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William Maley

Quick Drive: 2015 Honda Fit EX-L Navigation

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Subcompacts tend to have that one thing, a gimmick or feature that they try to put out there as a selling point. We have models that are fun to drive, get good gas mileage, have the back seat space of a midsize, etc. The 2015 Honda Fit is no exception to this rule. As I found out at the MAMA Spring Rally, Honda is playing the versatility card with the Fit.

The back seat in the Fit is what Honda calls the 'magic seat' and there is reason why. The back seat can be folded in a number of configurations to allow tall items to stand in back; create a flat floor delivering 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space; fold the front passenger seat along with the back seat to fit an eight-foot object (surfboard, ladder, etc); or have the back seat up and fold both front seats down to provide a nice space to lay down. Describing it seems a bit funny, but actually having someone demonstrate it from Honda and then trying it out for myself, I was really impressed.

Aside from the clever seating, Honda has classed up the Fit. A new dashboard design with better materials and a cleaned up center stack make the Fit a nice place to be in. The optional infotainment system features the latest version of HondaLink which comes with a new interface. I like the interface as its easy to read and navigate. What I'm not so keen on is Honda's choice of using capactive touch controls for the volume and seek since it takes a couple of times for it to be registered.

Stepping outside and looking around the Fit, Honda has designed the Fit to be more in line with other Honda vehicles. This is apparent up front where the grille and headlights are reminiscent to the Civic. I understand what Honda is trying to do with the design, but I Iiked the alien shape of the previous model and wished Honda built upon that.

Powering the Fit is a all new 1.5L four-cylinder with Earth Dreams technology. The 1.5L makes 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. This was paired up to a CVT, though a six-speed manual is available. Like most subcompacts, the Fit's power lies towards the top of the rpm range. Great for driving on the backroads, but a little bit buzzy when driving in the city.

The back roads of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin also revealed another big change for the Fit. The previous Fit was known as being a fun to drive subcompact vehicle. The 2015 Fit loses some of that the suspension doesn't quite handle the way a Chevrolet Sonic does, nor is the steering as sharp. Plus side: Fit exhibits some impressive ride quality when driven over rough surfaces.

While its versatility may be its trump card, the 2015 Fit has a few other qualities that make a real contender in the subcompact class.

Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Fit for the MAMA Spring Rally

Year: 2015

Make: Honda

Model: Fit

Trim: EX-L Navi

Engine: 1.5L i-VTEC Earth Dreams Four-Cylinder

Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT

Horsepower @ RPM: 130 @ 6600

Torque @ RPM: 114 @ 4600

Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 32/38/35

Curb Weight: 2,642 lbs

Location of Manufacture: Celaya, Mexico

Base Price: $20,800

As Tested Price: $21,590 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge)

Options:

N/A

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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Nice write up, be interesting to see one in person.

 

Did they mention if they did anything to deal with the poor performance in the Crash tests?

 

How is the sense of where your corners are on the auto? One thing I have noticed is that many FITs tend to have bumper scuffs on the corners and in talking to even my daughters friend who has owned one for 2 years now, she says it is so hard to tell just how close you are to something as she cannot sense where the corners are on the auto.

 

So did you feel you had better feel of the dimensions of the auto or worse?

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How is the sense of where your corners are on the auto? One thing I have noticed is that many FITs tend to have bumper scuffs on the corners and in talking to even my daughters friend who has owned one for 2 years now, she says it is so hard to tell just how close you are to something as she cannot sense where the corners are on the auto.

 

So did you feel you had better feel of the dimensions of the auto or worse?

 

It has been awhile since I drove a Fit, so I cannot really say. I think the dimensions are ok for the subcompact class.

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The crash test safety of this, the Fiesta, the 500, etc.  keeps them out of my interest.  Offset frontal is nasty.  Honda does seem to be going more mainstream and less fun to drive with its stuff.  You can only get the Accord Sport in Silver or Grey, not very interesting choices on an already bland car IMHO.

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You can get an Accord Sport in an color, unless you want the MT. Then, you can only get it in Grey or Black.

This may also be relevant to the crash test question: 
http://www.hondainamerica.com/news/honda-leads-industry-first-development-visualization-technology-advance-study-crash-test

 

How was the build quality, fit/finish and such?

Edited by fuel_sipping

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You can get an Accord Sport in an color, unless you want the MT. Then, you can only get it in Grey or Black.

This may also be relevant to the crash test question: 

http://www.hondainam...tudy-crash-test

 

How was the build quality, fit/finish and such?

 

Build quality and fit/finish was really good. I thought it was a prototype, but it was a production model.

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The new Fit EX manuals are a huge step up for the model.  I even like the looks of these.

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Last fit I drove was loud, lacked torque , and ran like 3500 rpm on the highway.

I do like the redo, but I would probably look at the cvt here. Much less rpm at 75 mph cruise.

Magic seat is amazing. In the end, Hondas usually still feel cheap and tinny to me.

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The Fit is on my short list right now if I decide to replace the Prelude.  The EX-L model goes for about $21,000, and there are no dealer discounts.  In comparison, a new 2014 Accord EX-L 4-cylinder has about a $3,500 discount, to about $26,000, which to me is the better buy.  The Civic isn't even worth considering.

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The Fit is on my short list right now if I decide to replace the Prelude.  The EX-L model goes for about $21,000, and there are no dealer discounts.  In comparison, a new 2014 Accord EX-L 4-cylinder has about a $3,500 discount, to about $26,000, which to me is the better buy.  The Civic isn't even worth considering.

 

Quality of Life and Life in general, I would rather you stay with your Prelude or get the accord so you have more steel around you. The Fit is a coffin on wheels. I have seen them in accidents and while I understand people wanting a subcompact for inner city driving and parking, on the freeways and in the suburbs, they are not safe IMHO.

 

I value your life more and would wish you drive something with better protection around you than drive this.

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      Underneath the carbon fiber hood lies the beating heart of the Quadrifoglio, a 2.9L twin-turbo V6 with 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Drive is sent to the rear-wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Quadrifoglio models have four drive modes - Race, Dynamic, Natural, and Advanced Efficiency and each one alters the engine’s behavior. Advanced Efficiency and Natural are about the same with the throttle being a bit more laid back. But that isn’t to say the Giulia isn’t quick in either mode. It has more than enough oomph to leave other cars in the dust when leaving a stop light or merging. But the engine really comes alive when in Dynamic or Race. The throttle sharpens up and the exhaust opens up to deliver a tantalizing soundtrack. Mash the pedal and hold on because this engine will throw you back. The engine sings at mid and high-rpms with speed coming on at an astonishing rate. Alfa says the Quadrifoglio can hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and I can say they are right on the money.
      The automatic transmission is quite impressive. In Normal and Advanced Efficiency, the transmission delivers smooth gear changes. Turn to Dynamic or Race and the gear changes are snappy and fast. Oddly, the automatic transmission exhibits some hesitation when leaving a stop. This is a problem more attune with dual-clutch transmissions.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the Giulia Quadrifoglio are 17 City/24 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed at 19.7 mpg.
      Handling is where the Giulia Quadrifoglio truly shines. Enter into a corner and Giulia hunkers down with little body roll and gives you the confidence to push a little bit further. Steering is another highlight, offering quick response and decent weight. The only complaint I have with the steering is that I wished for some road feel.
      There is a trade-off to Giulia’s handling and that is a very stiff ride. Even with the vehicle set in Advanced Efficiency or Natural mode, the suspension will transmit every road imperfection to your backside. Wind and road noise isolation is about average for the class.
      It is time to address the elephant in the room and that is Alfa Romeo’s reliability record. Since the Giulia went on sale last year, numerous outlets have reported various issues from a sunroof jamming to a vehicle going into a limp mode after half a lap on a track. The only real issues I experienced during my week dealt with infotainment system which made me breathe a sigh of relief. Still, the dark cloud of reliability hung over the Giulia and I never felt fully comfortable that some show-stopping issue would happen. This is something Alfa Romeo needs to remedy ASAP.
       Now we come to end of the Giulia Quadrifoglio review and I am quite mixed. Considering the overall package, the Quadrifoglio is not for everyone. No, it isn’t just because of reliability. This vehicle is a pure sports car in a sedan wrapper. It will put a big smile on your face every time you get on the throttle or execute that perfect turn around a corner. But it will not coddle you or your passengers during the daily drive. Add in the material quality issues and concerns about reliability, and you have a mixed bag.
      To some, that is the charm of an Alfa Romeo. Within all of those flaws is a brilliant automobile. For others, it is something that should be avoided at all costs.
      Disclaimer: Alfa Romeo Provided the Giulia, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Alfa Romeo
      Model: Giulia
      Trim: Quadrifoglio
      Engine: 2.9L 24-Valve DOHC Twin-Turbo V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 505 @ 6,500
      Torque @ RPM: 443 @ 2,500 - 5,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/24/20
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Cassino, Italy
      Base Price: $72,000
      As Tested Price: $76,995 (Includes $1,595.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Dynamic Plus Package - $1,500.00
      Harman Kardon Premium Audio System - $900.00
      Montecarlo Blue Metallic Exterior Paint - $600.00
      Quadrifoglio Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel - $400.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Hyundai Elantra GT has always stood apart from its sedan counterpart due to its European roots. This is most apparent in terms of handling where the hatchback felt slightly sharper than the sedan. Hyundai’s U.S. office has once again called on the European office to source a new Elantra GT hatchback. The model known in Europe as the i30 has been said to be a viable alternative to the Volkswagen Golf by automotive writers. Does that hold true in terms of the U.S.?
      Hyundai’s designers took a page out of the Golf’s playbook when it comes to the exterior. It may not have the excitement or sharp design traits of other compacts, but the Elantra GT’s shape is very classy. The front end features Hyundai’s new hexagonal grille shape and deep cuts in the bumper for the fog lights. The side profile features a large area of glass to help the interior feel airier and a set of 18-inch wheels with black center caps. The rear has a crease running along the rear tailgate and a dual exhaust system.
      My first impression of the Elantra GT’s interior was, “this is more interesting to look at than the Elantra sedan”. The dash design is clean with sculpting along the passenger side to provide some visual differentiation. Sport models feature red accent trim around the vents and stitching on the seats to give off the impression of sportiness. Material quality is average for the class with an equal mix of hard and soft-touch materials. Passengers sitting up front will find controls to be in easy reach and the seats offering adequate comfort. Taller passengers sitting in the back will be complaining about the minuscule amount of legroom. With the driver’s seat set in my position, I found my knees were almost touching the back of it. The Elantra GT’s cargo space is towards the top of the class with 24.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 55.1 cubic feet when folded.
      All Elantra GT’s get Hyundai’s BlueLink infotainment system housed either in a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen mounted on top of the dash. Our tester came with the larger 8-inch screen with navigation. Hyundai’s BlueLink system is one our favorite infotainment system with an easy-to-understand user interface, physical shortcut buttons around the screen, and snappy performance. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard and bring more capability to BlueLink.
      Under the hood of the Elantra GT Sport is a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder producing 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is the same engine you’ll find in the Elantra Sport and Kia Soul !. A six-speed manual is standard, but the model seen here had the optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The first couple of days driving the Elantra GT Sport was somewhat of a disappointment. The throttle felt very sluggish, not letting the turbo engine provide a rush of power. Not helping was the transmission which was focused more on upshifting quickly, along with stumbling with gear changes at low speeds. But I soon figured out that putting the vehicle into Sport mode makes the vehicle much more lively. The throttle loosens up and allows the engine to exploit its full potential. The transmission seems to hold on to gears slightly longer to allow for improved performance. My hunch is that the standard drive mode is actually an eco mode to maximize fuel economy. I would like to see Hyundai add a separate eco mode and have the standard driving mode be a balance of eco and sport.
      In terms of fuel economy, the Elantra GT Sport is rated at 26 City/32 Highway/28 Combined with the DCT. My average for the week landed around 27 mpg with a 60/40 mix of city and highway driving.
      The Elantra GT Sport’s handling is Hyundai’s best effort to date. Sport models swap the torsion beam rear suspension found on the standard GT for a sport-tuned multilink setup. This swap makes the Elantra GT quite nimble in the corners with little body roll and feels poised. Steering provides decent weight when turning. The sporty setup does mean the Elantra GT Sport has a compliant ride with more road imperfections being transmitted. Not much wind noise comes inside, but a fair amount of road noise does.
      The Elantra GT Sport is so close to being a viable alternative to the Volkswagen Golf. It offers a clean exterior look, well-equipped interior, spacious cargo area, and impressive handling characteristics. But the programming of the standard drive mode dents the appeal of the Sport, making it feel less ‘sporty’. Hopefully, Hyundai has some plans to tweak the drive mode programming and dual-clutch transmission. 
      Hyundai has an agreeable compact hatchback in the form of the Elantra GT Sport. But we think given a little bit more time and work, it could be one of the best.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra GT, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Elantra GT
      Trim: Sport A/T
      Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC D-CVVT GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Seven-Speed dual-Clutch
      Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 ~ 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/32/28
      Curb Weight: 3,155 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $24,350
      As Tested Price: $29,210 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Sport Tech Package - $3,850.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00

      View full article
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