Gear testing is one of my favorite parts of my job. I’ve taken solar panels into the sun-soaked desert, beaten up trail shoes until they became shredded, and even put smartphone cameras to the dirtbag test. Pushing gear limits to prove adventure worthiness is somewhat of a pastime for me, so when Honda invited me to fly out to San Diego to test the biggest product I’ve ever reviewed, the 2015 Fit – the answer was an eager “yes, please!”
I have toured the country in vehicles ranging from my infamous retrofitted Sprinter van to my Scion tC hatchback, and even a Honda Pilot. Experiencing adventure travel in such a diverse spread of four-wheeled exploration enablers has offered a wealth of perspective on what it takes to be a worthy road warrior. My Sprinter was superior for living on the road, but my hatchback was the clear victor when it came to parking at a crowded trailhead. So how would the 2015 Honda Fit perform as a car for adventurers?
My first impression of the 2015 Honda Fit was well, this is a pretty cute little car. Honestly, cute and little don’t exactly fit into the list of things I look for while seeking the ideal car for adventure – but then I saw the interior. Honda prides itself on the wizardry they crafted when designing a vehicle that is very compact on the outside, but packs a big punch when it comes to interior space.
The 2015 Fit has 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space – enough for multiple crash pads, camping gear, climbing equipment, and my dog. As a chronic over-packer, that was the first thing that made me start thinking the 2015 Fit could prove itself worthy of adventure. The improved design features fold-down rear seats that lay completely flat, so I could comfortably lay down a sleeping pad and car camp inside (I’m 5’4 – taller people would definitely have to lay diagonally a bit).
The rear seats can be configured in a number of ways to accommodate anything an adventurer needs to haul. Utility Mode is the previously mentioned method of laying the rear seats flat to create a large space in the cargo area – I’d probably spend most of my time with the Fit in this mode. Tall Mode lifts the bottom of the rear seats to create a bucket-style space that can fit up to two mountain bikes for easy transportation. For long adventure gear like surfboard, Long Mode makes room for equipment up to 7’9 in length. My favorite configuration is Refresh Mode: removing the front headrests and reclining the front seats all the way creates a chaise lounge set-up perfect for kicking back after a long hike or relaxing while road tripping.
It only took one evening for the Honda Fit to win my heart as a vehicle I could easily travel in – but how did the 2015 Honda Fit perform on the road? I teamed up with Casey from Modern Hiker to test drive the Fit, and we were both instantly impressed. Driving the 2015 Fit from the streets of downtown San Diego to the coastal highways near Torrey Pines was fantastic. The acceleration is smooth, the eco-minded mileage meter keeps you motivated to drive economically, and features like a LaneWatch camera mounted on the passenger side mirror make driving the 2015 Fit a pleasant experience.
A key perk for adventurers is the quiet interior perfected by Honda. The 2015 Fit is noticeably quiet, even on a crowded highway. As someone who spends a lot of time snoozing next to rumbling semi-trucks in interstate rest stops, a sound-blocking interior is a major bonus. An impressive list of safety features further solidifies the Fit’s accolades as a great vehicle for someone who spends a lot of time traveling.
For chronic road trippers, fuel efficiency is a major concern when choosing an adventure vehicle. The 2015 Honda Fit gets 33 mpg in the city, and 41 mpg on the highway – although my partner Casey managed to pump it up to 42 mpg during our test drive. I’ve driven multiple hybrids that get excellent mileage, but this is the first car with such high mileage that drove like a real, hearty car with strong acceleration.
So what didn’t I love about the 2015 Honda Fit? Honestly, not much. The Honda Link navigation system was a little bit tough to get used to (what can I say, I love Google Maps), but that was my only complaint about the car.
By the end of my time test driving with the Honda crew, I was seriously scheming ways to trade in my Scion for the 2015 Fit. My first-hand experience with the vehicle was only supported when I reached out to readers for their opinions on Fits, and found a surprising number of fellow adventurers who love their Fits – including climbers. The fellas behind two of my favorite climbing blogs, Climbing Narc and The Stone Mind both drive Fits, and lady adventurer Laurie Tewksbury said she’s never been stuck in the snow in her Fit. Check, check, and check.
I’m on a mission to figure out how I can get my hands on the 2015 Honda Fit, and make it my new adventure side-kick. Now that I’ve officially launched my new Colorado List adventure project, I need a reliable vehicle to join me for all my explorations. From a sleek moonroof and the ability to park anywhere to sturdy handling and seemingly endless cargo space, the Fit offers the perfect combination of ladylike style and dirtbag functionality.