Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Jo Borrás8
A 2015 Honda Fit Walks into a Hotel Bar …
A few weeks ago, the good people of Honda decided to fly me from the frigid, windy city of Chicago to the warm, idillic coast of Southern California to experience the new for 2015 Honda Fit for myself. I arrived at my hotel and, like a good little journalist, immediately headed for the hotel bar. That’s when I saw this:
For the uninitiated, that is a 2015 Honda Fit. Inside of a hotel bar.
That wasn’t the only in-bar Honda Fit experience I had that week, either. Before I got to drive the new 2015 Honda Fit (more on that in a moment), I spent some time with Honda’s product planners and PR people, who showed off some the Art Center design sketches that went into the new Fit’s marketing and some of the ways the Fit’s new “Magic Seat” could be contorted to make room for- well- damned near anything, to be honest …
… between all the up, down, forward, and aft motions the Magic Seat was capable of, I was convinced that the new Fit could easily swallow just about anything I could throw at it 364 out of 365 days a year. Short of a minivan or pickup truck (or, frankly, Honda’s own Element CUV) I’ve never seen a vehicle that could match it.
Speaking of things Honda does that other cars and car companies either can’t or won’t match, Honda fed us funnel cakes. Like, honest-to-God, coronary-inducing, county fair-style, fried dough, covered in sugar and cinnamon and butter funnel cakes.
SO, Honda’s product planners know how to feed me and understand where to place a Honda Fit to gain my maximum attention- but how, I hear you asking, is the car, itself? How does it work as a car and, most importantly, how does it drive?
As a modern, latest-generation car, the 2015 Honda Fit has all the goodies. This includes some clever goodies like a smartphone app that uses your phone’s GPS to calculate routes on mid-range models. It works surprisingly well, if you can stomach the relatively long “boot” screens. Inside, the EX-L model Fit we drove was upscale and comfortable, and felt a lot more expensive than its sub-$20K sticker price would seem to have allowed for.
Sadly, driving impressions for the 2015 Honda Fit have been embargoed until tomorrow. Thanks to the new Honda Fit’s Magic Seat, however, I can give you some “passenging impressions” that you probably won’t read elsewhere- and those begin with something called “Magic Seat: Refresh Mode”.
For a bit of context, this is the Honda Fit EX-L I was riding (not driving) in …
… and, after a bit of adjustment on the Honda Magic Seat, this is how I was sitting in it …
… which, you’ll notice, is sort of the same way I’d sit in a big, fluffy La-Z-Boy recliner. That, dear friends, is called “Refresh Mode”, and it is the real magic of Honda’s Magic Seat. So positioned, the passenger experience in the back seat of Honda’s smallest US offering is transformed. If you’re a young mother on a road trip, Refresh Mode will allow you to stretch out while you poke at the infant in the rear-facing child seat. If you’re a businessman in SouthEast Asia, you can treat the Fit like a “right sized” Town Car to ferry you between airports, meetings, and hotel rooms.
That last thing about SouthEast Asia was actually suggested by Honda’s product planners, who insist that the Fit is a premium offering in that market, and that people drive around this way.
Acting purely as a passenger, then, I can tell you that being chauffeured around in Refresh Mode is fantastic. The sense of entitlement and superiority I felt was immense – at one point Jeff, the good sport and all around good dude driving me around, complained about the volume of the GPS’ narrator. I responded with “As my driver, the only voice that you should be concerned with is mine.” It was a joke, but I felt like I could actually say that, if I was the type of guy who could afford a driver.
As far as drivers go, too, I could do far, far worse than Jeff Palmer from Temple of VTEC. Behind the wheel of our “lead” 2015 Honda Fit, we hustled through the mountains of Southern California at some serious speeds- and, from my comfy recliner, the car felt stable and sure.
I’ll tell you more about the 2015 Honda Fit’s stability and sure-footed-ness tomorrow, though, when the embargo lift. Then we can get down to the business of Honda’s new engine, their new pricing strategy, and what driving the new Honda Fit is really all about. Stay tuned!