fit. Call me crazy, but I rather like the way it looks. It's definitely an improvement in that department, and it echoes the Focus and Fiesta a bit, which isn't a bad thing.

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It's not just for the Whole Foods set, either. Motor Trend has some deets on the sportier RS version, which has a 1.5-liter gas engine mated to a six-speed manual they say is S2000-esque.

Also according to AN, Honda says they didn't half-ass the interior of this car. Still reeling from the 2012 Civic debacle, they opted for a cleaner, more upscale, less busy interior. Here's what interior design chief Yoshinori Asahi said:

"We aren't going to take the attitude, 'This is our cost, so make an interior that matches it,'" Asahi said. "My job is set high targets and achieve them with low-cost technologies. If you don't do this, design quality deteriorates. I think that was the problem with Civic."

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Good on you, Honda. Let's hope it's fun to drive, too. What do you think of the new Fit?

Illustration for article titled 2015 Honda Fit: This Is It
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Illustration for article titled 2015 Honda Fit: This Is It
Illustration for article titled 2015 Honda Fit: This Is It
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Illustration for article titled 2015 Honda Fit: This Is It

DISCUSSION

mike-mckinnon
Chairman Kaga

I hate it.

And I'm not just saying that to be curmudgeonly. The design is the least cohesive I've seen in recent years. Despite whatever criticisms have been leveled at Honda as of late, I thought the 2013 range was the best looking they've had in 15 years. Admittedly I prefer the minimalist, purposeful thing.

But look at the photos of the Fit here. Really look at them. There's no personality. It's just a bunch of bulges and creases and lines. The front is the best angle, although the Ferrari-stye "intakes" spoil any flow. Everything else is so... busy. Especially the interior. Maybe to some it looks modern, but to my eyes it's full of barnacles and odd lines, and in 10 years will look as dated as the interior of a 1988 Sunbird.Yeah, I went there.

A seven-speed dual clutch transmission? OK. I mean, I thought the point of the Fit was to be the most economical, most utilitarian, car in the range. The one that possessed the real Honda ethos. Now you're telling us it's a boutique hybrid meant to compete with the Prius? Well... dang. So goes the quirk and the personality that made that cheap little car so endearing.

Bottom line, like every car Honda makes these days, eventually its soul and personality are consumed by the need to be all things to all people. I'm sure it'll sell like crazy. I'd take the new Mazda2 over this without a second thought.

Bitter and angry previously first gen Fit owner, out.