Honda’s Little 2015 Fit Packs a Big Punch for Adventurers

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?The 2015 Honda Fit. Photo by Katie Boué

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.

Casey of Modern Hiker and Joan Hester get cozy in the back of the 2015 Honda Fit. A demonstration of how easily the 2015 Honda Fit can accomodate surfboards.
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. Driving the 2015 Honda Fit in San Diego.Here's the thing, I totally love the Honda Fit!
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.

Want to hear more about the 2015 Honda Fit?
Read the reviews from SoCal Hiker and Campfire Chic!

What’s YOUR go to adventure vehicle?

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9 thoughts on “Honda’s Little 2015 Fit Packs a Big Punch for Adventurers

  1. Kenny says:

    That’s awesome. I have a 2010 Fit and I’ve been defending it for years as an adventure vehicle. No one really believes me. It’s so perfect for car camping. I’ve driven the thing to trail heads all over NY, NH, VT and MA – in all 4 seasons. It’s not the best winter vehicle, especially in VT and NH but it totally gets the job done. There are still many more adventures to be had in my Fit.

    Did you drive it up any steep/long hills? The engine screams and it’s slow going. Maybe they improved that in the new models?

  2. Jessi Honard says:

    My own vehicle is definitely not fit for adventures, though it has great gas mileage (I drive a 2002 Toyota Echo). Usually it’s my adventure companions that provide the transport and I’ve gotta say my friend’s RAV4 has saved us on the last two camping trips we’ve been on. Both times we were caught in storms — in one, flash floods were a problem, in the other we were in a massive electrical storm and didn’t feel safe in the tent. The car became our shelter and it totally lived up to the challenge, keeping us and our equipment comfortable and safe!

  3. Alexander Titus says:

    Have you used the Kia Soul as well? I have hear great things about both and I am trying to compare the two and it seems everyone has an strong pull to one side or the other, but I have never used the Fit and I want to find the right combination of options.

    • Katie Boué says:

      I have to admit: I hate the Kia Soul. I am not a fan of box cars – it’s like driving in a toaster oven! I much prefer the Fit’s design – it strikes the perfect balance of ample cargo space in a small vehicle and a sleek build.

  4. Adam Butterick says:

    I have a 2010 Honda Fit base model. It’s been a road warrior for four years. I’ve been from GA, to NM, to CA, and just got back from FL (Key West). I test drove a gray 2015 Honda Fit EX the other day. Man have they made them nice cars now. Dare I say it’s a low end luxury car at this point. The steering wheel controls to the navigation screen via Honda Link, back up camera and blindspot camera, push start ignition and keyless entry. It was hard to pass up. I still think about going up there and doing the trade, but I’m gonna ride out my 2010 for as long as I can. I’m very seriously considering a 2016-17 Fit if they are still as nice as the 2015’s are. My only gripe is the carpet. They put the most “unvacuumable” carpet in these things. My 2010 is consistently dirty. If you vacuum it, the fibers just fray up. I could do without the rear backup camera and better carpet. Can’t stand not being able to adequately clean my vehicle when I get back from my torturous road trips.

  5. TAO says:

    Ello love.

    I have previously test driven a 2013 model of the honda fit. My only issue with the car was that the engine did not seem as strong as a traditional car. I drive across the country regularly, up mountains and steep hills. Would you feel confident that the honda Fit 2015 could keep up with the constant strain on the engine I would demand? Imagine San Francisco hills.

    I test drove a 2013 in the Austin hill country and it made me nervous.

    Did you drive manual or automatic?

  6. Qball says:

    I’ve been living in my Honda Fit for over 3 years now…im 6’4″ too. I absolutely love road tripping and adventuring in this vehicle….38mpg kind of love! I travel all over the country for Ultras and living out of my Fit saves me so much money. Never paying rent again!

    For the curious….I built a raised platform along the entire passenger side of the vehicle. Plenty of sliding drawer storage underneath. Sunshade for the windshield and made blackout panels for the rest of the windows, which stay in at all times…except the front drivers window and passenger windows. Those I made blackout curtains so i can roll them up at night and down in the morning. Nothing is permanently built into the vehicle. The platform bed has two piano hinges on it so I can fold it up accordion style to utilize the front passenger seat if necessary. I live in the Pacific NW so weather isn’t too extreme. I have rain guards on the Windows and I always have the Windows cracked for ventilation/air flow. During the wetter winter months I get some condensation on the windows but it’s not terrible. Summer, there is no condensation to contend with. I like the Fit because it’s unassuming and blends in. I have had no problems with people/police bothering me. I sleep like a baby too. Often times when I’m travelling or visiting friends they will offer me a place to crash but I usually sleep in the Fit, because I sleep that well and am so comfortable in it.

    Bought it brand new in March 2014 (It’s a 2013 model) for $14k!!! What a deal!

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