DETROIT -- Honda made its bones in the U.S. market in the 1970s with sensible small cars. The 2015 Fit, unveiled today at the Detroit auto show, is Honda's attempt to stake out its ground in that re-emerging segment of the market.
While small cars are getting larger with each generation's redesign, the Fit stays relatively close to the previous version by pushing the wheels to the corners -- gaining 1.2 inches of wheelbase, and 0.3 inch of width, but losing 1.6 inches of overall length.
The Fit's 1.5-liter engine generates 130 horsepower and 114 pounds-feet of torque, an increase of 13 hp and 8 lbs.-ft. compared with the outgoing engine. Transmission choices will be a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. The CVT is estimated to have 33 city/41 highway fuel economy.
Honda is pitching the Fit as a subcompact car that doesn't have to be cheap, coming with standard upscale features such as 16-inch wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and a multi-angle rearview camera.
"The Honda Fit is a small car with big aspirations," John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of automobile sales, said in a release. "Faster, more fuel-efficient and more fun, it's a subcompact with larger-than-life-capabilities,"
Although it's a subcompact, the Fit offers 52.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity when the second-row seats are folded flat. By contrast, the compact Mazda3 has 47.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the same configuration.