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2015 Honda Fit: First Drive

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The Honda Fit has made a fitting name for itself, as the best cheerleader out there for affordable, practical hatchbacks. And with an all-new 2015 Fit reaching dealerships soon, Honda heads into market with a built-in advantage.

Back when the Fit showed up, arguably around the peak of the bigger-is-better SUV craze, it made some economy-car preconceptions seem unwarranted. The first two Fit generations, with their cavernous Magic Seat interior and beyond-just-zippy driving experience, are indeed tough acts to follow.

For 2015, Honda hasn't strayed far from the packaging brilliance of those earlier models, but it's aimed at giving this model more value for the money, and making it a little smoother and more easygoing to drive.

We'll get to that—as well as why we aren't quite as smitten with this latest Fit from the driver's seat—but first off, the all-new 2015 Honda Fitis a very good-looking small car, and it's far more interesting to look at than most affordable subcompacts. It doesn't look like any other current rival, and we like how it sheds the long-snouted look of the outgoing model, and goes with a form that's a little more wedgelike and sculpted, with more attention to the fine details at the front and rear. The side sculpting adds more depth to the design, but it's the smooth arc of the front headlights and grille, the arc of the roofline, and then the partly blacked-out hatch design with large rear lamps that really together make this design pop. Honda has also gotten a bit more adventurous with colors for 2015; we spent much of our time in a test car in Mystic Yellow Pearl, which seemed to accent all that's great, design-wise, about the new Fit, and match its flamboyant personality.

Eking just a little more out of just a little less

True to its name, you can still fit all sorts of things you otherwise wouldn't try in a small car...a surfboard, or a large potted plant...or have the seats recline to a futon-like position. Honda has applied its 'man maximum, machine minimum' concepts to the Fit, and it's ended up with an interior that works even better than before, even though it might technically be somewhat smaller for cargo.

Overall length has been reduced by 1.6 inches, while the wheelbase has been stretched 1.2 inches. With some other repackaging tricks, like thinner, repositioned seats, rear-seat passengers get an additional 3.1 inches of legroom, officially, and there's slightly more width inside. Factor in the more cockpit-like instrument-panel layout, and it's a setup that more people are going to appreciate on first sight.

 
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