2016 Honda Fit – finally a car that I can actually afford

The 2016 Honda Fit just does what it’s always done, and does many things even better than the last-generation car. It makes the best use of its small footprint; it’s more appealing, outside and in; and it earns the best crash-test scores of any small hatchback, not to mention exceptional fuel economy. The Fit sets the benchmarks for interior space, utility, and safety for small hatchbacks. It’s not as entertaining to drive as it once was, and some minor fit and finish niggles could use some attention, but by a wide margin, it’s our top choice in its class.

Pragmatic but attractive, the Fit isn’t styled so much like a scaled-down minivan anymore. It’s grown more toward the current state of the art in hatchbacks, with deep side creases, a shoulder line that accentuates the wedge in its shape, and a leaner, tauter stance. The stubby, short hood and long roofline draw out the longer body, and the glass areas are in better balance–as are the Fit’s bigger wheels and tires. It all concludes at a rear end that’s very much like a latter-day Volvo—if only it weren’t for the big chrome bar across the tail.

The Good
The 2015 Honda Fit has an excellent chassis, boasting great handling and a terrific amount of interior volume. The “Magic” rear seat splits, folds and flips to accommodate bulky items. The revised powertrain with CVT is good for up to 41 highway mpg.

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The Bad
The CVT’s shifting lacks immediacy when in the transmission’s sport or manual modes. Capacitive volume controls aren’t very accurate or easy to use. HondaLink Connect tech is only compatible with iPhone devices.

The Bottom Line
The flexible, for less than $20K, 2015 Honda Fit loses a bit of its sporty edge for this generation, but continues to stand out as a strong, driver-friendly choice in a very crowded segment.