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Heels On Wheels: 2016 Honda Fit Review +VIDEO


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HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel


INTRO TO THE FIT VEHICLE
The Honda Fit continues to be one of the most attractive subcompact choices on the market with impressive technology, accommodating space, notable safety, excellent fuel economy at 35 miles-per-gallon combined, and a favorable price even when fully loaded.

I drove a 2016 Honda Fit with the Earth Dreams Technology 130-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine featuring i-VTEC technology and an automatic Continuously Variable Transmission with G-Shift Control. Available in three trim grades (LX, EX, and EX-L), my top-of-the-line Fit EX-L with Navigation came with the following standard features: leather-trimmed upholstery; heated front seats; upgraded six-speaker audio system with XM and HD Radio; seven-inch touchscreen with the Next Generation Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System and a rearview camera with LaneWatch; moonroof; Bluetooth connectivity; steering wheel mounted audio controls; USB and auxiliary jack fog lights; push-button start; and rear roofline spoiler. Total vehicle price as described came to $21,065.

Redesigned just last model year, the Fit is virtually unchanged for 2016. It took on a volume space increase of 4.9 cubic feet and better graphics with the Next Generation Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System. Main competitors include the Chevrolet Sonic, Volkswagen Golf, Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: The crafty exterior design of the Fit mimics the Civic compact for vehicle that just looks broader even though it is a hatchback and not a sedan. The Fit’s body structure is more rigid and lighter, with slimmer headlights and a tapered roofline. Interior praise goes to the updated technology and the space: the reconfigurable second-row Magic Seat folds flat for 52.7 cubic feet; and the right-side seats can be pushed down to accommodate items as long as seven-feet nine-inches. Plus, these second-row seats can fold up and out of the way to accommodate tall and upright objects. The rearview camera is also capable casting a screen image as to what’s behind you before you make a right turn. Second-row space isn’t ideal for three or longer travels, but is more than what the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper offer.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2016 Honda Fit ratings of “Good” in all categories omitting Small Overlap Front which earned an “Acceptable” – it is still a Top Safety Pick. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it an overall 5-Star rating. Safety highlights on the Honda Fit include: Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure; Standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD); Dual-stage multiple-threshold front airbags; Dual front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); Side-curtain airbags; and standard Honda LaneWatch rearview camera.

Cost Issues: The base Fit starts at $15,790 and tops out at $21,065 – for what you get in terms of functional space and technology, it’s quite possibly the best hatchback deal on the market. Activity & Performance Ability: As stated in my 2015 model review, the Fit possesses punchier traits and a more confident road feel – it no longer shows the strain it had during hard acceleration with the previous the five-speed automatic transmission. Handling remains a welcomed surprise for the small size and it is also quieter on the road, all thanks to new body structure. For someone who loves the feel of mid-size crossovers, I wouldn’t be complaining it the Fit became my daily ride. The amount of interior space is surprising, and it’s roomy for all.




The Green Concern: Fuel economy numbers for the Fit are 32-city and 38-highway for a combined 35 miles-per-gallon. This is quite an accomplishment from the previous powertrain figures of 27 miles-per-gallon city and 33 highway. The Fit EV is powered by a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 92 kilowatt coaxial electric motor – the same high-density electric motor used in the FCX Clarity – and gets a 123 city-mile per charge.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
The 2016 Honda Fit is, quite arguably, the best subcompact on the market in regards to both a gasoline-based powertrain and all-electric motor. While the Fit doesn’t possess sleek German engineering or have any European savvy, if you’re willing to let practically rein you’ll be quite pleased with the Fit’s outcomes.

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©2015 Katrina Ramser