We drive top of class 2015 Fit EX-L with navigation, love it

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Day 2 of the 2015 Fit dealership release found us driving a fully optioned Merano Red Fit EX-L with navigation. Torque News takes a closer look at the numbers.

Torque News 2015 Fit test drive, day 2.

Returning Friday morning to Kendall Honda of Eugene,Ore., we took a closer look at the 2015 Honda Fit. While driving the Fit EX on Thursday, we noted a few peculiarities exclusive to the car that Torque News hadn't experienced in an earlier review of the 2014 Civic. One thing that caught our collective attention while idling the Fit was an unidentified noise originating in the Fit’s engine compartment.

The service department wasn’t going to help us here. After all, the Indonesian built 1.5 liter 16 valve SOHC i-VTEC “Earth Dreams” engine was new to North America. Released earlier in Asia, Japan, Europe and Australia, the direct injected 1.5L 4 cylinder gasoline engine would be put to the test as a 50 state compliant EPA approved, super low emissions, electronically controlled mechanical wonder.

We found the engine to be visually plasticky. None-the-less, Honda,the largest engine manufacturer on the planet had taken “ Earth Dreams” technology down the road of near zero emissions and placed it under the hood of the North American Fit.

The silver EX we tested Thursday was off the lot and now sitting in a proud owners garage. As Kendall’s new car sales manager eagerly handed us the key fob for a Merano Red Fit EX-L with satellite linked navigation and lane watch, we easily slid into the leather trimmed driver’s seat, adjusted the power mirrors and sent the manually controlled seat to the far-back position.

As first discovered in the Fit EX and the 2014 Civic Si, the fully loaded Fit EX-L with sat-nav doesn't sport power seats. We’re assuming that Honda does this as a cost saving measure. We find this to be a bit redundant in a car that features heated seats a one touch power moonroof, static touchscreen high resolution dash monitor, satellite-linked stereo and navigation.

To us it’s a bit like obsessing over one’s diet while washing down a bacon cheese burger with a diet Coke; It just doesn’t make much sense.

What’s that engine noise?

We’re going to assume that with 9 miles showing on the odometer, the “ Earth Dreams” four banger requires a bit of break- in time. From a mechanic's assessment viewpoint, to us the mildly-annoying clicking noise sounded like an electronic fuel pump or cam chain tensioner.

As we put a few(hard) combination driving miles on the car, the clicking, ticking, pinging diesel-like noises originating under the little red Fit’s bonit subsided. The rev-happy 1.5 liter “ Earth Dreams” engine works very well in all rpm ranges. Finding it’s sweet spot (torque) at a very usable 4500 rpm, the Fit is a passing rocket when asked to do so. Both Fit variants that we drove featured the Honda CVT transmission. When driving the car like your 80 year old grandmother, the Fit is quiet and as smooth as silk.

While the 1.5 liter i-VTEC may produce more than adequate horsepower and torque(130/112)it’s the genius of Honda CVT that enables the Fit to spark the driver’s enthusiasm while sipping gasoline. This car is fun to drive.


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Let's hope direct injected 'earth dreams' engines comes to the Civics and hybrids for 2015 as well. Right now the regular Civics still use the same R18A1 engine that the 2006 has!
Every Honda will feature EarthDreams technology by model year 2016. We're seeing it introduced in all new North America manufactured Honda cars and light trucks.
Indonesian built engine? Yikes.