If there was one debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS) that didn't get our attention it was the all-new, 2015 Honda Fit.
It's not that we have anything against Honda, it's just that there was a helluva lot of product debuts to cover and if there's one that's gotta be excused in the essence of time, guess what, it's gonna be the Fit.
Given that the Chicago Auto Show was a bit more "quiet" — I am being polite here — we actually had the chance to give the little bugger a look.
You have to recall that the Fit is a big seller for Honda and it also is the car of choice for many folks under 25 looking for a set of wheels that'll get them from point "A" to point "B." Not everyone can cross the barrier of entry into a Lexus, BMW or Mercedes.
Considering Nissan dropped the Versa Note on us in Chicago, I think I smell a "CAR WAR" sometime in the not-too-distant future. :)
Weigh in on the 2015 Honda Fit below.
Chicago Auto Show Gallery
Honda's press release follows:
Honda Introduces All-New 2015 Fit at North American International Auto Show
01/13/2014 - DETROIT
- More powerful, refined and fuel-efficient Fit set to launch this spring
- All-new U.S. model showcases dynamic styling and upgraded interior packed with class-leading features and technology
- Earth Dreams™ Technology engine and transmissions deliver heightened fun-to-drive performance and class-leading fuel efficiency
Honda unveiled the all-new 2015 Fit at the North American International Auto Show today. Set to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the new Fit is completely redesigned from the ground up to deliver an unparalleled combination of style, interior space, fun-to-drive performance and fuel efficiency plus leading-edge safety and vehicle connectivity.
"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."
Modern Styling with Class-Leading Packaging
The 2015 Fit debuts with a sleek, modern and sporty exterior style. A more aggressive front fascia showcases a new grille and headlight design. A strong character line runs along the side of the Fit, emphasizing the vehicle's aerodynamic profile. Larger 16-inch tires outfitted with a new 5-spoke wheel design give the Fit a planted and sporty stance. In the back, rear reflectors and LED taillights run along the hatch with a chrome tailgate garnish and rear diffuser, all contributing to the Fit's more substantial and dynamic appearance.
Retaining a similar exterior footprint to the current model, the new Fit is slightly shorter (-1.6 in.) and wider (+0.3 in.) with a longer wheelbase (+1.2 in.), resulting in improved handling and maneuverability. Inside, the Fit builds on its already class-leading interior space, airy cabin and large greenhouse thanks to an all-new efficient platform that incorporates a unique center-mounted fuel-tank layout. The new Fit also delivers a significant increase in passenger volume (+4.9 cu ft) and rear legroom (+4.8 in.) compared to the previous model. With the Honda-exclusive Magic Seat® offering multiple configurable seating positions, the Fit provides an unrivaled 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space when the second row seats are folded flat. With an overall height of 60 inches, the Fit allows for easy loading of items into the rear cargo and ingress/egress for passengers.
Enhanced Interior and Technology Features
The 2015 Fit will deliver above-class interior refinement and features while offering value at every trim level. All 2015 Fit models will be equipped with class-leading standard features including Bluetooth® connectivity, a multi-angle rearview camera, and Expanded View Driver's Mirror. For customers looking for premium features in the subcompact segment, Fit will be available with smart entry with push-button start, heated side mirrors, a moonroof, heated front seats, Honda's exclusive LaneWatch™ display and a 7-inch Display Audio1 touchscreen interface with HondaLink™ smartphone connectivity. Soft touch and premium materials are used throughout and, for the first time, the Fit will be offered with available leather-trimmed seating.
Improved Performance, Efficiency and Safety
The 2015 Fit marks the U.S. debut of an all-new direct-injected 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine. Generating 130 horsepower2 at 6500 rpm and 114 lb.-ft. of torque2 at 4600 rpm, engine output is increased by 13 horsepower and 8 lb.-ft. compared to the outgoing engine, while reducing weight and improving efficiency. Paired to two new transmissions, a slick-shifting 6-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-leading3 EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 33 city/41 highway/36 combined4 (CVT-equipped models).
Complementing the new powertrain is a revised chassis that provides for improved handling, ride comfort and NVH. A more rigid body, new rear dampers and revised suspension geometry notably enhance the 2015 Fit's ride quality and fun-to-drive handling characteristics.
The 2015 Fit benefits from the most extensive use of ultra-high strength steel in the model's history, providing increased body stiffness while reducing platform (underbody and chassis) weight by 57 pounds versus the outgoing model. Equipped with the next generation of the Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, the Fit is anticipated to earn top safety scores from NHTSA and IIHS, including a NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score and a TOP SAFETY PICK rating with a GOOD rating in all IIHS test modes, including the rigorous small overlap barrier test.
North America Production
The 2015 Fit will be manufactured for the first time in North America at the 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. With introduction of the new manufacturing facility in Mexico, Honda's North American automobile production facilities will have a total annual capacity of 1.92 million units, and will have the capability to manufacture vehicles in all product segments, from subcompacts to light truck models. With the added production, approximately 98 percent of all Honda-brand vehicles sold in the United States will be sourced from Honda plants in North America.
Chicago Auto Show Gallery