Greatest entry-level hatchback value: 2015 Honda Fit Vs. 2015 Toyota Yaris 5 door
Back in the days of mechanical sliding seats, hand cranked roll up windows and rubber on metal floor mats, the choices were very limited as to how much “new car” one could by for his or her hard earned dollar. Our first new vehicle was a Chevrolet C 1500 2-wheel drive pickup truck. The only options in the beast was a radio, split-sliding rear window and washable rubber mats. However, it was new, copper bronze in color and mechanically bullet proof.
Honda, Nissan(Datsun at the time)Toyota, Subaru and Volkswagen all made a name for themselves in North America’s exploding automotive market by producing affordable, bare basic cars and light trucks. While the day of $100 per month car payments is all but a distant memory, one can still find an obtainable and measurably refined entry level 5 door hatchback in North America for under $16,000.
Yes and no. By the time you roll your “basic” ride off the lot…
In comparing Honda Fit to Toyota Yaris, one encounters a restriction on Toyota’s site as to 5 door hatch variant availability at the entry trim level. Actually, the advertised $14,845 MSRP pertains to the 3 door hatchback. The basic 2015 Yaris L.E. 5 door hatchback sports a base MSRP of $17,705, right in line with the mid-trimmed 2015 Fit EX, MSRP $17,520; We’ll begin our comparison here.
We like the looks of both subjects:
For 2015 Toyota has integrated the “look” of the Toyota line throughout Yaris, with large black-out nose grill and faux brake cooling intakes; neither necessarily functional, yet “cool” looking.
Toyota design does a commendable job of bringing Yaris visual appeal up a notch with sport-like rims, aerodynamic integrated head and tail light assemblies, color matched mirrors and optional rear-hatch cowling. While exterior and interior color choices remain limited in this segment, Yaris visually holds its own in a growing segment of formidable competition.
However, outside of a handful of personalized body trim options, we find very few factory accessories available for Yaris. With 2016 Toyota Yaris, what you see is what you get.
Torque News remains impressed by Honda’s redesigned 2015 Fit. Integrating several Civic Si inspired design elements, a fatter, closer to the ground stance and down-slope driving profile, Fit, like Yaris has taken the “box” out of the hatchback.
For buyers interested in Honda’s only North American 5 door hatchback offering, you'll find a base vehicle of exceptional standard comfort and safety features. Although Honda has limited trim variants to 3, we discover that even at the entry MSRP of $15,650, Fit presents a well appointed 5 door economy hatchback.
Engine and drivetrain.
For 2015, while both makers offer a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine, Honda and Toyota take a different approach in delivering the power to the front drive wheel. The greatest difference we discover here(aside from Honda’s greater horsepower and torque) is in optional transmission technology.
Toyota offers a 5 speed close ratio manual or their rather mechanically bullet-proof 4 speed automatic, Honda transfers horsepower and torque to the pavement via a 6 speed close ratio manual or the EarthDreams ™ CVT transmission. We find Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit to be comparable in overall ride characteristics with Yaris displaying surprisingly sporty cornering and handling characteristics. A light handling feel if you will.
However, based on available mid-range torque, sprint-power and fuel economy, Honda Fit takes the baton with a bit more horsepower, torque and fuel economy.
2015 Honda Fit offers greater standard comfort and safety features
You won’t find a rear-view, reverse activated back-up cam standard on Toyota Yaris, You will on 2015 Honda Fit. That’s where the difference begins between these two mechanically dependable entry level 5 door hatchbacks. Honda has taken entry level value to the next level with Fit, by offering greater standard features than Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2 and Toyota Yaris.
Where Honda doesn't beat Yaris is in initial purchase price. Yaris takes a slight edge in initial price-point($150) while offering a 3 door hatchback for under $15,000, Honda doesn't. However, we discover when factoring in Honda’s higher residual resale value, greater standard features and 10% higher fuel economy, Honda Fit presents the greater overall purchase value.
For buyer’s requiring greater ease of passenger ingress, a bit more interior volume and higher highway fuel economy, the slightly higher priced 2015 Fit may be the right car for you. For those commuting mostly within the city limits, Yaris presents a smaller sub-compact hatchback with a slightly tighter turning radius and shorter body-length, for ease of maneuverability and parking. Here Toyota’ 3 door hatchback may be a viable consideration. But then again, parking’s a bit tougher without that rear-view camera.