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2015 Honda Fit’s bigger than you think: Fit seats 5 adult passengers with ease and comfort

We had to try it! Honda was kind enough to provide us with a 2015 Fit EX-L Tech press loaner for the week, as we drove the back roads of Phoenix, Az. Now, it was time to take the crew out to dinner…

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While visiting Arizona, Torque News found Honda Fit to be a sweet little road warrior with larger-vehicle comfort and ride. We know many happy Fit owners. And, although we’d reviewed Honda Fit in past articles, decided it was time to head for the Sonora Desert of Phoenix. Watching the weather channel the day prior, we’d been lulled into a false sense of cool weather predictions; as we stepped into 85* F late evening temperatures, we knew that “Cool” wasn't happening!

Hot by any measure

Thursday’s temperatures would reach 107*F, hot by any measurement, unusually warm for Phoenix on the first day of May. Following 3 days of drive review under mixed road and weather conditions, yes, it had poured rain and hail on day 3, we were invited to dinner by friends that just happened to be staying at the Wigwam Golf Resort in Litchfield Park.

5 good sized (big) adults, a small single cab pickup truck and the Honda Fit: Who would drive this group into town for dinner? And, could 5 large adults sit safely and comfortably within the confines of Honda’s sub-compact hatchback? The other question for Torque News was---How would Fit perform with a driver and 4 adult-size passengers?

To Torque News, this looked like yet another opportunity to put Honda Fit to the test. So, we (I) decided to take the test to the next level. Could this 6 foot 5 inch journalist find suitable seating, leg and headroom in the second row seating of 2015 Honda Fit, sandwiched between two passengers?

I get the window seat

Although we weren't sure that Honda’s 1.5 Liter, 130 horsepower, Earth Dreams 4 cylinder engine and CVT transmission would handle the passenger load, (1,000 lb) here’s what we discovered.

Yes, Honda’s claim is true: 5 rather full size adults can safely travel within the confines of 2015 Honda Fit. However, if you’re sitting on the rear-seat center hump, you best be the smallest adult in the car. None the less, with minimal adjustment, we schlepped it over to a local Chinese food restaurant for dinner, switched seating positions, and drove back to the Wigwam Resort without incident.

Yeah, my Kid owns a Honda Fit too

Out of the 5 occupants of our 2015 Honda Fit test mule, 3 claimed family members that presently owned a Honda Fit. And two had (always) driven Honda or Toyota vehicles in their life time. So, with no surprise to them, Honda Fit showed no measurable signs of power loss, over loading, or impacted road-handling.

In-fact, other than a possible reduction in fuel efficiency, 2015 Honda Fit moved down the road with ease of control and relative driver and passenger comfort.

Granted, our journey was a short one, possibly 30 miles round trip. So, for the long haul, we wouldn’t push the combined driver, passenger list past 4. But, in a pinch “5” is a real number for Honda’s bestselling sub-compact 5 door hatchback.You may read how Fit compares to the competition here.

On a personal note

For me, a Honda, Acura fan that is afforded the opportunity to drive all A.H.M. offerings, I’d truly consider purchasing a Honda Fit as my personal daily driver and utility task-master.

I can think of no other vehicle on the market today, at Fit’s price-point that presents greater transformer-like car to minivan interior re-configure-ability, fun to drive sport-like acceleration and handling; while featuring a much larger car driving feel, interior comfort, active, passive driver and passenger safety features. In my opinion, one can’t beat the Honda Fit package for the $.

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Bo (not verified)    May 13, 2015 - 9:42AM

Ok, enough with the compliments re the Fit. I have test driven it twice. And yes, the car has nice features. HOWEVER, it is an absolute dog to drive. I'm 60 years old and looking for a car for my daughter. The Fit engine is really fit more for a Yugo. It is like a buzz box with little power. The CVT hunts like a conventional trans look for the right band.

Honda can do better. They make a brilliant K engine for the Si. They need a variation of that drive train in the Fit, and then they'll have a great car.

One thing of note that the federal govt needs to take responsibility for. The mandated MPG efficiency standards have been met by forcing manufacturers like Honda to reprogram their cars to keep the RPMs down as much as possible. This is how they achieve the higher MPG ratings; at the expense of transmissions that stay in higher gears until you STOMP on the gas pedal to induce a reaction of downshifting.

Back to the Fit. US News rates it #1 in its class for 2015 while the Corolla is rated #14. Drive them back-to-back and judge for yourself. The Corolla (especially the S Plus version) is significantly more refined in my opinion. If Toyota can mate that drive train with the functionality of the Fit, then you have a great vehicle.

Parks McCants    May 13, 2015 - 11:59AM

In reply to by Bo (not verified)

Welcome Bo. Why in the heck would your daughter need any more peddle than the Fit produces? We never stated that is was a rally car. For us,(Me) its all in "How" you drive Fit. Personally, I like the CVT when compared to cars like the Ford Fiesta Platinum. Interestingly enough, I had no idea that Corolla came in a 5 door hatchback variant in the U.S.. I don't sell them, I just report on them. Here's what we discovered: When driving Fit in "Sport" mode, the transmission will purpose shift(old-school) style with throttle input, or steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Yes.... all CVT transmissions tend to "search" when aggressively engaged: Remember, it's programmed( computer controlled) to match engine RPM with optimal gear ratio.. Actually, that's how a wide-band-CVT works. As to the 1.5 liter D.I. 130 horsepower 4-banger... best in the class. Enjoy the Corolla, they too have come a long way. On a personal side-note: My first car with Dad's help was a 1964 V.W. Bug. ( He took payments,) Take care.

Alex (not verified)    May 13, 2015 - 3:01PM

In reply to by Bo (not verified)

@Bo, I completely agree. As a happy Fit owner, who is currently driving a Toyota Corolla rental, the superiority of the Corolla's overall driving experience is stark.

That being said, it's very unfair to compare a compact to a subcompact. Of course the compact is going to be more feisty. But still, the comments about the Fit's transmission are spot-on. Maybe it's because I have it in the Eco-Drive mode, which does make a significant difference in pizzazz. But presumably Eco-Drive mode is the only way to get the advertised MPG ratings.

When I punch down on the Fit's accelerator, I almost feel like I'm being too hard on it. Not that the car doesn't seem solid, because it definitely is solid and well-built. It's just that the CVT takes its sweet time in responding to sudden gas pedal pushes.

Driving the 2015 Corolla after driving the 2015 Fit for 3 months, I feel like I'm in a sports car. But let's face it: you can only expect so much from a subcompact. I think it'll be a challenge to find a driving experience more well-rounded in the sub category than the Fit. There might be a car or two with more spunk, but lack the Fit's pithy handling.

Ryan (not verified)    May 15, 2015 - 6:35PM

I'm a 2015 Fit owner and am so disappointed in this car.

The flexibility of the magic seats, the roominess in the rear seat, and minivan-esque cargo capabilities are astonishing, and no other small car can come close. They all leave a positive first impression in the showroom. On the test drive on surface streets, the Fit's acceleration seemed adequate. Add to that the value for the money (the base LX comes in at $16k and comes already well equipped) and the high fuel economy numbers, and buying the Fit seemed like a no-brainer.

However, after 6 months and 2,000 miles of ownership, the thrill is gone. The car has been dogged by quality issues since day one. A dead battery within the first few days, a defective alternator, trim that is not aligned, and tailights and headlights that have filled with water are not Honda-like standards, and do not represent the lack of rebates or specials that Honda offers. The new factory in Mexico where the Fit is made has been notorious for some quality issues like mine.

The manual transmission is about the most poorly geared one I've ever driven. The six speed has been crammed into the same ratio range as the old five-speed, and shifting to second is required not even halfway through the intersection. Sixth speed serves no purpose over fifth and the engine is still buzzing at 3200 rpm at 65mph.

The noise in this car is relentless. It never goes away. Speeding up is noisy, cruising on the highway is loud, and even idle is rough with the direct injection. Road noise makes itself all too apparent as well, and this car's frame/soundproofing may as well be made of cardboard and old Chinese newspapers.

To make the rear seats roomy, the front seat travel is short. My husband and I constantly have our knees in the dash, and the floor near the wheelwell is aburpt in its rise and causes an uncomfortable seating position.

It's not a bad car and there are worse choices. But this is not the easiest car to live with, and hopefully people don't buy it solely for the Honda name. Maybe with this being my first Japanese branded car, I was hoping for better durability. Looking back, I should've gone with the Sonic. Quicker, more powerful, quieter, roomier up front, better styling (subjective of course), built in the US, and more rebates at the cost of some back seat room and fuel economy is a good equation. Make sure you test drive a Fit on the freeway before signing!

Parks McCants    May 15, 2015 - 11:44PM

Welcome Ryan. Bummer! Now, let's take a closer look at one of your observations. "My husband and I constantly have our knees in the dash, and the floor near the wheelwell." You know Ryan. I'm 6 foot 5 inches tall, and have sat in all drive and ride positions offered by Fit. Unless you and your husband are super-sized, I must take exception with this particular assertion based on my 1,000 + traveled miles in Fit.

The balance of your comment is valid based on your personal experience with Fit. I'm amazed that you drive fewer than 400 miles per month(based on your statement.) O.K. with that said: Used Fits sell for premium $. Dump it and buy the Sonic! Take care. Wishing you many miles of safe and trouble free driving. B.T.W: This is the first I've read of headlights filling with water. What mode, trim variant, etc, did you purchase, and... what region of the world do you reside in? Also, I'm assuming that your purchase warranty is in full effect, as are "Lemon Laws" in most states. Use it!

Ryan (not verified)    May 16, 2015 - 4:17PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

Thanks for the response Parks. We're both exactly the same height as you, and both slim, and although the driver position isn't as bad, the dash on the passenger side feels like it creeps into precious knee room. We both agree that a few more inches of rearward seat travel would help, but it seems like Honda intentionally prevented that to make claims about having the roomiest back seat in its class.

I don't do much driving; walk a mile to work most days and only use the car on weekends and the occasional trip. Counting the trips out, I probably drive the Fit about 100 miles a month on average.

The water filling the headlights is unique. It isn't major, but I have noticed a small amount of water in the lamps after some rain or a car wash. It's just something not to be expected in a new car.

I do live in LA, and it was the LX model with manual that we got. I also forgot to mention that the clutch pedal, no matter how much WD-40 or lube it gets, always creaks like a screendoor.

Looking into replacing it with either a Sonic or Accent if I can. Otherwise, I may grin and bear it and see it goes while under warranty

Thanks for the suggestions and concern. I hope other Fit owners have better luck than I did

Parks McCants    May 17, 2015 - 6:24PM

In reply to by Ryan (not verified)

Welcome back Ryan. Damn! To me these are unquestionably warranty issues(outside of the knee room concern), Yes, I agree... the front passenger side is encroached a bit by the housed airbag system. You may consider having a custom shop move the passenger seat rails back an inch or two. However, this will effect the effectiveness of the passive air bag restraint in the event of an accident. Be well Ryan, our best to you and your partner.